The Harness Season Of Our Discontent

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

April 7th, 2020

Harness bettors may be in quarantine and the harness racing season in recess, but pacers and trotters around the globe are keeping fit, going through daily regiments that keep them healthy to race in the pari-mutuel arenas in 2020.

We, the sport’s documenters, have not stop working in the interest of you, our TwinSpires harness bettors everywhere, because although this important hiatus keeps us from our wagering campaigns, this is not a vacation. For the time we are all sequestered, we do not see our seclusion as banishment. In the interest of mankind, we contribute to forces that build us up for a reprise that allows us to address a more normal life, and the next racing season.

Meanwhile, it’s April and time is affecting the customary continuum of the harness racing season, so where does the 2020 season stand?

The older pacers, male and female, did not show their mighty mitts in March due to cancellations of the MGM Borgata Pacing (ex-Levy) and Matchmaker series when Yonkers closed. The high-profile mutli-week pacing episodes have always gotten us through the brown landscape of winter, finishing just as green grass and daffodils announced springtime.

The 2020 three-year-olds were to start their state- and national-wide campaigns this week. Hoosier Park was to launch sophomores during its first week of another harness racing season. The sign on the Indiana track now reads “Temporarily Closed.” Officials promise the “extreme action” delaying the season is temporary, which may only be defined as – “as soon as appropriate” in Indiana.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono suspended operation and shortly after cancelled its three-year-old PA All Stars events, so be sure the entire sophomore season already carries an asterisk and there’s no telling how the season’s shortened schedule affects the division’s members whenever it returns. And soon the two-year-olds will be ready for baby, maiden races and freshman stakes. But the 2020 stakes season retains its formal intentions. The Hambletonian Society, which administers 133 races, is keeping its sustaining payments schedule as it did in 2019.

Bettors on retreat should not stagnate. They need to collect needed information about their past harness-wagering campaigns and actualize their status, planning productively for when the harness season returns. For a strong, confident comeback, do the work you must now. Look forward to the return of the 2020 season as if it is another season. Keep whatever records you have for the first few months of 2020 as an addendum for year-end totals from where you will pick up the action.

Here are some ideas:

Make a checklist, beginning with your bankroll. How strong or weak is your TwinSpires account? Make your funds a primary chore, adding what you feel you can afford and/or need based on what you still have in your account.

This is a good time to develop a betting strategy for various types of bets. You could make a chart, as many professionals have, in which you follow set amounts for particular wagers.

Review your past’s general wagering activity from whatever sources you keep and if you did not keep such records, make it your business to do so from here on. Lots of strengths and weaknesses show up when you look back as how you wagered and what you wagered upon.

You can document your wagering activity as detailed as you like, and I suggest you do so as comprehensively as possible. What you will discover about your positive and negative behavior will be dramatically important for success in the future. The total of all the details you maintain about the races you play will result in a unique dossier that may reveal how you can make yourself a smarter player that runs a profitable wagering business. 

The only other advice is to start now and open up all of the possibilities the current hiatus from playing allows. When you become involved in the process of for the fresh start, you will be empowered and refreshed, ready to engage in the best possible wagering experience. This includes checking into the TwinSpires harness blog weekly previews and updates, so we can assist your campaign with contenders you and the public may be missing.

So this 2020 shutdown is truly the harness-season of our discontent—it’s a metaphor that turns sadness of racing’s suspension due to the pandemic into the celebration of a fresh, revitalized start.