Year-Ending Exotic Explosion With $156 Trifecta,Four For Five In Pentafecta, Exactas And Quintet Of Cal-Expo Winners

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December 31st, 2017

In our final update for 2017 we celebrated with winning fireworks from our selected features through our horses-to-watch (H2W) list, which added a few more prices to our 2017 review blog, due on New Year’s Eve. Here are the ultimate results of our end-of-the-year wagering adventures in chronological order.

Thursday, Dec. 28 at Freehold, our Partners For Picks (PFP) contenders contributed only one winner to the early Pick 4. The sole victor was Debt Of Honor ($4.20, $3.20, $2.10) won as the public’s second choice. The secondary horse we proposed, Magical Telf N ($2.10) was third.

Our other contenders were Tattle Tell Teen (6-1) in leg one, finishing fourth; Future Flight ($540), finishing third at 24-1; and Fat Boy (15-1), who came across the wire fifth.

The Pick 4 payoff was a paltry $66.20, while the included Pick 3 paid a comedic $6.20.

That night we were on fire in the warmest state of the union, as our Power Plays horses at Pompano Park in Race 4 exploded in exotic proportions. The race’s exotics included an exacta, trifecta and a pentafecta instead of a superfecta, so we suggested five.

We had the winner of the race, Skyway Priss ($4.60, $3.00, $2.20) and although he turned out to be the race favorite, we also gave out his exacta partner, Upto A Dream ($10.20, $5.60) and that exacta paid $36.00.

But wait, Power Plays also handed out the trifecta’s completion with Prayer Session ($3.00), finishing third. The Power Plays triple paid $152.80. Our fourth suggestion was the fourth finisher in the pentafecta, Holiday Spirit (30-1). Our fifth Power Plays horse, Celebrity Lover (18-1), broke early and was eliminated, so we handed four of the five pentafecta winners. With the correct fifth horse, it paid $736.64.

We aimed at British Columbia on Friday, Dec. 29, with Power Plays at Fraser in Race 4. But the arctic blast blowing in from the west which eventually blanketed North America with snow and sub-freezing temperatures forced Fraser to cancel the program.

Saturday afternoon the cold didn’t stop racing at the Meadows, where we offered two selected features. Playing against the obvious favorite in Race 3, we were second with 7-1 Special Blend ($5.80, $5.80), beaten by a 9-1. The favorite was off the board.

We also beat Palone and his charge (they finished last as the second choice) in Race 9, as our choice completed the exacta with the public’s first choice. Our choice was Southwind Warsaw ($4.80, $3.20) and the exacta paid $33.20.

Saturday evening, Dec. 30 at the Meadowlands our PFP contenders in the Pick 5 resulted in good place-and-show bets only. We were second in legs two and four, respectively, with Sky Is The Limit ($16.00, $8.40) and Vanquished N ($6.80, $4.80). We were third in leg one with Deepfave Hanover ($4.00). Off the boards were Ever Again (4-1) and Chevals Clivesdale (5-1).

All losers in our selected features appear the following week in the H2W list.


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 35 active horses (a 37-percent win hit rate and a 51-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


Blue Zombie, $19.40, $8.00, $4.60, Pompano
Archibald, $17.20, $7.40, $4.60, Pompano
I’m Blue Too, $15.80, $6.60, $4.20, Cal-Expo
Miss Banjolina, $12.60, $4.80, $4.60, Cal-Expo
Reach For Infinity, $9.60, $3.60, $2.40, Freehold
Coastal Treasure, $8.40, $4.60, $3.60, Cal-Expo
Bye Bye Michelle, $7.60, $3.40, $3.20, Freehold
Kukalaka, $5.60, $3.40, $2.60, Cal-Expo
Kiss On The Lips, $5.20, $3.80, $2.40, Cal-Expo
I’ll Have Another, $5.00, $3.40, $2.60, Dayton
Steuben Cindy, $4.60, $3.40, $2.20, Northfield
Prana, $2.80, $2.40, 2.10, Freehold
Busy Doing Nothing, $2.20, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Monticello

Sarandon Seelster, $7.30, $9.40 ok (Exacta $112.00), Charlottetown
KJ Dale, $4.20, $3.10, Monticello
Political Crisis, $3.60, $4.50 ok (Exacta $50.20), Charlottetown


Duluth, $11.80, Meadowlands
American Flight, $5.20, Freehold

News & Notes

At the stroke of midnight, Jan. 1, all standardbreds racing at age 14 will retire from competition everywhere except British Columbia. In the western province of Canada, standardbreds are allowed to race into their 15th year. The extra year keeps more horses on the track, since the province does not house as many harness horses as the rest of North America, according to our sources.

In other equine-birthday news, happy birthday to all race horses everywhere. On Jan. 1 all racehorses grow older. This, for novice readers, means that most horses graduate the previous conditions in which they could race. Only the largest category, “aged,” which for standardbreds begins at the age four (thoroughbred fillies and colts are still considered fillies and colts at four, whereas standardbreds become mares and horses) continues to race as its own division.

Miami Valley Raceway kicks off its season on Jan. 5 with the largest purses in the track's five-year history. There will be close to $14 million in purses during the 87-day meet, one of the highest purse structures in the sport. The former Lebanon Raceway in Ohio will offer lucrative series at every level. Wagering opportunities include the early double, a Pick 3, Pick 4, 50-cent Lucky Pick 5 (with a 12-percent takeout) on race 10, and a 10-cent Buckeye Hi-5 on Race 12 each program. Carryover provisions apply to the Lucky Pick 5s and Buckeye Hi-5s until a winning ticket surfaces. Miami Valley racing will be presented Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with a 2:05 p.m. post time. Friday and Saturday evening cards’ post is 6:05 p.m.

Yonkers Raceway’s 2018 live racing schedule is intact. The 238-program season is set to begin Jan. 7.  Post times for that matinee and all subsequent 21 Sundays are TBA. Evenings for racing are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday in January, with Thursdays added the next month (posts 7:10 p.m.), The mid-season hiatus goes from May 27-June 7, inclusive, with other breaks around Thanksgiving and Christmas. The fourth renewal of Yonkers International Trot is set for Oct. 13 (post time TBA). Racing ends Dec. 27 ( post time TBA).

What The Hill, the 2017 Dan Patch Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year, What The Hill, will stand the 2018 season in Ohio at Hickory Lane Farm. The winner of $1.26 million had many accomplishments but will forever be known as the trotter whose Hambletonian win was disqualified for interference in 2017. The Ron Burke-trained colt went on to win the Canadian Trotting Classic and an elim and final of the Breeders Crown among his post-Hambletonian credits.

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 ~