Selected-Features Roundup With Scattered Support, Winners, Exactas; $19 Win Tops Prices
Our first full week of selected features, including the popular Power Plays and the fresh Partners For Picks assaulting exotics, was jam-packed with races and some generous additions from our value vault. Let’s look at what happened chronologically, from Dec. 7 through Dec. 9, then check out our strikes with the horses-to-watch list (H2W).
Two features were proposed on Dec. 7, one from the Meadowlands and the other from Rideau-Carleton (off-the-beaten tracks get much more exposure during the off-stakes season on TwinSpires).
The success of the duo came from the Canadian raceway, where we were second to a heavy favorite with Steuben Gladiator ($8.40, $5.10). The place finisher pumped up the exacta to pay $27.60. At the Meadowlands that night we were nowhere near as productive with Trot Commander (16-1) finishing a lousy eighth.
Friday, Dec. 8, we focused on another low-profile stakes center, Northville, the lone survivor of eight harness tracks in Michigan that appears weekly on our H2W list. We offered a Power Play quartet of contenders for bettors to attack the three single-race exotics available for the overnight event.
We handed our readers a winner with Sheza Tim Too ($6.80, $4.40, $3.60). As for the exotics, but for a 42-1 shot sneaking into second, we contributed to the trifecta and superfecta with the show horse, Quiet Charmer ($5.00). Our other two contenders included the race-favorite Hootintootinhanna (2-1), who finished fifth and the public’s second choice, Benns Clearout (5-2) who was fourth as a number in the superfecta.
Saturday afternoon, Dec. 9, we challenged a trio of exotics in a race at Charlottetown. Though small, we handed out a $14.20 cold exacta with Oh To Be Me ($3.10, $2.60, $2.10) and All Out ($8.50, $3.60). Our other contenders in the Power Plays quartet included Hopedale Paris (45-1), finishing fifth, and Bowyer Hanover (6-1) finishing eighth.
Saturday night we fired at Northfield’s Pick 3 with a Partners For Picks segment. The trio of races went to two public choices and a 28-1 shot. We didn’t help in the win departments but we did have the second-leg exacta ($29.00) with the public choice, coming in second with Dustlanemissmolly ($7.40, $4.00).
All losers in our selected features appear the following week in the H2W list.
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 47 active horses (a 17-percent win hit rate and a 47-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
DW’sblissfulthinkn, $19.80, $5.70, $5.80 ok, Saratoga
Real Roknrol, $7.80, $4.60, $4.00, Cal-Expo
Believe In Him, $5.60, $4.00, $3.40, Rosecroft
Ocean Colony, $3.70, $2.90, $2.70, Yonkers
Chip Again, $3.60, $3.00, $2.60, Cal-Expo
Outrageous Spirit, $3.30, $2.50, $2.10, Charlottetown
Gamblers Tale, $3.20, $2.40, $2.20, Freehold
Hairway To Heavey, $3.00, $2.40, $2.10, Cal-Expo
City Pie, $9.60, $14.80 ok, Meadowlands
Quick Thrill, $5.20, $3.20 (Exacta $11.60), Northville
VRS Honeysuckle, $4.90, $3.70, Monticello
Tylers Rendezvous, $4.40, $3.20 (Exacta $22.40), Scarborough
Hot Cakes, $3.60, $5.20 ok (Exacta $82.80), Scarborough
Psychic Blue Chip, $3.40, $2.60, Rosecroft
Yeswellnomaybe, $3.20, $3.00 (Exacta $12.20), Cal-Expo
Sand Sonya, $3.00, $2.40 (Exacta $11.20), Northfield
Nips Beach Girl, $7.00, Rideau-Carleton
Sutton Seelster, $5.10, Yonkers
Top Gear, $4.20, Freehold
V String, $4.00, Woodbine
Tsunami Seelster, $3.00, Meadows
Zip The Lip, $2.50, Charlottetown
News & Notes
It seems like only a few race programs ago when we projected the success of Fear The Dragon while every other pundit supported Huntsville in the glamour-boy pacing division of 2017. Now, Brian Brown’s colt is a large part of this waning year’s history, which turns out to be his final season of racing. Fear The Dragon is being retired to stud and will stand at Midland Acres in Ohio. At two and three he earned over $1.5 million, much of the time battling Brown’s other tranee, Downbytheseaside.
Speaking of Downbytheseaside, he is already fully booked as a stallion, having retired to Diamond Creek Farms, also in Ohio. He ultimately earned more than his stable mate, mostly due to the illness that befell Fear The Dragon on the week of the Breeders Crown, though he fought strongly in the season’s final stakes. Downbytheseaside earned over $2.1 million at two and three.
George Napolitano won seven races at Philadelphia on Dec. 7, so it’s time for another driver’s win-streak check. On the program, George had 13 drives, responsible for six losses as well. One double-digit winner topped his wins, a 9-2 shot. It cost a player $26 to wager on every horse George drove that day. As their lone handicapping factor, George returned $37.60 on the $26.00 flat-bet investment, a profit of $11.60, the price of his highest paying winner that day.
Yonkers announced its 2018 live racing schedule. It’s a 238-program season set to begin with a Sunday-afternoon matinee on Jan. 7. Post times for all subsequent 21 Sunday programs are yet to be determined. Evenings racing are Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday in January, with Thursdays added the next month (all at 7:10 p.m.). The mid-season hiatus goes from May 27—June 7 (inclusive) with other breaks around Thanksgiving and Christmas. The fourth renewal of Yonkers International Trot is set for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13. Racing concludes with a special Dec. 27 program.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved Hoosier Park’s 2018 racing dates. Harness racing will be conducted Friday, March 30 through Saturday, Nov. 10 for a 160-program season with racing every Tuesday through Saturday (except Tuesday, April 3 and Wednesday, April 4. Additionally, Hoosier’s signature $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes will take place on Friday, Aug. 10 and will highlight a full stakes schedule in 2018.
Perfect Spirit won the 2017 Hambletonian on a DQ, a first in the race’s history, then virtually disappeared from the scene. Perfect Spirit made only two starts after his Hambletonian win. So what happened and where is he now? We have received reports from Sweden about Perfect Spirit being injured after the Hambletonian, which sources indicate as the reason for his disappearance. His connections are said to have sent the trotter to trainer Daniel Redén, who will “prepare him for his four-year-old season.” Sources said the horse was sent to Daniel because the conditioner has a great reputation “for managing older horses who have or had problems.”
Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.
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