We move on as December emerges. After the last of the season’s featured stakes we plowed through the first weekend with our selected features and a bevy of suggested contenders to play in any pool and also consider in single- and multi-race exotics.

The Progress Pace on Thursday, Nov. 30 went exactly as the masses expected and wanted, leaving our choice, Fear The Dragon ($2.10, $2.10) second to his stable mate, Downbytheseaside ($2.60, $2.10, $2.10) with a paltry $3.20 exacta. We did want “Fear” to go off higher than 8-5 but the crowd was convinced in the order of finish. Our possible triple partner, Western Joe (21-1) finished fourth.

In the Delaware-bred finals on the same Dover program, we delivered one winner. Though we thought the frosh-filly trotter would go off higher, Go Sandy Go ($6.40, $3.60, $2.40) paid well enough considering the weight of crowd co-favorites. In the frosh colt trot were were third with Brother Kenny ($5.00), who lost to the longest shot of the stakes’ quartet, a 6-1 shot. We were also third in the colt pace with Transitioning Joy ($2.80). The filly trot saw us come home fouth with Alpine Chic (26-1).

Friday, the first day of December, we engaged in another Partners For Picks (PFP), this one at Saratoga. Beginning with Race 6, the program called for a Pick 5, a Pick 4 starting with leg two (Race 7) of the Pick 5, and a Pick 3 beginning with the third leg (Race 8) of the Pick 5.

Leg one knocked out enough players to cause a “no payout” for the Pick 5. A 10-1 shot defeated our Dream Ball (16-1), who finished sixth.

In leg two were offered two contenders, both beaten by the public’s second choice. We were fourth with DW’sblissfulthinkn (15-1) and sixth with Norma Rei (43-1). In leg three the heavy favorite won, beating our Twin B Onaroll (25-1), who never raced but a step and finished ninth.

We won leg three as the public latched onto our contender, Carrickmannon N ($3.80, $2.50, $2.90 ok). Another top choice won leg five, while we were fifth with West Liberty (17-1). The Pick 4 paid a mere $38.13 and the Pick 3 returned a shameful $12.05.

All losing horses in our selected features for P4P and Power Plays will appear in the following week’s horses-to-watch list (H2W).

This weekend’s Power Play action was presented at Northfield on Dec. 2.


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 50 active horses (a 8-percent win hit rate and a 36-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

Ibanez, $11.80, $5.40, $3.20, Northfield
Shesa Writes Right, $8.00, $10.80, $9.40 ok, Scarborough
Iron Dome, $3.60, $2.60, $2.20, Meadowlands
Perfect Mass, $2.50, $2.40, $2.20, Rideau-Carleton

Seconds

Gambler’s Tale, $14.40, $8.00, Freehold
Red Dress Baby, $5.40, $2.80 (Exacta $22.00), Northville
Deweydidonegood, $3.20, $2.40 (Exacta $4.40), Cal-Expo
Mucho Macho Man, $2.60, $2.40, Cal-Expo
Raiders Lastchance, $2.40, $2.40 ok (Exacta $4.80), Northfield
Captain Terminator, n/p, n/s, Northlands

Thirds

Prince Jubilee, $4.60, Pompano
Carlos Mittanna, $4.40, Pompano
PC Shockwave, $4.40, Northville
Happy Giggles, $3.20, Dover
Teasin N Pleasin, $3.20, Meadowlands
Franscholde, $3.00, Woodbine
Makin Money Fast, $2.80, Rosecroft
So Sublime, $2.60, Dover



News & Notes

The 2018 Buffalo Raceway meet is gathering momentum, filling stalls as horsemen commit to making the New York track the headquarters for their stock. It will be an 88-day campaign. There are concerns, however, for a possible shortage of race horses, according to track officials. Buffalo will open for horsemen on Wednesday, Jan. 3, with the first racing program scheduled for Friday, Jan. 12, at 5 p.m.

Long Tom, a son of Muscle Hill, has been retired to stud duty at Midland Acres in Ohio. Long Tom won Grand Circuit stakes at two and three. As a three-year-old he was a major contender on the Hambletonian Trail, dominating the New Jersey Sires Stakes at the Meadowlands. He never met all of his expectations as a racehorse, however, even though he twice defeated What The Hill. He broke in the Hambletonian elimination heat and didn’t make the final. Trained by Marcus Melander, Long Tom is out of the mare Ilia, a daughter of Windsong’s Legacy (a trotting triple crown winner). Long Tom will be syndicated and his fee for the 2018 breeding season has been set at $3,000.

On the strength of three double-digit winners, driver Kayne Kauffman was a flat-bet profit driving five winners on Nov. 27 at Dayton. Kayne had a dozen drives in the 13-race program. His highest priced winner was $30.60, followed by a winner at $17.60 and another at $13.40. His other two were low-priced favorites. The price to follow Kayne as the only handicapping factor that day was $26.00; the return was $70.40.

Congratulations to a good friend and supporter of this blog, Moira Fanning, as she steps up in the Hambletonian Society. The society’s executive committee named Moira COO. Moira has been with the society since 1988, when we moved from Tennessee to Pennsylvania to work in the industry’s newly developed news magazine TIMES: in harness. We worked with Moira through two decades in many aspects of the industry and she was the driving force behind the creation of our spin-off blogs, The Hambletonian Trail and Breeders Crown Countdown. We hope to continue our partnership with the society in its support of the harness bettor through our blogs in association with TwinSpires.



Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.

For Thom Pye cartoons, informative harness history and more, click here ~