This edition should look a bit more like the pre-pandemic harness blogs, since some of our feature races fall into stakes categories for the first time this season. Other selected features are included. As is our function, we suggest outside contenders (at press time) at top level affairs.

As well, the horses-to-watch list (H2W) is picking up steam as it picks up more choices from more racetracks, offering strong possibilities for all shades of wagers. Always peruse the H2W and consider its outsider angles for top prices.

POWER PLAYS

Saratoga / Races3—5
Thursday / June 25

Race 3
A Pick 3 includes the usual single-race exotics and leg one is a mixture of classes and form. Our contenders, therefore, should not be judged by their morning lines (ML). We see Rollinwithambition in top form for the conditions, coming off the hiatus from eight but toteboard appearances. Considering he was right behind this race’s ML favorite (Nagle), he should be full of pace when it counts.

Brads Buddy was the beaten favorite in the aforementioned mile and is bound to be a fixture in the exotics, though also bound to be one of the top three public choices.

Race 4
In the second leg, Wood Hunter gets an 8-1 ML while returning to step up from the level where he won last in February. A few others come into this stepping up from that class and get shorter MLs, leaving us with a bargain of a price for Wood Hunter if the line–maker is accurate.

ML favorite Tuapeka Trick N was best at this level and stunk trying higher caliber competition. That minor class edge could show itself trying for an engine win but he is better behind a higher price for exotic purposes. Devisser could also wind up a number in exotics.

Race 5
Two big ML favorites may not be so impressive as their odds suggest if the new connections of Presleysbeachshack (Larry Stalbaum) can make the colt live up to his sharp Pennsylvania breeding. Only having raced once and measured at 20-1, the public won’t give this son of A Rocknroll Dance much of a shot to improve. However, a leap of faith may wind up worth a shot, especially among this weak group.

The two ML favorites, Bold Ruler and Aces Rock, though, could complete the Pick 3, but a lot of pool sharing will take place if either wins.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

HOOSIER STARS

Local series take the spotlight on June 26 at Hoosier. Soph-colt pacers battle two divisions of The Star Destroyer, while fillies have a single mile.

Seven go in the $20,000  first colt split, three taking on the series as the debut of their season. Shane Bowermaster’s sub-1:50 winner, Island Of The Sea, could be the best here and may offer a decent price against Burke and Andrew Harris colts (Nassau Desire, Rogerthat Bluechip). Therein lies the exotics.

Colt-division two ($20,000) lines up seven, headed by Brian Brown’s hot local, Later Dudes, already three for three in the win column. We have our eyes on Roll With Jr, who was strong for us at two and starts his 2020 campaign here for Jeff Cullipher. He should be a big price, since two others in the field, one another Burke student, will attract win action.

The single $30,000 filly split also enjoys a field of seven. Brown has another top entry here with Foxy Rigger. Also, Bowermaster brings Sweet Filly to the fray. Those two will eat a lot of win money. We give an outsider chance here to another decent 2019 frosh that should be an overlay here—Seventimesacharm. Improvement seems inherent in this gal, so let’s try to get her at a price before she becomes too popular.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

GLAMOUR GIRLS TROT


On June 27, the Meadows features two $26,764 Arden Downs splits for soph-filly trotters, some hopefully en route to the Hambletonian Oaks.

Sister Sledge, the major filly of the 16 involved, is in the second split. Obviously, the crowd will pound the Ron Burke-trained filly as she opens her soph season. She is the penultimate freshman filly trotter earner and appears to be facing far less talented in this affair. What we do not know is the difference between beating her or losing to her and what we don’t know here is endless.

Perth Angel De Vie has won a race already at three. How much better is she now? Coconut Kate finished third once, racing well. How much better is she now? Four others debut. How much better will they be at three? We always take the leap of faith when faced with obvious entries like Sister Sledge, so we endorse Perth Angel De Vie.

In the first split, another Burke filly, Dune Hill, will attract the common handicappers. She is not one of last season’s top earners, so the leap of faith here is not as wide as in the second Arden. We will go against Dune Hill, then, with Andover Contessa. She may not be invisible to the public but she should not be favored here over the cherished Burke-Yannick Gingras coupling.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

GRADUATE HABITAT


On June 27 the second leg of the Graduate Series is at the Meadowlands where four-year-old trotters, male and female, line up in a pair of $50,000 splits.

The first field will cause any number of arguments about predictions because these trotters are not exactly predictable—yet. So, let the arguments begin.

Marcus Melander’s Reign Of Honor must be respected enough to put him in the top three public choices. “Reign” is one of two Father Patrick products. The other is Soul Strong, which is one of two Ave Svanstedt-trained horses here. We’re endorsing Melander’s Reign because when it comes to price, the crowd should hammer Don’t Let’em and Reign will go off with a worthy price to target.

Speaking of Melander, the other division features Gimpanzee and a swath of followers betting him in every combo possible. He was our top soph choice through last season and when we caught him he was worth the price. We have to bet against him now, though, and our choice is another one we cashed in on last season—Marseille. Svanstedt’s trotter opens his four-year-old season and should do it savagely at a price.


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


Buffalo
6/27/20, Sir Richie N R4; Barry Hanover R6; Machlicious R7; Electric Chapel N R9

Grand River
6/26/20, Blakes Chip R7

Hawthorne
6/26/20, OK Jewel R13
6/27/20, +Its Chocolate Time R11

Hoosier
6/25/20, +Rock Flush R2; +MJs Riggins Rebel R6; +Baby Lets Roll R6; Rocksann R9
6/26/20, +A Bettors Risk R13

Meadowlands
6/26/20, +Cranberry Brie R6; +Barley R12
6/27/20, +Lets Roll R2; +Beyond Kronos R4; +Moon Bridge R4

Meadows
6/25/20, +Invincible R13
6/29/20, Papa Cheez R12

Northfield
6/25/20, Beach Angel R15
6/27/20, The Wall R11

Philly
6/25/20, Becky Kronos R5; +Capricornus R8
6/26/20, Yacht Week R3; Mission Hill R9

Pocono
6/27/20, +Rock On Precious R1; +Take It Back Terry R4; +Final Dream R6; +Si Semalu R7

Running Aces
6/27/20, Sin Machqueen R2; Roman Treasure R3; Ahead By A Century R4; In For The Chase R7

Saratoga
6/25/20, +Beatingtheodds R10

Scarborough
6/26/20, +No Humble Jumble R6

Scioto
6/25/20, Forget It Im Crazy R12; +Hobgoblin R13
6/27/20, The Wall R5

Vernon
6/25/20, +JDs Brent N Sheree R6; Lindas In Heaven R13

Woodbine/Mohawk
6/25/20, +Hetties Commander R1; Up And Trending R4
6/26/20, Arianna Grandeo R1; Royhill R6
6/27/20, Kendall Seelster R4; Easy Lover Hanover R9

Yonkers
6/25/20, Caviart Skyler R3; +Don Domingo N R6
6/29/20, +Manofmanyimages R7