Welcome to 2019’s first TwinSpires Weekend Update harness blog. We take all the good elements that gave us great results last year (and the year before that and so on) and apply them to Y2K+19 events with all TwinSpires harness bettors in mind. Let’s go over our success and failure from the first full week of wagering. Thursday, Jan. 3 The year began with a win in our first 2019 feature. In the afternoon att Monticello we gave readers Superiorcourt ($8.10, $4.30, 2.60) In the evening we offered a Power Plays at Flamboro, nabbing two of the exotics with our top three choices. Our winner was Dabunka ($3.10, $2.40, $2.10), who we urged should be in the combos even if he became the favorite—which he did. We took the exacta with Open Water ($7.60, $5.70) second, paying $34.60. We added the third horse to nab the $71.10 trifecta with Mervs Tru Legacy ($3.30). That was three for the Jackpot Hi-5 because our other two suggestions were Montana Ben (5-2) and Asterism (58-1), finishing eighth and ninth respectively. Friday, Jan. 4 At Western Fair we hit the Power Plays’ winner, Lady Everlong ($20.30, $9.40, $5.00) but could not complement her in exotics when Larjon Legacy (10-1) finished fifth and Friends To The End (11-1) was sixth. The worse of the Power Plays for the week took place at Cal-Expo. The favorite won the race and we paced off the board with our three suggested contenders. Last Dragon (7-1) finished fifth, To The Limit (9-2) finished sixth and Hi Hos Little Rey ended in seventh. Saturday, Jan. 5 At the Meadowlands, McArdles Lightning (24-1) raced better but did not fire enough late, finishing ninth. The favorite won the race. Our Adam Short watch at Miami Valley will continue, even though his stock had some trouble in our three selected features. We were second with Swapportunity ($4.20, $2.80), right behind the winning favorite for an exacta worth $19.80. The crowd made Vintage Grand its choice in the second feature but the trotter jumped right off the gate and was eliminated, finishing 10th and last. Then, Ahdoughnolum (11-1) was flat, finishing fifth. Most of our selected features and Power Plays losers will show up for their second chances in the H2W when they race again. Others may be found a second time in upcoming features. 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 39 active horses (a 18-percent win hit rate and a 44-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 Proud Moment, $11.80, $3.20, $3.00, Freehold Centalta Glory, $8.80, $4.00, $3.60, Cal-Expo Polak A, $8.60, $4.00, $2.80, Pompano Brinks Job, $6.20, $3.40, $2.60, Pompano Impressively Done, $5.90, $3.20, $2.20, Western Field Chillinlikeavillin, $5.20, $3.00, $2.40, Cal-Expo Hammering Haley, $4.80, $2.60, $2.10, Mohawk Seconds Full Explosion, $7.20, $4.20 (Exacta $20.80), Freehold Brigitte Bordeau, $5.40, $2.80 (Exacta $10.00), Cal-Expo Moonshine Mickey, $4.00, $2.40 (Exacta $21.40), Northfield Fire Dance, $3.00, $2.60, Cal-Expo Rocksys Way, $3.60, $2.60 (Exacta $11.00, Northfield Thirds Melodies That Rock, $8.00, Cal-Expo Oh Yeah, $4.60, Cal Expo Keystone Nikki, $3.80, Freehold Retail Marc Up, $2.30, Monticello Fox Valley Hermia, $2.10, Freehold News & Notes Yonkers Raceway returns from its hiatus to launch the 2019 racing season on Jan. 7 with the usual first post of 6:50 p.m. The raceway’s 234-program for the year offers a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday schedule (nearly exclusively at 6:50 p.m.). All dates, however, are still pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. However, morning draws continue for fields scheduled to race the second full week of 2019. USHWA’s winner of the 2018 Breakthrough Award is Ray Cotolo, son of TwinSpires harness racing editor Frank Cotolo. The award recognizes up-and-comers on the non-training-driving side. Ray, 19, began in the sport at 11, accompanying his father on assignments. Ray hosts a live Web show, North American Harness Update, that broadcasts from many raceways. He has worked for the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands, Standardbred Canada, Woodbine Entertainment Group and the Red Mile and has called races at pari-mutuel tracks and fairs. He is a sophomore at Elizabethtown College, benefitting from the Harold Snyder Memorial Scholarship Fund. Western Fair will host 125 race dates in 2019. An important date changes is the second edition of the $150,000 Camluck Classic Invitational on closing night. The track’s signature event moves to Friday night, May 31. The raceway will host a special matinee card on May 12. First-race post time will be 12:55 p.m. The raceway will be dark on May 13 and May 29. Racing shifts to four days a week through May 31. For now, racing goes each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. and Fridays at 6:55 p.m. Although the harness racing Horse of the Year won’t be announced until the USHWA Feb. 24 gala in Florida, it is highly expected that older male pacer McWicked is the 1-20 favorite over mare-pacer Shartin N. Because McWicked (age seven) is the higher profile of the pair, Shartin N (age five) will not win the honor. In 2018, Shartin N became the first pacing mare in history to earn $1-million in a single season. She and McWicked never appeared in the same event, a situation that may have turned the tables on the title. Extraordinary Extras Indulge in my monthly columns, Alternative Actions and Bettors Banquet at Harness Racing Update