As usual, here is our weekly report on the hits and misses we had as presented by the TwinSpires Harness Preview blog, along with the placings from our horses-to-watch list (H2W) and our News & Notes section, which reports and remarks on the states of our sport.
Thursday, Aug. 13
Woodbine/Mohawk (WoMo) finished two series for frosh-colt and-filly trotters. The colt’s episode was won by the favorite and we completed the $26.60 exacta with On A Streak ($6.50, $11.20 ok).
The filly final was also won by the favorite, but our two selections tanked. The first, Anna Bolena (17-1), did not perform at all, breaking badly to be eliminated and finish 10th. Keystone Cecilia (112-1) raced worse than her odds [sic].
Friday, Aug. 14
A Maryland Sires Stakes (MDSS) quartet turned into a trio for us when Goorilla scratched in the colt trot. Then we had a third in the filly trot with Goodygoodytwoshoes (5-2), but there was no show betting.
In the MDSS filly pace, Fire Me Up (20-1) broke badly enough to earn a “dnf” in her race line. We won the colt pace with the dead-on favorite Nvrfearlloydishere ($2.20, $2.10, n/s).
Saturday, Aug. 15
State-bred glamour-girl trotters were the feature at the Meadows. In the first of two splits, we completed the exacta with Dip Me Hanover $3.00, $2.40), losing to favorite Sister Sledge, the other filly in the Hambletonian.
We finished second in the other split with the favorite, Next Level Stuff ($2.80, $2.10), beaten by a hair to a 5-1 Crucial.
Northfield’s six-digit stake went partially as we predicted, just not with our choices, as the favorite, Catch The Fire, burned out from an overland journey. Our choice, Chief Mate (8-1) raced just as we thought, closing 13 lengths, including a three-wide move, but too late to finish better than fourth. There were less than 2 lengths between the first four finishers, the winner at 6-1. Elver Hanover (7-1), undefeated at two, still cannot find the winner’s circle at three.
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 26 active horses (a 15-percent win hit rate and a 42-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).
Beckarama, $13.20, $5.00, $4.20, Batavia
Elegant Virgin, $4.00, $3.00, $2.20, Hoosier
Darby Hanover, $3.60, $2.20, $2.10, Pocono
DI’s Big Elvis, $3.60, $2.40, $2.10, Hoosier
Up Front Flor Ida, $5.80, $3.20, Scioto
All Access, $4.20, $2.60, Red Mile
Some Reality, $3.60, $2.40 (Exacta $8.20), Vernon
One Step Up, $3.10. $3.00, Batavia
Lucky Arnold, $3.00, Plainridge
Misty Lane, $3.00, Meadows
Ellegator, $2.20, Northfield
NEWS & NOTES
Bea Farber, winner of 1,801 drives, most ever by a female, passed on Aug. 11 at 79. Farber’s exploits were so extraordinary they were the subject of a short film in 1980 titled Queen Bea. At 29, Bea left her secretary job and joined her husband to race horses. She won her first pari-mutuel race in 1971, at Jackson in Michigan. In 1973 at Northville in Michigan, she became the first female to capture a driving title. She went on to win more titles at other Michigan racetracks as well as in California, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Canada. She retired in 1995 with purse earnings of $9 million.
The winning drive in the 2020 Hambletonian went to Australian native Andrew McCarthy. Since his rides on champion-filly Ramona Hill, he has taken a prominent position in racing news, one that some, and certainly novice, bettors see as a major handicapping plus. McCarthy, though, knows the score. In 2018, he gave the credit for his success to “the trainers that I drive for. I’ve had some nice horses to drive. They make it a heck of a lot easier when you’ve got the best horse in the race.”
At 24, McCarthy had won 415 races in his homeland, driving at spot-on tracks across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. He drove much for his father, John McCarthy, who was a popular mentor (trainer) and won major feature races Down Under. Andrew was a major contender in the Young Drivers Championship along with the sport’s top rising stars Aaron Skalecki, John Dunn and Jonny Cox. He is the older brother of Luke McCarthy, whose northern-hemisphere stable has grown as Andy set up tack in the U.S.A.
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