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Delaware’s Best Fight In Finals; Progress Pace Pick Defies Public; Power Plays

By Frank Cotolo

Dover’s signature Progress Pace Final for soph-colt pacers and some state-breds highlight our features this time around, then we head for “Overnight Land,” where exotics and particular events loom profitable. Our first Power Plays combo of the off-season premiers along with some selected features.

TwinSpires harness blog’s exclusive horses-to-watch (H2W) list ensues with solid contenders for your desired use. The H2W will be at your disposal through the short days and long nights of winter with plenty of races highlighted for prices and purposes. Explore any and all horses we post for use in wagers of your discretion. Do your own handicapping and then consider any and all our H2W and frosh selections.

PROGRESS PACE

The $260,000 Progress Pace will punctuate the glamour-boy pacing division’s stakes season, though it dangles near December. On Nov. 29, Dover hosts its signature event, featuring eight from the age group, most left over from a group of stars that have mostly raced themselves into retirement.

Jimmy Freight won the single elim last week. Though he was not a participant in the main events through the year, mostly due to ineligibility, Jimmy Freight has rolled with the best in some contests. He will, no doubt, be the favorite here.

Dorsoduro Hanover is the lone survivor of the division’s top five. Courtly Choice and Stay Hungry have retired, while the others await their toughest season against the older troops. “Dorso” drew post 8, which will hamper his figure in the win pool. This Is The Plan and Thinkbig Dreambig have taken advantage of mishaps by or absence of the top five to win a few at large prices but need that kind of help against Dorso and “Jimmy” to win this.

If you care to back Jimmy, do not expect much for the effort, which is why we suggest Dorso. He could get the kind of trip that would topple Jimmy but price is the better of the reasons to take him. Of the other outsiders, Thinkbig Dreambig is the most likely to upset, however, there is no certainty the crowd won’t hammer him down to one of the top three choices. That would make Dorso even more valuable. The big hit would be Dorso over “Thinkbig” with Jimmy third.

THE DELAWARE GAP

Each Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) freshman final is worth $100,000 at Dover on Nov. 29. All entries have sires standing in Delaware and have participated in the DSBF series at Dover and Harrington.

The frosh-filly trot belongs to Disco Soliel, a Rod Allen homebred that has dominated the division at the two major tracks hosting the DSBF series. Indeed, this trotter by CR Commando, also from the Allen family, has only one true foe here—Dark Dutchess. If those two do not misbehave, staying on gait throughout, it is difficult to back any other.

The frosh-colt trotters offer a single entry by CR Commando, Say Gesundheit. Unfortunately he does not have as good a record this season as some other “Commando” progeny from this year’s crop. Still, he has been on the board five of the nine times he raced and leaving here from the 8 hole will distract the public. The most dollars will go to Embrace The Grind because on face value (four wins in five starts) he seems incomparable, but looks are deceiving.

The filly pace puts Clyde Francis’ The Lady Sheriff rightfully in the favorite’s spot. From the barn that brought us Lather Up and Wiggle It Jiggleit comes this smooth-sailing filly from Southwind Lynx, and she may wind up more successful than her sire in the hands of Francis.

The colt pace could be the most contentious of the DSBF quartet. Three top contenders are not on top by much, since the others have been improving late this season. This includes Son Of A Lynx, who has been on the board nine times in 11 starts. The crowd won’t embrace him over two Francis entries and two others on his inside and one leaving to his right. He is a good spot play in this tight affair, with chances greater than his odds.

POWER PLAYS

Saratoga/ Races 3,4,5
Thursday, Nov. 29

Again this year and through most of winter, we offer a special race-wagering attack—Power Plays, and we begin with a Pick 3 at Saratoga. Our contenders are meant to be outsiders, to be included on your ticket to help boost the payoff. Still, you may use them as you want, including as win, play or show bets.

Leg 1, Race 3
In this conditioned trot, the third of the three morning line (ML) choices, The Royal Poze, may be overlooked per the obvious two public choices. He won last time at 7-2, beating the other two. Here, though, he may offer more, which should put him on your ticket. As well, I Am Summer would bring a better win price than all three of the public choices and has a reasonable chance to upset with an in-the-flow, suck-along journey.

Leg 2, Race 4
Another conditioned trot, the ML favorite is not your odds-on type and some of these gals have recent losses for galloping, making the race open to many results. To the left of the ML choice is a must-include for price and purpose—Pain In The Mass. Two back, she was best of the rest against a winner that got away and before that she suffered a break coming into that race with deserved support. Her 6-1 ML is a mystery compared to the chosen favorite.

Leg 3, Race 5
The Pick-3 closer is titled “Holiday Trot” for reasons we are not told because it is just another conditioned trot, much like the previous two legs. The ML choice is a dropper leaving from post 6, a horse which last won three back at lesser conditions. The second ML choice is coming off a win in the same class. Considering the lack of form showing, Wanna Make Money—who continually finishes in the top three but never first—could make it this time and pump up the Pick-3 price.

POWER PLAYS

Dayton/ Race 4
Friday, Nov. 30

This single-race exotic combo marks the return of our popular Power Plays features. This race offers an exacta, trifecta and superfecta, as well as win, place and show. This event at Dayton is a $5,000 Claiming race. We offer four contenders we hope will not only be a part of the exotic(s) you play but will be outsiders that may boost the payoff(s). They are listed in post position.

Olivia V (2) has worked her way up to this tag after winning a $1,250 tagged event. Since then she has been grinding outside trips and coming up short while getting competent support. This is a good spot for her to get an inside, covered trip.

Barefoot Julie (4) won at a $4,000 tag and stepped up into three events, two from outside posts where she was doomed and one where she made up significant ground late along with most of the field to finish seventh. She could be in the mix here, sucking along as she did when she won four back.

Fast Date (5) is only stepping up in claiming price, returning from a place finish at 5-2 for ex-California trainer Denise Maier. The filly has raced with better and could make up for last week’s loss with a good start. Even if she is short she should be an exotic member.

Townline Flyinlady (8) is most likely not to take as much money as her morning line indicates due to her post, which is never taken seriously at this half-mile track. However, she has done so well since being claimed here and getting two wins at Hoosier that you cannot leave her out of the top four with the price she is likely to offer.

FEATURES^FEATURES^FEATURES

Northfield/Race 4
Saturday, Dec. 1

This conditioned pace offers a good chance to pick up a win price against a brand-name entry from the Ron Burke barn. His beaten favorite last out at the Meadows gets a low morning line and draws the attention of bettors due to Burke, driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and the sophomores she has raced against through the season. Still, she can be thoroughly beaten here, due to those biases, by another.

Our suggested outsider is Shakeitformegear. Inspecting her race lines since coming from Hoosier to Northfield, we can toss out her last race, a typical Northfield 8-hole catastrophe but not the race two back. From inside post 9 she managed to make up 8 lengths from the half to the finish, a good enough last half to have us ignore she finished off the grid in sixth. The one before that, her first at Northfield, the third of the trio in tonight’s class, shows a strong brush from the half to three-quarters and gets her a piece of the purse. This is her fourth Northfield race and from post 2 she may be able to use her brush easily as the Burke gal, two years her minor, struggles with her post.

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
12/1/18, Bahama Bay R6

Cal-Expo
11/30/18, +Tiyaga R1; Franks Best R2
12/1/18, Last Dragon R8; Coz And Effect R10

Dayton
11/29/18, +Scwartz Bros Beaty R10
11/30/18, Optimist Blue Chip R3
12/1/18, Holdingallthecards R5

Dover
11/29/18, Makin Money Fast R3; Wichita Lineman R5; Major Uptrend R11

Flamboro
11/29/18, Muscle Matters R5

Freehold
11/30/18, Keystone Krystal R3; +Musical Romance R5
12/1/18, Espirit De Kayjay R3; David The Saint R5; Sams Escape R8

Meadows
12/1/18, +Nitro Seelster R1; +Three Rivers Dell R3

Meadowlands
11/30/18, Dog Gone Lucky R2; Landonfitz R2
12/1/18, Rockin Roger R9

Mohawk
11/29/18, +Darcee N R7

Monticello
11/29/18, Conway Beach A R2; Shiplap R6

Northfield
11/30/18, +Audrey Anna R15

Philly
11/30/18, +Ella Christina R10

Pompano
11/29/18, +Moon Doggie R5; Funknpancakes R8
12/2/18, China Dream R6; +Rock On Line R8

Saratoga
11/29/18, All That Dazzle R6; Barn Bliss R8
11/30/18, +Gina Grace N R5

Scarborough
11/29/18, Shadys Art R8; Chief Pale Face R5
12/2/18, +No Humble Jumble R1; Royal Reception R4; +Lifeontherange R7

Western Fair
11/30/18, Friends To The End R9

Yonkers
11/30/18, +Followthewind N R4; +Voist R7
12/1/18, +Bettor Memories R6; +Lettuceriprita A R10
12/2/18, +Celebrity Ruth R9
(Coady Photography)

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