Super Harness Action Across North America; Sophomores, Older Trots And Paces Promise Profits

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

May 5th, 2016

This week we see a host of features that more clearly presents the volume of races we will address in the coming months of the 2016 stakes season. Our two blogs will handle all of the coverage for TwinSpires harness bettors. The voluminous action begins on Saturday, May 7, which is, of course, Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs, home of the actual twin spires.

From afternoon into the night and through a few time zones, TwinSpires will stream and serve bettors in thoroughbred and harness racing so do what you have to do to stay awake, arm your account and make money!

In harness racing on Saturday, a double-header program features Pennsylvania All Stars events for colt trotters (to be covered in our sister bog, The Hambletonian Trail, along with the Dexter Cup Final, Lady Suffolk and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes at the Meadows) during the day and Pennsylvania-bred event finals in the evening. We will also head next door to Ohio for Miami Valley’s final weekend features for this current meet.

Sunday, a Meadowlands program features nine classy older trotters in the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff. Will the winner go to Sweden?

The TwinSpires horses-to-watch list (H2W) already shows signs of thriving for the 2016 season with its potent outside contenders. Exclusive horses on our list that rarely appear on any handicapping source in print or on the web. Prepare to hammer the win, place, show and exotic pools. Always consider H2W horses when constructing your wagers.

This weekend’s analysis begins on Thursday, April 7, with chosen “features,” from Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Saturday, May 7, glamour-girl pacers bred in Pennsylvania rumble in the $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania Final. From the elims last week come the much touted top competitors, including Pure Country, who experienced her first loss after a frosh campaign win streak. She came up short to Darlinonthebeach, who though only 2-1, raced far better than those chances. Pure Country was short after flying to the lead with little regard for her path, passing “Darlin” to get the lead, a move that also cost her the place spot. I Said Please won the second of three elims and Call Me Queen Be took the third. Darlin was the longest winning price of the threesome.

Darlin figures to be a giant this season and she may prove it here, where she leaves from post 4, inside of the others mentioned so far. Pure Country, however, may still grab most of the win pool, which is good, since she could be hanged badly here or wasted very early. In fact, once again, we would omit Pure Country from the first three exotic bets and go with Darlin, Call Me Queen Be and I Said Please. The latter was very good finishing second at 10-1 against I Said Diamonds in the elim and may be flying late to catch second or third here.


The $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic is a lucrative event for this time of year and many of these nine pacing colts may not have a chance to race for such a purse; it’s too early to tell if any of them are superb or mediocre. Last week, in one elim, we were impressed by our choice, The Caramount Kid, fresh from Canada. He was sharp the whole mile and almost beat the top choice.

Ron Burke has four in here and Chris Ryder has three and there are only nine here. Still, the Catamount Kid could go off at a very generously and his connections, the Jamiesons from up north, have raised and raced their colt well. They are very serious and confident about him and if he turns out to be as good or better than they think, now is the time to get a price on him.


For the final program of the Miami Valley season, May 8, two $100,000 distaff events highlight the action. Trotters are first in the Distaff Grand Circuit Stakes for mare trotters. Nine leave the gate, including the graduate of frosh speedballs, Churita. This season in only three starts she has been second. Her nemesis is Hanelore Hanover, four for four in her early soph campaine.

Leave them be and take some strong odds on Smokinmombo. She was very sharp at two and won her first soph race before coming into this. Last year she took on better than Indiana locals, as the two we mentioned.

The pacing mares go in the Sam Noble Memorial Grand Circuit Stake, also lining up nine. Here are some hot ones in from Yonkers’ Matchmaker Series and the national Indiana-bred treasure, Colors A Virgin, who should get hammered in the win pool. Right behind her is Yagonnakissmeornot, a fireball at Yonkers and the main threat to “Virgin.” The third contender that could surprise them is Lady Shadow. From post 1 she may try to steal the race or tuck in behind Virgin and tip out late for the win. Lady Shadow raced in the Matchmaker and has battled better than many here.


The Meadowlands’ May 8 program and opens it with a huge trotting event, the $150,000 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff. Officials from Sweden will be present to invite the winner of this new Grand Circuit event to race in their country’s trademark race, the Elitlopp, at Solvalla Racecourse.

It’s a world-class field on its own, featuring JL Cruze, Be A Magician, Shake It Cerry and six others that have battled in the older ranks, some having had celebrity at two and three. Be A Magician and JL Cruze will get lots of money in the win pot and Resolve, making his seasonal debut, will attract support. Three are from the Burke barn (DWs NY Yank, Gural Hanover and Crazy Wow, the latter also making his first start in 2016).

Certainly the talent is overflowing but for price you should consider the least of the beasts, Wind Of The North. Trainer Daryl Bier brings George Brennan in to drive, which is neither a plus nor a minus as much as an anomaly. Brennan only races at the Meadowlands any more in special stakes events, owing mostly to the munificence of money and workload of driving at Yonkers. “Wind” is two wins for three with a second this season and is in the perfect spot, post 3, to sit quiet and surge late against a row full of speed at the starting gate.

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.


5/6/16, Marachere R8; Amoreuble Hanover R11
5/7/16, +B Evas Lucky Lad R10

Cal Expo
5/7/16, Majorley R8; +Yankee Flyer R8

5/6/16, Sacred Valley R2
5/7/16, Credit The Shark R4; Cassea R6

5/7/16, +Just A Professor R1

5/5/16, Couriers Luckylady R7
5/7/16, Jester R5; Canadian Writer R6; Buttons R7

5/5/16, Lemon Drop Hall R7
5/7/16, Nothing To Wear R13

5/9/16, Cheyenne Jeffrey R2; +All Gold R4

5/6/16, Double Stitched ae R4; Kiss On The Lips R8; Mystical MJ R10

5/5/16, +Typical Situation R6

5/8/16, Gallie Bythe Beach R9

5/7/16, Seventh Secret R9; +Royaltyhasarrived R13

5/6/16, +Clarebear R2; +Without A Clue R9; +Big Crystal R11
5/7/16, +Lets Drink On It R10

5/5/16, Sand Cruiser R3; Watch Me To R4
5/9/16, +Extreme Yankee R4

5/7/16, +Rescue Team R3; Olivia V R5; Nirvana Gear R6; Roca Rei R7

5/7/16, +Dimes N Dollars R10

5/5/16, +Azucar ae R3
5/7/16, +Live On R14

5/5/16, +Ky Liz R1; +Rockin To Do R5
5/6/16, +Diamond Master R3

5/9/16, +Skinny Dipper R1

5/7/16, +New Miracle R6
5/7/16, Daughtry Hanover R7; Heaven Touched R9
5/8/16, +Explosiveafternoon R2; Ms Neutralize R8

5/8/16, +Just Frank R13
5/7/16, Elettrizzante R5; Shallow Hall R7
5/8/16, +Call Me Bill R8

5/7/16, +Melmerby Beach R7; +Te Kawau N R8

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition