It is getting close to season’s end for the classy divisions and the rule of overnights for our wagering opportunities, as well opening the TwinSpires harness-blog books to our followers, including our players’ horse of the year and others that offered generous rewards, is almost here. First, though, we visit the Meadowlands for one more grand night of stars, most of them on the brink of graduating as 2021 looms boldly.
As well, we present the current version of our never-ending TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch (H2W) list, where we reflect opportunities in harness satellite events around North America.
Soph-colt-pacers –and trotters are featured in Woodbine/Mohawk’s seasonal Harvest Series finals on Nov. 20. Trotters go for $50l, pacers for $51k.
Hambletonian-class Moon Bridge at last found a home where he could win in North America. Racing in Canada, he found success and support from the crowd, winning a series’ leg at 2-1. The race favorite, Angel Nation, finished second and gets the inside post in the final; Moon Bridge leaves from post 9.
Others in the final field raced well to earn a berth here, but none of them had early season competition like Moon Bridge. He hardly worked at all in his winning race before this one and may have a lot more newfound speed bringing his class here.
The pacing final pits the series’ strongest winners—Delightful Terror and Beyond Better. An outsider, Cold Creek Cabo, was in the mix with “Terror,” second to him in his best mile. “Cabo” raced the tougher trip, with a big brush to come that close to winning at 4-1. Also dangerous this time around is Machphaus, who haunted Beyond Better’s two wins and could be a fine upset price among the aforementioned.
The last of the 2020 frosh stakes for gait and sex battle at the Meadowlands on Nov. 21. These are highly competitive events with arguments for many contenders. We address each race in order of program appearance.
Goldsmith Maid $451k
Eleven frosh filly trotters of renown in 2020 line up for this classic test. Ake Svanstedt loads the field with four prolific earners. Certainly attracting supporters, Flawless Country has to be in the top three public choices. She’s in a great spot, rested and has not been off the board. However, she may be bet too heavily and become an underlay. We see an outsider with a good shot at the more popular entries—May Karp. The Cantab Hall filly was a 3-1 Matron finalist, finishing fourth to Illuminata, another Svanstedt entry; she leaves from post 10 with her work cut out for her.
Governor’s Cup $398k
Frosh-colt trotters total 11, with another Svanstedt quartet. Each of them and the six others will have to overtake recent Kindergarten-winner Dees Red Delicous, a probable favorite off of that score. Chasing “Red” and looking for a stretch path will be our two-time stakes champ, On A Streak, but the market on him will have shrunk considerably.
We have been successfully following Jack Fire’s late-season surge and see him as an outside contender here for Nifty Norman.
Three Diamonds $323k
The filly pacers also send 11 to post and certainly two-time stakes winner Fire Start Hanover will be hammered at the windows. An aggressive attempt to beat “Fire” in the Kindergarten got our attention and keeps us focused upon Classicist. Linda Toscano’s Captaintreacherous filly will come out of the blue to take on Fire, as he leaves from post 10, but it could be the best place for him if a speed duel of some shuffling ensues (which is likely since this will be a fast one).
Governor’s Cup $
The price frosh-colt pacers battle on the brink of turning three in this classic from the ill-fated Garden State Park years. We would have liked Shakespeare a lot here but the Brett Pelling actor is in the consolation unless he skips that to draw into this field as an also-eligible (check your program). We included Shakespeare in the H2W list in case he does not race here.
The crowd will soak the win pool with bets on Summa Cum Laude but we will not add to that pile. Instead, our outsider is the Bill MacKenie colt, Captain Fancy. His Nov. 14 appearance, won by Always A Miki, was stellar, firing early and holding on for second at 17-1. In that, he almost caught “Miki” while defeating a few others in this field. He is surely our choice for price and purpose.
Also on the Meadowlands program Nov. 21 are the TVG finals for the older males and females of both gaits. They are totally recognizable by now and some will be making their last appearance in a pari-mutuel race. Again, here they are in program order.
Open trotters $320k
With only five going and a sentimental favorite in Manchego on her last route, we joyfully watch this one, which will likely go to Atlanta.
Mare trotters $140k
Three-year old Sorella takes on five from the older class here, where we pick up on the improvement of Pelling’s When Dovescry, who is getting back into shape for a big 2021 season. She should be strong on gait and reeling down the stretch to stop Sorella from stealing it on the engine.
Mare pacers $150k
Another soph challenging the aged is Peaky Sneaky. But really, Kissin In The Sand, who again gets going from the outside, is a long way from being beaten. We won’t be passing, though, because Pelling’s put Caviart Ally back in top form, while Shartin N appears to be getting lazy. “Ally” might take advantage of some dueling to the half and even to three-quarters and win this at a price once thought improbable.
Open pacers $340k
After crossing the Potomac in the Rosecroft pace, the three beaten class warriors, Bettors Wish, Backstreet Shadow and This Is The Plan, meet the scratched Century Farroh and some poised spoilers for the last roundup in this stimulatory season finale for the division. Simply, Bettors Wish has lost his last two with no excuses and if a horse might know this is his farewell, he might not care if it is also his Waterloo.
Backstreet Shadow just does not want to be in front of any other horse in a race. He looks great leading fields and flying in the stretch to catch whomsoever is leading the field but, much like the thoroughbred Mogambo, who looked promising in the 1986 Triple Crown, Backstreet Shadow never makes up enough ground to make history.
This Is The Plan never has a plan and only rarely succeeds when the fastest grow weary. Southwind Ozzi won some stakes at three beating nothing and has been poorly performing at four. Western Joe is an “and, if and but” in any field. Dorsoduro Hanover has a great late brush but not often enough. Filibuster Hanover is shockingly good or misterable in any field. And Springsteen, though now in Pelling’s hands, may be well past his glory days.
That analysis leaves us with grim pictures—though subjective—of a race with nine trouble equines (at this point in the season) that could produce a huge priced winner as the race develops. With that being written, we hope for Pelling to have a big night, since his stock appear to be ending the year poised for a huge 2021. Thus, the upset here goes to Springsteen.
Review our choices and confirm the wagers available at the prescribed track. H2W offers possible contenders researched from reviewing races. Horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track with the date of their race and the race number (R6 ) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it appears on the list for the second time (horses are listed twice only if, at first, they failed to win. An “ae” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment.
11/21/20, +Jimmy CR R4; +Andys Ideal R9; +Terror O R10
11/21/20, Waitin Ona River R3; Cal’s Hope R6; Outlaw Blue By You R7; Sarah Toga Again R10
11/21/20, Ideal One A R11; Lets Get Real R12
11/19/20, Karefree Kara R1; Caribbean King R6
11/20/20, +Mizzy Brenda K R2; Meadowbranch Ricky R8; +Lion Safari AS R10
11/21/20, Shakespeare R4
11/23/20, Ladys Dude R1; Massive Stroke R4
11/19/20, +Better Bangbang R11
11/19/20, +Lancaster Park R3
11/21/20, Full Deck R8; Reflexionofroyalty R10
11/22/20, Luminosity R4
11/23/20, A List R15
11/19/20, +Ethan T Hanover R7; Molto Bene R8
11/20/20, Iceal R11
11/20/20, +Walkinshaw N R8
11/21/20, +Flaming Flutter N R4