This preview blog is beginning to look as it did before the harness hiatus. This weekend and the weekdays following, North American harness raceways on both sides of the border continue their 2020 seasons—including Woodbine/Mohawk, Meadowlands, Hawthorne, Scarborough, Tioga, Vernon, Harrington and Running Aces (all on or before June 20). We scan the harness territory for your wagering purposes with selected features and we cover what is left of the stakes season of 2020..

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.

The H2W (horses-to-watch) list selections at both tracks reach for hopeful outsiders to bring successful win, place, show and contribute to single- and multi-exotic races. The list becomes longer each week as raceways open.


FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES~

Scioto / Race 5
Thursday / June 4

Steve Carter’s Rockinallnightlong takes a second shot at the “second season,” coming off a non-supported 71-1 mile. The trip was not without note, though, as Rockinallnightlong ground his way through a 5-length gain from a very slow start. He used a three-wide move in that gain and beat four other long shots in the second half of the field. The heavy favorite finished third.

The William Rhoades-Aaron Merriman combo surely will get the most backing from the public, but Brian Brown’s Stanford Court could be a major exotic-bet element.

Scioto / Race 6
Thursday / June 4

Artful Dancer, another Steve Carter returnee from the first wave of Scioto-based horses takes on nine in this race. Artful Dancer, the second choice of the public last week, beat the favorite, finishing third. It was a wire-to-wire attempt that found her short when two outsiders that had saved ground made strong moves late.

Also from that race, Crowntime Pet is back. Her 54-1 attempt was poor, but she may have needed a wake-up call in her first start off the hiatus because she has enough talent to earn a check here and would add some bucks to exotics. 

Charlottetown / Race 2
Thursday / June 4

Here is a batch of lightly raced pacers with little information to go by in the quest for a winner. Still, standing out for us is Fear The Storm. At two, the Badlands Hanover filly had one race, a rather expensive purse for the likes of smaller Canadian tracks.

Then it was quiet time, until a qualifier to get back into action in 2020. Things were going well for the speed-bred gal when, making a move on the outside from fourth, she suffered some broken equipment and faltered. She only lost a position along with 5 lengths, enough to incite a leap of faith in a loose field of inexperience.


FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES~

Meadowlands / Race 11
Friday / June 5

Five-year-olds and under meet in this conditioned trot. Among them is a three-year-old we have already written about. Our May 5 blog listed our choices for the top sophomore colt trotters of this year. Our second choice is Capricornus.

We wrote: “Marcus Melander’loyalty to the progeny of aging stallion Cantab Hall pays off continually. This son of the productive sire was not peaking, as were the obvious two in the division, as he got better in the late season’s stakes. He will give the obvious two a trot for their money and, early on, for the bettor cashing on him.”

Leaving from post 3 in this race, Capricornus makes his debut. We want to call it a winning one.

Scarborough / Race 2
Friday / June 5

In this conditioner, most involved are from the Maine circuit or Massachusetts, where the competition settles among themselves. The exception is Letsgetintotrouble, who ships in from the slightly higher ilk of New York harness.

Letsgetintotrouble is among the three best bred in the group, coming from Art Major and a New York mare. Andrew Harrington, a smartly win-percentage trainer, brings the five-year-old into a truly good spot. The morning line (ML) maker puts the gelding at 6-1, which may look like a gift at the wire, getting all of our support.

Scarborough / Race 4
Friday / June 5

From Rosecroft comes a genuinely competent outsider, JK Onaroll. A ML of 8-1 invites a strong argument for a win bet. This is a Roll With Joe gelding from a Life Sign mare that wound up in Maryland for owner/trainer Eric Bickmore.

He shipped to Scarborough during the hiatus, coming from mare-pace conditioners. His last two races were hampered by outside trips, but the most recent was aggressive at 12-1, especially coming back as a beaten favorite. Among this group, JK Onaroll has a shot at an impressive win that may make him the fancy of this circuit as the new season ensues.  

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES~

Woodbine/Mohawk / Race 1
Saturday / June 6

One of the top three public choices in his March ’20 race, a conditioned trot, John Bax’s Super Schissel raced from far behind to the half before becoming serious. He picked up cover and moved swiftly by some in front of him to be on the outside charging. He gained lengths, not positions, finishing fourth.

Super Schissel comes to this race with as much rest as the next trotter but under the care of Bax the horse could go on to win as if that March race was last week.

Woodbine/Mohawk / Race 3
Saturday / June 6

Luc Blais should be starting his stock racing again with bravado and some may not have to work as hard as others. Take Steuben Hanover, for instance. His March 12 qualifier was a veritable walk in a veritable park, winning from the catbird seat all the way around. Then, of course, he took the same vacation the rest of the sport’s equine population took. Now he returns to trot in a conditioner that almost seems written for him.

Meadowlands / Race 7
Saturday / June 6

Before the pandemic, we were keeping a close eye on Trond Smedshammer’s Buen Camino. The trotter was scratched a few times from Yonkers, and then set aside like the rest of them. Perhaps you remember last November at The Meadowlands when this aged son of Cash Hall pulled off a 50-1 win?

We have learned through the last two decades that we cannot dismiss a Trond trainee. Buen Camino’s 50-1 win is not necessarily exemplary in price, but his trotter’s history of winners has brought this department many high-percentage overlays.

Trond sends Buen Camino into this race, his third of the disrupted season and post 8 should neither contribute nor hamper his chances to win or be a major part of the race’s exotic payoff. 


H2W Legend

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

H2W LIST


Buffalo
6/6/20, +Artacus R4; Raylan Givens R5; +Bubeleh Stone R6; +Daylight Rush R7; Sagebrush Sharp R8

Charlottetown
6/4/20, Windmerenoharmdone R4; Still Owing R7

Grand River
6/5/20, +Tuxedo R9

Meadowlands
6/5/20, Limerence R7
6/6/20, +Rodeo Rock R9; +Father Sarducci R11

Northfield
6/6/20, Official Treasure R10; +Scarlet Desire R15

Scarborough
6/5/20, Our Royal Majesty R1; What A Hooligan R6; Bo Master R7; Zack Lee R8

Scioto
6/5/20, Wisdome Tree ae R8; +Golden Paradise R8

Woodbine/Mohawk
6/5/20, Perfect Storm R3; HP Bruxelles R4; Princess Sarita ae R5; Cracklin Rosie R8
6/6/20, Easy Lover Hanover R8