This week’s features faired well enough and there was enough freshman fire to kick a few exactas well into the black. It was a slow weekend for the H2W list in the winners department.

Here is how it all went down:

Friday, July 6

New York Sires Stakes action for frosh-filly pacers at Yonkers was a triptych of top public choices while our picks were never threatening in each. In division one Mrs Major Hill (10-1) broke and was eliminated. In division two, Boogie Roll (110-1) was unable to overcome post 8 and showed little, finishing seventh. In the third split there was interference along the way which found our choice, Eos N Rock (18-1) finishing fifth-placed-fourth.

At Hoosier that same night the huge favorite for the Nadia Lobell walked over the filly pacers with ease, while our outsider, Cult Icon (12-1) finished fifth.

Saturday, July 7

In Meadows afternoon racing, Pennsylvania Sires Stakes events for frosh-filly pacers found us in the hunt, contributing to a pair of exactas with the race favorites winning (they won all three, one which we also endorsed).

In the first of three divisions we were second with Rockn Philly ($9.60, $4.20), igniting an exacta worth $40.20 with the public choice.

We won round two with the favorite Bestseller Hanover ($2.80, $2.40, n/s).

In the last of the trio we delivered the exacta component with Sylph Hanover ($3.80, n/s). That combo paid $10.60.

The two Meadowlands Pace elims at the New Jersey track were won by our choices, both paying decently. In the first elim we had Stay Hungry ($6.40, $3.60, $2.80). In the second elim we were first with Courtly Choice ($6.00, $3.80, $2.10). Our exacta horse, Jimmy Freight ($2.10) who was the 3-5 favorite, finished in a dead heat for third.

Also at the Meadowlands, we finished seventh in the Graduate trot with Bill’s Man (8-1). Ariana G, the mare, won handily with a world-record 1:50.2 mile.

In the pacing Graduate final we did not figure our choice to become the favorite but Donttellmeagain ($6.20, $3.80, $2.80) won as just that, going off at a decent price for a public choice. The race was sizzling throughout; he finished in 1:47.2.

FRESHMAN FROLIC

A dozen youngsters were on our exclusive TwinSpires list last week. There were four tracks involved.

At Hoosier we finished second with Melanie’s Tedy ($4.20, $3.60; exacta $25.40); third with Lucky Again ($6.20); fourth with Gazing Star; fifth with Quick Aracache; seventh-placed-sixth with Skyway Raider; and eighth with Uncle Wagon.

At the Meadowlands we finished fifth with Shabang; and sixth with It’s Like This, Shaylo and Apostle Of Pep.

At the Meadows we finished fourth with Rocky Meadow and at Vernon we also finished fourth with Fight Like Mike.

Freshmen losing in their first “Frolics” mention appear one more time in an upcoming H2W list.


THE HAMBLETONIAN TRAIL

Hambletonian Trail-blog races left over from last week’s Update included three PASS splits for soph fillies on July 3 at Philly. We were on the board in two of the events.

We were second with Piranha Fury ($4.00, $4.00 ok), completing a $10.60 exacta.

An even better combo with the public choice was our $30.20 exacta donation Lily Stride ($7.00, $4.00).

We had no chance in the other PASS as second-favorite Hey Blondie (6-5) broke and was eliminated.

On July 7 in the Reynolds Stake for fillies, our top choice, What A Knockout (7-2), broke and dragged home 12th. Her exotic partner, Repentance (9-2) finished sixth.

Also, a few eligible colts raced in conditional overnights on July 7. One of them won, our choice, Hat Trick Habit ($4.80, $3.20, $2.60). In that same race our other choice, Zephyr Kronos (2-1) galloped, finishing fifth. The other eligible, Quantum Kemp (12-1), finished fifth in his conditional.


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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 42 active horses (an 5-percent win hit rate and a 34-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

Red John, $7.40, $3.70, $2.40, Mohawk
World Apart, $5.20, $4.20, $2.20, Scioto

Seconds

Jail King, $37.40, $17.60 (Exacta $132.60), Hoosier
Three Day Forecast, $5.40, $6.00 ok (Exacta $17.20), Scarborough
Crackerjack Bill, $5.00, $3.80, Hawthorne
Icommandmyspirit, $4.80, $3.60 (Exacta $19.60), Meadowlands
Cashahallic, $4.30, $3.20, Tioga
Major Hill, $4.10, $2.90 (Exacta $9.10), Mohawk
Electrofire, $3.10, $2.90, Monticello
K Ryan Bluechip, $3.00, $2.80, Scioto
Decoy, $2.60, $2.40, Philly

Thirds

Lifeontherange, $6.80, Bangor
Sheldon, $3.00, Monticello
All Night Credit, $2.10, Plainridge
 

News & Notes

What happened to Lather Up in the Max Hempt final that found him finishing off the board? It was a break, all right, but according to trainer Clyde Francis the colt scoped sick after the race. “He got a little bit of an ulcer in his mouth on the right line again,” said driver Montell Teague, “but I don’t think it’s permanent.” Teague also said there was testing to see if Lather Up suffered from muscle cramping. Connections ruled out the Meadowlands Pace, which would have required a supplemental payment to make the horse eligible. “Physically, he’s fine,” Teague said. “We’ll just try to fix it and get him back on course.” Lather Up has won 11 of 15 races and earned $544,765.

Speaking of the Meadowlands Pace cast of characters. Lost In Time, the 2017 two-year-old Pacing Colt of the Year, will miss the “Pace” and probably the rest of his sophomore season due to a broken sesamoid. The Jimmy Takter-trained colt underwent surgery shortly after the incident causing the injury. Lost In Time was the second-most applauded entry into the 2018 sophomore crop, just behind the filly Youaremycandygirl. His debut at three was disappointing.

With a month left until the Hambletonian (TwinSpires harness will report live from the Meadowlands, as has become customary), Jimmy Takter’s colt, Wolfgang, is being considered the colt to beat. This is Takter’s last year as a trainer and he would surely love to leave the sport with another Hambletonian champion. Takter said Wolfgang “is very good; you can do anything you want with this horse. He was a really big horse and a little bit immature [at two]. I drove most of his early races in Kentucky and he got better and better as the year went. He’s a very different horse—I don’t think we’ve seen a limit in him yet.”

In order to produce the TwinSpires exclusive H2W harness list, we scan the performances of hundreds of horses. What has become obvious during recent months is the number of equines whose names include the President of the United States’ last name. You may notice some, including Trump Nation, Trump That, Trump That Rusty, Trump The Dragon, Trump This, Trump Tight, Trump Time, Trump Train, Trump Tower, Trump’s Credit, Trump’s Wall, Trump’s Rally and Trumpstar Yankee among them. Just as a comparison, there were few horses named after Trump’s predecessor. The only three we found were Obamanator, Obama Bayama and Obama.


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