As Winter Storm Grayson swept into the North Atlantic, Winter Storm Hunter began to move eastward. Before it hit the Midwest, however, an uncommon blast of hot air preceded it. So, the east began to thaw before it began to freeze again. This January junket of extreme inclement circumstances caused racetrack cancellations for a second-straight week across North America and affected our selected features.

We began our week on Thursday, Jan. 11, when only Freehold’s pair of features went to post, while our Power Plays at Flamboro that night were cancelled. A favorite and a second choice beat our Freehold contenders. Super S Yzerman (39-1) finished fifth and Letmetakeyoudancin (41-1) finished sixth.

Then, Friday, Jan. 12, Hunter howled into Ohio and Miami Valley postponed its opening program, where we were set to fire with Power Plays. The Meadowlands raced and our feature for the evening offered another defeat by a public choice as It’s Chocolate Time (24-1) finished eighth.

Saturday, Jan. 13, we lost our Partners For Picks races when Charlottetown cancelled its program. This left us with the Meadowlands Power Plays feature.

At the Meadowlands, the public’s second choice, not on our list, won. Still, three of four Power Plays ponies were involved in the superfecta. Second was Cousin Mary ($2.60, $2.40); third was Lady Of Heaven ($4.40) and fourth was UF Dragon’s Queen (51-1). The 10-cent superfecta returned $59.47. The failure of our four was Carobbean Pacetry (7-1), finishing ninth.

The success meter for us was peaked in our horses-to-watch (H2W) list with the two headline winners (see list below) but was also greatly affected by cancellations, including opening night at Buffalo and half of a Meadows program.

All losers in our selected features appear the following week in the H2W list.


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 5-percent win hit rate and a 28-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

Fire Dance, $29.80, $10.20, $4.80, Cal-Expo
Fat Boy, $20.20, $5.60, $5.20, Freehold
 
Seconds

Artache Hanover, $10.80, $6.40, Meadows
JJ Flynn, $6.40, $4.20, Dover

Thirds

River Valley, $9.00, Pompano
Miss Banjolina, $5.20, Cal-Expo
Fox Valley Cadet, $3.80, Meadowlands
Deweydidonegood, $2.60, Cal-Expo
Wishinonadragon, $2.60, Pompano
Anderlecht, $2.10, Pompano
Wabash Cannonball, $2.10, Fraser


News & Notes

This spring, our Freshman Frolic segments will be very busy, as an unusual number of extraordinary racehorses gone to stud present their first colts and fillies racing. Many of the sires have been successes for followers of the TwinSpires blogs, as we have had our finger on the pulse on the best racehorses each season and the best paying racehorses of each season. Don’t rush to write down all of the two-year-olds mentioned in the following text; the TwinSpires harness blog reviews them all as the frosh season ensues. Here is a brief list of great racehorses that begin a resume to prove their prowess as sires in 2018.

Captaintreacherous, one of our top pacing choices of the modern era, a consistent winner at two and at three for every reader of this TwinSpires blog, will be represented by his first crop this season. After attracting some of the wealthiest yearling buyers in the 2017 standardbred market, many sons and daughters of Captaintreacherous will hit the track pacing this season. Top trainer Ron Burke, for one, is in control of a few at his stable, including some colts—Actor Hanover and De Los Cielos Deo—and one filly—Ocean Drive. 

Another pacer at work in the shedrow is Sweet Lou. His two-year-olds also sold well. Sweet Lou, of course, was a highly touted colt after a strong frosh season but his sophomore season went sour when he failed as the favorite for the Adios and the North America Cup, among others. However, as an older pacer he excelled and all took notice again. Coming attractions for Sweet Lou’s frosh colts include Costello, Hilarious Lou and Covenant. Some fillies include Hip To My Lou, Jack N Jules and Janet Hanover.

A lot of cyber-ink, so to speak, was spread on these blogs for trotter Father Patrick. Aside form his disappointing gallop at the beginning of the 2014 Hambletonian, which cost him the race to two of his inferior stable mates, Trixton and Nuncio, Father Patrick was nearly unbeatable in a slew of stakes at two (where we forecasted his fame) and three. Some of Father Patrick,s colts to hit the track include Atonement and July.

The aforementioned Trixton could turn out to be a better sire than his stable mate Father Patrick. This remains to be seen, as his progeny will be battling two of his ex-stable mate trotters. Colts that include Cheap Tricks will represent Trixton. Meanwhile, his kids compete against another ex-stable mate’s sons and daughters, Uncle Peter (of course all of these came from the Jimmy Takter stable). Uncle Peter youngsters include Peters Daily Dose and Pink Fringes.

Famous for defeating Captaintreacherous once at three in a stakes at Pocono, Sunshine Beach went to stud as an aged pacer. His progeny is among the co-starring bunch until the stats for sires puts the bloodlines into earning order. Sunshine Beach kids include Twin B Watching. Other co-stars with first-crop characters are Aracache Hanover, E L Titan, Heston Blue Chip, Detour Hanover, Royalty For Life, Rockin Amadeus and Tellitlikeitis.


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 ~