Thursday, Dec. 12

Our Power Plays (PoP) included a Saragoga Pick 3 and single-race exotics per leg.

We played a big role in the first leg, defeating the race favorite with Delightful Trysta ($8.40, $4.90, $3.00) and scoring a huge element for the exotics by finishing third with Mistress Angelina ($15.40). In the $76.50 exacta we were one for two; in the $$631.00 trifecta we delivered two of the three; in the $89.95 superfecta we were two for four.

The second leg was a washout for us. The favorite won the race while we finished seventh with Daily Sports (6-1) and eighth with Hope Hotspur (33-1).

In the third leg, though out of the Pick 3, a 6-1 scored the top position while we finished second with Aberdeen Seelster ($5.20, $3.50), contributing to the $83.00 exacta.


Friday, Dec. 13

A Dayton PoP included a Pick 3, and single-race exotics ending with a Hi-5. We took some cunning chances in all of the exotics, looking for cash-smashing combos.

We were out of the Pick 3 from the onset, as our two contenders; Bettor Than You (5-1) and Mannys Too Special (7-2), finished an awful seventh and eighth, respectively. The public’s second choice won it.

We still like Heat Crusher (57-1) and will make him an H2W bet-back next week. He finished seventh to the race winner, the favorite.

All of the Pick 3’s third-leg exotics included our winning contender, Vegas Again ($8.00, $4.40, $3.00). Only Rolling Thunder (8-1), who finished fourth, made the Hi-5 ticket. Our other three possibilities were off the board: Gold Star Lambeau (14-1) finished sixth; Vintage Grand (30-1) took seventh; and the race favorite, Big Pink (2-1) saw them all as he checked in 10th.


Saturday, Dec. 14

Both of our features at the Meadowlands finished fifth. Trump That (5-1) lost to a 26-1 shot in a race jumbled from a few breaks which took out the favorite. In the other feature, Decoy (7-1) was defeated by one of the crowd’s top choices.


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 43 active horses (a 14-percent win hit rate and a 47-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 weeks) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review.

Winners

Dragon Strikes, $13.60, $5.60, $3.00, Philly
Humboldt, $13.20, $5.20, $2.80, Meadows
Northern Fiesta, $5.60, $3.20, $2.40, Northfield
Always B Hanny, $5.00, $3.00, $2.40, Philly
Rockin Desire, $3.40, $2.40, $2.10, Pompano
Mayabelle, $2.80, $2.40, $2.20, Northfield

Seconds

Docdor Friskie, $14.20, $6.20, Dayton
Mystic Ruler, $11.60, $6.80, Cal-Expo
Up Front Corbin, $11.40, $6.20 (Exacta $28.80), Dayton
Shadys Shark Bait, $9.00, $4.00, Dover
Expo, $5.20, $3.80 (Exacta $14.20), Pompano
Panchantedtikiroom, $5.00, $2.80, Cal-Expo
American Admiral, $3.80, $2.40, Dover
Drink Whiskey, $3.20, $2.60 (Exacta $6.20), Monticello
Quebec Blue Chip, $2.60, $3.60 ok (Exacta $20.00), Yonkers

Thirds

Air Assault, $4.20, Dayton
Part Time, $4.20, Cal-Expo
Burning Midnight, $3.00, Meadows
Easton Ivy, $2.60, Flamboro
Soutwind Moroccan, $2.40, Dover
Mrs Krabappel, n/s, Monticello


News & Notes

Dec. 30 is the posting date for the TwinSpires harness-racing department’s annual report, a 12-month look into the archives of suggested contenders posted in the weekly harness blog. Along with it we will announce the TwinSpires Harness Players Horse of the Year, which is the horse coming from either our features list or the horses-to-watch list (H2W) that has achieved the highest paying winner from all our posts of the year. The review will appear separately from our Weekly Update blog.

The top trainer of the Batavia meet was James Clouser, Jr. Clouser has campaigned at Batavia since 2014 and has twice finished second best (2015 and 2018). He was on top the entire meet for the training title. Clouser posted 50 wins, 29 seconds and 37 thirds out of 214 starts, with $352,910 in earnings, second highest recorded at the track behind Kim Asher’s $505,624 in 2017. The 33-year-old Clouser has won 270 races and $775,359 in purses. He is close to the $3 million earnings plateau.

Chris Ryder, as trainer and part owner, announced that Bettor’s Wish will stand to a limited number of mares in 2020. He will be collected at Walnridge Equine Clinic in New Jersey, making his foals eligible to the New Jersey Sire Stakes. Bettor’s Wish remains in training and will race next year against older pacers in the free-for-all division. Bettor’s Wish (our defiant choice over Captain Crunch for top soph-pacer early in the season) amassed earnings of $1,643,745 — the most of any horse this year — and a 13 wins and six seconds in 19 starts. 

Wiggle It Jiggleit (WIJ) has work to do. Bo Mach, at 38-1, was the winner over WIJ in that one’s return to the races on Dec. 12 in Dover’s $25,000 open pace WIJ, the 2-1 favorite, who was continuing a comeback from a nearly three-year layoff, finished seventh. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2015 Horse of the Year, made his third start this year after not racing since October 2016 due to issues related to back troubles. This loss was only the second off-the-board finish of his 54-race career. A seven-year-old gelding, WIJ won 38 of 54 races and earned $3.91 million, sixth among pacers in North American harness racing history.

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in our monthly columns, Alternative Actions and Bettors Banquet at Harness Racing Update