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Homeracing

Week’s Top Win Price At $31; Pocono Elims And Overnights Yield Exactas; H-Trail Nabs Two Of Three

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

June 25th, 2017

A few surprises were delivered in the elims for the Sun Stakes Saturday finals at Pocono. On June 24, Fear The Dragon ($2.10, $2.10) tasted defeat for the first time at three, beaten by Miso Fast, who made a giant brush at 11-1, in a Max Hempt elim. Summer Side, who shuffled with “Fear” for the lead by the half, was fourth.

In another “Hempt” elims we were fifth with Air Strike (59-1) as another surprise winner, this one at 21-1, in a mile where the favorite broke early and was eliminated. In the third Hempt elim we teamed with the favorite for a $16.40 exacta as Donttellmeagain ($7.00, $5.00) got the place.

The glamour-girl pacers offered no surprises as each favorite won her elim. We had two thirds with Misqued ($2.10) and Caviart Ally ($5.00) and one fifth with Pittstop Danika (48-1).

The older pacers’ Ben Franklin elims found us with only a third, Shambala ($2.40). In the other two miles we were fifth with Freaky Feet Pete (3-1) and Sunfire Blue Chip (10-1).

FRESHMAN FROLICS

Seven two-year-olds took the focus in our second week of following green trotters and pacers hitting the track this season. We won with Bonamassa ($12.00, $4.90, $2.20) and Ronnie Goldstein ($6.40, $3.00, $2.40) and Saratoga.

The other results included a second with JBs Shooting Star ($3.20, $3.00—exacta $6.20), Hawthorne; a third with Ladydini ($3.90), Vernon; two fourths with AJ’s Pearl (54-1), Hoosier; Whosjoedaddy (3-1), Saratoga; and Igotallnet (23-1), Hoosier. Some of our frosh picks that have already raced will appear in the H2W list the following week.

HAMBLETONIAN TRAIL

This week’s Hambletonian Trail was a part of the big Pocono push of elims, dealing with the contests for berths in the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial Final. There were three elims. There were minor surprises.

We hit the first with Long Tom ($4.60, $4.00, $3.80). In the second elim our top choice, King On The Hill, scratched, leaving us with our second choice, who was nailed by a nose at the wire by a 23-1 shot. So, Devious Man ($2.80, $2.20) got the place spot and, of course, makes the final field.

No surprise to anyone, not even us, was the winner of the third elim, Ariana G ($2.10, $2.10, $2.10), beating the boys and surfacing as a top choice in next week’s final. We also nailed the measly $4.00 exacta, having our second choice, Bill’s Man ($2.80, $2.10) finish second.

Completing last week’s “Trail” choices, we were beaten by two favorites in each Empire Breeders Classics at Vernon Downs. We were second to the public choice in the filly final with Celebrity Ruth ($3.30, $2.30) for a $5.70 exacta, then we were seventh to the favorite with Such An Angel (8-1).

Wednesday, June 21, we sent out a tweet for three spot plays at Hoosier. We were second with Chaptre Duharas ($3.40, $2.80), who lost to the favorite for an exacta worth $17.00. We were third with Rockin Kylie ($8.00) and then sixth with JS Sparklin Image (7-1).

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.

H2W LIST RESULTS

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 47 active horses (a 15-percent win hit rate and a 47-percent ATB [across-the-board] 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.

Winners

Rockin Romeo, $31.60, $8.40, $3.20, Ocean
Pistol Pearl, $12.00, $5.60, $3.20, Northfield
Cardinal Rule, $10.00, $4.00, $3.20, Century
Rock Proof, $6.60, $4.00, $2.20, Hoosier
Rose Run Rudi, $6.20, $4.00, $2.60, Tioga
Cruzin Maverick, $4.80, $3.20, $3.20 ok, Scarborough
Robin J, $3.20, $2.10, $2.10, Buffalo

Seconds

Miss Paula D, $7.40, $2.10 (Exacta $14.60), Bangor
Pancetta, $7.40, $4.80, Hawthorne
Ashlynn Grace, $6.60, $3.90 (Exacta $24.20), Century
Musical Rhythm, $5.40, $4.20 (Exacta $30.90), Mohawk
Pei Pei, $3.80, $2.40 (Exacta, $4.00), Ocean
Sweet Talkin Satin, $3.50, $3.20, Yonkers
Traceur Hanover, $3.40, $3.00 (Exacta $11.50), Mohawk
Glow Again, $3.00, $2.20, Scarborough
Diva Dejarmbro, $2.40, $2.10, Northfield
 
Thirds

American Force, $11.40, Vernon
Buckeye Badler, $6.00, Bangor
Graybeard, $3.60, Running Aces
Maradona, $3.30, Buffalo
Regal Son, $2.90, Mohawk
Delightful Joe, $2.40, Saratoga

News & Notes

By the time you read this there will have been literally millions of words written about the passing of harness racing’s glory-days hero, Herve Filion. At 77, the man race-caller Jackie Lee called “The Colonel,” is dead. The Quebec native came to the U.S. when harness racing was at its peak in New York. He rose to the top of the driver standings at Yonkers and Roosevelt raceways while making periodic trips out of town to win stakes like the Little Brown Jug. Herve was one of three Filion brothers that became immensely popular with trainers and bettors. Along with Henri and Yves, Herve rode night after night among a talented community of all-time greats including Carmine Abbatiello, John Chaplin, Lucien Fontaine, Stanley Dancer, Del Insko, Buddy Gilmour et al. Herve won the national driving title numerous times and was the first driver to win 15,000 races in a career. R.I.P.

The 71st season of harness racing at Batavia Downs, America’s oldest lighted harness track, beings it’s 71-race dates season on July 26 and runs through Dec. 16). Racing is offered on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday evenings at 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. Monday will replace Sunday in September and go at 5 p.m.

Bill O’Donnell, 69, retires from a busy, lucrative career as a driver after his last race this July 30. O’Donnell has 5,743 wins and has earned $99 million driving. He is one of eight of the eight harness drivers contesting the Legends Day Trot on the Clinton Raceway program that day, which also features retiring John Campbell. Others seated for the event will be Ron Waples, David Miller, Mike Lachance, Steve Condren, Dave Wall and Doug Brown.

Extraordinary Extras

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

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

 

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