Plethora Of Pacers, Trotters On Grand Circuit Gala Weekend

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

September 10th, 2015

We are keeping our focus on Canada again this week as divisional stars fire on all cylinders in Grand Circuit action. Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12, multi-divisional miles are presented on the Mohawk stage with a lot of money on the line. We hope to beat some of those public offerings, per se, and invest in some less-favorable winners along the way. It is also a rare, big night on Sept. 12 at Scioto Downs, with sires-stakes champions and special invitationals.

This week, the Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC) coordinates with this, our main harness blog at and the Hambletonian Society. This week the BCC covers the Helen Smith for soph-filly trotters at Freehold, a quartet of solid-pursed stakes for two-year-old Pennsylvania-breds at the Meadows and the wealthy New York Sires Stakes Finals at Yonkers, all on Patriots Day, Friday, Sept. 11.

There is more, of course, since our exclusive horses-to-watch list (H2W) lists horses we strongly support that offer across-the-board and exotic wagers that may help you pump money into your TwinSpires account. These horses come from our personal files that scan overnight races all over North America for horses with potential the public may not see and most of which are not available on any other public website.

Frosh-Trot Bill

A pair of $30,000 William Wellwood Memorial elims for two-year-old colt trotters are on the Friday, Sept. 11 Mohawk bill. There are only 14 looking for berths in next week’s final, including the division leader, Southwind Frank, who looks to be in complete control of the second elim. He has been spotless since proving his dominating miles with the Peter Haughton Final but you can be sure Jimmy Takter’s Zlatan will be gunning for him. The outside contender and one for the exotics should be Marion Marauder. He will sure be a price worthy of an upset or to pump up an exotic.

The first elim has no such imbalance for betting but we may be in the shadow of a favorite going with Jonas Czernyson’s Brooklyn Hill. The Muscle Hill progeny ships for this and certainly has been meeting tougher recently. As well, he is the only Muscle Hill in the field, a definite plus.

Elegant Images

Also Friday, those glamour-girl trotters from the Hambletonian and its “Oaks” have checked into Mohawk hoping for two weeks of top-dollar engagements with the Elegantimage Stakes. They begin on Sept. 11 with a pair of $35,000 elims, including the best of the season and then some.

The first elim features the Oaks winner, Wild Honey, who did not have to deal with the presence of Mission Brief in that event since the latter was giving the boys something to chase in the Hambo. But Mission Brief is in elim two.

Elim one will attract scads of bets for Wild Honey but she is by no means a lock. There are good arguments for a few here, though Burke’s Gatka Hanover is apt to get second-choice status easily. Local fans will want to bet on Elegant Security, who is sharp now, and Smokinmombo has been cashing checks in stakes.

Likely to be left out of the top four is Muscle Baby Doll, due to lack of brand and that pesky 8 hole. “Doll” will have to be aggressive and deserves attention because of that. She should be in the mix (don’t leave her out of exotics) and could topple the choices with a good trip; she is an outside contender worth support. 

Who dares bet against Mission Brief, from post 1, in the second elim? Again, a Jimmy Takter product goes up against a Ron Burke product. This time Takter has Speak To Me leaving just behind Mission Brief for the chase and saving some ground. We like Danielle Hall, who has returned to the races late this season and can only get better at three as she aims for bigger purses. She will be a good addition to exotics, even if she doesn’t improve tenfold to beat the top two or win on a breaking default.

Classic Sophs Again

On Saturday, Sept. 12, the Grand Circuit action contines at Mohawk. Here are the glamour-boy trotters all lined up for two elims of the Canadian Trotting Classic at $40,000 each. These guys have been working hard since the second week in August and they are still trotting after big bucks en route to the Breeders Crown.

Elim one has six and, of course, it’s the Takter-heavy division so in this mile we get Uncle Lasse and French Laundry. Burke’s Crazy Wow is here off of his disappointing break in the Yonkers Trot (though stable mate Habitat won). An interesting addition to the usual crowd is Jetpedia, who will get attention from the locals and will deserve it as the outside contender here. Which one cancels out which one makes this a tough affair to pin the favorite badge but we have to go with the probable outsider, Jetpedia.

Round two has the Takter trio of Pinkman, Canepa Hanover and The Bank. Ave Svanstedt’s Centurion ATM takes another stab at staying flat and producing the kind of speed he was exhibiting at two. Pinkman was, of course, disqualified in the Yonkers Trot for taking out two horses while finishing second but here he will try to stay out of trouble by stealing the top and making up for lost speed and a sloppy gait. Muscle Diamond will stalk to finish in a spot to get a berth in the final and will excel if there is some jumping or traffic. Where does that leave the bet for us? Stay with Pinkman as a key and use Muscle Diamond and Iron for stuffed exotics.

Worldly Trotters

The Maple Leaf Trot elims are on the Sept. 12 bill, featuring “mondo equine,” that is, Earth’s mighty older trotters, and some of the best are here with extra incentive ($40,000 for each split) to earn berths into the lucrative final next week.

In the first round, seven heavy-legged veterans engaged in battle include six looking to show up the division’s hot property, JL Cruze. It’s a mixed bag, an open with Bee A Magician once again facing the males. EL Titan, spotty at best but known for beating “Cruze” this season, is also here, along with long-time threat Whiskey Tax and the tough Natural Herbie.

It’s a tough one to predict odds. Bee A Magician’s offering could appeal as a public third choice behind Cruze and EL Titan. Even as a second choice, though, she may be worth the shot, especially if EL Titan is in one of his lazy moods.

Round two enjoys the same problem, with seven arguments for seven horses with guts enough for each to win. The European invader, D One, is back and should be undaunted by post 7. Nor will the crowd care about his leaving post. What bothers us is the lack of commanding speed in this race; most of these do their best work late in the mile. Can one of them steal this on top? Obrigado may have that intention and get the odds to convince us to go along with him.

Pacing Pals

Soph-colt pacers are on the docket Saturday, too, in a Simcoe Stakes for $224,907. Missing is whiz-bang Wiggle It Jiggleit who could beat the nine here even by not participating (emoticon smile).

Artspeak is better than them all and recently fired up a qualifier that made him look like everything he displayed before the “Wiggle” wars. Some of the others are Canadian-fan faves and Burke has a pair of his lesser commandoes. Perhaps they can give Artspeak a boost in the odds? Whatever the case, he may be worth whatever he offers in the weakest contest of his soph career.

Freshman Follies

Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes for two-year-old filly pacers (one split) and two-year-old colt pacers (two splits) are also on tap Sept. 12 at Mohawk. One rack of nine fillies go in a $241,380 edition. There are three gals sired by Canadian hero Sportswriter and the progeny of the productive, popular stallion will command wagers. We will make our analysis short and sweet, however, opting for the only filly in the field from the crop of Somebeachsomewhere—Ivy League, trained by Jimmy Takter. She is also the daughter of Takter’s great pacer See You At Peelers. How that affects wagering remains to be seen but don’t expect much on this gal; pounce, however, if they offer a good deal.

The first of two colt miles is worth $117,407 and it features nine, some from last week’s Metro Pace, including the winner, Control The Moment. How do you beat him here? You could take The Catamount Kid, whose Metro mile was worthy of a chance here for a pocket trip and a little luck.

The other split for the colts is worth $115,906, with a field of eight. In the Metro, one of our contenders was Voracity and he mustered up third after a brief challenge of Control The Moment, as well as he won his Metro elim. Here he may be the utter best and show it with a sweep of the mile and, sadly, low odds.

Scioto Scorecard

All the Ohio-bred champions will be crowned on Sept. 12 at Scioto and there are two invitationals that bring in some well-known names. The first special event is the $100,000 Sam Noble Memorial, an open trot that presents three elder trotters with six-digit earnings and a few locals.

We see Il Sogno Dream having a blast with this mile. He has been so much better since joing the Open ranks. Gural Hanover, on the other hand, has been uneven for trainer Burke. Wind Of The North may try to steal this and should be respected in the exotics.

The $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial sends 10 FFA pacers out, led by the current division champ State Treasurer. We love trying to beat him, though it has been near impossible since he woke up one day and began to spit out wins like a rum-soaked pirate. If this is the race he begins to dry up, let’s take advantage of a good price on Doo Wop Hanover and do it.

For the sake of space and attention, here is a list of the horses we are suggesting for the eight Ohio Sires Stakes finals at Scioto on Sept. 12.

2yoColtPace—Whiskey Friskie; 2yoFillyPace—My Tweed Heart; 2yoColtTrot—Overdressed; 2yoFillyTrot—Count On Kami; 3yoColtPace—Nobles Finesse; 3yoFillyPace—Karless Sue; 3yoColtTrot—Neelins Messenger; 3yoFillyTrot—Student Of Life

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


9/12/15, +Lifes Liessons R4

9/11/15, +Capitol Hill R2; +Rich Native R6

9/10/15, +Sweet Calypso R2

9/10/15, Real Mystical R9

9/10/15, Sandysgoldenhour R12
9/11/15, Photo Time R2; +Rockn Stien R11
9/12/15, Steviescooter R6; Always A Fighter R7

9/10/15, +Flukys Girl R3; +Totally Ravishing R3
9/11/15, +Jovanna R1

9/11/15, +Iron Mine Becky R4;+Alkexander Hanover R4; +Pretty Boy Hill R11
9/14/15, +Good By Alibye R14
9/11/15, CDs Eldorado R2; Power And Purpose R5; Wildatthebeach R5
9/14/15, African Violet R1

9/11/15, Mad Cow Lisa R3
9/12/15, +Johnnys Gilly R2; +Pick Of The Day R6

9/11/15, +Deli Beach R3

9/10/15, +Ideal Vintage R4; Native Speed R5; Rushing Hero R6; +Smashmouth R6; +Chucknlindy R7

9/12/15, +Traceur Hanover R9

9/12/15, Dansan Caruso R5; My Last Chance R7
9/13/15, +Lews Maverick R7

9/12/15, +Beach Memories R12

9/10/15, The Muscler R1; +JK Fannie R5; My Man Can R11
9/11/15, +Dizzy Broad R7; +Steel Wheels; R8+Winkys Gal R8
9/12/15, Take Charge Karl R1

9/11/15, Big Chocolate R4

9/12/15, Kippenberger R1; Lyonssomewhere R3

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition