Dateline Canada, Woodbine Racetrack, Oct. 24. A dozen fields of standardbreds take flight in the final fields of the season’s championship series—The Breeders Crown. There is little argument that these fields are adorned with the best from all harness racing divisions. The trick is to find ways to profit from them.
This is always our goal at the TwinSpires harness blogs, which is why you will read mention of horses here that you will not read about from the “expert” handicappers.
This week is the final of our exclusive Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC) blog, where we have been covering the races that contributed to delivering the “Crown” fields to this sterling program in Woodbine. In the final blog we deal with finals concerning the freshman trotters and pacers. TwinSpires’ harness consultants have worked in league with the Hambletonian Society.
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In order of their appearance (with the two-year-old events covered in the BCC, here is our analysis of how we may defy the public and profit from each Crown final on the program.
Open mare trot ($250,000) final
D One will attempt to ignite a stream of top choices. Deserving of favorite status, she should have all the confidence in the world, as well as all the win bets. Mildly supported foes won’t make a dent in the win pool. We think this is the toughest race to try for an upset, since we have to hope for D One to break stride, which is not a good handicapping factor.
Our second choice may go along with the crowd if there is interest in Rockin With Dewey. That would be our upset win wager. She cold offer odds worth a shot if the crowd buys into Shake It Cerry, Bax Of Life and Classic Martine.
Three-year-old filly pace ($500,000) final
We were supporting Divine Caroline before she began her three-race streak and here she comes from the rail bound to be the dead-on favorite. But we contend that this competitive division remains filled with combative foes that can make her Crown-final night a downer.
Our outside contender here is far outside; not in post but certainly in favor. From the center of the field, in post 5, rides Mosquito Blue Chip. Her racing lines are laden with excuses like breaks, tough trips and post disadvantages. That being true, she has a super earning percentage and will be in the perfect spot to find a late path, if a duel scenario ensues. It could, too, because from the outside, expect Sassa Hanover to fire first and take on “Caroline” for a good spot or the lead. The Show Returns may have early foot as well and the surprise element, Frost Damage Blues, could also help spoil the first half with tiring speed.
Can “Mosquito” buzz through it all with a ground-saving rush late? Certainly she could and it would knock the exotics off their toteboard light bulbs. In any event, use Mosquito in the mix.
Three-year-old filly trot ($500,000) final
Mission Brief lost to Wild Honey in Kentucky and gets the 7 hole while “Honey” gets the 3 hole in the final. Elegant Serenity will go from post 10 in her recent race to post 1 and certainly leave off the gate with early foot, though Honey is bound to take over before the first quarter. Classical Annie will find a good spot to coast on the inside from post 2, Speak To Me will hope to haunt the front speed and blah, blah, blah until Mission Brief makes a crucial brush and wins.
That’s a lot of internal action for an obvious conclusion but that is the most likely scenario baring any breaks of unknown traffic problems. “Mission” could surrender a nose to Honey in another scenario, much like the one in Kentucky but we think she will take control. The outsider, then, is Classical Annie. She was second to Mission two back at 57-1 and has been racing with conviction since she took a division of the Buckette (we gave her to you then). She will offer much money and if she doesn’t out-trot the Mission rush she could be right there as she was in the Bluegrass, Mission’s partner in a powerful exotic.
Three-year-old colt trot ($500,000) final
Over the past few weeks, public confidence in Pinkman has made us much money. Not only has he won and paid plump prices but when we gave you him in the Kentucky Futurity along with a big-paying price horse—Crescent Fashion, also in this race—the exacta price made headlines. We can only hope the betting community remains as disloyal this time because, as we have said all season, “Through thick and thin the answer is Pinkman.”
Doing as we did last week, we will hone in on a pricey exactor companion—if in fact he offers to assist in a strong payoff—Muscle Diamond. We can only assume at press time that the crowd will dismiss him for other Takter trotters, as well as some locals but we will be watching for as long as it takes to make an intelligent decision.
Three-year-old colt pace ($531,250) final
Similar to the case of Pinkman and the public comes Artspeak. He presented fabulous prices late in the betting in his recent two wins. Through the season Wiggle It Jiggleit thwarted his prowess but Artspeak was always better than most expected. We continually supported him and he delivered in many wagering concoctions.
Artspeak may once again offer more to win than we calculate his chances, since Freaky Feet Pete and Wakizashi Hanover are among the cast. Although “Pete” has been consistent and won an elim against horses he never faced at a track where he never raced, Artspeak is inherently better and in such fine fettle now that it is impossible to pass another great price for him. For a strong exactor, you may want to follow the odds of In The Arsenal, who was a surprising 15-1 in his elim.
Open mare pace ($250,000) final
The pacing mares are, as they always appear to us, engaged in another enigma mile, so to speak. We emphasize recent performance, then, and expect price and pace from Sandbetweenurtoes. Winning the Ellamony at Flamboro Downs may look “cheap” to handicappers but her style seems perfect for this speed route, which could be a shuffle by three-quarters, and “Sand” could be able to recreate her Flamboro flair with a good cover trip. An exactor will include Colors A Virgin for us.
Open trot ($531,250) final
Creatine was supplemented for this race. That being said, we move on to what could be a great price for a strong competitor—Resolve. Let’s face it, Bee A Magician will suck in win money faster than you can say “presto,” so how could we not take advantage of a great price on a great horse? With some rest on his side he should be able to easily score over “Bee” who could be short after a long campaign and the trauma of the International Trot.
Open pace ($400,000) final
Foiled Again is up to his old tricks, finding a full tank of fuel to unleash his fast fury in the finals. But there is nothing empirical about the legendary earner’s autumn surges, so let’s ignore his elim win and seek a price worthy of our financing the finale of the program.
A lot of Canadian dollars will be spoken for with State Treasurer and McWicked. Foiled Again will take money based on last week’s outing. Always B Miki, who may ultimately be the best, will soak in some dough, too. Where does that leave Jk Endofanera? If it brings gets him a third-, fourth- or even fifth-choice status, he could take this the way he took the North America Cup last year and maybe at the same price.
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.
10/23/15, Sign Of Thunder R8
10/24/15, +Bags Of Money R1; Bad Bad Boy R4; +Bad Fox R7
10/24/15, Awhimaway R6; Sayitlikeyoumeanit R8; Twilight Raes R10
10/22/15, +Briannas Angel R1; Kims PJs R2
10/23/15, New Zion R4; Lucky Virgin R5; Bossy R5; Come Along Sadie R5; +Ivory Collection R13; Janinne R13
10/24/15, Wattafind R6
10/22/15, +Spearmint Rhino R12
10/23/15, Imrunninonsunshine R2; Gray Glory R3; +Centala Wizard R8; +Thieving Magpie R10; Rock Allstar R10
10/23/15, Cruisin Northwest R2
10/24/15, Good Side R7
10/22/15, +Certainly ae R3; +Fly Away Bumblebee R6; +Moon In My Shine R9; Carolinia R9
10/23/15, Cue Hall R4; Lindy Land R6
10/23/15, +Victorious Valle R9; SF Deuce R11
10/22/15, Whom Shall I Fear R9
10/23/15, +Bo Tox Hanover R5; Sweet Time R12
10/25/15, Blood Brother R12
10/22/15, Here Is The Future R1; +Allamerican Extra R8
10/23/15, Rock Market R5
10/22/15, Diana Blue Chip R3
10/23/15, +Whata Winner R7
10/25/15, Youre News R5
10/23/15, Proud Flag R5; Happy N Snappy R8; Twice Too Nice R12
10/23/15, +Be Pacific R7
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition