Top-Priced Winners, $18, $15, From Canada; Super Saturday Stakes Favorite-Heavy; ‘Countdown’ Winner

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

August 21st, 2016

The Super Saturday at Pocono Downs was the focus of all the weekend features and it played well for the favorites, some of which offered low-price value.

Worth the low return was Southwind Frank ($4.60, $2.40, $2.10), who avenged his Hambletonian loss, as we projected, winning the Colonial Trot on the Pocono card. Our exotic suggestions bombed with Sutton, fourth, and Waitlifter, ninth by breaking stride.

The Battle of the Brandywine soph-pacing stakes went to 1-5 choice Betting Line, while we were third with Control The Moment ($2.20) and our second choice, Western Fame, never got a call at over 100-1.

We took the Hanover Shoe Farms Mare Invitational with the public choice Devil Child ($3.20, $2.60, $2.20), while our other pick, Katie Said (10-1) broke and was eliminated.

We also won the Colonial Consolation I with Mavens Way ($5.80, $3.40, $2.40), while our second choice, Reigning Moni, scratched.

From there the public battered us. In the “Battle” consolations we were fifth with Cobra Joe (33-1) and third with JJ Flynn ($3.40), with our top choice Do Over Hanover scratching. The other Colonial consolation found us seventh with Dominion Beach (9-1). The Sebastian K Invitational contenders finished seventh and sixth, those being JL Cruze (7-1) and Wings Of Royalty (12-1). The PHHA Invitational was disappointing for Rockeyed Optimist (15-1) seventh and Mach It So (30-1) fourth.

In Canada, at Charlottestown Driving Park, the Gold Cup & Saucer Final, the public’s second choice won at 2-1. The value situation, a proposed duel between the top three choices, never developed. Aside from that, our main suggested upset pacer, Shades Of Bay (15-1), broke and was eliminated before any chance to charge. The other upset possibility was Paparazzi Hanover, who put in an overall poor performance.

Saturday’s Grand Circuit frosh stakes at Mohawk brought us a single winner, which the public was all over. That was Macs Jackpot ($4.10, $3.10, $2.50) in the second split of a Nassagaweya. Our other Nassagaweya contender, Manceiver (15-1) finished fourth. Our Eternal Camnation picks, Windy Sport (14-1) and Loreens Ruffian (20-1) both finished well back.

Friday, Aug. 19’s features brought us to the Meadows and Saratoga. At the Meadows we scored two show prices, Womans Will ($2.60) and Spicedbourbongirl ($3.00), beaten by the favorite and a 20-1 shot, respectively in those sires stakes. Our other choice in a division, Pink Pistol (7-2) broke and finished seventh. At Saratoga that night, we were second with Earn Your Wings ($2.30, $2.10) and third with Swinging Royalty ($2.40).


The Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC) debuted with the Valley Forge final and consolation at Pocono on Aug. 20. In the soph-filly pace division, we scored in the consolation with Graceful Vision ($9.00, $5.60, $4.60). Then we lost to second-choice Darlinonthebeach. Our suggested value play, Blue Moon Stride ($4.20) was third.

Each week, the BCC blog follows the top performers in each division racing in high-profile events leading to the championships. Great wagering races will be analyzed on the BCC blog weekly through the elims and finals, this year in late October at the Meadowlands.
On various Wednesday nights we tweet for TwinSpires Twitter members from @FrankCotolo –retweeted by @twinspires—and the raceway involved. Losers from each week will appear on the next week’s horses-to-watch (H2W) list unless they race before that blog is published, so watch for them returning to the races on days in between blogs. Watch for special tweets from raceways on various Wednesdays.


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 58 active horses (a 10-percent win hit rate and a 45-percent in-the-money 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 is posted.


Pocket Novel, $18.80, $9.20, $6.70, Century
Bringhometheblue, $15.40, $7.10, $4.80, Mohawk
Best Escape Route, $15.00, $7.00, $4.00, Plainridge
Skippin By, $9.00, $2.80, $2.60, Meadows
Triple Action, $7.90, $4.40, $2.50, Century
Millenium Wheel, $2.80, $2.60, $2.80 ok, Harrington


Muscolo, $13.00, $6.40, Philadelphia
Nominal Hanover, $9.00, $5.00, Northfield
PL Impressive, $6.00, $4.40 (Exacta $44.80), Century
Haughty, $5.20, $3.20 (Exacta $37.80), Meadows
Joes Bid, $4.30, $2.60, Yonkers
Katies Beach, $3.90, $2.90, Mohawk
Whirlwind, $3.80, $2.40, Scarborough
Officially Creek, $3.00, $2.60 (Exacta $11.00), Scioto
Benjaminbanneker, $2.80, $2.40, Philadelphia
Homicide Hunter, $2.80, $2.40, Pocono
Shackles N Chains, $2.40, $3.00 ok, Hawthorne
Hititoutofthepark, $2.20, $2.10, Meadows


Pier Ho Exotic, $10.00, Vernon
Mozelle Hanover, $5.70, Century
Freedom Reigns, $4.40, Running Aces
Cashco, $3.50, Tioga
Takeyourbreathaway, $3.30, Batavia
They Call Me Rosie, $2.80, Century
In The Mix, $2.30, Monticello
Omaha Survivor, $2.10, Monticello

News & Notes

Even as North America continues to survive one of the hottest summers in weather-documented history, standardbred fans and bettors are eyeing contenders for The Little Brown Jug. Recently, the event’s publicity director Jay Wolf listed the top-10 candidates for the event. He will be updating it until the week before the event, which takes place at the Delaware, Ohio Fairgrounds on Sept. 22, the final day of the Grand Circuit’s meet at the busy half-mile track. We have adjusted Wolf’s list to fit our opinions. As our readers over the years know, we have been deadly accurate in predicting “Jug” winners. We will update our list September ensues.
1-Control The Moment
2-Check Six
3-Betting Line
4-Manhattan Beach
5-Racing Hill
6-Katies Rocker
7-Lyons Snyder
8-Western Fame
9-JJ Flynn
10-Pure Country

Pompano Park begins its 2016-2017 harness season on Oct. 2. The 126-night session will feature 15 lucrative late-closing events, including three with purses estimated greater than $100,000 for Open pacers, Open trotters and Open pacing fillies and mares. Total purses for the late-closing events are estimated at $680,000 with all events having two legs and a final. In addition to the late-closing events, Pompano will also offer what it calls “Pop-Up” events featuring a quick leg and a race-off featuring an enhanced purse.These Pop-Up events will be carded when an abundance of horses surface in certain overnight classes with the likelihood that multiple divisions will result.

JK Endofanera, the TwinSpires-harness-blog-chosen-longshot winner of the 2014 North America Cup, has been retired to stud duty at Victory Hill Farm in Indiana. A five-year-old stallion, JK Endofanera’s stud fee will be announced at a later date. A son of the Artsplace stallion Art Major, JK Endofanera is out of the Presidential Ball-sired Presidential Lady, who is also the dam of 2014 Horse of the Year Jkshesalady. Trained by Ron Burke at two and three and Jimmy Takter at four JK Endofanera also won a Meadowlands Pace elimination over Always B Miki and later in the season captured the Tattersalls at The Red Mile. In 2015, JK Endofanera won more than $500,000, including the Dan Patch at Hoosier.

Extraordinary Extras

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

Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog

For Thom Pye cartoons, informative harness history and more, click here ~