Winter is setting in and stakes racehorses are relaxing until after their birthdays on Jan. 1. However, the shrewd bettor never rests and we are, as we do every year, prepared to address selected features at racetracks across North America to keep TwinSpires account-holders at work to finish the calendar year with more bucks.

Partners For Picks continues for a run at bigger pots, featuring multi-race exotic suggestions that, more times than not, are a financial benefit for your tickets. As well, we have Power Play features for you exotic players.

The weekly H2W (the horses-to-watch) list also takes no rest and offers suggestions for winners across the board, so do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections when playing any types of bets. Of course, be fully armed with a plentiful TwinSpires betting account.


FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Meadowlands / Race 3
Thursday, Dec. 7

This conditioned trot launches the early Pick 4 presenting some inconsistent types. A mixture of questionable classes, it seems this could be a good spot for Trot Commander. His first trip at the Meadowlands, last week in a 10G claimer, was a tough but gallant attempt from post 10 at 94-1, going the overland route for three calls before giving in to the pressure. At Freehold before that, also in a 10G claimer, he had little chance, even though he was dropping from a Philly conditioner higher than this race.

His Freehold race on Nov. 10 is more likely the model for how he may trot in this race. He went three wide to get the lead there and held it to the stretch—at 2-1—finishing fourth. That was a 10G claimer and more the complexion of this field’s foes. 

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Rideau-Carleton / Race 5
Thursday, Dec. 7

This conditioned-claimer offers an opportunity for an upset from Steuben Gladiator. His only win this year came in October in a race much like this one, at 16-1. Since then he has raced well enough in straight claimers, but especially well on Nov. 19, under the same conditions. The favorites here are vulnerable and Ed McHale’s gelding, a five-year-old Somebeachsomethere son, looks like he will offer a good price for a winning effort.

POWER PLAYS

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Northville / Race 4
Friday, Dec. 8

A common conditioned affair for trotters includes betting pools for an exacta, trifecta and superfecta. This Power Play suggests 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:

Hootintootinhannah may be a race-caller’s nightmare (and it is a mare) but she will be bet down as one of the public’s choices and a must for the lower-priced exotics. It’s not strictly a class issue but she does face lesser company, giving her more chances to do her best.

Benns Clearout would be our choice to win, even if he were to go off at his 9-2 ML. He thrives around this level and his Dec. 1 race found him short due to an early duel and a late challenge from a lower-odds participant. Since stepping up a notch he has been an all-around threat.

Sheza Tim Too has a recent history racing among eastern stock at Pocono and drops from her first and miserable Northville attempt. However, she came back from that and qualified like Niatross against Hollywood Park pacers (I could not pass up that historic and told-too-little reference to a great story). So, Sheza Tim Too needs to be in all exotic tickets and at the cost of tossing out Roll It, which will be supported and which we are dismissing for the sake of better prices.

Speaking of prices, Quiet Charmer could assist in boosting all of the exotics if she can trot anywhere near her Dec. 1 race at this level. Her performance lines are deceiving; they indicate that race may have been a fluke of early positioning but a closer look of all her November races proves she is a strong contender here and deserves respect.

POWER PLAYS

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Charlottetown / Race 2
Saturday, Dec. 9

A conditioned pace with a good-payoff possibility features the usual three single-race exotics. This Power Play offers four contenders that may participate in any or all of the exotics and possibly yield strong prices. Here they are in post position order:

All Out leaves from the rail in a slight drop-down of conditions. If he leaves brightly as he did on Dec. 3 he is more likely to be in the mix than a winner and would add to a larger price for any of the exotics.

Oh To Be You is the ML favorite but not a strong one on paper. This is the lowest he has raced in a while and has burned a lot of money since September. Class alone doesn’t assure he will live up to his ML chances but he could partner in an exotic.

Hopedale Paris would be our top wagering choice. Certainly able to win, he should have a serious role in the exotic pictures. Toss his last race out, it seems an anomaly compared to the race before it that justified his stepping up from a win in a lower level. He should be the longest shot of the four.

Bowyer Hanover gets another shot at this level after almost winning as the favorite. The outside post may hurt but he could be better than that in the final-four finishers and be an exotic partner at odds higher than his 7-2 ML. That would make him value for sure, since it is not out of the realm of possibility that he is dismissed due to his post and still wins this.

PARTNERS FOR PICKS

Northfield’s Pick 3 begins with Race 6 on Saturday, Dec. 9. It is the subject of this week’s Partners For Picks (PFP) We suggest some outside contenders, as we foresee them, to use in a multi-race exotic (consider them for other bets, too). The final Pick-3 leg launches a Pick 4.

Leg one; Race 6: Champagne Shower comes in a beaten favorite and drops a notch to where she was strongest in the last two months. Yet, the morning-line (ML) doesn’t give her (5-1) at least an equal chance with Excelant Chance (2-1), who no doubt will be some players’ single. Don’t leave out Champagne Shower here; she could win this with aplomb.

Leg two; Race 7: Aside from the two obvious public choices, Dustlanemissmolly is a good addition to any ticket, offering a great price increase in the payoff if she wins—and she can do just that. “Dust” has speed and is in a good spot to use it early. She dueled out and held fourth bravely last week and though she was short the week before that she also picked up fourth as opposed to going backwards late. Dust deserves a spot on your ticket if you want anything near a worthy price on this combo.

Also available for a ticket spot is Thebigbamtheory. This gal could be there late if the speed is too intense to last the fourth turn and stretch.

Leg three; Race 8: The fillies-and-mares Open is never an easy race to measure but that could be a plus for the Pick-3 ticket builder, as well as those engaging in the Pick 4 that begins with this event. Somewhere Sweet, scratched sick last week, returns to her best spot in the Open and won’t be the public choice if the ML is correct. She could stand up to the obvious leaders here under most circumstances presented as in this race.

To her right is Little Santamonica, another good addition to the leg on your ticket. Sher had a few half-mile qualifiers in New York and ventures west to compete on the Flying Turns, showing up with a classy resume from her Empire State efforts. She’s fresh and knows her way around half-mile tracks.


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
12/8/17, Dunks Brother R3

Cal-Expo
12/8/17, Hairway To Heaven R3; One Chief R4; Real Roknrol R6; Cadet R7; Touch Of The Past R11
12/9/17, Chip Again R4; Yeswellnomaybe R8; Kukalaka R9

Charlottetown
12/9/17, +Outrageous Spirit R3; +Zip The Lip R5

Dayton
12/7/17, Cantab Lindy R8
12/8/17, +Erikas Luann R1; +Aileron R13

Freehold
12/8/17, +Alwaysafirsttime R9
12/9/17, +Gamblers Tale R3; +Top Gear R4; +Kiwi Ideal R10; +C;mon Buzz Off R12

Meadowlands
12/7/17, +City Pie R6; +Twist Of Fate R9
12/8/17, Mrs Frank R1
12/9/17, +Mr Bailando R12

Meadows
12/9/17, Tsunami Seelster R6
12/11/17, Jude Hall R11

Monticello
12/7/17, +VRs Honeysuckle R6

Northfield
12/9/17, +Audrey Anna R10; +Beck Wood Place R10; +Sand Sonya R10; +Bye Bye Felicia R12

Northlands
12/8/17, +Western Olympian R7
12/9/17, Top It Out R5; Duke It Out R7
 
Northville
12/8/17, Mystic Flower R1; Quick Thrill R6; +Chelsea Ray R9

Pompano
12/10/17, Mach Power R3; R Chism R8; Annihilator R$9

Rideau-Carleton
12/7/17, Jeremeys Jewel R6; Nips Beach Girl R8

Rosecroft
12/9/17, Psychic Blue Chip R1; Believe In Him R2; Crocodile Rock R11

Saratoga
12/8/17, +West Liberty R6; +Norma Rei R7; DW’sblissfulthinkn R7; +Dream Ball ae R13

Scarborough
12/9/17, Hot Cakes R10
12/10/17, Gaelic Thunder R7

Woodbine
12/8/17, +Kloof Street R4
12/9/17, V String R4

Yonkers
12/8/17, Sutton Seelster R3; Capozzo R5
12/9/17, Roll Away Joe R2
12/11/17, +Donato’s Artist R1