The late-season rage of public favorites is leaving little room for overlays. Our horses-to-watch list (H2W) picked up the best win prices available and a few place prices that rivaled win pools.

As well, here is the rundown

The quartet of frosh Matron Stakes at Dover on Nov. 9 delivered two dead-on favorites, a second choice and a 6-1 winner.

In the colt trot we were second with Samo Different Day ($2.20, $2.10). He wound up the favorite, beaten by the second choice with the third choice being our second choice, I Know My Rights ($2.20) and the trio presenting a paltry $13.00 trifecta.

We were third in the filly trot with SMS Princes ($3.00), beaten by the public choice. In the filly pace we were third with Aims Whisper ($10.00), while we tanked with Python Blue Chip (11-1), who finished sixth.

In the colt pace we took second with Closing Statement ($7.20, $3.80) and off the board with Karpathian Kid (5-1) while a 6-1 won.

Friday we found an outside contender at Dayton in a selected feature but Power Of Justice (41-1) finished fifth to the race favorite.

A few races later on the Dayton program we offered a quartet for the Superfecta, contributing two of the four, including the winner, Saint Beth ($12.40, 3.80, $3.80 ok) and the show horse, Blue Swa ($7.80). Our other two suggestions were Mickeys House (6-1) and Lady Edith (23-1), finishing sixth and ninth, respectively.

This weekend’s Partners For Picks (PFP) offered six outside contenders at Northfield. Any one of them, no less a pair or a trio, winning would have boosted this exotic, which surrendered to four public choices and one second public choice.

In the first leg we were second with Happy To Scoot ($4.60, $2.20, Exacta $5.60). In the second leg we were fifth with Rescue Team (21-1). The third leg offered two for possible addition to a ticket, including Esteemed Members ($4.00) finishing third and Raiders Lastchance (8-1) crossing the wire right behind her. Leg 4 put our contender into play, but Annakate ($3.00) finished third. The last leg carried hope for pumping up a payoff with our contender, Just Nattie (52-1) but she finished seventh to another favorite. The Pick 5 paid $134.80. If you had the public-choice winners on a ticket you stacked with our contenders and/or other horses that may have paid more, your profit was greatly decreased (and if you had a huge ticket, the profit was decimated). PFP will continue throughout the off season to present outside contenders that will benefit any sized ticket in which you invest.


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 40 active horses (a 13-percent win hit rate and a 38-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

Champaign Punch, $25.60, $9.40, $3.20, Plainridge
Fly Away, $10.40, $5.20, $3.20, Cal-Expo
Hooray For Nicky, $9.80, $3.20, $2.60, Bangor
Prettyndangerous, $6.50, $4.80, $3.50, Charlottetown
King Of The Hill, $4.60, $2.80, $2.40, Philadelphia

Seconds

Fly’n Ellie, $26.20, $8.40, Northville
Gural Hanover, $3.80, $3.00, Philly
Ragins Flight, $3.40, $2.60, Cal-Expo

Thirds

Forced Passage, $8.00, Plainridge
One Chief, $5.60, Cal-Expo
Donato Artist, $3.00, Freehold
Ocean Colony, $3.00, Meadowlands
No Worries Mon, $2.60, Bangor
Tame The Dice, $2.40, Cal-Expo
Be My Lucky Lady, $2.20, Cal-Expo


News & Notes

Soph-colt pacer Fear The Dragon was back on the track and in good shape after a miserable Breeders Crown elim where he finished last. On Nov. 9 in a Dayton qualifier, he easily disposed of seven rivals, pacing to a mile victory in 1:53.4. Fear The Dragon’s time was nearly a full second faster than his nearest rival, Waterside Champ, with a last quarter in :27.3. Trained by Brian Brown, who said after the Breeders Crown debacle that “Fear” was sick, said now the colt may be supplemented to the Matron Stakes or Progress Pace at Dover.

Pocono Downs will be ending its 2017 season on Nov. 25. The track announced the meet’s champions, though, and celebrated some in a track ceremony on Nov. 11 and the others on Nov. 18. Top pacing honors went to Maxdaddy Blue Chip; Trotting honors went to Upfront Billy; claimer of the year was Pounce Hanover; and mare of the year was Celebrity Eventsy.

The Meadowlands made a small change to its wagering format as of Nov. 11. With the start of the Pick-10 Survivor on the first race, the 50-cent Pick 5 was moved back to start on Race 2 to avoid overlap between the two wagers. In addition, the early Pick 4 moves back to start on Race 4 and the late Pick 4 starts on Race 8. The guarantees for all four wagers remain in place. The Pick-10 Survivor carries a $10,000 guarantee; the Pick 5 and early Pick 4 have a $25,000 guarantee; and the late Pick 4 has a $50,000 guarantee.

Soph-pacer Downbytheseaside will join the stud roster at Diamond Creek Farm for 2018. He was one of the top sophomores this season, second only to Fear The Dragon after Huntsville was retired. Downbytheseaside began the season ruling the half-mile at Yonkers in the Messenger and Art Rooney and he set a half-mile record of 1:49.3 winning the Carl Milstein on Northfield’s Flying Turns, defeating Fear The Dragon. With Fear The Dragon tanking badly in the Breeders Crown, Downbytheseaside dominated the division’s events at Hoosier. He won the following week, also, sans battling Fear The Dragon, in the Monument Circle, winning in 1:48.3.

Guy Gagnon won seven of 10 races driving at Rideau-Carleton on Nov. 9. Six were favorites and one was the public’s second choice. He had eight drives on the program, costing $16 for anyone using him as a lone-wagering reason. His winners returned a total of $30.20, a profit of $14.20, almost 1-1.

Plainridge has been doing so much better with its harness racing programs since becoming a “racino” that it asked the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to host 100 race dates for the 2018 season. The commission seems to be on the verge of approving the request, telling Plainridge officials they are looking at live harness racing to get underway with that schedule on April 16 to run through Nov. 29.


Extraordinary Extras

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