Win Prices Soar, Topped By $74, Two $20-Plus Hambo-Trail Scores And More Double-Digit Dollar Payouts
It was a great wagering week, which went from Sunday to Sunday due to lots of harness stakes-and-feature action. Our horses-to-watch list (H2W) and Hambletonian Trail blog produced double-digit winners to complement the volume of plays available.
This past Wednesday, May 4, we gave our spot plays via Twitter for Hoosier Park’s evening program (the second week using Hoosier). Again we offered horses in. four races without much success. We had one third, Lazy Town ($3.60), while losing with Skyway Heartache (31-1), fourth to complete the $4Gs superfecta; Bombs For All (5-1), seventh (defeated by 32-1 shot); and Big Bad Chevy (63-1), who broke early and was eliminated.
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.
Saturday was stakes-loaded with lots of standardbred sophomores, while the world focused upon thoroughbred sophomores in the Kentucky Derby. Pocono Downs pair of programs featured paces and trotters in their features. Below are the results of the trotting boys and girls’ stakes from the Pocono afternoon card and the Meadows’ program. On the pacing side, the two Pennsylvania-bred soph stakes were featured on the evening card.
In the $313,000 Miss Pennsylvania Final for soph-filly pacers, we wound up with the favorite, Dancinonthebeach and suggested adding two for exotics. A speed duel ruined Dancinonthebeach’s chances and Pure Country (2-1) won off the pace. One of our other choices, Call Me Queen Be ($4.40) was third, while I Said Please (40-1) finished fifth.
The colt pacers battled in the $561,000 Pennsylvania Classic and one of the three 2-1 shots won, while our choice, The Catamount Kid (5-1) completed the cheap superfecta ($10.90) by finishing fourth.
Saturday, May 7, our soph-trotter contenders were aflame with great prices at all three tracks featuring eligible horses aiming at the August classics.
At the Meadows, fillies went after hefty purses in three divisions of the Pennyslvania Sires Stakes. We won a split with Spicedborbongirl ($20.60, $4.40, $3.20), lost another with Dancinginthehall (2-1), who broke and was eliminated in the split where we also endorsed My Pink Bike (17-1), who finished fourth. Our main contender in the third contest, Synonymous Hanover, scratched.
At Freehold, a break in stride cost us the Dexter Cup with Sir Royson (5-1) and a triple with him and our two exotic partners—Steed and Dominion Beach—who also galloped to failure. However, we struck hard with a cold victory in the Lady Suffolk for the fillies with Dazzling Dollars ($22.60, $10.00, $9.00).
At Pocono Downs, there were three splits of the Pennsylvania All Stars series for colts. Two of our horses broke stride to surrender further competition (Mac Deeno at 56-1 and Alexander Hanover at 15-1) but we blew away the field in one division with Mikkeli ($16.80, $6.40, $4.40).
Sunday, May 8 at the Meadowlands, we were lost in the field of the Mark Lobell Elitlopp Playoff, as Wind Of The North (80-1) was only good until the half, when he faded badly. This was a race, however, where the best horse was disqualified from winning. Resolve destroyed the group but was placed off the purse grid due to a few steps he took inside the pylons as he turned into the stretch to fly away with ease. The win went to the place horse, good ole Bee A Magician.
On the last day of the Miami Valley meet, we were unproductive in the features for distaff mare pacers and trotters. The favorite won the trot, while our choice, Smokinmombo (44-1) was eighth. A 5-1 local gal won the pace, while our choice, Lady Shadow (2-1) was seventh as the crowd’s second choice.
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 61 active horses (a 17-percent win hit rate and a 33-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.
Hugh Hefner N, $74.60, $21.80, $12.40, Philadelphia
Jester, $23.70, $8.30, $5.60, Flamboro
Gallie Bythe Beach, $16.80, $10.40, $6.80, Meadowlands
Lincolnjames, $12.80, $6.20, $2.80, Miami
Live On, $10.40, $6.00, $3.80, Philadelphia
Sand Cruiser, $6.10, $3.60, $2.60, Monticello
Tailgate Hanover, $4.60, $3.00, $2.40, Monticello
Watch Me Too, $4.40, $2.80, $2.10, Monticello
Amoureuble Hanover, $3.60, $2.90, $3.00 ok, Buffalo
Clarebear, $2.20, $2.10, $2.20 ok, Miami
Kiss On The Lips, $14.20, $7.60 (Exacta $41.00), Hawthorne
Shallow Hall, $5.50, $3.00 (Exacta $28.00), Vernon
Lemon Drop Hall, $5.20, $3.40, Freehold
Jailhouse Diva, $3.00, $2.60, Hoosier
Dimes N Dollars, $4.40, Northville
Donnie Darko, $4.20, Pocono
Sea Harrier, $4.20, Pocono
Yankee Flyer, $4.00, Cal Expo
Seventh Secret, $3.80, Meadows
Ky Liz, $2.10, Plainridge
News & Notes
The winter/spring meeting at Cal Expo ended May 8. “Clearly, the highlight of our meet was a pair of ten-percent purse increases,” said GM Chris Schick. “We made great progress this season and our purse pool will end up in very good shape. “The strong dollar has created considerable interest for this upcoming fall meet … we are very bullish on the future of California harness racing. Cal Expo harness racing” The track is scheduled to return to harness action in October.
Western Fair is gearing up for one of the biggest days in Canadian harness racing this season when it hosts the Molson Pace program on closing night, Friday, May 27. More than $500,000 in purses will be offered up on the 12-race program, which will get underway at 7:05 p.m. Eastern time. The highlight will be the $150,000 Molson Pace Invitational for older pacers. The headliner is expected to be Canada’s Horse of the Year, State Treasurer, who is looking for an unprecedented fourth-straight event title. Other confirmed starters will be announced soon. For the second straight year, the “Molson” program will feature the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old colt pacers, including some of the province’s finest glamour boys. Plus, four City of London Series finals are on the bill for three-year-old colts and fillies on both the trot and pace. New this year will be a pair of $12,000 (added) claiming finals for $6,000 claiming pacers, part of the Alliance Series as well as an added-purse Junior Invitational Pace. The wagering menu will also be bolstered with the addition of a third Super Hi-5 wager. There will be a trio of guaranteed pool wagers offered, including the early Pick-3 ($5,000), early Pick-4 ($10,000) and late Pick-4 ($15,000). All of these wagers come with a low 15 per cent takeout rate.
All Bets Off heads the probable list of all-star pacers for Northfield Park’s Battle of Lake Erie on May 21. The field also includes Foiled Again, harness racing’s all-time money-winner, and Freaky Feet Pete, a horse who won a staggering 89.6 percent of his starts. All Bets Off was second in the “Levy” final at Yonkers. No stranger to Northfield, All Bets Off won the inaugural Milstein Memorial in 2014. Foiled Again, now 12, seeks to defend his event championship. Foiled Again’s other triumphs came in 2009 and 2011. This will be his eighth start in the race. Freaky Feet Pete is a four-year-old who won the soph-pacing Breeders Crown at Woodbine. A local favorite, Americhi, will take them on. The card will also include a trio of $20,000 late closer finals along with three $20,000 Opens events.
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 ~