Winter Series Launch In Canada; Selected Features Present Promising Plays, Exotics Excite Across The Board

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

January 17th, 2019

Our selected features are overnight races again, including those in our Power Plays. We are also covering Woodbine-Mohawk (WoMo) series’ first legs—the Blizzard and the Snowshoe. More action is suggested in the weekly H2W (horses-to-watch) list, offering valuable favorites and outsiders to complement any wagers you target. Consult the H2W for all of your harness action. BLIZZARD CONDITIONS At WoMo on Thursday, Jan. 17, the Blizzard Series begins for fillies-and-mares pacers with two $17,000 divisions. In division one the public should lean into Sand Artist, whose regular performances at WoMo have been of this field’s quality. However, late-starting sophomore Persistant Xample comes into the series with promise, which sometimes trumps experience. “Xample” has not raced since July but her qualifier is sound and her first pari-mutuel race showed positive signs at a higher level. At a price, she is worth backing. In the second division of leg one we have similar reasons to defy the obvious favorite, Lyons Hedgeabet. The Niagara Series winner, DQ’d in the final as the top choice, won’t be an overwhelming choice but still overly wagered upon. As in the first division, our leap-of-faith contender is Bea My Delight, the soph making her third start. After qualifying at WoMo, she was backed heavily in two Western Fair conditioners, deservingly. Here, the step up and track change should not concern handicappers. She is getting better and coming back to WoMo at this level is a positive move that could bring in some fair bucks. FEATURES^FEATURES^FEATURES Yonkers / Race 6 Thursday, Jan. 17 This conditioned trot with a field of eight offers a single entry for the evening by trainer Trond Smedshammer. A week back, the trainer drove his trotter, First Class Act, in a similar race at Yonkers. He finished third at 6-1, making an outside move at three-quarters and gaining the remainder of the mile. The favorite in that race broke and was eliminated but it did not contribute to Smedshammer’s success. That was a season’s debut for the trotter. Smedshammer is among the most careful at placing his horses and although he is as capable as anyone in the bike, this week Yonkers’ popular George Brennan takes First Class Act for what we feel will be a winning spin over the four turns. Brennan may strongly affect the odds but still have more chances than those odds reflect. FEATURES^FEATURES^FEATURES Yonkers / Race 7 Thursday, Jan. 17 Ten nights ago, per the date of this race, Lance Hudson sent out Fashionbythebeach and the fans made the pacer 4-1, their fourth choice. A 15-1 beat the favorite by 2 lengths, getting a perfect trip and benefiting from the off-the-gate duel by Fashionbythebeach and the public choice, Bettorever, both having left from outside posts. Forgiving Hudson’s pacer for losing that conditioned event, we support him in this field, where the horse should go off at fair odds. Hudson is one of the track’s top win-percentage trainers, well above the cast of conditioners of the eight here. Two have already won a race in ’19, so they should get top support from Yonkers’ bettors, who like whatever is obvious. Also, Yonkers’ driver fans will back Yannick Gingras and George Brennan before they toss money at a horse driven by Jordan Stratton in the same field. SNOWSHOE BUSINESS The males are involved in WoMo’s Snowshoe Series, which begins Friday, Jan. 18 with leg one—three $17,000 divisions. Division one presents another good late-starting contender, Kenny Joe. This is only his fifth start and he faces older horses for the first time in a betting race. He is a son of productive sire Shadow Play, based in Ontario. “Joe” has good experience in only a few races and his sires-stakes performances promise he may flourish at three. Let’s take him here, while the public shies away. Division two offers a good-looking four-year-old from across the border. Marc Mellow Man is the gelded son of Down Under sire Marced Card—that one bred to a Sportsmaster mare. At Pocono last year, “Mellow” won a local feature and did well until a bout with illness, only to get back racing at Monticello and win two straight, one this year. He has strong win, place and show percentages and comes to Canada with all the elements to improve. The nightcap division draws our attention to an outside contender, Somehowsomeday. This one is in on the earning condition and could be ready for a big mile. A beaten favorite in his only start this season, we can forgive him for that while paying more attention to his three WoMo races in late 2018. He took on some tough foes at Hoosier last season and earned well. The new venue and this series could be profitable for him and his backers. POWER PLAYS Meadows / Race 5 Friday, Jan. 18 Exacta, trifecta and superfecta action adorn this conditioned pace. Here are our suggested contenders in post position order: Mykonos stays at this level after a bad start but a good finish last week. He gained ground though he lost position and must be respected for the five races before last week, where he paced far better than his odds. PC’s Expresso is at his best level and last week, in the same race as Mykonos, he made two moves, the second which made him short. He is often in the exotic picture and should be the second choice of the public. Uncle Hal has raced better than expected when stepping up for a new trainer and in this one he may excel with good cover to be in the picture late and at good odds (unless Dave Palone picks up the drive and Meadows driver fans reach into their pockets). Mr Bill G could pick up a check that will count for exotic tickets if he becomes aggressive early or late. He won’t have many fans at the windows, at least not for win, but cannot be tossed out of the vertical bets’ lower spots. POWER PLAYS Northfield / Race 3 Saturday, Jan. 19 Exotics are just one reason to sensationalize on this race. On the winning side of the event we have two suggested contenders returning in this race that bear attention for the top three, at least, lighting up the toteboard. Last week, Shakeitformegear (67-1) made a bold but futile attempt from post 8 to gain ground. The huge favorite won the race easily but “Shake” saved a lot of energy to take on the crew here and he will still be way over the price fair for him. As well, Wonderful World returns after a 7-2 stupendous mile from the second tier, including a strong brush and a late gain. More public support for “World” is no guarantee, as she starts again from post 9. These two would combine for a monstrous exacta, no less pumping up any prices for a triple. 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. H2W LIST Cal Expo 1/18/19, Silverhill Volo R6; +Hagginatthebeach R7 1/19/19, Mystery Dragon R3; Mucho Macho Man R6 Dover 1/21/19, +Mars Man R7 Flamboro 1/17/19, +Showdown Seelster R1 Freehold 1/18/19, +Velocity Layla R6; +Whatnblazes R7; +Idle Bones N R8 1/19/19, +Ville Valo R10; Smooth Mocha R11 Meadowlands 1/18/19, +Justcallmeronald R3 Meadows 1/18/19, +Kings Beach R1; +Superficial R9; +Four Card Major R13 Mohawk 1/17/19, Captain Dragon R2; Titanium Seelster R3; Broadway Concert R7 Northfield 1/19/19, +Ida Sofia R12; +Derek Delight R14 Pompano 1/17/19, Feelin Likea Winner R3 Western Fair 1/18/19, +The Red Baron R2; +Falls Creek R9 Yonkers 1/17/19, Fashionbythebeach R7 1/19/19, Vegas Rocks R4; Saulsbrook Lanny R9 1/21/19, +Rock It Scott R7