Thursday, Dec. 19

Features from Pompano and Dayton highlighted the evening’s choices.

At Pompano we were beaten in a conditioned trot by the public choice. We had no way of proving a comeback theory with our top choice, New Plymouth (37-1), since he broke at the start and was eliminated.

Our second choice and exotic addition, Shubie (51-1) finished fifth, while the third choice, Jas Going Away, scratched.

At Dayton we locked into a 10-cent superfecta strike, successful with two of the ticket’s numbers. We had longshot PL Haymaker ($5.60, $3.80) and the fourth horse, Skyway Grand Slam (the race favorite). The 10-cent superfecta paid $41.40.

Off the board were Zippy Cowboy (52-1), finishing fifth, and Big Bossman (22-1), ending in the eighth spot.


Friday, Dec. 20

A Dayton we focused upon a single feature, Race 12. Heart Crusher (11-1) raced well but finishing fourth. The public’s third choice beat their first choice in the top two spots.


Saturday, Dec. 21

We focused on a dozen horses for action in five races at Northfield, covering a Pick 5 and a bunch of exotic wagers.

The worst was the first. Leg 1 of the Pick 5 offered two contenders. H-And-B DHO Haley (7-1) and Alishas Big Star (11-1) finished fifth and sixth, respectively. A 5-1 shot won the race.

With the Pick 5 dead, things picked up for single-race exotics in the second leg. We had the winner with KJs Foxy Lady ($4.00, $2.40, $2.40) and nabbed the $8.00 exacta with the place horse, Tucson Breeze ($2.60, $2.40). Our other contender, Hey Sweety (5-1) finished ninth. Those were two of three for the $70.00 trifecta.

The third leg of the stream also produced an exacta, this worth $22.80 with our only two contenders, the winner, Kick It In Kate ($7.60, $3.40, $3.00) and place spot for Casimir Quiche ($2.80, $2.80 ok). Those were two for three in the trifecta, a hefty $466.60 due to a 70-1 shot capturing third.

We went three for five in the Pick 5 when we delivered the winner of the fourth leg, Impressive Chief ($14.80, $5.60, $4.20). Our other contender, Song In My Heart (16-1) contributed to the $228.12 superfecta as the fourth on a ticket.

A third went to our contender in leg 5, One Last Howl ($4.00). A favorite won the event, while another of our contenders, I’ve Got Spirit (18-1) finished fourth to get on the super ticket. Two for four were presented to followers in the $178.64 quartet.


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 19 active horses (a 16-percent win hit rate and a 37-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

Rolling Thunder, $11.80, $6.20, $4.40, Dayton
Two AM, $9.60, $4.80, $2.80, Meadowlands
Harmony Oaks Quike, $7.40, $3.60, $2.20, Freehold

Seconds

Big Pink, $4.20, $4.00 (Exacta $14.00), Dayton
Caviar Star, $4.00, $2.60 (Exacta $8.80), Freehold
Southwind Moroccan, $4.00, $2.60, Dover

Thirds

Guiltywithanexcuse, $4.60, Meadowlands


News & Notes

The penultimate day of the year, Dec. 30, is the date we post the TwinSpires harness-racing department’s annual report. The 12-month review opens the 2019 archives of suggested-contender winners from the weekly harness blog that have paid 4-1 or more. Along with that we announce the TwinSpires Harness Players Horse of the Year, the winner from our features list and the horses-to-watch list (H2W) that returned the highest win mutual from any our posts in 2019. The review will appear separately from our Weekly Update blog.

The slim entries in our H2W list are a product of a calendar year. The year’s end and the holiday season raceway schedule are greatly reduced. In December, racing ceases on many fronts. Starting with the end of the Scarborough Downs season early in the month, other tracks calling it a year, so to speak, include Batavia Downs, Saratoga Harness, Rosecroft Raceway, Yonkers Raceway, Dayton  Raceway, the Meadows, Northfield Park and Monticello Raceway.

Woodbine Entertainment announced the date for the inaugural Mohawk Million, to be contested in 2020 at Woodbine Mohawk (WoMo) Park. The seven-digit event—in U.S. dollars—for two-year-old trotters will headline a $2.5 million-plus card on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. The six-digits Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady will take place on the same program to showcase harness racing’s finest two-year-olds. The Mohawk Million follows a buy-in formula with nine of 10 slots in the race available for purchase. The 10th spot will be awarded to the connections of the 2020 William Wellwood Memorial winner at no cost. The William Wellwood Memorial is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.

The Hambletonian Society announced dates for the 2020 Hambletonian. The stakes’ 95th edition will be raced on Saturday, Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands. Though traditionally scheduled on the first Saturday in August, every six years the event moves to the second Saturday. The $1.2-million event will revert to elimination heats raced the week before the final, as is the format of the distaff event, the $600,000 Hambletonian Oaks.

The Hambletonian has undergone multiple format changes and been raced at six host tracks since 1926. The Hambletonian is the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown, followed by the Yonkers Trot at the namesake’s track and the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile. The $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity, for eligible four-year-old trotters, will be raced on July 18, the night of the Meadowlands Pace.

Extraordinary Extras

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