As North America’s temperatures dive during the waning days of December, there are hot contenders to support for TwinSpires account-holders. Partners For Picks at Philadelphia launch a score of events with promises for big returns across the continent. We are on top of much action, even as we begin to tally our 2017 winners for our annual report blog. We are happy to add to that list this mid-month weekend.

The weekly H2W (the horses-to-watch) list again offers suggestions for winners across the board. We urge you to consider them after you do your own handicapping and then use our H2W selections when playing any types of bets.

PARTNERS FOR PICKS

Philadelphia’s Pick 4 begins with Race 2 on Thursday, Dec. 14. It is the subject of this week’s Partners For Picks (PFP) This PFP suggest some outside contenders, as we foresee them, to use in a multi-race exotic (consider them for other bets, too.  

Leg one, Race 2
Anianne Hanover has had two recent efforts at Philadephia and was good in both of them. Her second two back at 37-1 was a late charge worthy of the finish and the one after that she closed, just not quickly enough, but was still within 2 lengths of the winner, though getting sixth. The two obvious morning-line (ML) choices are vulnerable and apt to do some speeding that could leave the path open to start this Pick 4 with a longshot.

Leg two, Race 3
We would accept a number of arguments for winners in this tough conditioned trot. There is an outsider, though, that’s one perhaps to be overlooked. Abbie’s Celticlass leaves from post 7 with a 9-1 ML after a pair of strong efforts, her most recent going off at 9-2. She was not shamed in higher company at Yonkers in the three before that and has won at Pocono at a higher level than this event.

Leg three, Race 4
It’s difficult to imagine that The Only One will go off as high as his 5-1 ML but the track handicapper gives better shots to the pair of trotters to his right. The Only One comes from a higher level where he went off at 5-2 after dropping into it and the sole reason for his fifth finish was a tough two quarters going first over. A strong-paying ticket would not leave her out.

Leg four, Race 5
Odysseus has not raced since Oct. 17 at Yonkers, having come from a tough sires-stakes campaign at Mohawk. Don’t hold the hiatus against her, she has some class and has definitely raced with better than this lot. It’s a good race for her to strike at a price, too because she may very well go back to her Oct. 9 form at Yonkers where she was a dynamo on the four turns.

POWER PLAYS

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Dayton / Race 3
Friday, Dec. 15

The usual three exotics are in play for this conditioned trot, which is also the first leg of a Pick 4. Our Power Play races suggest four contenders that may participate in any or all of the exotics with a promise to yield strong prices. Here they are in post-position order:

Bookem has every right to step up here, as he is coming off a well-earned win at Northfield, which he stepped up into from a Dayton affair where he finished second and was awarded a judges’ win. His 12-1 ML is harsh and perhaps won’t stick, especially if the public is as tough on the ML favorites as deserved.

ABC Dynamite has two strong excuses for failing in his recent pair at odds of 28-1 and 13-1. Most specifically, his Northfield race two back was a hard-hitting try on the outside. Last week, stepping up again he had no chance from post 7 while leaving slowly. Also, horses coming from Northfield have been punished in the pools as if racing at Dayton is a big step up. His win at Northfield three back should be respected, not dismissed.

I’ll Have Another should race much better among foes here than recently at Dayton. Changing conditioners from a successful campaign at Plainridge, his Dec. 4 race was hampered by an overland trip that found him tiring late. He is bound to be in the mix here and well supported.

The second-choice ML Hurricane Hazel has enough early lick to get in position, if not the lead, early. She could, in fact, try to steal this by getting to the front and control the quareters. No matter the shape of the race at the start, however, she is most likely to be deeply involved with the exotic results.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Meadowlands / Race 5
Friday, Dec. 15

This is another conditioned event that comes into focus for us, mostly due to Roger Mach Em. A co-favorite in his first visit to the Meadowlands since campaigning in higher company at Philadelphia, he finished fifth with the usual excuse—leaving from post 8 he dueled to get the lead and was short from the effort as four horses went by him. Here he won’t go off as low as then, especially since the crowd won’t be happy with low-profile driver William Mann. They invested in Mann last race and lost, so here they will make the human element weigh heavily and support the familiar drivers’ rides.

Brett Miller is listed on the early program proofs on four horses. Whichever horse he chooses will get significant action and whom so ever picks up the other three drives will most likely be fan favorites. Jim Marohn, Jr.’s pacer, leaving from post 2, will get action. Fans even know Eric Carlson far better than Mann, so Roger Mach Em could offer a better price than the obvious contenders. Ron Burke’s All It Takes, Miller-driven or not, will get support, too.

POWER PLAYS

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Meadows / Race 11
Saturday, Dec. 16

Pick your exotic for this conditioned pace, which is also the first leg of a late Daily Double. Power Play races suggest four contenders that may participate in any or all of the exotics with a promise to yield strong prices. Here they are in post-position order:

For a few reasons, the betting public and the track handicapper have given little chance for Warp Factor Three to win. A 15-1 ML may be due to a provisional driver and two recent losses at this level. Neither is a sturdy estimation for those kinds of odds. Those recent two events are strong efforts and the pony has some class worth the attention.

Silverhill Blaze at 3-1 is a good estimation and he is bound to be in the exotic mix. He steps down after stepping up over his head but fits right into this bunch, which has a few hikers. Most of his efforts near Pittsburgh have been in claimers where he showed his value cashing a bunch of checks.

Artache Hanover takes a step up but he has earned it and appears in fine fettle to get on the grid if not win, which would be an upset. Still, as a number of any winning combo he should contribute a few bucks to the payoff.

ML-favorite Nitro Seelster has won around this level and raced well from outside posts, so today’s launch from post 8 should not be much of a problem to be a member of the top four at the finish.


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

Batavia
12/15/17, Miss Irish Rose A R8

Cal-Expo
12/15/17, I’m Blue Too R6
12/16/17, +A Tributeto Kate R5; +Yeswellnomaybe R6; +Touch Of The Past R7

Charlottetown
12/16/17, +Hopedale Paris R4; +All Out R13

Dayton
12/15/17, +Char N Marg R10

Meadowlands
12/16/17, Melmerby Beach R1; Cuz I’m Happy R2; Roll Away Joe R3; +Western Joe R3

Meadows
12/16/17, +Jude Hall R3; +Tsunami Seelster R6; Mission Man R6

Monticello
12/14/17, Overtime Hanover R5; Lordbullville R6; Mr Sideburns R8

Northfield
12/16/17, +Somewhere Sweet R3; +Nashville Nasty R8; +Little Santamonica R8; +Thebigbamtheory R9; +Champaign Shower R12

Northlands
12/16/17, +Alpha Bagel Hanover R6; +Top It Up R6
 
Northville
12/15/17, +Mystical Flower R5; +Quick Thrill R10; +Hootintootinhannah R11; +Benns Clearout R11; Quiet Charmer R11

Pompano
12/17/17, +Mach Power R2; +R Chism R7; +Annihilator R7

Rideau-Carleton
12/14/17, +Nips Beach Girl R5; +Jeremeyes Jewel R9; +Steuben Gladiator R10

Rosecroft
12/16/17, +Psychic Blue Chip R1

Saratoga
12/14/17, +Dream Ball R12

Yonkers
12/15/17, +Sutton Seelster R2; Lady Shadow R11
12/17/17, +Teasin N Pleasin R11