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Homeracing

Power Plays, Fab Features And Hot Harness Overnights On Tap

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

February 3rd, 2021


The first major snowstorm of 2021 hit the U.S. midwest and northeast at the beginning of this week, forcing a few tracks in those areas to miss a few programs. Mostly, winter storms do not shut down the action, which is where we go for great harness racing wagering opportunities.

TwinSpires Harness Blog selected features for the start of February are intact below. And we continue with our never-ending TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch list (H2W), with suggestions that enhance exotic combinations with their finishes and produce fair win, place and show targeting.
 
POWER PLAYS

Yonkers / Races 1, 2, 3, 4
Thursday, / Feb. 4

A $1 Pick 4 at the flexible half-mile track is our focus to start the weekend. Remember that all of our suggested contenders qualify for the multi- and the single-race exotics as well as win, place and show wagers.

Race 1
Livinginthedream may be able to conquer post 8 with the strength of his dip in class and the prowess of driver George Brennan who, like many Yonkers regulars is getting a knack for overcoming the once dreaded outside post.

Misty Memory N also dips and changes trainers. His first effort at Yonkers for the new folks was a miserable 8-hole ride but the former Canadian pacer is in a better spot to excel for fresh bosses.

Race 2
The outside posts again loom boldly with potential winners and for our money the duo is consecutive. Manhattanup No Ice, the 6 horse, tired after a strenuous three-quarters at this level last week at the Meadowlands. He is our primary target, with a morning line (ML) of 9-1.

To his right, Banzai AS leaves two recent Yonkers races of stronger conditions, breaking in his first appearance, a return to a track he conquered at this level last November, and hitting the board after that at 10-1).

Race 3
From last week’s H2W list comes Crystal Sparkles N, dropping into this race, a level around which she raced best, looking better than the rest (sorry for the rhyme).

Sandys Beach, a huge favorite dropping here after dropping into another level last week. She left at five cents to the dollar and tanked badly, strangely, but returns here to make amends. She shipped in from Ohio late last year and switched trainers twice at Yonkers. In the same manner, Betterthanbrie gets the rail returning to the class where she did best.

Race 4
There are arguments for a few entries other than the ML favorite to take the final leg. Ideal Wheel goes for a second time for trainer Garcia-Herrera. The first effort from Philadelphia was an 8-hole chase, easily dismissible, giving him a shot here.

Stepping up may be no problem from recently acquired Moonwards Hanover, who comes off a Freehold qualifier after Paul Fusco got him from the productive hands of Zach Tackett. The obvious player is Sports Bettor from the rail, led by the engine Brennan.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Cal-Expo / Race 6
Friday / Feb. 5

The Jacob Cutting-trained stock has calmed down since the start of the meet. This is good because the crowd has been betting all of Cutting’s drives and trainees to smithereens. Our past value plays from Jake have disappeared. But he still has horses that have not been active and could return with better prices. One of them is Playthehandurdealt.

Playthehandurdealt made the qualifying time two weeks back with a late rush, enough to convince Jake it is time for the big two Sacramento turns.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Cal-Expo / Race 7
Friday / Feb. 5

Jim Lackey has been doing better with his own horses than with catch-driving and here is another set to start a season as an unknown to Cal-X fans and bettors. Rue Hanover recently raced a strong qualifier, making the time finishing third, four ticks off the winner’s time. She is fresh, meeting non-winners this year from fillies that have raced as many as five already. It’s not exactly a leap of faith to back Lackey, a steadfast veteran of Western Harness Racing—Rue Hanover’s freshness may actually be a big edge.
 
POWER PLAYS

Pocono / Races 3, 4, 5
Saturday / Feb. 6

Pocono Downs opens its 2021 season with an afternoon program and we take on a Pick 3 stream plus, of course, all of our suggested contenders qualify for the multi- and the single-race exotics as well as win, place and show wagers.

Race 3
Though Askmelater Hanover steps up, he is not in great danger of being out-classed. His Monticello failure recently is a product of the 8-hole, which he conquered from the 6 hole the time before that in the track’s Open company. He has faced better at Yonkers and here he should fly and hold on as the speed of this field.

Meadowbranch Ricky won around this level at Philadelphia before taking on far more competition against better horses on the half-mile. Toss out his Meadowlands effort last week, though it was not miserable even though not crowd-supported.

Race 4
ML-favorite Blow A Cloud N is under new supervision and that claim adds to an edge that includes a string of toteboard appearances at the Meadows. The Pocono prince, driver George Napolitano, will help reduce the return on this one but it may still be value.

Another claimed entry, Bye Bye John, should not be dismissed. Trainer Susan Marshall has a strong win percentage and “John” has changed hands thrice since December, making him popular in Pittsburgh. He could surprise many bettors by hitting the board for exotics, if not swooping that 8 hole for a big price.

Race 5
Beat the Millers. That is the unofficial title of this trot, featuring Julie Miller’s Get Legs, driven by husband Andy. Can be done, though, and President could be the one to do it. Perfect for this class and excused for two losses at the Meadowlands when coming from behind was impossible, keep an eye on driver Tyler Buter around the third turn when he campaigns President to a rousing stretch drive.

Bang Bang Boinga is a fine trifecta addition from the rail, where Pocono’s “lightning lane” allows for horses saving ground by sucking along—as this one could—pick up healthy checks.

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.

H2W LIST

Buffalo
2/6/21, Love The Dragon R3; +Americanation R5; Steuben Moose R6; Rebel Voyager R7; Way To Go Fabeio R8; +Bugatti R10

Cal-Expo
2/6/21, Flash Me Baby R1; +Paloma Ruiz R5; China King R6

Dover
2/4/21, +Banderbear R1; +Shadow Cat R8

Freehold
2/5/21, +Cayenne Victory R3; +OK Galahad R9
2/6/21, +Ari Allstar R2; +Ozone Blue Chip R6

Meadowlands
2/6/21, Duplicated R11; +Seeuinnashville A R13

Meadows
2/5/21, Louie Louie R1; Tamar R6

Miami
2/5/21, +MJs Riggins Rebel R11; +Sara Jane R13
2/6/21, +Fox Valley Hijinx R7

Monticello
2/4/21, Dr Snow R3; Justified R6; Millwood Bonnie N R10
2/5/21, Ideal Magic R1; Bullpup R5

Northfield
2/6/21, Skyway Ballet R3; Schemin Friskie R7; +Adorabella R14
2/8/21, Fingals Wave R1

Pocono
2/6/21, +Rootin Tootin R2; Mykindachip R10; Our Corelli N R11

Pompano
2/4/21, +Meadowbrook Chip R8
 
Yonkers
2/4/21, +Hunting AS R6
2/5/21, Anthem N R7
2/8/21, Some Waratah A R9

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