The TwinSpires Harness Blog features and horses-to-watch list (H2W) are getting up to speed as winter ensues. We hope to keep attracting faster horses, older win patterns and younger followers as 2021 ensues. Indulge in the many elements of our selected features. And, needless to say (but we say it again no matter), we continue with our never-ending TwinSpires’ H2W list with suggestions enhancing exotic combinations with strong finishes that produce fair win, place and show targeting.
Freehold / Races 7, 8. 9. 10
Thursday, Jan. 14
This week we handle a late-afternoon $1-Pick-4-sequence on the half-mile while considering the selected horses for any single- or multi-wager combination (combo equals exotic).
Ozone Blue Chip is a major overlay at the morning line (ML) of 4-1. His performances as an older son of Bettors Delight come from battling pacers better than in this field, even the ML favorite, I Get That, whose only advantage may be a post position five places to the left of the “Ozone.”
Please give some respect in combo tickets to Shaun Vallee’s Australasian import, Galante A. He is an Art Major product that has raced in far rougher situations on half-miles than this group.
Outsider Somesurfsomewhere is a beaten favorite at Freehold, coming from an impossible task at the Meadowlands. Lightly raced last year, he has not won in 15 starts but seems to be working on better trips to put a score in the column. At a price, he should be in the mix here.
Brightside Kelvin missed winning his two times on the H2W but his recent second confirms his form should continue earning and deserves to be on combo tickets. Combos co-star Royal Courtier, guided by courageous aggressor Steve Smith who, like his ride, is rarely respected on the toteboard.
A pair of second-time H2W mares show up in this field and are ML, post and most likely public-betting outsiders. This, however unpleasant to handicappers, must be put into perspective, because this field is as poor as a saloon owner in a pandemic. Julios Girl may spin them all around but in combos, but Runaround Sue and Foolish Virgin may hit the board and cancel the small payout.
Midnite Pass came to Freehold from Dover, where the racing is often like Mark Twain would describe as “better than it looks.” Midnite Pass didn’t qualify after being sick following six dismal finishes (which may have resulted in a scratched-sick entry stepping up of all things). At Freehold for the first time, he was the dead-on favorite and finishes third. ML maker is wise to list him at 9-2 after a third at Freehold.
OK Galahad is for real and will work hard to please his new trainer. This gelding has Badlands Hanover speed in his blood and was almost 50-percent on the board last season. And, American Venture is the true outsider. The 11-year-old was a co-favorite leading a field in this class when the interference-panel stretch quarter was handled by the stewards, placing him seventh while losing eight positions.
Freehold / Race 10
Friday, Jan. 22
This race fits into our power plays category using a key horse for single-race exotics. Caviar Star is a beaten favorite from last week, finishing second to the public’s second choice. It was a tough race with two challenges while leading, which made the finish close. With Caviar Star as the key, you can confidently take on all vertical exotics using Whoucalncray, Rossin and R Sam.
Yonkers / Race 10
Friday / Jan. 22
Coming from the Meadowlands, Sugara Factory draws the 1 hole at Yonkers. It’s a huge change from finishing 10th on the two-turn mile. It’s not like he didn’t try at 38-1; he kept looking for a route even traveling in the second tier and tried a three-wide move. Though futile, Carl Tirella’s charge was doomed from the start, so forget that race and trust Tirella’s judgement (his win percentages are good each season) bringing him back home.
Another silently productive trainer, Nicholas Devita, sends Heaven’s Gait looking for his second-straight win in 2021, making him a fine exotic partner with Carl’s rail-rider.
Meadowlands / Race 1
Saturday / Jan. 23
Darran Cassar’s Seeuninnashville A showed early speed in an opening duel while dropping down to this level last week. He has come in and out of favor with bettors at the Meadowlands and Yonkers and appears to be prepared for this from post 5.
Rootin Tootin broke stepping up and comes back to this level where two back he was co-favored and full of himself even after a contested start.
Northfield / Race 9
Saturday / Jan. 23
In Race 8 last week, the huge favorite, An Original Dragon, was hanging on the outside for two calls, which accounts for her tanking badly and finishing eighth. The second choice dueled early with the third choice and had little to offer in the fourth turn.
Meanwhile, at 12-1, Fox Valley Sierra left from the inside 9 hole and went to the outside behind the favorite, only to lose a closing path, though she still raced better than all three public choices, finishing seventh. This week in Race 9, at the same level, the Walker Standardbred Farms-bred (Illinois) leaves from post 5 with three drivers asking to take her around the Flying Turns. It’s only her second race of the new year and a fair price is almost guaranteed considering Desolation Row and Spoxys Girl are sure to pick up the heaviest support.
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.
1/23/21, Roaring Home R4; Gee Wilikers R5; +Bettors Promise R12
1/24/21, +Friskies Angel R1
1/21/21, Statement Made A R2; Banderbear R9; Shadow Cat R11
1/21/21, +Intrigued Intended R1
1/23/21, +Albergo Hanover R7
1/22/21, Euro Gap R4; Skyway Kon Mon R7; +Two AM; Narina Hanover R10
1/23/21, Just Credible R4; +Dealers Table R11
1/21/21, +Docbetts Shamrock R11
1/22/21, +Cotton To You R13
1/22/21, The Amazingsando R2; +DGs Elsa R8; +Prince Baynard R10; +Pull The Shade R11
1/21/21, +Sedona Seelster R1; Swiss Bank Hanover R3; +Burning Desire R6; Book Binge R6
1/23/21, +Fox Valley Sierra R9; +Becks Wood Place R14
1/24/21, +Mr Dunnigans R12
1/21/21, Lyons Image R3; Creighton Hanover R4; Stache R7; Railee Workable R7
1/21/21, +Father Figure R2; +Kandy Sweet R2
1/22/21, +Galactic Galleon N ae R6; +Silas Seelster R7
1/26/21, +Griffon Hanover R10