Sophomores And Senior Superstar Pacers Battle For Berths On Pocono Program

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

June 23rd, 2016

No one in North America needs a weatherman to predict the steaming summer weather blanketing both coasts this time of year, but everyone needs a courageous forecaster that can offer ways to be cool and possibly benefit from it. When it comes to wagering on harness racing, the TwinSpires harness blog is your courageous forecaster. The 2016 stakes season is in full-speed-ahead progress and the overnight races are adorning raceway programs. Your TwinSpires harness blog continues to scour the action from coast to coast and deliver outside contenders that prove to produce large chunks of the pools to those who pay attention to profits.

Another big program of stakes-events elims that promise next week’s big program of stakes-events finals faces us on June 24, this time in the hills of the Pocono mountains at the Downs at Pocono. Early season stars from a few divisions line up for blistering bouts on the five-eighth mile track and we are here to expose the possibilities of upsets where they rear their heads.

The Hambletonian Trail blog will cover the Earl Beale, Jr. elims this week at Pocono and other battles of the hopefuls aiming at stardom in August. Every week, check the Hambletonian Trail blog, exclusively brought to you by TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society, for the soph trotters and read as we cover the rest of the action, leading to our live coverage for TwinSpires’ harness bettors, on the first Saturday in August.
As for overnights, TwinSpires harness blog’s popular feature, the horses-to-watch list (H2W), partners with our stakes coverage for top wagering opportunities at tracks across the continent. We always have hot contenders, most you will not read about on any other handicapping sources in print or on line The H2W delivers many wins, places, shows and exotics. Always consider H2W horses when constructing your wagers.


There are no elims this year, just a single field for the A.J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands on Friday, June 24. It’s a $200,000 eventj dedicated to a close friend of Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural.

It’s a strong field of seven older male trotters, all of them familiar to the division, making for a wide-open race. However, the public will rely more on the “now” horse, which in this case is Obrigado, who has won a few big ones recently. Certainly there is some souring on JL Cruze in his new season. Gural Hanover (always the hunch bet in this affair, of course) has not been sharp at all lately. Resolve has lost his first two out, raising questions of fitness. Crazy Wow has not been productive in three starts. Wind Of The North is starting to look tired.

This leaves Flanagan Memory, who we liked in last week’s Ohio feature. This stone-cold closer was flying late and got third but he began flying too late. Still, $7.40 to show is an overlooked contender. He deserves another shot, certainly due to some of the facts mentioned above about the other six.


Friday at Yonkers, glamour-boy pacers set sail in two New York Sires Stakes divisions, each worth a whopping $83,937. Eight fills each field, though there is only one of the division’s top guys—Missile J.

He has been dominant in state-bred action at three and is hard to deny in this event as well. Still, Fine Diamond, Ideal Kiss and Endeavor deserve respect. Of those three, Ideal Kiss should offer the best price and could up the exacta price if Missile J makes a joke out of the mile.

In the second field, we find a colt that would be making his second appearance on the H2W but ships in from Monticello for a shot at real money. Beaches De Vie is as good as any here and may be better than the rest in this mile. He will get support but should not be the public choice, we surmise.


Eliminations are on tap for June 25’s Pocono program. Soph-colt pacers fight for berths in a pair of Max Hempt Memorial elims ($25,000), while the filly pacers go in two James Lynch elims ($20,000).

The first “Hempt” split features a few from last week’s North America Cup Final, including our choice, Control The Moment, who finished third after scorching fractions to three-quarters from post 9. The disappointing Boston Red Rocks—he did not fire in the “Cup”—is here and should be in the mix with only five others going. JK Will Power leads the Ron Burke pair, with More Dragon his other. Control The Moment may not zoom to the front here for fear of hooking up with “Boston,” who is bound to leave hard from post 1. Neither will offer much for a win price so “JK” may be the win bet if he is the third choice. Juggle your decision based upon the win offerings.

In the second Hempt elim, the surprise second choice in the Cup, Racing Hill, gets the inside post but Katies Rocker is the best here and may be overlooked in the field of seven, where the crowd may support Burke’s Big Top Hanover and Takter’s Western Fame more strongly.

The filly fields in the James Lynch elims include nine each. Your profile gal in round one is I Said Diamonds, an early princess of the division. Much attention will be drawn to post 1, Shezarealdeal, in her second soph start for Ross Croghan with popular driver John Campbell aboard. As well, JK Fannie should be attractive to some. Outside of all these is Princess Fabulosa. She won’t be in the public eye here and that will make her valuable. She has exhibited productivity and should do well among this class at a price.

Division two once again matches the two top fillies of the division, Pure Country and Darlinonthebeach. Considering Pure Country’s Fan Hanover win, she will once again pick up the favorite role. That has been a role Darlinonthebeach has always been able to use to her advantage and as a second choice here will be quite a low-priced overlay.


The Ben Franklin Open pace will host a trio of $30,000 elims with the best older pacers aboard. The first elim features the speedy, certain antics of Wiggle It Jiggleit, whose only flaw may be a tough outside trip if challenged early. Burke’s guys may want to use that strategy (Always At My Place and Take It Back Terry), but it would only ruin them, too. State Treasurer seeks his first win this season and could be the benefactor of collapsing speed around him and at the best price that could be expected from him. Take it—this is the only betting scenario with true hope for a price.

Round two looks like it could be trouble for Always B Miki, though dollars will shower his presence in the pools. He will make the final but we better push for an upset considering this is a tight bunch. Considering the value and lack of value implied by the morning line, the stranger in this crowd should be less of a risk than he appears. Alexa’s Jackpot takes on a sterling batch of foes but only needs the trip they can give him to come home a marketable commodity. This scenario is as far fetched as any shocking upset that has proven to be the best among any number of probabilities in any sport. Go for it.

The last of the “Franklin” frolics, on the other hand, could be a hand-it-to-me win by the public’s pal, Freaky Feet Pete. From post 1, who among the other six will be able to race faster when “Pete” has the least amount of space to cover (post 1) and the force of foot that he has shown early in this division? There seems audacity making him 2-1 on the morning line when 1-2 would be an overlay. Pete need not even try to win this one—and he is the only reason he would lose it.

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.


6/24/16, +Luigi R3; +Ms Graywalls R4

6/24/16, +Bold And Lazy R7

6/24/16, Mods Mystery R4; Sayitlikeyoumeanit R5; Meadowlarkcelesita R6; Astrid The Axe R8
6/25/16, Phoenician Gal R3; Divas Dragonfly R7; +You Name It R7; Rock Shooter R9

6/23/16, +Gangham Style R3; +Hopetown Dora R4; +Bumbsandbruises R7; +Zip The Lip R8

6/23/16, Western Rocker R3; Angel Speak R10

6/25/16, +Special Finalhope R1

6/25/16, Hot Art R13

6/24/16, Canepa Hanover R6; Sumatra R8

6/25/16, Icanwithmagic R1; Easy Again R9; Lyons Meandragon R12

6/24/16, Docs Hollywood R1; +Southwind Geisha R5; +Business As Usual R7
6/25/16, The Rev R1; Delightful Hill R6; Wildcat Magic R6; Big Bang Boom R7; Thunder Steeler R8; Real Rocker R10; Shadow Place R10

6/27/16, Linda B R6

6/25/16, Flight Seelster R9; +Kallista R13

6/24/16, +Sweetmrcantab R1

6/24/16, Hare Force One R7; +Leviathan R9; +Pilgrims Edsel R10

6/24/16, +Jeffers Party R1
6/26/16, Apollo Seelster R8; Silver Sierra R13

6/24/16, Pembroke Delux R1; Real Shiny R3; More Red Wine R4; Astreus Delight R6

6/25/16, +PH Supercam R14
6/26/16, +Dreams Beachboy R12; +Alexander Hanover R13

Running Aces
6/25/16, +Someislandsomewhere R6

6/23/16, Broad Priority R5; Here Comes Ally ae R5

6/24/16, Wolfs Milan R7
6/26/16, City Sight R3; Can You Fly R8

6/23/16, +Game Madison R1; +Jackies Rocket R4

6/24/16, +Keystone Christa R3; +Blueridge Empire R9; Please Okay R9

6/23/16, +Mustang Sally R1; +Cantabra R9
6/24/16, Devils Creek R9

6/24/16, +Al raza N R6

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition