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Homeracing

Monticello Cold Exacta Strike At $180; Five Money-Makers At The Meadowlands On Two Programs

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

December 25th, 2016

It was a short week for personal features and the horses-to-watch list (H2W), since all tracks were dark on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, but our penultimate blog preview for 2016 was productive. Check out the H2W results below; they include a cold $180.00 Exacta and three strong hits at The Meadowlands on Dec. 22 among the wagers.

That same night, our personal features were a pair of races on The Meadowlands’ program. The first feature’s top choice was awful. Gary Bellevue (107-1) finished eighth. We mentioned the winner, Carobbean Pacetry (19-1), while suggesting four other horses in an effort to hit the Super Hi-5. We hit the other feature that night with Relentless Spirit ($7.60, $3.20, $2.60).

Three features were suggested for Friday, Dec. 23. One of them was set for Dayton but the track cancelled the program due to inclement weather. Back at The Meadowlands, our second choice won another feature. That was Great Soul ($5.60, $2.80, $2.20). The top choice, I’m Sid The Kid (36-1), finished eighth.

Earlier that day at the Meadows, we finished fifth with Big Game Hunter (13-1), losing to the race favorite.

All horses that did not win in our personal features (if not scratched) appear in the following week’s H2W list as second-time (noted: +) entries.

In Dec. 23’s TwinSpires Players Pool, handling the Woodbine Jackpot Super Hi-5, the pot reached $2.6 million. Unfortunate race circumstances resulted in a Players Pool loss—only the second loss since the pool handled such jackpots on our watch. In the last steps of the stretch drive of the 12th race, hitting another Hi 5 pool looked great. There were two tickets alive in the final yards. One would result in three hits and the other in five, theoretically promising a $38,000 return. Moments from the wire, the combination required to win was steps away. That combo was 6,4,11,1,7. The 7, however, narrowly beat the 1 for the fourth spot. Thank you for participating
 
Our 2016 review blog, including all of this year’s H2W and features winners, as well as our TwinSpires Players’ Horse of the Year (our top-paying winner of the year from this blog), as well as some closing notes for all of our followers will be the main content of the Dec. 29 blog. As well, there will be a few personal features for the New Year’s Eve weekend en route to 2017.

H2W LIST RESULTS

The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Also, exactas listed are included when a H2W horse finishes second with a race favorite or the first two finishers making up the exacta are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses were listed to complete a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices published are correct even when a show price exceeds a place price or any or all of the prices are the same. This week, there were 23 active horses (a 26-percent win hit rate and a 57-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place, show and exotic results occurring by press time but some horses race after the blog is posted (we list them the following week) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review is posted.

Winners

Arriva’s Winner, $24.20, $8.00, $3.80, Meadowlands
Xactly Mike, $20.80, $11.60, $4.90 (*Exacta $180.00), Monticello
Truth And Liberty, $15.60, $8.40, $5.60, Meadowlands
Perfect Road, $7.40, $4.40, $2.60, Meadowlands
Rupp, $4.80, $4.00, $3.40, Dayton
Allstar Energy, $3.20, $2.40, $2.20, Meadows

Seconds

Busy Corners Rose, $16.20, $7.00 (*Exacta $180.00), Meadows
Feel My Pain, $9.60, $8.10 (Exacta $57.00), Monticello
Scrappy Fella, $4.10, $2.80, (Exacta $20.80), Northlands

Thirds

Archie Bunker, $3.20, Northlands
Little Anna Mae, $3.10, Flamboro
Bella Palazzo, $2.80, Flamboro
Double Loop, $2.40, Northlands

News & Notes

According to Yonkers Raceway’s veteran PR pal, Frank Drucker, the track “has thrown down the gauntlet with oversized purses” for the upcoming year. The 2017 seasons begins with a French-flavored Sunday, Jan. 8, with a post time to be announced. Tthe first-day purse structure is highlighted by a $75,000 Open Handicap Trot that tests square-steppers at 1¼ miles. As well, the program will include and a $60,000 Open Handicap Pace at the standard mile.

In 2017 The Meadowlands will offer 91 live programs. The Meadowlands “remains committed to the long term future of horse racing at the facility,” according to management. “Clearly, generating sufficient revenue to operate at the desired level and keep quality racing on the track is an ongoing problem. Owner Jeff Gural proposed that industry stakeholders share in the support of the stakes program by becoming stakes sponsors. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with breeders, owners, drivers, trainers and veterinarians all answering the call. The support allows the ’17 stakes program to continue virtually intact.

Thursday’s harness program is now the top pacing day at Dover Downs. The highlight events are $30,000 Preferred events. During the rest of the racing week, Monday is now a top claiming feature day, Tuesday is a platform for top female pacers with the $20,000 Open Mares pace and Wednesday continues as top trot day, highlighted by the $20,000 Open Trot.

At Woodbine, racing resumes on Canada’s Boxing Day (Monday, Dec. 26) with a matinee card beginning at 1 p.m. Following the Boxing Day card there will be no live racing at Woodbine until Saturday, Jan. 7. The final qualifying session of 2016 will be held Dec. 22. A pair of qualifying sessions will be held during the first full-week of racing in the New Year on Jan. 9 and Jan. 12. Woodbine harness continues through March 2017.

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.

Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog

For Thom Pye cartoons, informative harness history and more, click here

 

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