Seven Features, Power Plays—Pick 3s, Superfectas—On Weekend Harness Agenda
The short month of February addresses its final weekend, so along come more personally chosen harness-race features and our H2W (horses-to-watch) list horses. The beginning of the season’s industry-fueled features looms boldly with the coming of March as Yonkers is poised to launch the annual “Levy,” Petticoast and Sagamore series for older pacers.
Also this week, we continue with our “Power Plays,” which include top picks for the common wagers (win, place, show), as well as single- and multi-race exotic events. These are, for the most part, outsiders who complement favorites to produce combos a player can wager more than the base price for a huge score. We leave you to pursue which wagering types to make. Pay heed to our suggested contenders in these features and those simply listed on the H2W list. Do your own handicapping, and then compare and consider our selections when betting.
Saratoga/ Race 7
Thursday, Feb. 23
This conditioned pace offers a tri- and a superfecta with some city shippers from around the New York circuit. The Morning Line (ML) choices are a Yonkers visitor on the inside (Velocity Vespa), followed by a class-dropper on the outside (Bey Bye Michelle). Returning for her initial race at four, however, is Fox Valley Bailey. She was campaigning at Yonkers but qualified well at Monticello before being entered here. A product of the super Illinois stallion Sportsmaster, she ended last season threatening to win, while finishing strongly as a part of exotic tickets. She may go well under the radar against the ML choices.
The three other exotic-tickets’ members to consider are Hillbillysweetshrk, who has qualified three times since racing at Philadelphia; Keene Olivia, who last won in a higher level at Saratoga in December; and the aforementioned Bye Bye Michelle.
Meadowlands/ Race 7
Thursday, Feb. 23
There is trifecta, 10-cent superfecta and Pick-3 wagering in this contest. It’s a straight $10,000 claimer with a nine-horse field offering many arguments. The odds should be spread out some but the true value could be in the outside horse, the 9, Drunken Terror. He is a solid 10G pacer who was claimed at the Meadowlands in late January and remains competitive for productive trainer Nick Surick. He certainly seems a strong enough foe against recent winners in this class, including I Found My Beach (two straight) and Amped Up.
The other exotic-tickets’ member to consider is Fraternity, beaten favorite claimed and stepping back into this level claimer.
Miami Valley/ Pick 3/ Races 3,4,5
Friday, Feb. 24
There are some drastic and suspicious drops in the first leg, Race 3, and they lead us to what may be a standout at a good price. Strong Hope (ML favorite) looks to be making a desperate drop and Vicki All shouldn’t be dropping at all after one bad race coming off a win. Looking To Score (two-time failure for our choosing) looks to be in the mix and seems better off dropping, but MJs Victory Wish is both in her best class and coming off a race where she was a soft favorite and a strong contender. She worked too hard and was caught, which may not be the case in this. The first leg choices from this side of the gallery are 2 and 3.
Leg two, a $10G claimer, may turn into a good price situation for the usually heavy-bet Turbo Mach. He leaves here from post 8, which could up his value. Although savvy bettors may put stock into his recent claim, the second time he has changed hands since his win on Jan. 24. The ML favorites, 1,2 and 3, are far from impressive. If any were to be added to a ticket, it’s Mikes Hope. We offer two in leg two—1 and 8.
The leg-3 conditioner puts the ML choice in post 10 (second tier on the rail) but that is not enough for us to support him. Neither do we feel the second ML choice, Prince Bayard, deserves the chances given him solely on a drop. What is impressive and may go under the radar with bettors are the recent two races from MG Kid. His two seconds are pure efforts, working hard for the results with outside trips and a big brush. He will be a decent price against these, with better odds than his chances.
As a major blowout choice, you have to give a shot to J’s Six Pak Attack. Toss out his recent effort for the strenuous overland trip as he stepped up into that class and see him as a horse coming off a conditioned win (Feb. 4). His win could destroy many Pick-3 combos and bring home a sterling payoff, as well as a win bet would put fuel in that tank.
Meadows/ Race 8
Saturday, Feb. 25
This conditioned pace will offer two strong contenders but only one of them will get the nod. Rock The Bones deserves to be one of the top choices. However, if Dave Palone takes the assigned drive, bettors will trust his prowess to do the job over the talents of Tony Hall on Keystone Wonder, making that one a great bet for a few reasons. In this class, Keystone Wonder has twice failed after winning the level below this one. She was nearly the top choice on Feb. 13 but was out-paced in the second half. When she stepped into this class the first time she was the favorite but her early lick on the outside took the wind from her—even with Palone in the bike. Palone also drove her constantly until today, winning twice and once in a step-up situation. Keystone Wonder is the key to top prices in this event, which is the first leg of a Pick 5. For an exacta plunge, we would also use Armbro Hall.
Northfield/ Race 4
Saturday, Feb. 25
A superfecta tops the exotics menu here and the field offers a few ML outsiders that could hoist the price for a top-four combo. Friskie Town was the victim of a brutal trip at 3-1 in her recent effort and should be evaluated off her previous perfect-trip race and the two before that in which she finished in superfecta territory at huge odds. She could wire this field while bettors are rooting too strongly for a Freehold and Miami shipper. A bold key of Friskie Town in all three exotics (as well as to win) could mean a big score.
Speaking of bold, if Sign Of A Queen can race back to the way she did in this company, her inside 9 post could be a plus to get her on the board. The probable public choices, ER Maria (the Freehold shipper) and JD’s First Lady could fill in the “super” gaps, though the latter is suspect for a super. We would rather add Tango Bayama, since her bad finishes resulted from genuine attempts over traffic and speed.
The Power Plays, in post-position order—2, 3, 5, 9. Adjust your ticket as you see fit.
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.
2/25/17, Bahama Bay R6; I’m Gorgeous R10; Keystone Dalton R10; Spring Terror R12
2/24/17, Lodi Machette Man R9
2/25/17, Quality Sport R7; Rockinaroundheaven R8; +Reachinforthestars R10; Duet R12
2/27/17, +Fire In The Belly R9
2/23/17, +Lexis Mandy R6
2/26/17, +Cajun Beat R6
2/23/17, +Sarno R2; +Gaelic Thunder R9
2/25/17, +Keystone Camaro R5
2/23/17, +Haileysgonedancing R3
2/24/17, +City Pie R5; +Shutthefrontdoor R7
2/25/17, Mister Livan N R1; +Durant R9
2/25/17, DGs Justlikethat R1; Marvalous Town R3; One Bad Night R4; Mister Chaos R5
2/24/17, +Royal Cam-Hall R7; +Rolling Going Gone R13
2/26/17, Cladslastimpression R1; Goose For All R3
2/25/17, +Forever Lucky R2; +Kelly Blue Chip R6; +Always Sunday R11
2/26/17, +Avogadro Hanover R3
2/24/17, Runway Motel R8; Jinglejanglejingle R9
2/23/17, +In Commando ae R4; +High Joltage R8
2/25/17, +Mr Hasini N R11
2/26/17, +Thisguysarockstar R1; +Sumatra R4