In the final days of 2018 our horses-to-watch list (H2W) came up with another huge winner. The huge priced winner came on a slow-wagering weekend otherwise, with the best of our results, including a cold exacta, partner-exactas with crowd favorites and a few hefty across-the-board prices, presented from the H2W. Here is how the week panned out: Thursday, Dec. 6 The extended Power Plays attack at Philly produced no winners but managed to add necessary entries across the board for exotics. In the first leg of the Pick 3, a 5-1 shot won and we were left behind with three choices, one of which was the favorite, Ville Valo (8-5), who finished fourth. Quick Fun (12-1) finished fifth and Derecho finished eighth. In Race 4, the Pick 3 done, we added to the exotics. It was a strong place finish from Derby ($11.20, $6.40). With the favorite, the exacta paid $36.80. Our other three were off the board—Dark Pool (5-2), sixth, and Flashbacks (20-1), seventh. In Race 5, the public’s second choice won. We were second with Chas Hanover ($2.40, $2.10) and third with Celebrity Lambo ($4.40), both members of the Jackpot Hi-5 (Pentafecta, where we also contributed the fifth member of the exotic, Danish Durango [10-1]). No ticket was cashed for the Jackpot, while the Pentafecta paid $317.18 and caused a $1,062.86 carryover. Other than those, Andover The Cash (36-1) and Boss Du Fosse (17-1) finished sixth and eighth, respectively. Friday, Dec. 7 The Friday feature at the Meadowlands was beaten by the public choice. Our race contender, White Cheetah (6-1), finished fifth. The Meadowlands Power Plays was the attack on Race 5. It was topped by the public choice. We checked in fourth with Ella Christina (32-1), who was the only exotic contribution (superfecta), sixth with OK Heavenly (12-1), seventh with Penpal (7-2) and eighth with Sudden Change (58-1). Saturday, Dec. 8 A single feature at the Meadows finished with the favorites in order. We had the near-tied for second public choice, finishing third with Mildred’s Button ($2.20). The race did not present the value we projected three days before the betting began. TwinSpires Harness Blog: Severe Handicapping For Harness Bettors 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 51 active horses (an 12-percent win hit rate and a 47-percent ATB [in the money] 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 Ella Michelle A, $83.50, $18.40, $9.00, Yonkers Coz And Effect, $10.80, $4.20, $3.40, Cal-Expo Abbeylara, $10.20, $5.80, $3.80, Meadowlands Im All Pink, $3.80, $3.60, $2.40, Philly Antagonist, $3.60, $2.60, $2.50, Monticello Cheyenne Louis, $2.90, $2.20, $2.10, Batavia Seconds JK Pridenjoy, $9.60, $4.40 (Exacta $32.40), Freehold Winwood Mac, $8.40, $5.00, Dayton Fantasy Official, $7.00, $44.40 ok, Pompano Landonfitz, $6.20, $4.40, Meadowlands Stonebridge Score, $5.50, $4.40, Western Fair *Shiplap, $5.40, $4.90 (Exacta $25.20), Monticello Tucson Breeze, $5.00, $2.80 (Exacta $13.60), Northfield Rock On Line, $4.60, $2.60 (Exacta $10.40), Pompano Proud Moment, $3.60, $4.20 ok, Freehold I Am Summer, $3.50, $2.70, Saratoga Wanna Make Money, $2.70, $2.70 ok (Exacta $7.50), Saratoga Thirds Northern River, $5.00, Dayton Hora Star, $4.00, Pompano Bayama Bay, $3.20, Batavia Fox Valley Hermia, $3.20, Freehold Davids Draw, $2.60, Monticello Mercurio, $2.60, Monticello Master Switch, $2.10, Western Fair News & Notes Last week we made note of driver Aaron Merriman’s second straight season winning 1,000 races. We promised to report his flat-bet-profit (FBP) status for the record two-years of wins. After research and calculations we can safely say that the two years involved total approximately 4,500 drives each year. In order to have broken even using Aaron’s horses to win—using him as the sole reason to wager upon his drives—each of his winners would have had to pay 3-1. They did not meet that standard, meaning Aaron Merriman was not a FBP in his two years of 1,000 wins. We can safely assume that his entire career also fails the test. In fairness to Aaron, most drivers fail the career FBP test. Again this December, the TwinSpires harness-racing department studies the 12-month archives of suggested contenders posted in the exclusive weekly harness blogs. From that review, we categorize all of the winners that have paid at least two digits (4-1 and up) in the order of win prices, high to low. One list includes winners from only feature races; another list includes the H2W list winners. All three blogs (The Hambletonian Trail and Breeders Crown Countdown, too) through the 52 weeks of blogs offer the contents. The exclusive audience of these harness racing blogs, the harness bettors, will applaud the award for the TwinSpires Harness Players’ Horse of the Year. Each season the horse earning the title comes from either our features lists or the horses-to-watch lists (H2W) and is given the title by being the highest paying winner from all our posts of the year. This year’s annual roundup will be in the Dec. 27 blog. This past week, a better paying winner overtook the horse leading the top-priced winner list. So the title is still up for grabs. Extraordinary Extras Indulge in my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update