More selected features from North American harness raceways zero in on wagering opportunities for win, place, show and single- and multi-race exotics. And, we deliver another edition of our never-ending TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch (H2W) list.
Philly / Races 3, 4, 5
Thursday / Dec. 10
The Pick 3 is our target with a Power Plays (PP) feature at Philly in the afternoon program. As well as the Pick 3, you may opt to use any of our suggested contenders for the usual exotics—Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta and win, place and show bets.
Shipping from Rosecroft after a decent campaign at Hoosier, Greek Legend looks to use his inherited speed (a son of Manofmanymissions) to impress this batch of locals. He has improved since a poor frosh season and could take this one as a surprise to foes, perhaps even wire to wire. The price would build a great Pick-3 start, killing many tickets.
This is a tough one, since luck could play a definitive role in the outcome. The morning-line (ML) favorite, Lindys Big Bang is stepping down after failing at even money. Use it if you want but do not push the “all” button. Instead, take seriously the 3 horse, Troller. A trainer change and two struggling performaces at Pocono, as well as his most recent win coming at Philly, should give him a better chance than his odds will measure.
The slight step up for Vitani AS may not be such a challenge. She won at Philly two back, fitting into a non-winners of one with a win at her back and her Meadows race, finishing fourth at 9-1, merits attention from post 8. The big favorite, Ginger Tree Bren could certainly make a dull mile out of this but pay nothing. If you are alive with the better prices in the first two legs, though, you should add Vitani AS, who could be the longshot spoiler if the two aforementioned obvious crowd choices wins.
FEATURES~ FEATURES~ FEATURES~
Dayton / Races 7, 8
Thursday / Dec. 10
Dayton’s Rolling Doubles continue to offer decent prices with their redemption quality of laying over one another. Let’s look at three races that fit nicely into the stream.
A win at Northfield, followed by a win at Dayton followed some strong trips that nearly added to the skein, all of which clearly makes Blacklist Z Tam a major contender stepping up in claiming price. He is often on the board at the finish line and launching from the 5 hole is always a plus.
Shipping in from the Meadows with strong finishes on the board, six of them wins, Fairy Gold should find this track a breeze and control this pace with little problem. You may find him bet under his 16-1 ML but he should still offer good coin. From post 8, you have to give I M McCited a shot to hit the board and add value to the single-race exotics.
Meadows / Races 4, 5, 6, 7
Friday / Dec. 11
Let’s look at the big picture, a 50-cent Pick 4, and the snapshots (single-race exotics), along with win, place and show attributes for this quartet.
This race has two classes—near good and nowhere near good. The top ML choices are obvious—Docbetts Shamrock and Kolt Power. The former is a bridesmaid, the latter a struggling check-collector, sad favorites or kings of this morbid class?
Dismissed in the ML list is Achilles Blue Chip, who needs attention as an upset choice. Certainly his Monticello race is a toss out but his Meadowlands races are notable among this crew. We hope the crowd embraces the ML-horses chances so we can revel to have a decent priced winner atop any exotic.
Scot Davidson loves Cheyenne Jeffrey enough to claim him back after Ron Burke claims him and so I claim Cheyenne Jeffrey to be a top contender here, worth his 5-1 ML.
There are arguments for many here, considering the field’s lust for speed, so perhaps a lone closer will work in exotics. Butter Bay Hanover shared an exacta with “Jeffrey” here, coming off the pace and may take back to the early feet [sic] around him here to work late.
The Dapper Dude Retirement Pace, includes the namesake, who is not even a ML favorite for the title. It doesn’t matter to us, though, because we zero in on a Zach Tackett claim—Given Up Terror. After the claim, Tackett gave him a qualifier and placed him here, where he cannot be claimed, another good sign that Tackett is seriously involved in adding to his high win percentage.
ML favorite, New Evidence, should be on the board helping with exotics, as may be another outsider, Hobgoblin.
Modern Rock has been extremely successful at this level and well-supported, deserving a shot better than his 6-1 ML. He appears to be more threatened by Later Dudes than by the soft ML choices. He has lost as the favorite in his last two efforts at this level, his most recent also launching from post 10.
Cal Expo / Race 2
Saturday / Dec. 12
Jessie Pacheco, who has become a Cal Expo notable in the horseman community, qualified his pacer Tropical Fruit last week, finishing two ticks behind the winner, a Kathleen Plested-graced trotter. Clearly, Pacheco’s charge needed not to be all out in a qualifier, so being beaten by a trotter in a non-betting event that exists only to meet a certain time standard is not any big deal. “Fruit” is most likely much faster.
Facing five other pacers in the **Funicello/Hold elim as she begins this meet’s campaign, Fruit should offer a good return on winning and may be fast enough to go into the final as a favorite.
**The event’s name is in honor of Annette Funicello, the Mickey Mouse Club TV kid member and beach-movie star who was married to the Southern California trainer Glenn Holt.
Cal Expo / Race 7
Saturday / Dec. 12
Last week, Friskies Angel was weighed with post 10 and hardly got out of ninth the whole mile. This week he leaves from post 1. Although he has not won a single race this season, he has been second thrice and is driven and trained by Jacob Cutting. Mr. Cutting has done wonders with his small stable at Sacramento over the past few seasons, training and driving many of his students to double-digit rewards for followers.
His main rival seems to be Flash Me Baby, who this week leaves from post 10, and though he has won more than any foe in the field, the edge could go to the productive Cutting pony and at a price. We like it so much that we kept Friskies Angel off of the H2W list for his second appearance to make this a feature.
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.
12/12/20, Ticket To Roll R1; +Dancingonthesand R3
12/14/20, +Happy That R10
12/11/20, Blissful Pansy R4
12/12/20, +Ryan Racketeer R3; Always Windy R10; Statham R12
12/11/20, Fizzing N R1; Keystone Orion R7; Diabolical Spin R9
12/11/20, +Hes Electric R11
12/12/20, +Frankie Rocks A R2; Justin Credible R5; Italian Delight R7
12/14/20, What Ya Thinkin R2; +Dublin R13
12/10/20, Baywood Shadow R6; +Swiss House Onfire R6; Charlie Call Home R9; +Ideal Rowan R12
12/12/20, Becks Woodd Place R1
12/13/20, Enforce The Law R6
12/14/20, +Reflexionofroyalty R10
12/10/20, +Dot Dot Dot Dash R6; +Lucy Mae Hanover R10
12/11/20, +Alyvia Deo R14
12/10/20, Ideal Jesse R2; Follow Your Nose R6; Grand Galop Semalu R8
12/11/20, +Perfectly Close R10
12/12/20, +Electric Western R1; +Gentlemanjim Ii Ie R9
12/10/20, +Black Smile R4; +Emptythetill R4
12/11/20, +Jimbelina R11