Public Dips Deeply Into Selected Features; $23 Exacta Gets Top Spot; Yonkers Series Poised to Start Stakes Season
North American harness tracks’ programs were uninterrupted by Winter Storm Quinn so our features from Ohio to New York were all on tap. Our selected features were, for the most part, attacked by the public, and our winning prices were reduced greatly from what we expected.
Here are reports on our features chronologically.
Thursday, March 8
We kept our Thursday action in the afternoon for our first feature of the week, a Power Plays race at Saratoga. Of our four contenders, two worked out for cashing and two had no chance, breaking and galloping with futile chances.
On top was an obvious winner—Seven Roses ($3.00, $2.70, $2.10). Our second paying contender, Time Is Fleeting ($7.80, $5.10) completed the $23.40 exacta.
Breaking and finishing seventh and eighth, respectively were Speeding Star (9-2) and our fourth contender Flyhawk Rhiannon (9-1).
In our Race 10 feature later in that program, Back The Bank (45-1) disappointed, loping along to finish eighth. The favorite won the race.
Friday, March 9
A Partners For Picks (PFP) at Yonkers headlined for us and again we supported a horse that we did not imagine would go off the public choice. The winner of the first leg of the PFP was Franco Rayner N ($2.60, $2.10, $2.10 ok). The second contender in that leg, Elrama N (12-1), finished fifth.
In the second leg a favorite defeated our fifth-finishing choice, Ideal Princess (14-1). In the final leg, we were fourth with Safe From Terror (6-1), as the public’s second choice won.
Saturday, March. 10
More winners surfaced from our features but, again, the public was following us and pouring in support for our contenders.
At Yonkers we scored with Azul Pool ($8.70, $4.40, $2.80) in the first of two selected features. In the other, Bettorever (4-1) finished fifth to an 11-1 shot.
In a Northfield Power Plays event, we had only the winner, a favorite, Caviart Scarlett ($3.60, $2.20, $2.10), while our outside contenders were beaten in the exotics by the public’s second choice and a dead-heat third with a 20- and 20-1 shot. For us, Audrey Anna (5-1) finished fifth, Wake N Bake (8-1) finished sixth and Cowgirl Chic (54-1) ended the mile in seventh.
All losers in our selected features appear the following week in the H2W list except any that raced in a feature after already listed once on the H2W.
TwinSpires Harness Blog:
Severe Handicapping For Harness Bettors
H2W LIST RESULTS
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 a cold 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 33 active horses (a 12-percent win hit rate and a 36-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).
Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place, show and exotic results occurring by press time but some horses race after the blog is posted (we list them the following week) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review
Gadorable, $7.30, $3.60, $2.90, Fraser
Ricimer A, $6.80, $3.80, $3.00, Freehold
Stirling Diva, $4.40, $3.40, $2.80, Meadows
Linkjack Hanover, $3.50, $2.50, $2.10, Buffalo
Starry Eyes, $15.00, $11.30, Fraser
Warp Factor Three, $5.00, $4.80, Northfield
Angel Or Terror, $2.70, $2.30, Saratoga
Who Dat Love, $13.00, Cal-Expo
Whosurpapa, $3.30, Buffalo
Thor, $3.00, Monticello
Steuben Cindy, $2.60, Northfield
Two Beat, $2.40, Northville
News & Notes
The 2018 racing season gets underway at Plainridge Park on April 16 with a projected purse range of $4,000 to $18,000 for overnights. Plainridge will offer a return to the variety of claiming series it presented during the early 2000s. Ten different claiming events are planned, each three weeks in length. Starting with a series for $5,000 claimers in early May with finals ranging from $7,500 to $25,000. There will also be two separate claiming series each for pacing mares and for trotters. Plainridge will race Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in April with a 4 p.m. post time.
Hoosier Park’s 25th season of harness racing kicks off on March 30. Racing at Hoosier will follow a Friday, Saturday schedule the opening week, a Thursday, Friday and Saturday schedule the second week and then resume a Tuesday through Saturday schedule for the remainder of the meet. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., the racing season will be conducted through Nov. 10.
This year’s Breeders Crown returns to Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania on Oct. 27. The series’ elims and finals will be a major feature of the track’s 2018 season. Opening night for Pocono is Saturday, March 17 with a post time of 7:00 p.m. There were 1,146 trotters and pacers made eligible with a February payment with the four-year-old-and-older payment group up 18 percent. Eliminations for the “Crown” events will be raced Oct. 19 and Oct. 20. Pocono was the first track to stage all 12 Crown races on one night with their inaugural hosting in 2010, covered live by TwinSpires harness division. The dozen races established stake records for the Crown, with two world records and one track record set. Pocono next held all 12 Crown events in 2013, TwinSpires was live from the track again, representing TwinSpires in the winner’s circle with Captaintreacherous. Total handle on elimination programs and final nights in 2010 and 2013 exceeded $8 million, with more than 17,000 in combined attendance.
Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.
And check my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update