Here is the complete weekly report on hits and misses in features and our horses-to-watch list (H2W) as presented by the TwinSpires Harness Preview Blog.
Thursday, July 30
Leg three of the Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) for soph-colt trotters at Hoosier offered a pair of races as the contestants become fewer and the division leaders clearer. Our only winner was the obvious but well-paying for the status Swan In Motion ($3.40, $2.20, $2.10). We were third in the other INSS split, with Bluebird Deacon (n/b, 6-1) as the public’s second choice won in the short field.
Friday, July 31,
Frosh-trotting elims at the Meadowlands began with two for fillies looking for berths in next week’s Jim Doherty Memorial.
In round one we got close enough to the 12-1 winner to get second with Material Girl ($5.40, $5.60 ok). In the second episode, our choice, Dream Chapter (7-1) broke and galloped to finish seventh while another 7-1 shot took the win.
There was a solo elim for the frosh-colt trotters to assemble next week’s Peter Haughton Memorial Final. The favorite wound up to be our most talked about colt, Venerate ($3,00), who made the final finishing third. Our exotic partner with the French-American-bred colt was Bidensky (16-1) and he broke to be eliminated, finishing 10th.
Saturday, Aug. 1
So, as it turned out, the Adios, sans Papi Rob Hanover, went to the second favorite, Catch The Fire. At 31-1, our hopeful upset candidate, Sweet Truth, was making a move in the second tier going into the last turn when he broke and galloped home last. With the pace steaming for three-quarters, the proof that a closing Sweet Truth could have won by at least a nose on gait came from Chief Mate. The Tony Alagna colt was 8 ½ lengths behind at three-quarters, 2 ½ lengths behind Sweet Truth, and finished second by a head at 53-1. Chief Mate, you may recall, was a scratch from the Meadowlands Pace, which allowed Capt Midnight to take his place. As for Capt Midnight, he went off the Adios favorite and finished sixth, never getting his footing until it was too late.
In the filly version of the Adios, the Adioo Volo, we tried to beat the two favorites but only managed to follow them, in order, and finish third with Pettycoat Business ($2.60). A measly trifecta came back $9.40 with the two public choices first and second over our 14-1 shot.
The first of the Hambletonian elims presented a fascinating win by the filly Ramona Hill ($4.40, $3.00, $2.20). This is the same filly our readers became familiar with in last year’s Breeders Crown when she was two and whom we followed to cash at 8-1 in the Del Miller last week. We failed to come up with an exacta (second-choice Back Of The Neck too place money), having hoped there would be shuffling and dueling when “Ramona” closed but not only was that not the way the race developed, but our longshot contender, Maesteraemon broke and was disqualified and placed eighth for interference.
The second Hambletonian elim was also won by a favorite, who happens to be one of our top five soph-colt trotters of the season, Ready For Moni ($4.40, $3.00, $2.80). We were not able to nab an exotic here, either, as our two also-trotted colts, Sister Sledge and Rome Pays Off finished off the board, though making the final.
H2W LIST RESULTS
The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Exactas listed include a H2W horse finishing second to a race-favorite or if the first two finishers are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses are listed—a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices are correct (even when a show price exceeds a place price or all prices are the same).
Please note that some results reflect horses racing after the blog posts (they appear the following week).
This week, there were 35 active horses (a 14-percent win hit rate and a 31-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).
Island Of The Sea, $14.00, $2.80, $2.60, Hoosier
Queenace Blue Chip, $10.80, $5.20, $3.60, Running Aces
Franksnativewestrn, $7.00, $6.20, $5.20, Hawthorne
Smalltownthrowdown, $2.60, $2.40, $2.10, Northfield
Wind Of The North, $2.40, $2.10, $2.10, Northfield
Sweet Heart AS, $10.20, $5.10, Yonkers
Shecouldbegood N, $2.30, $2.10, Yonkers
Foot Soldier, $4.50, Mohawk
Somesizesomestyle, $4.40, Pocono
Bettors Fire N, $2.60, Plainridge
Mister Godro, $2.10, Kawartha
NEWS & NOTES
David McDuffee, Papi Rob Hanover’s owner, became a shareholder of TIMES: in harness magazine (one of my bosses when I was an editor) around the time his colt, Magical Mike, won the Little Brown Jug when division leader Cams Card Shark (also owned by a TIMES: shareholder), scratched from the race. On the brink of a sure win in the 2020 Adios, it was his colt that scratched “Papi” retired due to injury after winning an Adios elim in a track record. Another of his properties, Chin Chin Hall, was injured and has to skip his four-year-old campaign.
In a recent column at HRU, I wondered why there was not a race named for the late, racing public-relations agent, Marv Bachrad. Upon publication of the column, Judy-Davis Wilson of the Delware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) informed me that Dover Downs, where Marv last served as a track PR head, named a $100,000 DSBF Final for two-year-old filly trotters, The Marv Bachrad. I apologize for the sloppy research but am happy Dover created the race for one of the sport’s most influential sources.
Another 2020 feature race has been set aside—for now. Flamboro Downs officials announced the this year’s edition of the Confederation Cup has been suspended, possibly for the year, though it will come under consideration for a spot in the fall. The race, originally scheduled for May, sends four-year-old pacers to post for a six-digit purse.
Keeping drivers accountable for their win streaks, we focus on Dave Palone at the Meadows on July 29. Dave drove in 13 races on the program and grabbed industry headlines for winning four features, all Grand Circuit (GC) stakes. However, Dave was a flat-bet profit no thanks to the GC races, but for one of his low-profile wins, paying $16.60. That price spiked his total win payout to $41.60 at a cost of $26). The average price of his GC winners was $4.70.
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