Soph-Matrons At Dover; Two Fall Final Four Elims At Woodbine Opening; Meadowlands Hosts Older Free-For-Alls

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

November 10th, 2016

Another week of Matrons at Dover, attracting sophomore-standardbred stars, as many freshman trotters and pacers race for berths in the autumn elims for the divisions’ last stakes of the season at Woodbine. Huge four-digit events for older warriors are on the Meadowlands’ program, too.

As well, TwinSpires’ exclusive, productive horses-to-watch list (H2W) continues to offer the best wagering opportunities available on any racing website. No matter the type of wager you are going to make, always consider H2W horses when constructing tickets.


On Thursday, Nov. 10, Dover presents a quartet of sophomore Matron Stakes beginning with eight filly trotters that are missing a few of the season’s champs. One strong entry is here, that is Caprice Hill. Tony Alagna’s filly had a tough few races since the hot days of summer and may still be the best of this group. Flowers N Songs may get more bets than she deserves here, coming off of the Hoosier stake last week. All The Time was a favorite in the “Crown” final but only managed an elim win. She, too, will be well bet. Caprice Hill may be the third choice here and that deserves a lot of attention—and a bet.

Glamour-boy colt trotters are next, sans Marion Maurader and now-retired Southwind Frank. Sutton has been the “now” horse in the after-Hambo season and Dayson picks up for Ron Burke where “Frank” left off. In the Crown final we had a big show price with Ake Svanstedt’s Double L Lindy against Frank and Bar Hopping. He gets the rail here and is enjoying a healthy late-season surge. Also, don’t count out Milligan’s School, fifth at 146-1 last week at Hoosier and far better than even half that value here.

Soph-filly pacers are next with eight at the gate for their Matron event. Pure Country will have another favorite’s position, especially with Darlinonthebeach absent. Our vessel to beat her is Newborn Sassy, who failed in the Crown final after impressively winning her elim, LA Delight and Blue Moon Stride will get support to be the second two public choices and most likely “Sassy” will be under-bet and go off with chances that are far better than her odds.

The soph-colt pacer Matron will have a huge favorite in Check Six, while Racing Hill, our Crown champ, could again be a strong second choice. The Crown-final scenario sets up for Racing Hill. Western Fame and Lyons Snyder could be on the early chase, tiring Check Six and leaving a wide path for Racing Hill to use his newly learned, successful racing style. Alagna’s sterling colt is raring to put away Burke’s trio and Takter’s duo.


Eliminations for a pair of the Fall Final Four take place at Woodbine on Friday, Nov. 11, as the track opens its harness meet.

There are two elims for the Three Diamonds ($25,000 each), bringing together filly pacers. Six go in the first elim. Crown-winning Someomensomewhere has two major foes here—Idyllic Beach and Rockette. The latter was our upset choice in the Crown, where she finished seventh at 158-1. Then we backed her as an exacta partner in last week’s Matron and she did complete the exacta, worth $67.80. This week in a small field it is difficult to call any of these three winning an upset. That being said, Idyllic Beach may wind up a strong second choice due to Someomensomewhere’s two-straight wins (she took the Kindergarten Final last week in which Idyllic Beach was absent). Considering the field, second choice may be a worthwhile spot for a bet.

The second Three Diamonds offers seven fillies. A few relatively unknowns join the familiar few, including Crown-elim winner Tori Hanover. Local trainer Casie Coleman sends Candlelight Dinner and fans may toss some dollars her way, while Caviart Ally appears the one to share the win-pool money with “Tori.” Our top candidate for Twin Spires Players’ Horse of the Year, That’s The Ticket, won her biggest race (our call) in Canada and has only managed to pick up minor purse checks since then. We have to go with her in this situation, her best chance at the best price.

The two $25,000 Valley Victory elims will set the field for the final in the colt-trot division. Eight meet the gate in the first chapter. Snowstorm Hanover, Burke’s Kindergarten winner last week, is the most familiar of this group. Burke also has Southwind Woody, a rank outsider. Frank Antonacci has two on board: International Moni and Whiskey Lindy. Chris Beaver also has a pair; Fraser Ridge and Andy M. Whiskey Lindy may be in the best spot here. She is the only progeny of Cantab Hall and comes into this event from the Antonacci camp, always a threat late in the season.

Seven are up in the second elim. These guys are not the top representatives of their division, though top trainers like Burke, Antonacci and Takter have trainees. In that respect, What The Hill may finally be in a spot to do what has been expected of him for a few recent races. He may be the best of three Muscle Hill products in the field.  


Saturday, Nov. 12, the Meadowlands presents four Free-For-Alls, each worth six digits.

The $200,000 FFA Mares Trot sends the lightly raced Bee A Magician against the busy Hannelore Hanover. The latter will, no doubt, take the win-pool majority for Burke. And look, Burke also involves Classical Annie. And, D’one is only racing for the second time this year in the U.S. with a total of only three starts in 2016. D’one needs to be respected here, especially if the crowd is as obvious in its choices as usual. D’one may be a terrific bet.

There is $400,000 on the line for the male pacers, with Always B Miki on target for another speed badge if all things remain equal. There are few cases to make against him any longer, so look to the exotics or watch this one for the sport of it.

The $200,000 Mares Pace presents a similar problem with eight up against Lady Shadow. Of course, she is worth a shot at betting against since this division has come inside out before. The crowd will support Solar Sister, probably making her the second choice, and then you are left with a rather improbable scenario featuring Katie Said and Venus Delight. The former may be a good, soft choice for an upset. Katie Said has been cashing some big checks against these and should be in the mix even if she does not topple the “Shadow.”

With the male trotters ($400,000) comes a challenge from sophomore Bar Hopping, taking on elders for the first time. One of those elders is Resolve, Ake Svanstedt’s monster. Toe to toe, Resolve would beat Bar Hopping far more times than not and his true foe here is Obrigado, who always seems to be very much alive when the biggest purses are up for grabs. The other five need significant scenarios that help everything go their ways, which is a bit far fetched in each case. Obrigado may not offer a great deal to win but he has to be the main character available to beat Resolve, which gives him our vote. 

H2W Legend

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.


Cal Expo
11/11/16, +Cowboy Mathis R8; Pas Corn Squeezin R11
11/12/16, Lodi Dorian Blues R2; +Texas Rattlesnake R7

11/12/16, +Badlands GiovaniaR8
11/13/16, Souverain R1

11/11/16, +Wine Snob R9

11/10/16, +Bags To Riches R14

11/12/16, +Schooner Or Later R11

11/13/16, Bounty Boy R8; Kristol Pistol R9

11/10/16, +Big Puff Doogie R4
11/11/16, PL Intowin R2; Sandy Hook Hanover R6; SS Derby Girl R9

11/11/16, Dalis Cruzinradar R3
11/12/16, Rockinthepines R3; Sexy Card Shark R13

11/11/16, +Bosak R1; +Bluebird Kidsqueen R2;
11/12/16, +Screaman Seaman A R2

11/12/16, Eloquent Velocity R11; Tomei Seelster R11; Bikinis On Top R12; Britannica Seelster R14

11/13/16, +War-n-munn R12

11/13/16, Alexander Hanover R2; Geez Joe R3

11/13/16, Heart Felt R5; +Vangura R8

11/10/16, +Cherry Crown Jewel R6
11/11/16, +Pembroke Delux R2; +Hawken R8

11/10/16, +Optima Kent R3

11/11/16, +Keene Olivia R8
11/13/16, Evil Eva R4

11/12/16, +Traceur Hanover R5; +The Rev R5; Manofmanyimages R7

11/11/16, +Fanticipation R4

Ray Cotolo contributes to this blog