Favorites swamped our features this past weekend but we took advantage of one of them in two big exotics on The Hambletonian Trail. A few other decent strikes kept us afloat as the season begins to heat up with Grand Circuit and local series.

Let’s check the features returns in chronological order:

Thursday, May 10

Aiming at a Philly Pick 3 that could return big numbers was a plan thwarted again by two favorites. We included the proposed favorite in the first leg and won with So Long Darling ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10 ok), though our outsider, Rich Secret (31-1) finished sixth.

In the second leg we were fourth with Braley Hanover (19-1), beaten by the public’s second choice. Then, an 8-1 defeated our 16-1 Keystone Nikki ($10.80, $4.20) and we surrendered a meek $48 Pick 3 to chalk players and tickets far too expensive to have made a profit.


Saturday, May 12

Our features included Reynolds Stakes at Yonkers, six events for soph-colt-and-filly pacers. We had one winner, Presto Blue Chip ($6.50, $3.70, $2.20) in the filly splits. Our other choices failed, with Pelican Blue Chip (2-1) well backed but eliminated with a break and Dolphin Island (14-1) a bleak eighth to the public second choice.

The colt Reynolds brought home a public-choice winner and a second-choice winner. In those we had Winston (18-1), finishing fifth and Lucky Leonard (54-1), finishing seventh. Painfully, our outsider, Major Offense (24-1) was beaten by a 34-1 shot.

At the Meadowlands there were more sophomore features. In the Rainbow Blue filly duo, we were second with Ideal Talker ($7.20, $3.60) as the public’s second choice won. The public’s third choice won the other filly mile which we lost with Nurse Pie Q (6-1).

We lost both of the Escort colt affairs to the public’s first- and second-choices. Both of our choices finished fifth. They were American Vision (4-1) and Joe’s Life (23-1).


THE HAMBLETONIAN TRAIL

Our exclusive spin-off blog continues to follow the two divisions with eyes on Hambletonian history. There were no surprises in any of the 10 sires stakes miles as the public choices chose the winners with their top choices in all but one, where their second choice took the best part of the pot. Even so, we piled up a few profits using one of them along with specific choices from our outside contenders.

The best score for us took place on the first set of races for the week, which took place at Yonkers on May 8. Filly trotters were active in four New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) splits. In the last of the four events, the favorite won, as we mentioned. However, she was followed over the finish line by our two choices, Dew To Win ($24.40, $7.00) second and Mooshka Stride ($2.50) third. That exacta paid $130.00, while the triple brought back $416.50.

In the other three NYSS races that night we were second with Tribute To Seven ($2.50, $2.10) for a minor exacta return of $4.30 and we third in another with Ciao Dolce ($2.60).

At Vernon on May 11 we were third with Cruising In Style ($3.70) in the trio of contests for the colt trotters. The other choices, Kinda Lucky Lindy (9-1) and Ronnie Goldstein (9-1) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

At the Meadows on May 12, we were third with Courtney Hanover ($3.20), fourth with Vivacious Allie (4-1) and sixth with Front Circle (22-1).



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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 60 active horses (a 15-percent win hit rate and a 40-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

Julep Hanover, $25.30, $16.20, $3.20, Charlottetown
Box Car Johnnie, $7.60, $3.00, $2.10, Plainridge
Anegada, $11.60, $3.20, $2.60, Northfield
When In Doubt, $10.60, $4.60, $2.60, Bangor
Jetstream Mystic, $6.40, $3.80, $3.20, Hoosier
Yankee Moonshine, $4.80, $3.20, $2.80
Thebestofjoel, $4.20, $3.00, $2.30, Tioga
Old Oak, $4.00, $2.80, $2.10, Plainridge
Rose Run Rudi, $2.90, $2.50, $2.20, Tioga


Seconds

Master Faster, $7.00, $3.10, Flamboro
MVP Luke, $4.20, $3.80, Miami
Frisky Joe, $2.50, $2.40, Vernon
Jeb, $2.80, $2.10, Charlottetown


Thirds

Lightningpedia, $8.40, Vernon
Camstar, $5.00, Bangor
Karets, $4.80, Pocono
Benjaminbanneker N, $4.20, Scarborough
Lil Miss Gorgeous, $3.40, Philly
Western Hill, $3.40, Yonkers
Manofmanyimages, $3.20, Mohawk
Ugly Stik, $2.60, Plainridge
Spider Man Hanover, $2.50, Flamboro
Thisguysarockstar, $2.30, Monticello
Kick It In Kate, $2.20, Northville


News & Notes

Harness racing returns for another season at Running Aces Racetrack on Saturday, May 19. Opening night will have action-packed live racing after the broadcast of the thoroughbred’s Preakness Stakes. Running Aces’ harness season runs from May 19–Sept. 15. Racing action is available for wagering and viewing through your TwinSpires account on Tuesday (7 p.m. post), Saturday and Sunday (6 p.m. post). As usual, the TwinSpires harness blog will keep tabs on the action, including adding Running Aces to the H2W list.

A Down Under pacer, Lazarus, is being called the greatest in the Southern Hemisphere  since Cardigan Bay. Lazarus has won 35 of his 45 starts at various distances in Australiasia, dominating the classiest pacing events. He is the richest standardbred of all time in the area with earnings of $3,821,006, earning Pacer of the Year at three, four and five and Horse of the Year at five. Lazarus is coming to North America on May 24 to race and breed. On track, he is expected to perform at The Red Mile during the Grand Circuit. Connections are targeting the world record win mile by Always B Miki (1:46) set there in 2016. Lazaurs will be eligible to stakes like the Breeders Crown this fall. Jimmy Takter is scheduled to train.

Bloodline-expert/author Bob Marks says Lazarus has a 100-percent North American pedigree through five generations, being by far the son of the leading dual-hemisphere sire Bettor’s Delight, from the Down-Under mare Bethany. In addition, Lazarus, like most champion North American pacers, has seven links to Meadow Skipper through generations five and six. “Lazarus has all the credentials to prove a generational North American stallion,” says Marks.

Marion Marauder, the 2016 Trotting Triple Crown champion, followed up his season debut winning-qualifier with a 1:54.4 score. The five-year-old did all the work, going wire to wire easily. Four-year-old R First Class, last season's Ontario Sires Stakes champ, finished second, while trotting mare Emoticon Hanover was third in her second qualifier of the season. Marion Marauder enters his second season in the older ranks with 14 wins and $2.6 million in earnings. The Mike Keeling and Paula Wellwood trainee went three for 10 last season, earning $770,120.


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