‘Stranger’ Sizzles In NA Cup; Favorites Fast In Featured Stakes

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August 30th, 2020

And now, our weekly report of results from features in the TwinSpires Harness Preview blog, along with those from our horses-to-watch list (H2W), and our News & Notes section, which reports and remarks on the states of our sport.

Friday, Aug. 28

At Woodine/Mohawk (WoMo), the Goodtimes elims were only somewhat public-friendly. We were close with Capricornus ($5.50, $3.60), getting second to one of our top-five choices for the division title (see soph blog from lockdown months), HP Royal Theo, who was backed well at 3-1. Threefiftytwo, the race favorite and our other choice, finished a disappointing sixth.

In the second Goodtimes elim, 2020 Hambo-place colt, Ready For Moni ($2.10, $2.10,n/s), was as good as expected, while the other Hambo finalist, Hollywood Story (72-1), raced every bit the opposite of trainer Marcus Melander’s stock, finishing fifth.

The Grand Circuit Casual Breeze duo gave us our best win return for the quartet of soph-trotting events with McKees Angel ($10.20, $7.40, $4.50), while Warrawee Vicky (2-1) finished fifth.

The other Casual Breeze went to probative favorite Sorella ($2.20, $2.10, n/s), while Dip Me Hanover (5-1), lagged behind the short field, finishing sixth.

Saturday, Aug. 29

The North America Cup field could not put even a minor challenge to Tall Dark Stranger, the huge favorite, while our choice, Tatoo Artist ($4.30, $3.50) was bet down as the next-best public choice and sucked along as well as possible, completing a $16. 20 exacta.

We could not beat the mega-favorite in the Fan Hanover Final but once again we took second in a big race for this division with Lady Lou ($4.10, $2.80) in a $12.80 exactor.

In the Armbro Flight, Atlanta broke and was eliminated, while a 5-1 shot defeated our choices, Felicityshagwell ($13.60, $7.40) and Plunge Blue Chip ($3.40).

Seaswift Joy N (63-1) was no match for the favorite and most others in the Roses Are Red, racing nothing like she did at Yonkers and finishing eighth.


The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Exactas listed include a H2W horse finishing second to a race-favorite or if the first two finishers are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses are listed—a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices are correct (even when a show price exceeds a place price or all prices are the same).

Please note that some results reflect horses racing after the blog posts (they appear the following week).

This week, there were 37 active horses (a 14-percent win hit rate and a 38-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).


Lincoln, $10.40, $7.80, $2.80, Running Aces
Dark Energy, $4.70, $2.30, $2.10, Yonkers
Chuppah On, $3.80, $3.20, $2.40, Freehold
Caviart Audrey, $3.10, $2.70, $2.50, WoMo
Beguin Dugoutier, $2.20, $2.40, $2.20, Pocono


RSVP, $7.60, $6.40, Hawthorne
Da Peoples Panther, $6.40, $4.00, Hawthorne
One Step Up, $3.80, $2.70 (Exacta $11.80), Batavia
Trisun, $3.30, $2.80 (Exacta $11.60), Batavia


Sassy Cindy, $5.20, Hoosier
Voelz Delight, $4.60, WoMo
Lous Prealman, $3.60, Meadows
McMoe, $2.40, Scioto
Pub Crawl, $2.40, Philly


For Twinspires harness blog readers asking if we take part in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top-10 poll, the answer is yes. We have strong professional relationships with both organizations and with Ken Weingartner, who collects and tallies the votes weekly. The poll glides into week seven on Sept. 1. Last week, Ramona Hill took the top spot for the first time, knocking Gimpanzee into second place. In third is Shartin N. The poll reflects opinions, still, the top two are the biggest earners of the season. You can check the official top-10 results on the USTA home page.

Speaking of Ramona Hill, the champ filly takes her name from the character created by Beverly Cleary in her book “Beezus and Ramona.” Cleary wrote a series of Ramona novels. Ramona Hill owner-breeder Michelle Crawford said she chose the filly’s name, however, at random. She said a few years ago her son had her watching the TV series and said she must have been watching Ramona and Beezus the day she came up with Ramona’s name. She said she added Hill for no reason.
Freehold came back on Aug. 28, a week before the next Meadowlands meet on Sept. 5.
The New Jersey half-mile has been closed since March, as the country went slowly into COVID-19 lockdown. Freehold races Fridays and Saturdays. First post is 12:30 p.m. through Dec. 31. We’ve added Freehold horses to the H2W and we will be covering the fall Meadowlands meet come Labor Day weekend.

Pompano is readying for its 57th harness racing season. The Florida oval is scheduled to begin its 2020-2021 season, which will last 126 nights, beginning Nov. 8, with the finale on May 19, 2021. We hope to continue our “Wallyworld” series through the track’s season. Wallyworld is a special feature where we look to find strong contenders not driven by top Florida reinsman Wally Hennesey in races where Wally competes. The premise is based upon the theory that Wally’s drives are usually bet heavily based upon his presence.

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