Soph-Stakes Winners And $57 Place Pacer In Public Upset; ‘Battle’ Victor At Northfield; ‘Gemini’ Wins 12th-Straight

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June 3rd, 2018



Live horses paid in 38-percent across-the-board finishes in our horses-to-watch list (H2W) and they were prevalent in all of our features as we opened June. And the Hambletonian Trail trotters continued to prove the divisions are tough this season. Here is how it worked out:

Thursday, May 31

As expected by us and the rest of the betting population, it was an easy win for Fiftydallarbill ($2.60, $2.10, $2.10) at Hoosier in a sires stakes final (INSS). Our exacta partner, however, broke and Katkin American (4-1) finished ninth.

In the INSS consolation, we were third with River Otter ($3.80). The favorite in that event broke, allowing a 56-1 shot to take advantage of a corrupted flow.

Friday, June 1

Another “lock” came through in the Midwest, this time at Hawthorne. Our 2018 soph-champ-choice won his 12th-straight race. Fox Valley Gemini ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10) may not have been tested yet on the national scene but he surely towers above his division of Illinois-conceived-and-foaled (ICF) pacers. We tried to lock him up with Talk About It (99-1) but that one finished sixth, far off the exotic grid.

In another ICF contest we were third with Fox Valley Hijinx ($3.40), who lost to the public’s second choice.

Then, we went back to Hoosier for another INSS final and another winner, Always A Prince ($4.80, $4.40, $3.00). Those prices were less than we measured but a lot of readers settled for it.

In the consolation we were fifth with Romantic Interest (7-2), who was beaten by a 5-1 shot.

More sophomore action went to post at the Meadowlands in a sires stakes and another tough favorite made the public happy, just as we were afraid would happen in a small field that presented a powerful filly in her division. We did, however, offer the exotic partner and came through with Cruzinforavictory ($3.40, n/s) for an exacta worth $8.80.

Saturday, June 2

At Northfield we nabbed another Battle of Lake Erie winner (the years have been kind), though again we thought the price would be higher on Bit Of A Legend N ($7.80, $2.60 n/s).

Mohawk was the focal point of the sport on Saturday with sophs and aged pacers in six big races strewn across the program.

In the trio of Graduates we failed to a pair of public second-choices and a longshot. One of the two paces found us eliminated when Classic Pro (54-1) broke off the gate and galloped home eighth. We had one of the choices in the other pace, Daiymir (5-1) but he finished sixth to a 13-1 shot.

In the trot, our contender, Yes Mickey (22-1) raced poorly and finished seventh.

The glamour-boy pacers were winging in three splits of the Somebeachsomewhere and we were alive and moving in all three.

In the first split we just missed a win but took second with Simple Kinda Man ($57.60, $21.20). Those prices are correct. A 20-1 shot beat us by a nose or so. We also took third with Grand Teton ($5.30).

We bowed to the favorite we warned bettors about in the second split as Lather Up ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10 ok) defeated foes easily, with our outside contender, Mission Three (62-1) finishing seventh.

Bettors hammered our choice in the last Somebeachsomewhere episode. It was Jimmy Freight ($5.10, $2.50, $2.10) providing the chalky return.


Left over from last week’s Update are four Hambletonian Trail-blog events recorded on Monday, May 28 at Vernon Downs. The Empire Breeders Championship (EBC) soph-filly final was easy but we took advantage of that situation. With the favorite on top, we nabbed the $2 exacta, worth $3.90, and a 50-cent triple, worth $4.75 with Atlanta ($2.60, $2.10, $2.10 ok), Plunge Blue Chip ($2.30, $2.30 ok) and Supergirl Riley ($7.80).

In that event’s consolation we were fourth with Lucky Rainbow (6-1) to the public choice.

In the colts’ final we were eighth with Classichap (16-1) to the public choice, while that consolation found us fourth with Tito (3-1), who also lost to the big favorite.

NJSS for fillies at the Meadowlands was a tiny field and still there was a 21-1 upset over our choice (also the public choice), Sami’s Rolln Stone ($2.10, n/s). Then, our contender in a four-horse colt field won: Shoshie Deo ($3.40, n/p, n/s). 

TwinSpires Harness Blog:
Severe Handicapping For Harness Bettors


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 6-percent win hit rate and a 38-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


Shuttletruth, $14.20, $9.20, $4.80, Scarborough
Bignprecious, $7.40, $4.00, $2.50, Charlottetown
Miss Irish Rose A, $3.10, $2.40, $2.40, ok, Saratoga

Rock Baby Rock, $10.80, $10.40, Bangor
Makers Mass, $8.00, $9.00 ok, Hoosier
Cindys Party Boy, $7.20, $4.60 (Exacta $36.00), Meadowlands
Tim Lizzie, $5.30, $2.90 (Exacta $24.80), Monticello
Tigers Sue, $4.60, $2.20 (Exacta $12.60), Northfield
Roy E Lizbin, $3.60, $2.30, Monticello


Real Yankee, $5.80, Scarborough
Ali De Vie, $5.00, Buffalo
Bearly Behavin, $4,00, Northville
MG Kid, $4.00, Northville
Duneside Life, $3.80, Hawthorne
Barnabus, $3.60, Scioto
So Confused, $3.60, Meadowlands
In The Huddle, $2.60, Saratoga
Da Vinci Artist, $2.40, Northfield

News & Notes

Lazarus has arrived. The Down-Under super pacer, considered the best Australasian standardbred since great Cardigan Bay, is relaxing in his North American quarters: the Jimmy Takter stable in New Jersey. Lazarus is expected to begin prepping for a major campaign on this continent, where he will assuredly assault on the 1:46 world record for one mile set by Always B Miki in 2016. Lazarus won 35 of 45 starts at assorted distances in bulky fields. He set a hemisphere record of 1:52.9 and was undefeated in eight starts at three. Lazarus is the richest son of Bettor's Delight with regional earnings of $3,821,066.

Grand River Raceway’s 15th race season kicked off June 1 with a 6:30 p.m. post. Harness racing is featured on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Sept. 26. Grand River presents an addendum to recently ended meets at Western Fair and Flamboro with horses and horsemen shipping from those two venues. 

There was much ado about a race at the Meadows on May 31 due to the winner paying 168-1. Though sometimes (as followers of this blog can testify) longshot winners may be horses wrongly dismissed by the public, this triple-digit winner was the more common of huge-price payoffs—the beneficiary of a troubled race. The favorite, an obvious top contender in the conditioned trot that was made an even stronger top choice with Dave Palone driving, broke at three-quarters while brushing to the front and was eliminated. The second choice, at 7-1, finished a mathematically correct second. 

Speaking of the Meadows,
its betting menu now includes a Super High 5. As in all “Jackpot” wagers, only a single correct ticket can win. Multiple-correct ticket holders share in the consolation pool. Each time the jackpot isn’t paid, 25 percent of new money wagered carries over to the next day’s pot while 75 percent of new money goes into the consolation pool. 

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.

And check my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update