TwinSpires Harness Blog now reports success and failure at Dover Downs and Woodbine/Mohawk features. Plus we share the shape of our horses-to-watch list (H2W) from last week’s choices. Check our News & Notes section for reporting and remarking on the states of our sport.

Thursday, Nov. 12

The Matrons at Dover, four three-year-old finals, were very much in the hands of the favorites, with a few surprises.

We passed on the soph-filly pace, noting that the obvious winner would be (and was) Party Girl Hill ($2.60, $2.10, $2.10) but we were competitive in the other three.

Ramona Hill may be done for the season or her career (we await official announcement). She was the favorite in the filly trot but broke at the start and galloped. We finished fourth trying to beat her anyway, with Love A Good Story (7-1), beaten by the second favorite.

In the colt trot, we were second with Back Of The Neck ($4.40, $3.80), completing an exacta worth $8.60.

In the colt pace, we finished second with No Lou Zing ($4.00, $2.80), completing an exacta worth $9.40.
 
Saturday, Nov. 14

The SBOA soph-filly pace and trot at Woodbine/Mohawk buried our two upset possibilities. In the trot, a 9-1 shot won over out Chelseas Magic (28-1), who finished a tardy eighth. In the pace, Beach Sports (16-1) did not race anywhere near her expectations but the public choice was certainly sharp, winning the event.

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 33 active horses (a 9-percent win hit rate and a 42-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Winners

Endeavors Star, $7.40, $4.20, $2.60, Northfield
Always A Miki, $4.40, $3.20, $2.40, Meadowlands
Bugatti, $2.70, $2.59, $2.50 ok, Batavia

Seconds

Better Bangbang, $9.60, $7.50, Monticello
Panimal Kingdom, $5.40, $3.80 (Exacta $44.40), Meadows
Simply Susational N, $4.20, $4.00, Plainridge
Flaming Flutter N, $3.40, $2.80, Yonkers
When Dovescry, $2.80, $2.20, Meadowlands

Thirds

Little Ms. Aryss, $5.80, Oak Grove
Jimmy CR, $5.70, Batavia
French Moni, $4.00, Meadowlands
Andys Ideal, $2.10, Batavia
Carolina Beach, $2.10, Meadows
Lion Safari AS, $2.10, Philly
 
NEWS & NOTES

Pompano Park, as of this post, has tried to start a new season, only to be thwarted by what The Weather Channel is calling “The longest hurricane season on record.” The 57th racing season, that goes until May 19, 2021, delayed programs day by day due to torrid Tropical Depressions on the brink of becoming Hurricanes. The track’s electrical system suffered from the rains, making even inclement racing impossible. By the time you read this, Pompano is hopefully in action again.

A positive COVID-19 test on an employee on the racing side of operations, Dayton Raceway t suspended harness racing, effective Nov. 13, “acting out of an abundance of caution,” officials said. No date was announced for a return to harness racing.

Manchego was becoming a mainstay in aged-trotting stakes, but now it is time for the champion mare to contribute to the breed. She has earned $2.5 million, won Breeders Crown titles at two, four and five, and won the Hambletonian Oaks. Jimmy Takter trained her until she was four, when his daughter Nancy took over.

Also headed for a breeding career in 2021 is Tall Dark Stranger, the champion pacer that finally got caught at what could have been the pinnacle of his great two- and three-year-old seasons when 200-1 Sandbetweenyourtoes beat him in the Breeders Crown final. Still, he retires the head of his sophomore division, beaten only twice. It would have been wonderful to see him at four, raging against veteran pacers, but such is the way the sport develops as a business.

As well, Bettors Wish is going to stud in 2021. He was a rarity coming back at four after a super sophomore season in 2019. At four he handled veteran pacers with aplomb, running up his performance achievements to 23 wins and $2.4 million in earnings. He also failed to win his Breeders Crown final, finishing second, but is still be considered the top older pacer of the year.

Additional harness-racing programs at Philly reset the originally scheduled closing day of Dec. 20. The additional dates are: Dec. 23, 24, 27 and 31, all afternoon programs except the latter an evening New Year’s Eve feature. The administration says due to the loss of programs early in the season—a COVID-19 source—the track will now give horsemen and bettors additional opportunities before the end of the year.
 
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