We aren’t picking up where we left off but we are picking up. TwinSpires harness blog returns to cover North American harness racing.

The re-launching point is Scioto Downs in Ohio, on Friday, May 22. Ohio then adds Northfield Park to the abbreviated season on May 26. A week after Memorial Day, June will have us adding more tracks as they open around the continent.

Keep checking the TwinSpires blog section regularly for our harness racing previews and updates, since it will not be the usual, consistent two-times a week until there are enough tracks open to provide full coverage.
 
Although the season’s major features have either been shelved or rescheduled, we will be on top of all major events and add selected features, continuing with our off-the-beaten-track wagering opinions to assist your own handicapping.

The H2W (horses-to-watch) list selections reach for hopeful outsiders to bring successful win, place, show and most single- and multi-exotic races. The list will, of course, become longer as raceways present programs.


FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES~

Scioto / Race 1
Friday / May 22

Certain to be among the top pair favored in the first race of the abbreviated 2020 season, M E Radar Girl is also driver Aaron Merriman’s first pari-mutuel race in a while. Still, his presence attracts dollars, so George Tyler’s pacing mare—also the top earner—will get the betting hammer.

A tough foe here, though, is Duck Duck Dragon and maybe at a better price than expected for a Ron Burke entry. Watch the board.

Scioto / Race 4
Friday / May 22

Tim Mc Koy is one of Ohio’s top winning percentage trainers. Here, he sends a Miami regular, Up Front Flor Ida, to post against some Scioto homeboy trainers. She doesn’t have the raw numbers bettors like but she has raced against better in Ohio and Indiana and will offer a good price against the homeboys.

For exotics, add Beach Bar, who is lightly raced with a single tote appearance and a qualifier that was good for time finishing sixth of eight and still beating three.

Scioto / Race 5
Friday / May 22

Ten conditioned pacers looking even enough for a smart contest leave us with a single choice—Westsluckycam. We expect the public will look beyond a Tom Blankenship entry but that could be very harmful to their bankroll. Tom places his horses well and this one did not attempt to turn any heads making its qualifying time, which is a positive point for price.

Scioto / Race 8
Friday / May 22

The lightest raced trio in this field of eight deserve the greatest attention, starting with Anette Lorentzon’s Eye Ofa Tiger AS. These are the Open trotters and Burke brings a pair of the lightly raced, topped by Workinitonbroadway. Chased aggressively in her qualifier, Eye Ofa Tiger AS was all out, making two moves and gaining as if she never took a rest from diehard competition. She is a solid win bet here.

RETURN OF THE ‘SHORT LIST’

Scioto / Race 3
Saturday / May 23

Each season Miami opens we pay attention to what we call the “Short List.” These are horses from the barn of Adam Short which, at the beginning of any new meet where they compete, they are sharp contenders in their first few starts. Having had a lot of time off, his entries (you will see them throughout this Scioto analysis) immediately pop out at us. Plus, Adam isn’t waiting for Miami to open, he is taking on the Scioto horsemen’s community, leaving some of his entries open for top prices.

Sonofa Sizzle is Adam’s first to race of this meet and must be respected for his home base. This conditioned pace could end with  pricey win and exotic if Sonofa Sizzle is another of Adam’s early-meet successes. Certainly, using Melanie Wrenn’s Oberlin in any combo ticket with Adam’s horse on top will assure a price, as would Hell On Wheels. 

Scioto / Race 4
Saturday / May 23

Another Miami pacer on the Short List is Mosee Terror. Goose eggs across the record of six starts assure a price, especially with Adam in the bike. Totally Kissed would be a strong addition in the other paying spots, having come five times a near-winner in eight starts and probably getting less action than the Morgan entry leaving to the right of Mosee Terror.

Scioto / Race 6
Saturday / May 23

The third entry on the Short List is up for grabs in this conditioner, but fans may pick up on The Dark Shadow, who has been present at the finish line seven of nine times and sports the top earnings of seven.

Still, Scioto “specialists” love their drivers, so they will provide support for Dan Noble, if Tyler Smith goes with his second choice, and Chris Page with Burke’s rail horse.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and confirm the wagers available at the prescribed track. H2W offers possible contenders researched from reviewing races. Horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track with the date of their race and the race number (R6 ) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it appears on the list for the second time (horses are listed twice only if, at first, they failed to win. An “ae” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment.

H2W LIST

Scioto
5/22/20, Golden Paradise R6; I Choose You R7; Black Mamba AS R9; Away My Baby R10
5/23/20, Whiskey Friskie R7; Locton Luck A R8; Believeinyourmach R11