We had a good week with two of three contenders posting big wins from the horses-to-watch (H2W) list, while we hit at Miami Valley with a double-digit filly, before the Yonkers main events totaled two winners and two thirds.
 
Here are the contributions from our week of contenders in chronological order.


Thursday, April19

At Philly, three favorites won in the Pick 4, our Partners For Picks feature, joined by a second choice, to defeat our outside contenders.

Our choices included the first-leg favorite as a most-likely winner, NF Happenstance ($3.00, $2.80, $2.10). Our other contender, Go Byem (35-1) finished seventh.

In leg two we were fifth with BWT Taj (6-1) and eighth with Guard Your Hearts (34-1).

In leg three we finished third with Watkins ($2.80) who went off 13-1, and in the last leg we finished seventh with Lazy Bones (132-1).


Friday, April 20

At Miami Valley, we scored in the sophomore-filly James Hackett Memorial, worth $40,000. Our top choice won it—Up Front Flor Ida ($15.40, $4,40, $3.00) fooled the crowd but not the TwinSpires harness blog. We offered an exacta partner with Grant Me This (13-1) but she finished fourth.


Saturday, April 21

The stream of Matchmaker-and-‘Levy’-oriented events began with a short winner and a cold short exacta from us. The $40,000 Matchmaker-eligibles mile was won by Newborn Sassy ($2.90, $2.20, n/s), topping the exacta with our second choice, Gina Grace N ($3.90). The combo paid $7.20.

Next, we were dead on about the winner and how she won in the $75,000 Matchmaker Consolation. From off the pace, we scored with Mackenzie A ($4.50, $2.80, $3.00 ok), which were better prices than we expected.

Few punters scoped correctly in the Levy Consolation field, including this blog. A tough mile for top-dog Missile J (9-2) found her sixth at the end, losing to a 13-1 shot.

The $373,000 Matchmaker Final, as we warned, was won by heavily favored series leader Shartin N ($3.80, $2.60, $2.10), who we forecasted would be challenged by second-choice Sell A Bit ($2.70, $2.30) who lost the challenge to finish second as the second choice. However, our upset contender was very much a competitor and took third at 49-1. That was Motu Moonbeam N ($7.10) and if you used the obvious two favorites and our outside contender, you cashed a bloated triple worth $87.00.

The Levy Final has a scillion scenarios, according to the “experts” but the public beat them all, caring less for price, as Keystone Velocity repeated as the champ. We went for price and were third with Somewhere In LA ($5.40).



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 48 active horses (a 6-percent win hit rate and a 42-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

PH Kenny, $67.60, $23.60, $6.00, Meadows
Dial A Chic, $22.00, $6.00, $3.00, Plainridge
Machlicious, $2.30, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Flamboro


Seconds

Little Emma, $13.00, $4.60 (Exacta $10.90), Cal-Expo
Four Starz Louie, $6.00, $6.40 ok, Scarborough
PL Leeroy, $5.00, $3.00 (Exacta $13.50), Flamboro
Army Of One, $3.60, $2.20 (Exacta $8.40), Cal-Expo
Sweet Talkin Satin, $2.90, $2.70, Vernon
Possessed Fashion, $2.60, $2.10, Philly
Roadshow Vic, $2.40, $2.10, Plainridge


Thirds

Feeling Fancy Free, $6.60, Cal-Expo
Odds On Miami, $4.40, Philly
Paisley Skye, $4.20, Northfield
Painite, $3.50, Vernon
Sir Pugsley, $3.20, Pocono
His Excellence, $2.80, Meadows
Remember Terror, $2.60, Century
Nesh Cruiser, $2.50, Buffalo
Irish Kate, $2.10, Vernon
Lucan Hanover, $2.10, Philly


News & Notes

Northville Downs, Michigans sole pari-mutuel racetrack and last harness outpost, has been sold to Michigan home developers. The company plans to redevelop the 48-acre property, though it may maintain the racing facility. Part of the site is planned to host 500-600 apartments, for-sale townhouses and other commercial structures. Northville will remain open until development begins in 2020. Track owners say they want to continue the racing “at an area in close proximity” to the original spot. Northville has been a profitable pari-mutuels plant for the last three years, according to reports.

SJs Photo, stakes-winning trotter and top sire, has died in Italy at 28. Bred, owned and trained and mostly driven by David Wade, SJs Photo was undefeated in 13 starts at two before Wade raced him against tougher at three. SJs Photo was not eligible to the Hambletonian but earned well in his division. As an older trotter he won the Nat Ray at the Meadowlands and competed in Europe in the Elitlopp and Oslo Grand Prix. SJs Photo sired seven million-dollar winners, including Hampo champ Vivid Photo and SJs Caviar. He was sold and exported to Italy in 2006, becoming one of the best stallions in Europe, where he stood at stud in Italy.

The industry’s 2017 Horse of the Year, Hannelore Hanover, prepped for this season’s campaign in a qualifying race at the Meadowlands. Now six, the powerful daughter of Swan For All won in 1:53.2 mile with a :26.4 final quarter into “a moderate stretch headwind,” according to reports. Ron Burke trains Hannelore Hanover for himself as Burke Racing along with partners. The mare is scheduled to make her first start of 2018 in the Arthur Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands on May 5.

Perfect Spirit (last year’s Hambo-upset-winner supported by this blog through Twitter on site) made his first start in Sweden at Solvalla Racetrack for a new trainer, Daniel Redén. The race was a little more than one mile with a standing start. Perfect Spirit won in a mile rate of 1:55.4, starting with a 20-meter handicap. The next race for Perfect Spirit will be April 27 at the Aby racetrack, in a qualifier against his division of four-year-olds. Lennart Agren, who races horses in North America under the banner of SRF Stables, owns Perfect Spirit.


Extraordinary Extras

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

And check my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update