Slammin’ Meadows Score With $115 Winner; Low-Grade Wins Follow In Exactas And Power-Plays
It’s early in the season but we have a candidate for TwinSpires Harness Player Horse of the Year (the highest win paying horse within a year’s worth of this blog). In this week’s horses-to-watch list (H2W), second-time entry Mars Man soared to victory, paying $115.00 to win (see list below). We hope to add other candidates as the stakes season ensues but for now, Mars Man leads for the season, standing alone.
The Freehold Pick 3 on Thursday, Feb. 16 kicked off our weekend of personal features. Race 3, leg one, delivered the dead-on choice, Outcry ($2.40, $2.20, $2.10), while the other contender, Duneside Life (9-1), finished fifth. In leg two, Race 4, a 7-1 defeated our choices, which included third-place finisher Keystone Camaro ($2.40) and the entry of Sarno, fourth, and Gaelic Thunder (3-1), fifth. In leg three, Flowing James (8-1), finished fifth. The public’s second choice won.
Friday, Feb. 17, we shipped our wagers through TwinSpires to Miami Valley for its Pick 3 (Races 3, 4 and 5). In leg one we were third with Looking To Score ($13.00), while an 8-1 won the race. In leg two, Packing Heat (19-1) finished fourth, while we also handed out the favorite, Poison Oak, who finished ninth. A 4-1 took the prize. In leg three we wound up again with a favorite, Northern Soul, which finished sixth, while our other contender, Petite Courageuse (4-1) came in ninth while a 2-1 won.
Also Friday, at Yonkers, our choice, Derecho (2-1) broke early and was eliminated, struggling home eighth. The favorite won the event.
Our Power Plays kept us in Ohio on Saturday, Feb. 18, with two events at Northfield Park.
The Race-4 superfecta was no bargain, with one of our choices agreeing with the public and winning—Doowrah Double ($4.00, $2.60, $2.10)—and another coming in third—Kelly Blue Chip ($3.20). Another of our contenders, Forever Lucky (11-1) took sixth, while our fourth, Toys Legacy, scratched. The 20-cent superfecta paid $17.46, not the powerful price we aimed to hit.
In Race 7 we did not hit the superfecta or the trifecta but we had the exacta, with winner Tomei Seelster ($6.80, $3.80, $3.00) and place-horse Always Sunday (the race favorite, $3.00, $2.80). That exacta paid $16.00.
All horses that did not win in our personal features (if not scratched) appear in the following week’s H2W list as second-time (noted: +) entries. Keep an eye on their second times around; more than a few come back to win.
On various Wednesday nights we tweet for TwinSpires Twitter members from @FrankCotolo –retweeted by @twinspires—and the raceway involved. Losers from each week will appear on the next week’s horses-to-watch (H2W) list unless they race before that blog is published, so watch for them returning to the races on days in between blogs. Watch for special tweets from raceways on various Wednesdays.
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 35 active horses (an 12-percent win hit rate and a 32-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 is posted.
Mars Man, $115.00, $29.80, $8.40, Meadows
Shawnee Magic, $6.70, $3.80, $2.90, Buffalo
Jacksrluckytoo, $4.40, $3.20, $2.40, Meadowlands
Little Santamonica, $3.60, $2.60, $2.40, Northfield
ER Truevalue, $14.60, $10.00, Miami
Grinandchaseit, $7.60, $3.70 (Exacta $12.40), Northlands
Haileysgonedancing, $3.80, $3.00 (Exacta $12.80), Meadowlands
Braveheartedmillie, $3.20, $2.20 (Exacta $6.00), Freehold
Indian Outlaw, $2.70, Buffalo
Deny Deny Deny, $2.40, Freehold
Bred To Race, $2.10, Buffalo
News & Notes
As you may have noticed from this week’s H2W list, Feb. 19 was the beginning of Saratoga Raceway’s 76th harness racing season. The racing product represents a unique and unparalleled entertainment offering that looks to build off their success from 2016, where record all-source pari-mutuel handle exceeded $78 million. A highlight of the season will include the ninth annual Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace, which will feature one dash for $260,000 on July 22.
Hoosier Park’s 24th season of harness racing kicks off on April 1 and continues through Nov. 17. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., Hoosier will offer the most lucrative stakes program in the track’s history, highlighted by hosting this year’s Breeders Crown events For the first time ever, Hoosier Park will host all 12 year-end championship races, worth a combined $5.8 million.
There are still place on the Internet where you can donate to the care and well-being of race-caller Sam McKee, who suffered a debilitating stroke a few weeks back. His family has set up a GoFund Me account to help him on his long and difficult road to recovery. Find it at https://www.gofundme.com/sam-mckees-medical-fund.
Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.
For Thom Pye cartoons, informative harness history and more, click here ~