Harness bettors’ consciousnesses are fickle. Sometimes you lose so much you crave a winner at almost any price, mostly because a long string of losers makes one feel as if one will never win again. It’s human nature. Another strange characteristic comes when you have winners that refuse to pay “enough.” You never really distinguish how much is enough, you just don’t feel right when you win a few and you have to share so much of their success with the crowd in the form of a low payoff.
From last week’s Horses to Watch List (H2W), we had two winners.
At Batavia, we gave you Vintage Fenom ($6.50) and Right Back At You ($3.20) on Nov. 23. These two leave the list but if you like them next out off of the win and they are offering decent prices, you could back them again. The two others on the Batavia H2W list remain another race. One of them, Anastasia Willie was third at 21-1).
There were two seconds at Lebanon, Request To Win (11-1) and Clem’s Pride (5-2). These two remain listed, along with the other four on the Lebanon H2W list.
The Cal Expo H2W list gave out Cruisin Inmybeamer, who finished third at 8-1, and two others. Of those two, Delightful Shark scratched, so he gets two more chances.
At press time only two of three raced from the Balmoral H2W list and they were both off the board.
In the next blog, later this week, we will update the list and add entries as well as rename those with more chances (non winners).
News And Notes
The Meadows released its racing schedule for 2013. The western Pennsylvania track’s 50th anniversary season will feature 208 live cards, highlighted by the Delvin Miller Adios on July 20 and July 27. Generally, the Meadows will race four days each week, Monday and Tuesday at 12:55 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday at 6:55 p.m. The schedule also features 13 Saturday cards, including both Adios programs, in the spring and summer. A two-week summer break from live racing begins Aug. 17.
Pocono Downs looks to 2013 featuring another hosting platform for the Breeders Crown. Opening night is March 23, the 48th season for the eastern Pennsylvania track. Post time will be 6:30 p.m, with racing taking place on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays through May.
A special doubleheader program will be featured on Kentucky Derby day, May 4, with the first post time of 11 a.m., and the second post immediately following the 139th running of the prestigious race. In June and July, racing moves to five nights a week, maintaining a post of 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. A special earlier post of 3:30 p.m. on Fridays is a new addition to the race card.
The Breeders Crown will be held on one night, Saturday (Oct. 19). Eliminations for the huge night of racing will be held on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12. TwinSpires hopes to once again have us on site at Pocono for elims and finals evening, monitoring exclusive coverage of the historic night of world-class racing.
Racing in August through Nov. 16 will continue on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (with the early post) and Saturday. A total of 140 race days are scheduled. The track will be closed March 31 and the week of Sept. 8 for the Pennsylvania Oktoberfest.
Buffalo Raceway, in Hamburg, N.Y., opens its 71st season of harness racing on Jan. 9 with renewed optimism. Structural improvements on the grounds include two new barns and major repairs on existing facilities, with the racing surface “improved” according to officials. Horsemen are also happy about the plan to increase purses by 10 percent daily.
All of this contributes to better racing as the usual schedule ensues. Programs will be offered with a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday format. The post time for Wednesdays will be 5 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays will be at 6:40 p.m. Thursdays are added in April. Sunday afternoon racing returns in June and July.
Buffalo is pleased to announce that they have joined with the USTA Strategic Wagering Program, offering a guaranteed $5,000 Pick-4 wagering pool every Wednesday in January, February and March. Also offered, beginning opening day, will be a guaranteed $5,000 Pick-7 payout.
Cartoons by Thom Pye