Pinkman Pounces Filly Foe In Hambletonian; Artspeak $41 To Show In ‘Wiggle’ War

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

August 9th, 2015

The classic features of the week, the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks were the center point of The Meadowlands’ huge closing card on Saturday, Aug. 8. There were no shocking results to the soph-trot miles as the Hambletonian Trail concluded. In fact, the crowd was very sharp on the multi-stakes card throughout. Here are comments on the results, including reflections on our suggested contenders. (Thanks to The Meadowlands and especially to the Hambletonian Society for their accommodations and cooperation in our on-the-site coverage of the program.)

Complete details of the Hambletonian elim heats and “Oaks” finals are on the Hambletonian Society homepage. Our assessment of the events were much like those expressed by the public, except for a few possibilities.

In Hambo elim-heat 1, we supported Donatomite and urged to have him placed into exotic combos. He went off at 50-1 and was third, paying $9.00 to show, over Pinkman ($5.60, $3.40, $2.80), who we warned was the most-likely winner. His low price was a great price for trainer Jimmy Takter’s gelding and he only offered it due to what the public considered an unfavorable post—the far outside 10. His stable mate, The Bank, finished second.

The second elim heat featured the only filly in the main event, Mission Brief ($3.60, $2.40, $2.10), who won easily, as we predicted she would do if she stayed flat, which she did. Our choice for possible upset and as a top-three finisher, Billy Flynn (48-1), broke near the half and was eliminated, finishing eighth and not making the final field.

The filly mesmerized the crowd, having many fans, and was made the favorite in the final. We offered—on Twitter—The Bank (6-1) as the possible upset but Pinkman was not done trotting his best for the day, breaking a world-record and winning over Mission Brief. Again, Pinkman paid well with a $5.60 win mutual.

The Oaks represented another victory for the Takter trotting emporium. With Mission Brief gone, Wild Honey made Takter the first trainer to win back-to-back Oaks and Hambos. We supported another Takter gal, Sarcy (19-1) who raced evenly but finished fifth to her stable mate, the overwhelming public choice.

Ultimate Undercard

The James Doherty Final (soph-filly trotters) went the huge public choice, Broadway Donna. Our choice, Celebrity Eventsy (17-1) imitated her sire on his worse day, breaking just after the first turn and galloping most the rest of the way.

Pacing mares surrendered to Anndrovette (5-2) in the Lady Liberty, where our choice, Sandbetweenurtoes (7-2) made a huge sweep in the second turn but flattened and finished ninth.

With speed holding well, our choice Dancin Yankee (7-1) took the early lead in the US Pacing Championship but was overtaken and buried behind horses to finish fourth behind out other suggestion, Foiled Again ($4.20) who got up for third.

A crowded field of older trotters shuffled around 1 1/8 miles in the John Cashman Final and a strong last half with good cover won it for Flanagan Memory (10-1), while our choices Obrigado ($5.00) and Natural Herbie finished third and fourth, respectively.

Swedish-invader D’one (14-1) also took advantage of short trotting speed in the Fresh Yankee at 1 1/8 miles to upset Bee A Magician (favorite) and Shake It Cerry. We were fourth with Allie Labrook (7-1) and Handover Belle (10-1) did not make an exotics, finishing eighth.

In the Peter Haughton for frosh-colt trotters, top-trainer Ron Burke’s public choice, Southwind Frank, won. Our choice, Alexander Hanover (25-1), made a strong move midway on the outside but could not keep up with the impressive speed. Southwind Frank becomes the winter-book favorite for the 2016 Hambletonian.

In the Vincennes trot we mentioned the probable favorite would be Resolve and he won at 6-5 while our upset choice, Deweycolorintheline (37-1) never so much as mad up an inch from start to finish and ended ninth.

The Cane Pace upset was a circumstance that delivered our sharpest prices. Wiggle It Jiggleit was sorely challenged for the lead as the prohibitive choice in fiery fractions that saw “Wiggle” go wide to the lead and battle nose to nose with In The Arsenal. As this duel ensued, Artspeak—a colt we have supported strongly through the first half of the season and warned players about in this event, even as a possible upset over Wiggle—made a huge three-wide move from the half to three-quarters at 11-1.

When Wiggle and his fencing partner began to fade in the stretch, Artspeak was full of pace. Although he could not out-finish ground-saving Dealt A Winner (26-1), Artspeak took second. With Wiggle not able to pick up third, Artspeak returned $13.60 to place and an outrageous $41.20 to show. The other contender we suggested in the exotics finished fifth.

The pari-mutuel mathematics rewarded Artspeak with the phenomenal prices but at 11-1 he was a terrific across-the-board wager even if Wiggle had survived the top three and in that case he may also have won. We don’t mind patting ourselves on the backs for continuing to endorse the fine pacer, no less suggesting supporting him in a race that circumstance applauded.

In the Shady Daisy, soph-filly pacer Divine Caroline dead-heated for second with Bettor Be Steppin (both fillies trained by Joe Holloway) to pay $5.40 and $7.80 (ok),


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 the 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 44 active horses (an 14-percent win hit rate and a 32 percent in-the-money hit rate). One note: the list included three horses at Batavia that at the time we thought would be betting races; they turned out to be non-betting races.

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place and/or show results occurring after press time and that it is up to you to follow those horses that have not performed before this weekly review is posted.


Woman Of Terror, $14.00, $7.60, $5.60, Scioto
Rockin Good, $11.80, $5.80, $3.80. Hoosier
Riverdancer, $4.40, $2.60, $2.10, Northfield
Rulers Best, $3.40, $2.20, $2.20 ok, Northfield
Planet Ocean, $3.00, $2.40, $2.20, Red Mile
Fine Fine Fine, $2.80, $2.20, $2.20 ok, Red Mile


Moshannon Mojo, $9.60, $5.20, Meadows
Schmatie, $9.40, $4.80, Northfield
Gals Romeo, $4.60, $3.80, Scarborough
Sandys Candy, $3.40, $2.60, Red Mile
The Ladies Man, $2.80, $2.40, Hoosier


Celebrity Stimulus, $5.30, Vernon
K-lees Shakenbake, $5.00, Hoosier
Capitol Hill, $3.20, Century

News & Notes

Hoosier Park hosted what is arguably its most-wagered-upon-to-win horse, Indiana-bred Freaky Feet Pete on Aug. 7 in a sires-stakes event. Off at five cents to the dollar, “Pete” was obviously the public’s top choice. However, the soph colt was also almost the public’s only choice. There were eight others in the field and each one was sent to the gate at over 100-1. The public’s second choice was 103-1, followed by choice with horses going off 160-1, 213-1, 274-1, 275-1, 277-1, 418-1 and 445-1. There was no place or show or exotic wagering. Need we report that Pete won?

Meadowlands President Jeff Gural was the host of a dinner party recently, with a special guest, the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Mr. Gural is the Chairman of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which is one of the world's leading commercial real estate advisory firms and the source of Gural’s major financial status in the business world. Mr. Gural serves on several company boards for various Manhattan, N.Y. associations and consistently gives generously of his time and resources to a number of charities. Gural said, “I am honored to have been able to host this event for President Obama to help raise funds for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, an organization that I care deeply about.” President Obama made some brief remarks and stayed for nearly an hour to answer questions from guests.

Friday, Aug. 7 at The Meadowlands, some glamour-division trotters passing the big event were on target. Another Takter student, the colt Whom Shall I Fear, won a Townsend Ackerman split as the favorite. One of our Hambo Trail filly hits along the path, Lindy Land, was second in a Duenna split, paying $25.20 to place and $11.60 to show. Also of note from Aug. 7 is Minnesota-mare-pacer Show Runner, who finished second as the favorite in a conditioned affair. She has been a powerhouse at Running Aces, winning nine for 13 this season. Her sire is Little Steven, the popular West Coast stallion owned and bred by the late Alan Kirschenbaum.
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 ~