We press on this February, hopeful Mother Nature doesn’t cancel track programs bettors can take advantage of our personally chosen harness-race features and our H2W (horses-to-watch) list horses. Last week we hoped to being on a Thursday but our TwinSpires accounts were untouched as harsh winter weather brushed across Atlantic states.

It was also the weekend we introduced “Power Plays,” and although we had to begin the new feature on Friday, that night and Saturday proved successful in many ways. So, we will attempt to launch this week’s playing on Thursday and hope for an appropriate climate to race.

Our Power Plays will include that feature the common wagers (win, place, show), as well as single- and multi-race exotic events. We leave you to pursue which wagering types to make. We report upon the races with suggested contenders that keep in mind the exotics involved. We encourage multiple plays per minimum exotic wager in our pursuit of a big score. Remember the motive is always profit—we don’t ever want to have a worthless exotic ticket that includes some of our finer paying choices.

So pay close attention to our suggested contenders in these feature races and those simply listed on the H2W list. Do your own handicapping, and then compare and consider our selections when betting.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Freehold/ Pick 3/ Races 3,4,5
Thursday, Feb. 16

Outcry drops after his first race at three since a qualifier at the Meadowlands, which he needed after time off from decent performances at Philadelphia. He is the Morning-Line (ML) choice, rightfully, since this field offers little to support. Outcry is the second of two sophomores here; theother is Gump, who drops significantly as he ships in from Dover. Also returning from the ’16 season, and looming boldly as a major contender (and a better price than both mentioned) is Duneside Life. She qualified at the Meadowlands and returns here with less baggage than the two mentioned. In leg one, Race 3, we offer 5, 6 on a Pick-3 ticket. .

The second leg, Race 4, is a consolation for a local series. An Elizabeth Carotenuto entry, Sarno and Gaelic Thunder, is the 2-1 ML favorite. Getting both of these for the price of one could tempt us to add the entry to a ticket, which is doomed to pay a lot of the public choice wins the first leg. We have to go, also, with Keystone Camaro. Two decent fourths at Freehold after a win in a 5G tag, along with odds probably close to his 5-1 ML, make him the ultimate win bet. So, with our choice and the entry bargain, in leg two we offer 1, 1a, 3.

Leg 3 is a conditioned trot with the ML choice, Trottin Troy, coming off a 5G claimer where at 6-1 he broke and was eliminated. To his right are the other two ML choices, CHF Shooting Star and Sheza Tim Too, a pair also dropping. Pumping up this ticket will take a good, not great, performance by 7-1 ML Flowing James. He was 3-1 two back and had early lick. Last week he made an overland-journey move and did not fade. So, in Race 5 we offer only him—5.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Yonkers/ Race 2
Friday, Feb. 17

Yonkers’ Pick 3 (a  $2.00-based exotic) begins with a great possibility of knocking out a lot of ticket-holders. The $18,000 conditioned event offers a second-time-out Ontario-bred four-year-old that may escape the most talented of handicappers. This is Derecho. His 8-1 ML could be a blessing, especially since you will have to take a leap of faith to support him. However, it is not so far fetched that Derecho is in shape and in the spot to win at first crack this season.

Derecho’s qualifier at Yonkers was splendid and his first race this season was skewed by an early duel that fried him at 20-1. In his final 2016 appearance he was interfered with at the start and never developed momentum. Before that he was extremely competitive in soph miles worth more than this conditioner. Is he ready? His sire, Big Jim, has been responsible for a good percentage of winners in the early stages of his siring duties, so Derecho has much going for him that way. This is a great way to finish a Daily Double and to start a Pick-3 ticket—a single do or die and a win bet to boot.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Miami Valley/ Pick 3/ Races 3, 4, 5
Friday, Feb. 17

One of last week’s Pick-3 suggestions, Looking To Score (finished sixth at 7-1) returns this week for a shot at winning the first leg. From post 10 (second tier), Looking To Score was all out by three-quarters with a move that gained 5 lengths on the outside. Our evaluation last week called him a rather consistent trotter, a definite contender with two places at Miami (though in one he was DQ’d and placed fourth) and back class. From post 9 (outside) this week, his odds will be higher, offering a win bet with value and a good single to start the multi-race scheme.

In leg two, Packing Heat returns after finishing second in leg one last week at a huge price. This week, from post 9, he has as good a shot as another big priced place finisher from last week’s last leg, Poison Oak, who gets the rail this time around. Poison Oak is sitting on a win after last week’s second and the two races before where he showed “the kind of sweeping brush that could enjoy the final turn and stretch.” Packing Heat was second at huge odds but couldn’t out-step a 34-1 winner.

The last Pick-3 leg can be singled with Northern Soul, who should be a public choice if not the favorite and Petite Courageuse, which also should be among the top three. Even if either of these two make it home first, the Pick 3 should be a decent reward with our first two leg contenders.

Our suggestions for this Pick 3 are 9/ 1,9/ 4,10. Adjust your ticket as you see fit.

POWER PLAYS

Our exclusive race-wagering attacks, Power Plays, take us again to Northfield Park. In Power Plays races the contenders number as many as the exotic targeted. If we focus on a superfecta we offer four suggestions from the field. Do with them as you wish. Remember a “super box” costs $4.80. To pump that up, consider playing the box more times. As well, consider any other exotics offered for play and don’t ignore win, place or show wagers for horses with considerably large odds.

Northfield/ Race 4
Saturday, Feb. 18

The ML’s best are class-droppers, none with particularly fine recent form. We like best, two from the higher ML caliber, which make this race look like it could deliver some hefty prices. From the middle, Forever Lucky has shown a lot from her recent pair, especially finishing far better than the odds offered. Kelly Blue Chip leaves again from the second tier, post 9, and the lightly raced mare could be bound for a big improvement here.

The top ML choice, Doowrah Double, needs to be in the “super” quartet, although she is bound to bring the price down if she pulls off a win. The true key to a super explosive ticket is the inclusion of Toys Legacy. She need only nose out the second- and third-choices to help deliver gold.

In post order, the superfecta contenders are 9, 5, 1, 4. Adjust your ticket as you see fit.

POWER PLAYS

Northfield/ Race 7
Saturday, Feb. 18

Here is another superfecta Power Play, co-offering a trifecta. A deeper look at St Lads Maggie Mae than has been assessed by her ML shows that the most recent two races have problems we may ignore. She was rolling rather well stepping into this class, so she was stepped up on Jan. 14, racing competently. Then she dropped back into this class and despite a strong brush couldn’t gain much ground around the track’s trademark “Flying Turns.” A win here would boost both exotics considerably.

McArdle Direct steps into higher ground after almost winning last week but for a late traffic incident while gaining ground. Always Sunday is a major threat, stepping down after racing over her head. She has the speed to try to wire the field but it won’t be easy. The crowd will probably adore the likes of Tomei Seelster, an Open contestant being dumped into these conditions. She should be in a quartet mix, though, because getting on the purse grid may be far easier than getting on the board.

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

Buffalo
2/17/17, Red Roll R2; +Bred To Race R4; Shawnee Magic R11; +Machness R12
2/18/17, +Indian Outlaw R8

Cal Expo
2/17/17, Be My Lucky Lady R4; +Swing N Ace R5; +JK Journey R6; Quality Sport R12
 
Dover
2/16/17, +Ideal Magic R12
2/20/17, Sentencing Memo R7; KRs Power Surge R9; Fire In The Belly R14

Flamboro
2/16/17, Lexis Mandy R3; Funny Three R4

Fraser
2/19/17, +Colbaltslaststand R2; +Givemeaminute R4; Cajun Beat R12

Freehold
2/16/17, Soapy Sap R8
2/18/17, +Braveheartedmillie R3; The Bad Deputy R5; +Deny Deny Deny R5

Meadowlands
2/16/17, Haileysgonedancing R3; +Broadies Song R9
2/18/17, City Pie R1; Durant R6; Jacksrluckytoo R8

Meadows
2/18/17, +Mars Man R10
2/20/17, +Dr Drake Romoray R2; +Treasure Gifts K R12

Miami
2/17/17, +Mamas Fallen Angel R12
2/18/17, +ER Truevalue R7
2/19/17, +Dune On Tyime R2

Northfield
2/18/17, Rolling Going Gone R8; Little Santamonica R10; Ms Solongbyebye R11

Northlands
2/18/17, +Speed Shift R5

Pompano
2/18/17, +Abreathofreshart R3

Saratoga
2/19/17, Show Me Up R3; Ideal Willie R8; Jet Settin Mitt R10; Avogadro Hanover R12

Western Fair
2/17/17, +Burma Star R2; +Strong Alibi R3

Yonkers
2/16/17, In Commando R4