Once again, here is our Update edition of the TwinSpires Harness Preview blog. How did we do based on suggested contenders from our features? And all of the in-the-money finishers from our horses-to-watch list (H2W) as well as our News & Notes section, reporting and remarking on the states of our sport.

Friday, Oct. 9

International Stallion Stakes (ISS) covered the two-day programs at The Red Mile on the final week of its run in Kentucky.

Our successes were common and 100-percent wins with the frosh-filly pacing splits. The betting public was on to our contenders and they came through with a pair of wins.

In the first filly ISS we won with Test Of Faith ($2.40, $2.10, $2.10). In the second we delivered a price we thought would be higher on Fire Start Hanover ($3.60, $2.20, $2,10).

The colt trotters were not so generous with returns. There were three splits for the boys dreaming of the 2021 Hambletonian. The public’s second choice won two of three.

Our choice, Venerate (which we nailed in the Mohawk Million), the huge favorite in ISS split one, broke stride, and though he mounted a courageous return to gait, he finished fourth.

Another race favorite and our choice, Fly Light (9-5), was not up to the test, finishing fourth (without breaking).

We settled for one show finish with Jack Fire ($2.80) in the last ISS colt event.

Saturday, Oct. 10

The ISS divisions on the penultimate program at The Red Mile included trio two-year-old filly trotter miles and another three for the colt pacers.

In the first ISS filly fight, we did not go with a bet-back on last week’s Flawless Country, who became the favorite and won. We went with Gimme Shelter (5-1), who hid in fifth as the field crossed the finish line.

Next, one winner out of four for us was one of two favorites topping the filly fields. We caught Anoka Hanover ($3.60, $2.40, $2,10) and his show horse, Gotta Believe ($2.80).

Lastly, Mazarati (3-1) lost to a 6-1, and Aunt Irene (5-1) broke and was eliminated.

A favorite won in each ISS colt pace, but we only picked up a show price with Always A Miki ($3.40), while Billy Clyde (29-1) was a grave disappointment, finishing sixth, and Beach Party (21-1) could not break his maiden, finishing fourth.

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 37 active horses (a 16-percent win hit rate and a 49-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Winners

Skyway Bebop, $7.80, $4.80, $4.20, Northville
Vega Star N, $6.60, $3.40, $2.60, Meadows
Mister Rebbily A, $6.30, $4.60, $3.10, Yonkers
Determined, $6.10, $3.40, $2.10, Batavia
Genie Rockwell, $3.00, $2.20, $2.40 ok, Hoosier
Rock Icon, $2.50, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Monticello

Seconds

Colition, $7.60, $5.00 (Exacta $18.40), Dayton
Bluebird Deacon, $6.00, $4.80 (Exacta $20.80), Hoosier
Virgo, $3.20, $4.80 ok, Northville
Six Roses, $2.80, $2.40, Monticello
Dip Me Hanover, $2,60, $2.20, Red Mile
Caviart Caterina, $2.40, $2.10 (Exacta $7.80), Plainridge
 
Thirds

High Baller, $5.20, Red Mile
BJs Guy, $4.40, Batavia
Dontstopbelievn N, $2.80, Plainridge
Major Nemesis, $3.00, Meadows
Skyway Kon Man, $2.40, Philly
Han Solo, n/s, Plainridge

 
NEWS & NOTES

Harness racing comes back to Oak Grove, the newest Kentucky harness racing track. Horses continue to qualifiy for the October and November meet, the second autumn since opening in 2019. The Kentucky track’s post is 12:30 p.m. daily. Opening days are Wednesday, Oct. 14 and Thursday, Oct. 15. Then, racing resumes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Oct. 19 through Nov. 11. The TwinSpires harness blog will keep bettors updated on the action and news about the horsemen community.

The Kentucky Standardbred Development Fund and Sires Stakes Advisory Panel approved a new series for Oak Grove’s 2020 fall meet. The new series is for all two- and three-year-old horses that are eligible for the 2020 sires stakes program and Kentucky Fair Program. The series has one leg and a final. The leg divisions race for $15,000 apiece (split to $10,000, minimum) and $25,000 in the final on Nov. 15, 2020 Eight horses make up the field.

A late-comer to the 2020 Hambletonian Final key race (a race producing many, if not all winners) is Threefiftytwo. The soph-trotting colt out-classed the rest of the $104k Ontario Sires Stakes (ONSS) Gold Series Final on Oct. 8 at Woodbine/Mohawk (WoMo) to win in 1:54. It was Threefiftytwo’s first in four ONSS  starts at three. The Royalty For Life son boosts his ONSS point total to 72 as he heads into the Oct. 17 Super Final fifth in the division standings.

Also returning to the ONSS winner’s circle on Oct. 8 was Macho Martini. At Flamboro Downs he recorded an effortless 1:58.1 mile in the lone $157k two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series division. Luc Blais trains. The win was his eighth in 10 starts. With 200 points, Macho Martini leads his division into the Oct. 17 Super Final at WoMo. The top 10-point earners compete in the $250,000 season finale.

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in our columns, Alternative Actions and Bettors Banquet at Harness Racing Update