This special Update edition of the TwinSpires Harness Blog mostly reviews elimination races for the Breeders Crown finals next week at Hoosier Park. As well, we review our horses-to-watch list (H2W) from last week, and check our News & Notes section, reporting and remarking on the states of our sport.

Friday, Oct. 23

Five afternoon Grand Circuit Simpson stakes at Philly delivered public-choice winners. We shared in two—Captain Fancy ($5.60, $2.80, $2.10) and Jack Fire ($2.80, $2.40, $2.20). Four others finished fourth: Aime Hanover (5-1), Billy Clyde (11-1); Cefffyl DWR (11-1); and Googoo On Stage (27-1) finished fifth.

Three Breeders Crown elims produced winners and the rest are as recorded:

2cP: Southwind Gendry ($2.80, $2.40, $2.10) won with JK Going West ($2.40) third.
Perfect Sting ($3.00, $2.20, $2.10) won with Always A Miki ($6.80) third and Abuckabett (89-1) fourth.
2fP: Nashville Elgenna (7-1) finished fifth; Caviart Audrey (6-1) finished fourth.
2cT: In Range ($14.00, $5.20, $3.20) won; Dancinginthedark M broke and was eliminated.
2fT: Donna Soprano, the race favorite, broke and was eliminated.
Pub Crawl (6-1) wandered home sixth.
3fT: Sister Sledge (12-1) sluggishly, got the wire sixth.
Ramona Hill was scratched, though we suggested a pass beforehand (see story below).
3fP: Hen Party (15-1) showed little finishing fourth; Reflect With Me (15-1) did not show her August spark, finishing sixth.

Saturday, Oct. 24

The remaining BC elims were chalk-covered events, with one sad but super outsider.

3cP: Tall Dark Stranger ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10) was way better than Sandbetweenmytoes (34-1), fifth, though making the final field.
Allywag Hanover (7-2) is just no good any longer, finishing last in the second elim to the race favorite.
Open mares: Treacherous Reign (9-1) made the final finishing fifth. Caviart Ally (5-1) was dull finishing sixth.
3cT: We supported bets on Capricornus much of the season but he did not fire, nor did he get the opportunity to inherit a win. But it happened in this race and he won at 62-1 as Ready For Moni, the favorite, finished fourth and Play Trix On Me (19-1) was fifth.
Maesteraemon ($6.60) took third, while Back Of The Neck, the public choice, was 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 31 active horses (a 16-percent win hit rate and a 42-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Winners

Hatikvah, $37.60, $10.20, $4.60, Pocono
Sermon, $21.20, $12.20, $8.40, Hoosier
Fortify, $4.60, $2.20, $2.10, Hoosier
Callmequeenbee, $4.20, $2.80, $2.40, Hoosier
Genie Rockwell, $3.40, $2.20, $2.10, Hoosier

Seconds

Dune Dame, $22.60, $7.20 (Exacta, $108.00), Hoosier
Alkippe, $6.40, $3.60, Meadowlands
Grand Priority, $6.20, $5.00, Yonkers
Lioness Hanover, $5.40, $6.20 o (Exacta $24.40), Plainridge
Sure Please, $2.80, $2.80 ok, Batavia
Blood Line, $2.10, $2.10, Pocono

Thirds

Deweydiddonegood, $4.60, Dayton
Betterlatethnnever, $2.20, Plainridge
 
NEWS & NOTES
 
What happened top Oak Grove Racing this past week? It moved three of its harness race dates, originally scheduled for Oct. 26th –28th to the end of the 2020 meet on Nov. 21st-23rd. The adjustment was made “in abundance of caution” to allow for repairs to the track’s racing surface after it sustained damage “due to a torrent of unexpected rainfall” earlier in the week. The environmental damage previously necessitated the cancellation of race dates at Oak Grove Racing on Oct. 19th –21st.

Marion Marauder (MM), our 2016 Hambletonian winner and triple millionaire, has been retired from racing, according to his connections. After consultation with equine veterinarians, they knew MM would not be able to compete “at the elite level.” They have looked into his standing stud, but “unfortunately his lack of fertility worsened with age and he is not able to breed.” MM also became the ninth trotter to win Trotting’s Triple Crown. At three, the son of Muscle Hill earned more than $1.5 million, topping North American earnings for all trotters. As an older competitor he won the 2017 Graduate Final and the Hambletonian Maturity to total earnings of over $3.5 million.

In the BC soph-filly trot, which we suggested to pass due to the uncertainty of Ramona Hill’s condition, became a moot point before post time but after we went to press, because Ramona Hill was scratched. The division’s dominant figure, who also dominated the boys, could not be queen of whatever malady was causing her to tank on the track. Thus, a great season’s story ends by the same cause that delayed this season’s beginning—illness. Ramona Hill won’t be a part of the championship series, putting a sad and ironic conclusion to her sophomore campaign.
 
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