It was another busy week of features as the Grand Circuit moved south to TwinSpires country with the sport’s top stars arriving in Lexington, Kentucky. It began for harness racing and for us on Thursday, Sept. 28 at The Red Mile with five Bluegrass divisions for frosh-colt trotters.

Our sole winner in the quintet was Fashionwoodchopper ($10.60, $5.40, $2.40). He was the second highest-paying winner of the five splits. Three of the other four were won by favorites and two of those combined in exactas with our choices finishing second. We had Dawson Springs ($3.60, $3.20) partner an exacta worth $8.80 and Can’t Afford It ($4.00, $3.00) the place in an exacta worth $17.00.

Our two off-the-board contenders were Night Rhythm (9-1), finishing fifth, and Hill Street (81-1), who got home seventh.

Other Grand Circuit action on Friday, Sept. 29 at The Red Mile found only two of our contenders (both seconds) in the money, both losing to huge favorites. In the five splits for frosh-filly trotters we had Swing It Cathy ($2.20, $2.40 ok) in a $6.60 exacta and Ciao Dolce ($5.80, $3.60) in an $8.40 exacta. Ciao Dolce, by the way, went off at 88-1.

Also on Sept. 29, the Grand Circuit offered afternoon Simpson stakes at Philadelphia. There were seven splits for frosh-filly trotters and frosh-filly pacers. One of our choices, Eob The Blind, scratched, while three others broke stride and were eliminated—Mighty Macko (1-9), Fish Is Fish (8-1) and Donttellvoula (22-1). We took a third with Alter Gal ($3.60) and finished fourth with Better Than Happy (16-1) and She’s In For Life (7-1).

Saturday, Sept. 30 we went for one of two Keystone Classics at the Meadows and wound up with the favorite, Freakonomics ($2.10, $2.10), who lost to a 6-1 shot.

BREEDERS CROWN COUNTDOWN

Perfectly explained by us and perfectly executed by the connections, Pasithea Face S ($9.00, $3.80, $3.20) won the Dayton Trotting Derby on Sept. 29 at Dayton Raceway against the toughest crowd of older guys and gals faced since coming to the U.S. We nailed it.

The other feature that night was also at Dayton—the Pacing Derby. We were third with Missile J ($3.20), beaten by 5-1 Rockin Ron.

**A quick note and apology from last week’s H2W list. We incorrectly identified horses to wager upon at Pompano when in fact the local stakes action was a non-betting program. We are following Pompano’s pari-mutuel meet which began Oct. 1.

Our intentions for the top stakes at Northlands Park on Saturday, Sept. 30, were well meant. In the Northlands Filly Pace we won with Outlaw Fireball ($8.10, $4.50, $3.50). In the Western Pacing Derby for colts we were second to the favorite with Senga Nitro ($4.50, $3.40), igniting an exacta with the favorite that paid $31.90.


H2W LIST RESULTS

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 27 active horses (a 19-percent win hit rate and a 48-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

Winners

Keystone Rocco, $9.80, $3.40, $3.20, Northlands
Alta Jerome N, $5.30, $3.20, $2.70, Yonkers
She’s Even Hotter, $4.30, $2.90, $2.20, Monticello
April Moonlight, $3.40, $2.80, $2.40, Northlands
It’s Complicated, $3.80, $2.60, $2.10, Philadelphia

Seconds

Chickenwithabanjo, $3.70, $2.30, Batavia
Southwind Jaden, $3.30, $2.90, Northlands
Camco Titan, $2.80, $2.40, Plainridge
Pinkman, $2.80, $2.20, Red Mile

Thirds

El Puncho, $11.80, Northlands
Forced Passage, $5.20, Plainridge
Got It Good, $5.20, Northfield
TKR’s Metro Specs, $2.20, Monticello


News & Notes

Rosecroft is back and this time on weekends. After running on Tuesdays and Thursdays the past several meets, the Maryland harness track will race live every Saturday and Sunday. The meet (which will be covered in our H2W liste weekly) goes from Oct. 1 through Dec. 23, with Fridays on Nov. 3 and Nov. 24. The post is 6:40 p.m. Management hopes to build a better audience with weekend programs than on weekdays.  The $100,000 Potomac will return on Sunday, Nov. 5. The inaugural Potomac was won by All Bets Off

The field for the million-dollar Yonkers International Trot is nearing completion. According to race secretary Steve Starr, nine of the 10 entries set to go on Oct. 14 in the 1 1 ¼  miles classic have been finalized. They are, alphabetically (with country of representation)…Dreammoko (FRA); Marion Marauder (CAN); Midnight Hour (FIN); Oasis Bi (ITA); On Track Piraten (SWE); Resolve (USA, defending champion); Shadow Woodland (FIN); Tripolini VP (DEN); and Twister Bi (ITA). Starr also said the fields for the pair of $250,000 Invitationals (Dan Rooney Pace and Harry Harvey Trot), will be announced shortly. Those races, plus the $1.8-million New York Day of Champions (eight NYSS finals at $225,000 each), comprise the $3.3-million program. The post for the 11-race, all-stakes card is 1 p.m.

The Illinois Racing Board approved harness race dates for the 2018 season in the state. Suburban Downs at Hawthorne Race Course will host a total of 112 programs of harness racing in 2018. Hawthorne will host live cards from Jan. 5 through Feb. 19 and will race four nights per week (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays). The track will race on Monday, Feb. 5 and Monday, Feb. 19 but will be dark on Thursday, Jan. 11 and Feb. 4. Hawthorne’s second meet will get underway on May 4 and run through Sept. 24. During that period, the track will race four nights per week (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays). The track will race on Monday, July 2 and Monday, Sept. 24.


Extraordinary Extras

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