Midway through the first month of 2016 we pursue profits again from our personally selected features from tracks carried by TwinSpires. Keep our suggested contenders in mind for win, place, show and all exotics when you create combos for tickets betting the races we cover. Even in races we group with Pick-3 and -4 headlines, there could be great prices all around, so don’t limit your plays to the Pick 3 or 4 if you favor some of our contenders.

We may not explain the horses on our H2W (horses-to-watch list) but you can bet, so to speak, that a great percentage of them play important roles on the toteboard and in single- and multi-race exotics. These horses which come straight from our personal researcher of dozens of races across North America. As always, we wish you luck.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Freehold/Race 6
Thursday, Jan. 14

Spirit Of Truth is on the way up, going into his first event at four after solid performances in this class—interrupted by a pair of losses against tougher at Philadelphia—as 2015 ended. As many of the others here have to drop to get attention, it may prove more profitable to back the horse on its way up. A strong command of the mile from the wood is all this horse needs to begin climbing the class ladder. This is the first leg of a $1 Pick 3. You may want to use the H2W-listed Mysticalman on your ticket.

Freehold/Race 10
Thursday, Jan. 14

Last week, Pacific Escape raced back into conditioners after three lower-level claimers where the public gave him no shot. Yet, he managed to get on the purse grid, finishing fourth in two and second in one. When he returned to this level on Jan 16 he was sent off 8-5 and was victim to an overland trip. In this mile, he looks to and probably can make amends as the beaten favorite last out and offer a decent price to boot. This is the final race of the program and the second half of the late Daily Double.


F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Meadowlands/ Race 8
Friday, Jan. 15

An overland route ruined the chances of Eskimo Joe on his first visit to the Meadowlands from very successful outings at Dover. He was trotting well even after all the hubbub and was placed inside the purse grip from fifth to fourth. He is in the perfect spot here to upset the obvious public choices and should fly. This race is the first leg of a Pick 3.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Charlottetown/ Race 7
Saturday, Jan. 16

Though this is only a six-horse field, the prospects for Capitalism winning could be mistaken by the crowd, as the morning-line choices, dropping from races they have little excuses for losing, get too much attention. Capitalism could not hold on stepping up into this cash-earned conditioner but his attempt to lead the field was strong, including a strenuous brush early and a retake of the lead lost at the half. Off of that race and the win before that, he could pull of a terrific win at a good price.

Yonkers/ Pick 3/ Races 8-10
Saturday, Jan. 16

Leg 1 – Major Trick was blasted in the stretch of an Open last week at Northfield after winning at Batavia and comes back to Yonkers stepping down from his November visits.

Leg 2 – Grand Master is best at this level and could have an edge over his uneven rivals.

Leg 3 – Southwind Indy is fresh and ready for a big race, one he will try to control, as he did when cashing in on Ontario Sires Stakes last year.   

Miami Valley / Pick 4 / Races 9-12
Jan. 16

Entering the second week of the Miami Valley meeting, late-closing action is a major highlight this Saturday, occupying two of the four legs of the late pick four sequence.

The second split of the Claim to Fame series for fillies and mares initiates the Pick 4, with nearly every pacer present being a contender. However, the standout in terms of potential price is Princess Baby Ella, shipping in from Northfield off a second and two wins. Her move to a slightly bigger oval, in accordance with her competitive history over at Northfield against slightly better stock, should make her a major factor.

Male pacers contest in the second leg, with eight pacers aiming to beat probable favorite Ally-con, who starts from the rail. Two guys that could easily topple the new acquisition by Virgil Morgan, Jr. are Sunday Poker and Wildcat Bobby. Parked the mile against tougher competition from post 9, Sunday Poker moves down in class as well as farther inside. Her improved post and drop in class should make her among the tougher horses here. Yet, Wildcat Bobby is an under-the-radar competitor. Racing against horses with higher claiming tags, he showed success at racing from off the pace despite the fact that he did not win a single race in his last five starts. Considering the weak closing ability within this field, Wildcat Bobby, if positioned close enough to the lead, should be able to make some sort of decisive move.

Leg three compiles a group of 10 pacers that have not won 10 races in their lives. Among them are Straight Comic and Pq Three, both dropping to this company from the Open. Straight Comic put in a mediocre performance last out, riding the rail to secure fifth. Pq Three was more involved when he last raced, setting a fast pace just to be caught at the wire by the pocket sitter, settling for second. Going off the favorite in that start, Pq Three could potentially be a good price because of his outside draw. Straight Comic, who raced much better against non-winners of $7,500 before he stepped in to the Open should be a good price just because of his minimalist effort last week.

Finishing one-two in the Open Handicap last week, Talk Strategy and Fancy Creek Elusiv could provide the best value in the final leg. With the public likely jumping onto horses like Astreo’s Love, Freddyscooter, and Sports Sinner just for their fast times, Talk Strategy and Fancy Creek Elsuiv have put in efforts of more substance. Traveling first over and grinding his way to victory, Talk Strategy bested favored Fancy Creek Elusiv, with Fancy Creek Elusiv battling to the finish after dueling for the lead as soon as he got there. While they both draw worse than they did last week, they should have no problem overcoming their draws.

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
1/16/16, Bruisin N Cruisin R7
1/17/16, Twice The Ruckus R3; Midnight Destroyer R9; Codey Shark R12

Charlottetown
1/16/16, +Shadow Code R2; Night Talker R3; +Lyons Katina R4; +Lucksgottachange R4; +Every Day R10; +Red Magician R10

Dover
1/18/16, +Mister Truth R7

Flamboro
1/17/16, +Lets Leavem R9

Fraser
1/15/16, +National Interest R4; +Ideal Cash R6; +Steal The Diamonds R9

Freehold
1/14/16, +Sweet Miss Cantab; +Mysticalman R7; +Civic Duty R7

Hawthorne
1/14/16, Da Terror R6

Meadowlands
1/14/16, +Bib Bang Hanover R11

Meadows
1/18/16, +Mateo M R3

Miami
1/15/16,+My Hare Lady R4; +Sand Fortune R13; +Electrify R14
1/17/16, Flying Rocket R4; Master Of Desire R8; +Dixieland Band R12

Monticello
1/14/16, +Practiced Perfect R4

Northfield
1/16/16, +Desperate Crowds R7; +Shell Bell R13

Pompano
1/16/16, +Body Double R6; +Beach Blast R9

Woodbine
1/15/16, +Tower Of Power R3
1/16/16, +Mckinney R8; +D Gs Pesquero R11

Yonkers
1/14/16, +Goddess’s Rosa R1
1/15/16, +Outa My Head R1; +Regal Rocky R1;+Major Dancer R4; +Narcion Jewell R11
1/16/16, +Caviart Luca R1

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition