Pacing, Trotting Thunders At Mohawk, Meadows, Ocean, Hawthorne

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September 16th, 2020

More home-bred action and the last of Grand Circuit (GC) in Canada as the GC readies returning to the U.S. Midwest for the annual Delaware Ohio meet. Check out our features and stay close to the TwinSpires harness blog’s exclusive horses-to-watch list (H2W), again bringing you opportunities for bettors in win, place, show and exotic-pools.

On Sept. 18, the Meadows hosts a quartet of Keystone Classic (KC) events, featuring some soph-colt pacing and trotting stars and co-stars of 2020’s abbreviated season.

For $39k, the colts’ first of two KC episodes, with seven at the gait, starts the Friday program. Class-wise, Amigo Volo, Hambletonian finalist and winner since, has earned thrice that of his foes and should be the public choice—but he can be beaten here. Ake Svanstedt sends two from the division’s lesser ilk, the most potent being Harley K, and he could easily improve just enough to win.

KC two for colt trotters also collects seven, with the best earner, Patriarch Hanover among them for Ron Burke. Expect action to be strong for Svanstedt’s DD’s Redemption, with track-hero Dave Palone aboard. An outside contender—Town Victor—catches our eye as a possible upset. Rich Gillock’s strong earner, finishing four ties on the board in nine starts, deserves more attention than he will get for our money.

The KC soph pacers’ first of two ($34k) has nine on the manifest—five from Burke. Still, Jim Campbell has the one with the biggest bankroll—Sandbetweenmytoes, who happens to have a sub 1:50 win on his resume. Those factors will attract the bucks. This is a race where an outside contender can show his presence early as a surprise to bettors ignoring him for his 8-hole start. Robert Cleary’s Tito Rocks should fire off the gate and get a good spot to use the rest of his fine form for a neat win.

Closing the KC stream are nine more pacers, five more from the Burke Brigade, including the likely public choice, The Greek Freak. Here, a sharp contender leaves from the utmost inside post, most likely offering some worthy returns. Jim Campbell’s Tell Them Lou is a well-bred performer that looks as if he is improving to have a better year at four. The improvement could start here for a good swing into late-season action.


Maryland Sires Stakes (MDSS $45k each) finals for two-year-olds highlight the program at Ocean Downs on Sept. 18. Here are briefings on the quartet of MDSS features.

2ct –Funnyfunnyriddle has this group measured as the big favorite, but Trents A Lock could get a trip to solve the riddle on how to beat him.

2ft—The Shaun Callahan-Montrell Teague duo’s Andovermiwinner and Pride Of Windswept could share the exacta if they both stay flat—or either takes the cake.

2cp—Ko Master is ready to make his fourth outing a winning one against two probable favorites that have not tasted defeat in a pair of starts each.

2fp—Wowie Zowie has no excuse if he loses this one, but Intracoastal will make him work for it.


On Sept. 18 at Woodbine/Mohawk (WoMo), two-year-old colt pacers appear in a pair of eliminations for The Metro Pace next weekend. There are only six in each $40k split.

Oddly enough, of the top money-earing freshman-pacers this season, the best in the elims is number 14 (seven in colts)—Bettor Sun. He starts from post one in elim one; none of the other top earners are in the first elim. He is from a relatively new sire, Sunshine Beach, who was one of the only sophs to defeat Captaintreacherous (who is represented in elim one by Pirate Hanover. The $138k-winning Bettor Sun, however, may not be the favorite, which could provide bettors with decent value when the betting ends.

The other Metro elim co-stars the other top earners, in order—Abuckabett Hanover, Lawless Shadow, Bayfield Beach and Candy Trader. Going into the race, though, Control Heaven is the “now” horse. He is from Control The Moment, a sire we wrote about in a blog during the pandemic, when scouting for good first-time sires. Also mentioned was Betting Line, the sire of Abuckabett Hanover. From the best living sire (Bettors Delight) there’s Candy Trader. Obviously, this elim could go to any of those, but for us, Tony Alagna’s Abuckabett Hanover gets our endorsement, even though the crowd won’t ignore him.


Although this is an open affair, Ramona Hill is absent (see Elegant Image below). As well, most of the 2020 Hambo colts are also missing for the Canadian Pacing Derby on Sept. 19 at WoMo. There is still thick competition in the 10 going to the gate for pieces of the $400k purse.

Ready For Moni will be all out to be trainer Nancy Takter’s other soph-colt (she trains pacer Tall Dark Stranger) to lead a division. He certainly has the favorite spot in this field, having beaten each in action.

Next in earnings is Jula Trix Treasure, who drew post 10, assuring a decent price in exotic payouts for Ake Svanstedt. Play Trix On Me and Hayek follow earnings in order but pose little threats to Moni. “Trix” follows winners five times (place finishes). Moni with “Trix” should pay well one way and, obviously, better the other way. The warning is for Trix, because Ake is not scared of the post or Moni and even if by a single hoof beat he wins, there will be cashing.


Mare pacers line up for a Milton elims ($35k) on the Sept. 19 card. This is always a tough division, with arguments for many and the seven in round one fit that bill. Burke’s Warrawee Ubeaut will attract many bucks, as will Takter’s Kissin In The Sand. We like a coming-from-midpack winning Treacherous Reign at a good price.

The other Milton act is a sextet. Bret Pelling’s Caviart Ally will race big and chased hard, but it appears she is the best and can prove it with little effort, though for a little win price.


Also on the big WoMo bill Sept. 19 is the $350k Elegant Image for glamour-girl trotters. There is little to say about this after two words—Ramona Hill. What would she possibly to do lose? One thing is for sure—the exotics she leads will have to be followed by outsiders if you’re looking to make the most of her as a key horse. So watch the betting as late as possible for them, especially Whose Blues from Luc Blais.


The Illinois’ track’s trademark events adorn the entire Sept. 19 program, a version of the state’s traditional “supernight,” featuring ICF (Illinois conceived and foaled) divisions.

Here are briefings for as many of the features we feel we can address for bets.

Molaro Championship (3+p $68k)—We still believe in Fox Valley Gemini, who at four, is the money horse and the one to beat.
Fox Valley Flan (2ft $88k)—Myonly Sin has a shot for an upset from strong Erv Miller barn. 
Incredible Tilly (2fp $80k)—Connie On The Go proves top-sire Sportsmaster is not out of passing on winning genes.
Beulah Dygert (3ft $98k)—Fox Valley Extacy is among ICF royalty and will rule here.
Erwin Dygert (3ct $109k)—Another straight path for a Crooked Creek victory. 
Incredible Finale (2cp $71k)—Frontier Charley need only conquer post to win this.
Robert Carey, Jr. (3cp $86k)—Hello Rooster has a few steps over He’zzz A Wise Sky.
Plum Peachy (3fp $108k)—Kyle Husted’s Fox Valley Exploit worth a lower price here.
Tony Maurello (3+p $68k)—Skeeter Machine likes winning and is in a great spot to win again here.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and confirm the wagers available at the prescribed track. H2W offers possible contenders researched from reviewing races. Horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track with the date of their race and the race number (R6 ) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it appears on the list for the second time (horses are listed twice only if, at first, they failed to win. An “ae” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment.


9/19/20, +Chanting Hanover R13
9/17/20, Red Foot Ernie Ray R1; Classy Hill R4; Southwind Moroccan R4; Custom Cantab R10
9/18/20, Part-time Hanover R7
9/19/20, American Music R4; Wild Goose Chase R9; +Good Living R12; +Ilikethemtrashy R14

9/19/20, Thespywholovedme R5; Major Crocker A R9

9/17/20, Time To Imagine R2; Rockin Era R3; Whiskey Wizzard R9

9/19/20, +American Influence R5; +US Captain R10; +Ocean Colony R11

9/18/20, Aftermeyourfirst R10
9/21/20, Metro Boomin R1

9/18/20, +Swan Leader R3; +Sports Expert R9

9/17/20, Buen Camino R5

9/17/20, +That’s Incredible R5; +Shady Secret A R6

9/20/20, BJs Guy R3

Running Aces
9/19/20, Fox Valley B Gump R2; +Madam Speaker R5; Rocky John R2

9/21/20, +Epaulette A R7

9/19/20, +Best Choice R5

9/19/20, Majestic Sunset R1; Ideal Rowan R6
9/19/20, Scarlett Hanover R10; Voelz Delight R11

9/17/20, Girls Got Rhythm R3
9/18/20, Ari Allstar R3; Heavens Gait R5