Post-Blizzard Bets A-Blazing

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

January 28th, 2016

Though there are blizzards and Presidential campaigns and even with a buildup for the 50th Super Bowl, harness racing enters the second month of 2016 working on all four cylinders to knock down the big betting numbers—the wins, places, shows and exotics (single- and multiple races).

While we await the dawn of the stakes season on the east coast, our TwinSpires coverage of harness across North America continues to provide us with opportunities to continue our Pick-4 campaigns at Miami Valley, challenge the public on afternoon programs at the Meadows, Freehold and Charlottetown and dig deep into great wagering pools at Woodbine, Fraser, Flamboro, etcetera. 

And we never stop there. We battle through the results to find great probabilities in our exclusive contenders on our H2W (horses-to-watch list). TwinSpires’ unique harness feature delivers horses that play important roles across the board and in single- and multi-race exotics. They come straight from our personal researcher of races across North America. Hope for the best; expect the best.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Freehold/Race 7
Thursday, Jan. 28

Hiding in post 8 for this scrambling conditioned event is Lucic. The unappealing post may be his only true problem, since he fits at this level, has a consistent resume of playing within the purse grid and has a strong recent history of performances. Lucic goes here versus some notorious gallopers that have less going for them than their good posts. Lucic, aside from win, place and show, should be included in any kind of exotic available. This race is the first leg of a $1.00 Pick 4.

Freehold/Race 9
Thursday, Jan. 28

Cold Escape may be the best threat and the best to thwart the morning-line and probable post-time public choice, Roadway. That one offers a serious drop in class, which doesn’t seem enough to be so heavily bet. Cold Escape returned to the races last week at this level, well supported at 5-1, and finished third after a sad performance to open the year in a race where he should not have been entered, no less expected to excel from post 8. This well-bred gelding is poised to take this level and move up next time, hopefully with the morning-line promise available. This race is the first half of the late Daily Double and leg three of the $1.00 Pick 4. Check H2W for a contender in second half of the Daily Double.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Yonkers/ Race 4
Friday, Jan. 29

After failing at the Meadowlands against a more robust field, Cincinnati Miss takes on the group she may have beaten had she come directly to Yonkers from Saratoga, where her success was undeniably headed for winning races like this one. Her foes stepping up into this class are more threatening than the droppers and the morning-line choice is merely a winner at this level. This is the first leg of a $2 Pick 3. Make note that the H2W list below wound up with three contenders in the second leg.

Yonkers/ Race 11
Friday, Jan. 29

This trot may be best suited for Hasty Proffitt, though support may be strong by comparison to the morning lines (he is 5-1). In a huge step up, this gelding was flying to a late-stretch challenge to win before breaking in the stretch at 17-1. He won at the Meadowlands before that at 4-1 in a level just below this race and has a few excuses dabbling in this and higher classes at Philadelphia as 40-1ish shots. This is the first half of the late Daily Double ($2.00).

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Charlottetown/ Race 3
Saturday, Jan. 30

In this short field it is likely Casimir Luciano will become one of the top three contenders but may still be valuable under the circumstances. The claimer, Lucky Journal, comes into this conditioner and should take most of the win-pool money, while Million Teen and Westedge Artist could push Casimir Luciano to fourth choice. A threat, also, could develop from outsider All Out, who chased Lucky Journal the hard way last time out in another sextet. A hefty exactor could arise from Casimir Luciano and All Out should the others battle too early for front placement.

Miami Valley / Pick 4 / Races 9-12
Saturday, Jan. 30

Miami Valley’s Late Pick 4 this time around offers the toughest sequence we have encountered this season, compiling fields of evenly matched horses. Said circumstances can play either in or against our favor.

Claiming competition kicks off this week’s pick 4.Probable favorite Pipecreek Yankee is a logical add-on to this ticket, dropping in class off a claim against the $15,000 tag. He’s an on-the-lead type, so his only issue would be braving a challenge from someone coming first over. Probable prices in this leg include Hasty Western and Show Me Up, both coming in from the $15,000 ranks. Hasty Western swept from last to secure a second-place finish last week but was luckily carried close to the top, thus his best chances to win come from a stalking spot. Show Me Up draws poorly but pressed the pace sharply last out, prompting above-average fractions to be set. Making his second start off the claim, he could be a sleeper from the outside.

The Open is a tight contest. However, outside of obvious choices Astereo’s Love and Fancy Creek Elusiv, Talk Strategy and Thisjetsabookin could prove to be valuable inclusions. Sprinting to a 7-length romp against conditioned stock, Thisjetsabookin seems to have hit his best strides. His move up in class could sway some people away from him but he could have the race set up for him if he opts to sit behind horses. If he chooses to cut the mile he has proven he can do that, too. Talk Strategy is the price play in this leg, finishing fourth from post 8 last time. It appears that he won’t be able to replicate his winning effort from three starts ago but his draw puts him in a prime spot to sit behind a fast pace if it develops. He has the form to be the capitalist here.

Leg three is another claiming event, this one for $15,000 pacers. Our value contenders here are Hey Dali and Crank It Up. Moving up slightly in class off a claim, Hey Dali has displayed talent racing from off the pace. He raced from second over last out and inched up to second, less than a length from victory. His move up in class benefits us, as he’ll likely be a better price. Crank It Up will provide a price mainly because of his draw. Competing against this level in his most recent outing, he circled around his cover and flew up to within a neck of the eventual winner Ally-con. Now, his post does put him at a disadvantage but all he has to do is show even the slightest amount of gate speed to secure a spot where he can feasibly close.

The final leg is a crapshoot, with several horses dropping from poor performances against $24,000 claimers. Neglecting these guys off of an overall lack of value, we shift our focus to two pacers whose prominence at this level can be gauged: Ra Ra Steven and King Otra. Ra Ra Steven enters off a win against conditioned claimers, doing so with a quarter-mile grind to the top spot at the finish. With this influx of more expensive stock, his odds will definitely inflate, but at the same time, his talent may get somewhat shrouded. King Otra, on the other hand, drops in from the Open. Against the top ranks he attempted to win from first over but hanged in his bid after the leader. Ultimately, the fact he’s dropping from the Open into the claiming ranks, while a negative sign, makes his probable odds in this race more worthwhile.

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.


1/29/16, +Rascan Steve R2; Power Off R2; Every Girls Desire R5
1/30/16, +Western Alumni R2; +American Force R5; +Bad Bad Boy R5

Cal Expo
1/30/16, Cruze Commander R1; Barbosa R4; Tour Guide R8; Rag Doll R10;Fox Valley Largo R11
1/31/16, Lets Go Places R1; Drink At Last Call R10

1/30/16, Julep Hanover R4; Dragons Fire R8; Miramonttogo R12

1/29/16, Outlawcoltfortyfor R6; Boom Shazamae  R6; Tahuya Rico R7; Howtotrainurdragon R7; Starface R8

1/28/16, +Spirit Of Truth R6; +Free Tie R10
1/29/16, Boots Place R1; Nutmegs Dancer R7

1/27/16, +Richess Nestor R2
1/28/16,  Jb Oui Oui R7
1/29/16, Totally Shocking R2
1/29/16, +Bloomfieldanifly R7

1/30/16, Chip Again R1; Ira Chief R10; Gibbs R10
2/1/16, Magic Shelly R4

1/30/16, +Neat R4; +The Riddler R7; +Roll Em Up R11; +Straight Comic R13; +Cheyenne Outlaw R13

1/28/16, +Southwind Ike R2; +Yankovitch Hanover R5; Wizard Of Art R6

1/30/16, B Good Lena R1; +American Grace R10; Ella Rose R11; Bonos Lassie R15

1/30/16, Philandthequeens R7

Western Fair
1/29 /16, Watt A Funny Face R10

1/29/16, +Wildcat Beauty R1; +Hubby Number One R2; Boat House Row R4
1/30/16, Kremlin R6; +Stature Seelster R7

1/29/16, +Ella V Horse R5; Canaco Star R5; Caviart Shelly R5
1/30/16, Mojo Terror R7; Melmerby Beach R8; +Southwind Indy R9
2/1/16, +Cheyenne Jeffrey R5

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition