Frank Cotolo Blog 2

Majority Mutuels Grab Grand Circuit Events, Bettor’s Wish, Gimpanzee Romp; Top Win Prices For Week $29, $23


Sunday, Aug. 18

The Tioga stakes included two obvious public choice, which we endorsed: McWicked ($2.70, $2.20, $2.10) and Shartin N ($2.10, n/p, n/s). The Empire Breeders Classics for soph pacers gave us two fifth-place finishers, World On Edge (34-1) and D D Delicious, beaten by the public’s second and first choices, respectively.

Thursday, Aug. 22

At Hoosier in sires-stakes action, we had two winners in three races. In the first division we won with Seventimesacharm ($13.40, $7.80, $4.20). In the second we were fifth with Fancy Riggins (12-1) to the second choice. We won the third with the big favorite Foxx Rigger ($2.40, $2.10, $2.10 ok).

Two Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) at Philly were won by the public’s second choices. We finished fifth with Primrose (40-1) and sixth with Dance Club (34-1).

At Yonkers, our first of two contenders in New York Sires Stakes (NYSS), Sorprese, scratched. In the second event we gave a cold but small exacta with Hynoptic AM ($2.40, $2.10 n/s) on top and Seventimesalady ($2.30, n/s) second. The exacta paid $3.80).

Friday, Aug. 23

At Batavia, soph-filly trotters were easily handled by the public choice in a NYSS mile with our choice, With Out A Doubt ($3.20) finishing third.

At WoMo in Canada, we addressed two Casual Breeze splits. Our main choice, Oaks’ winner Whendovescry scratched since trainer Rene Allard horses are still barred from competition (why she was listed is still a mystery). The favorite won and we took second with Special Honor ($5.30, $3.80), producing an exacta worth $12.10. We could not close the triple deal, as our exotic probable, Southwind Casha (4-1) finished sixth.

The second split saw the favorite break and the second choice (bet-back Evident Beauty) win while we finished fourth with Bright Eyes (24-1)

Saturday, Aug. 24

Gimpanzee won the NYSS, as expected, but he so overwhelmed the competition at post time that there was no win betting, only exactas. The winning exacta was $8.60, which is not much considering every other colt in the field was over 100-1.

At The Red Mile, Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) action featured a quartet of soph-colt-and-filly trotter bet-back—all finishing second. For the colts, the place finishers were Pilot Discretion ($2.80, $2.60) and Guaranteed ($5.00, $3.80).

The fillies first KYSS split was blown out with a 100-1 winner, with our horse, Asiago ($2.10, $2.10 ok) in second. The other filly split was won by the public’s second choice while our gal Queen Of Trix ($2.60, $2.20) finished second.

Our Maple Leaf Trot elim probable pair faltered. We finished sixth with Cruzado Dela Noche (17-1) to the race favorite, and fifth with Emoticon Hanover (30-1) to their second choice.

The single Nassagaweya was won by the obvious crowd’s choice, while our possible upset, Team Best (103-1), finished ninth.


A pair of PASS soph-colt pacing episodes at the Meadows began with a 21-1 shot beating the favorite and our Love Me Some Lou (32-1), who finished sixth. Then, we were second as the favorite beat our contender, Captain Victorious ($2.20, $2.10) for an exacta worth $6.40.

Bettor’s Wish won the non-betting elim for the Messenger, as predicted by the world’s population of harness handicappers. In the second elim our contender, Waterway (n/s), finished third, making the final field.


The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Also, exactas listed are included when a H2W horse finishes second with a race favorite or the first two finishers making up the exacta are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses were listed to complete a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices published are correct even when a show price exceeds a place price or any or all of the prices are the same. This week, there were 53 active horses (a 17-percent win hit rate and a 45-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place, show and exotic results occurring by press time but some horses race after the blog is posted (we list them the following weeks) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review.


Frontloader, $29.60, $5.80, $3.80, Scioto
Ideal Feeling, $23.00, $4.80, $4.00, Hoosier
He’s Packin, $8.20, $3.20, $3.00, Meadows
Century Grizzly, $5.60, $3.20, $2.50, WoMo
Lyons Snyder, $5.60, $2.80, $2.10, Scioto
Marjorette Angie, $4.80, $3.40, $2.30, Yonkers
DJ Lance, $3.80, $2.80, $2.60, Hawthorne
CR Blazin Beauty, $3.60, $2.40, $2.20, Batavia
U S Captain, $3.50, $2.70, $2.20, Yonkers


Sea Of Life, $8.60, $4.00, Red Mile
Devious Hanover, $8.20, $5.60, Pocono
Hurrikane Bunny, $4.60, $2.80, Scarborough
Sylvia Trench, $3.20, n/s, Plainridge
BN Hopeful, $2.80, $2.20, Ocean
Camtizzy, $2.80, $3.40 ok (Exacta $11.80), Scarborough
EV’s Girl, $2.50, $2.10, Batavia


Dew Can Dew, $6.40, Yonkers
Cant Knock Me, $5.60, Monticello
Thor, $5.10, Monticello
Rick’s Sign, $4.60, Scarborough
Linus, $3.80, WoMo
Sawyers Desire, $3.20, Hoosier
Ellagator, $2.60, Red Mile
Stay In Your Place, $2.20, Northfield

News & Notes

Next week’s Yonkers Trot field is set. It features Hambletonian-winner Forbidden Trade and a few fellas he defeated in the 2019 classic. Hambo-place horse and favorite Greenshoe is not in the cast but Gimpanzee is ready to challenge on his own turf. Other Hambo-Trail cast members are aboard and some other familiar faces are missing. The remainder of the field includes JL Revadon, Livinonthedash, No Drama Please, Osterc, Sheenas Boy and Soul Strong. Trainer Marcus Melander sends Gimpanzee and along with Greenshoe, Green Manalish S is absent. Because of the limited number of horses entering the event, no eliminations were necessary, which is a strong and sad statement concerning the lost glory of a once-classic event.

According to Marion Marauder’s trainer, Mike Keeling, the reason the trotter broke in the John Cashman Memorial as his fault. Keeling said it was an experiment to take the trotter’s front shoes off because it was “worth a try … to try and squeeze a little more speed out of him.” The 2019 season has not been representative of the Hambletonian champ who has earned over $3 million in five seasons.

Woodside Charm has been retired at three. The two-year-old world record setter by Chapter Seven took a mark of 1:53 last year at Pocono in her Breeders Crown elimination. She earned $521,658 in seven starts at two and became only the second unbeaten frosh-filly trotter to win a division championship. After making two starts at three, trainer Wil Yoder said the trotter has a heart murmur. Connections made the difficult decision to retire the filly. After Woodside Charm came back as a sophomore, Yoder said he felt she was not performing as expected but it took some months for veterinarians to pinpoint the issue.

It has been more than a year sans racing, so the return of 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit to the racetrack on Aug. 20 was a newsworthy event, even if it was only in qualifying action. At Philly, pilot Montrell Teague was up behind Wiggle It Jiggleit and the duo sped away early, cutting fractions of :28.4. :58.1 and 1:26.1 to win in 1:53.4.

Here is the TwinSpires harness racing Little Brown Jug top 10 for this week. One note—Bettor’s Wish will be included if and when he wins the Messenger Stakes, which, under the rules, will qualify him to be in the “Jug.” Unlike the “official” Jug top 10, we judge our selections on current performances that may indicate improvements by the September race date, along with our personal probabilities based upon past predictions since the 1980s.

1. Captain Victorious
2. Stag Party
3. Captain Crunch
4. Best In Show
5. Buddy Hill
6. Wild Wild Western
7. Shake That House
8. Yacht Week
9. Proof
10. Shipshape

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in our monthly columns, Alternative Actions and Bettors Banquet at Harness Racing Update

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Frank Cotolo Blog

Grand Circuit Rolls Into Canada; Filly And Mare Trotters Battle For Berths; Frosh-Fillies Chasing Cash; Gimpanzee Returns!


The Grand Circuit goes north, offering elims and stakes on a busy Aug. 24, while Yonkers sets up for next week’s soph classics, the Messenger. Lots of state-bred action starts the week and TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch (H2W) list again offers a cast of candidates for all types wagers. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections.


Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) continue for green filly pacers with three $47,000 divisions on Aug. 22. In round one, we see a chance at a good price for Seventimesacharm, a daughter of Always A Virgin, against obvious contenders with better posts. In the second split, Fancy Riggin, a sharp Riggins product, may not get the support she deserves, allowing us to take a shot with a sire gaining popularity. The third INSS offers Riggins’ filly Foxy Rigger, a testament to our claim about her sire, as she has won all four of her races. She is an exotic key, at least, and may offer win value considering her great chances to win.


Two-year-old pacing fillies aim at $91,521 a split in two Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) miles at Philly on Aug. 22. Eight in the first split pair up well enough to make this a good betting race. Unbeaten JK First Lady will battle for top public ranking with Beyond Ecstasy and Sweet Ace, but Ron Burke’s second entry, Dance Club, likes to be in the top three and is apt to be faster in this than her only winning mile. Price versus chances makes her a tempting bet. PASS two sends a pair that should get the majority share of support—Lyons Sentinel and Rocknificent. Burke’s lesser regarded Sweet Lou product, Primrose, may settle down adding Lasix and surprise them all.


On Aug. 22 at Yonkers, frosh fillies in their first season of racing aim at $77,000 in two New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) that pave the early steps toward the “Oaks” in The 202 Hambletonian Trail. “It’s never too early to remember a horse,” said anonymous.

There is a single Conway Hall product in the seven-filly field of the NYSS pair. She is Sorprese. Descendants of the bloodline are lessening but survivors are still eligible for the status of the sire. Sorprese is a Dan Daley student. Dan does not get many high-powered horses but this one should be in the mix, even against Julie Millers’ unbeaten Love A Good Story.

The second NYSS enforces whatever Oaks theory we suggested, as bet-back Hypnotic AM sets sail on the half mile. Though five of the seven involved in this contest are by her sire, Chapter Seven, she has performed best and carries the Marcus Melander flag of conditioning excellence. This race fits an undeniably easy scenario with Hypnotic AM and Seventimesalady creating a small exacta that may be worth the small return.


NYSS offers a single event for soph-filly trotters, worth $118,000 at Batavia on Aug. 23. This group of eight should ring some bells by this time, since the division was intensely covered in the Hambletonian Trail blog from May to August.

Atop the obvious contenders sits Quincy Blue Chip, with six wins in 11 starts, a lot of money earned from the program. Sweet Chapter, an “Oaks” alumni, has not been a successful bet-back and Trond Smedshammer’s Winndevie, who was never Oaks-bound but highly competitive among state-breds, are also here.

We are behind With Out A Doubt, Erv Miller’s trainee. She gets a good spot on the rail going these four turns and may save the most ground to win while the others strain for position and dominance. That is how she beat better before and can do it again here.


At WoMo on Aug. 23, two $83,000-plus divisions of the Casual Breeze come late in the program. Soph-filly trotters, led by Oaks’ winner Whendovescry in the first split, line up in the Grand Circuit event.

Certainly, that first field of nine has the Rene Allard filly to deal with first and foremost. The few from the Oaks in the mix do not appear on paper or mathematically, to be able to challenger her. Special Honor woke up last week to grab a second spot, and Southwind Casha has erupted here and there and the two may assist in decent exotic pays with Whendovescry, but she is the key.

In the other “Breeze,” returning after a win last week, The Ice Dutchess looks to swarm the other eight as the favorite. She will have to deal with Evident Beauty, who still enjoys a strong stance in the division. For an upset, there is Bright Eyes M. She is among the top-10 earners in the division and is on home ground in a good spot to turn the tables at a price.


A single Nassagaweya Stakes for frosh-colt pacers at WoMo on Aug. 24 is worth $228,100. A field of 11 score for the bulk of the purse. It’s tough to embrace any specific youngster here, especially with four from Captaintreacherous, the season’s prolific sire. There is one good shot that may be overlooked—Team Best. The Bob MacIntosh colt is one of the last products of Captaintreacherous’ sire, Somebeachsomewhere.


Two Maple Leaf Trot elims, $40,000 each, decide the field in next week’s final. Six familiar trotting mares are available for your fancy. There is Atlanta, who skipped Hambo day activity to muck up her next race in a tangle of trotters unwilling to stay on gait. Is it a symptom of fatigue? International-star Cruzado Dela Noche has not gotten the trips she needed to shine recently, while Dream Together and Guardian Angel AS has had issues, too.

This looks like one of the best spots Marcus Melander’s Cruzado Dela Noche has had in a while. If Atlanta is not all-out on gait or gives in to some speed pressure, “Noche” could deliver and is worth the shot.

The second elim prepares for some speedy activity with recently lively Manchego facing Hannelore Hanover and Six Pack. And what about another chance for Marion Marauder to return to form? This one is a mess and may result in a great mile for Emoticon Hanover from the rail. Judge the value of the price, though it should be good.


Saturday, Aug. 24’s Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) at The Red Mile features two divisions of soph-colt fillies and two for the colts. Each $30,000 race contains one of our Hambo-day bet-backs. For brevity’s sake, here is a list of them:
KYSS fillies—Asiago, Queen Of Trix
KYSS colts—Pilot Discretion, Guaranteed


At Batavia on Aug. 24, only one of two NYSS splits for soph-colt trotters draws our attention. The $58,700 division features the bet-back brilliant battler, Gimpanzee. Nothing about the other six entries makes for an argument that Gimpanzee will lose this race. Aside from the obvious reasons of form and class, he towers over any colt in the state and, in our opinion, is the best sophomore in the division. Key him in exotics, pass betting and watch him, bet him as a fan and keep the ticket as a souvenir, do whatever makes you enjoy the presence of this great-and-getting-greater trotter.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


8/23/19, CR Blazin Beauty R2; EV’s Girl R4; Hanna Dreamgirl R8

8/22/19, +Et Tu Brute R2; +Rollin Coal R11; DJ Lance R12
8/25/19, Skyhigh Ambition R9

8/23/19, +Power Of Tell R9; +Ideal Feeling R10; Itiswhatitis R11; Sawyer’s Desire R12; +Rockin TJ R13

8/23/19, He’s Packin R7; Yacht Week R9

8/22/19, Century Grizzly R5; Journalistic R7

8/22/19, Can’t Knock Me R7; Twin B Onaroll R9; Thor R12

8/23/19, +Lucille Amarone R13
8/24/19, +Stay In Your Place R5

8/22/19, BN Hopeful R1; I’m Done Talking R8

8/22/19, Artspell R8; Sew Psyched R8
8/23/19, +Zeynep R4; Sylvia Trench R10

8/25/19, +Lyons Steel R5

8/24/19, +David The Saint R1
8/25/19, +Sebastian U R9

Red Mile
8/22/19, Sea Of Life R4; Ellagator R5

Running Aces
8/24/19, +Picket Hanover R3; Just B Talking R4; +Nurse Nattie R5; Lucky Seven Oflodi R6

8/23/19, Lynn Bin Con Kin R4

8/24/19, Rick’s Sign R5; Camtizzy R10

8/22/19, Buckeyeonbroadway R3; +Lyons Snyder R9
8/23/19, +Frontloader R3; Heart Of The Ocean R10
8/24/19, +The Smidge R12

8/23/19, Va Va Voom R2; +Post Time Terror R4

8/23/19, +Joke’s Jet R7

8/22/19, Dew Can Dew R2; Majorette Angie R4; Checkmate Hill R7

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Harness Racing's Breeders Crown Countdown

Soph Colts Highlighted; Speedy Subjects Line Up At Meadows For Lucrative Sires-Stakes Battles; Yonkers Offers One Of Two Messenger Elims To Bet


Welcome to the 2019 Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC), the exclusive blog that coordinates with our weekly preview harness blog at and the Hambletonian Society to find great wagering opportunities for “Crown”-eligible horses and their foes.

All 12 divisions will rotate and share space in the BCC as they race to the finals, this year at Woodbine/Mohawk on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26.

Friday, Aug. 23 at the Meadows, the soph-colt pacing division is featured in two Pennsylania Sires Stakes (PASS) races, each worth a whopping $85,029.

Of the seven in the first PASS split, three look toward the “Crown” and two are the best here. The first of those is Love Me Some Lou, who is just getting started in the second half of this season. The other is Workin Ona Mystery, who is earning well, though not in the top five of the division for us.

The crowd will bet Prince Of Tides heavily. The ineligible colt has won here before and gets the track’s hero-driver Dave Palone. That is a money-magnet combo for favoritism.

The most disappointing of the three Crown probables is De Los Cielos Deo. He qualified huge but he is not performing well with few excuses.

We are on Love Me Some Lou for price and purpose.

PASS two offers Adios-winner Southwind Ozzi another shot at a big purse. He has no shot at the Crown (unless supplemented). Neither does Brazzy Hanover, a six-digit winner leaving from the rail.

Captain Victorious is gearing up for the Little Brown Jug and looking like a major contender there as well as being more formidable in the Crown elims than he has been against the leaders.

The soph-pacing-classic Messenger Stakes welcomes a supplement entry, the three-year-old-pacing-colt division’s Bettor’s Wish.

Arguably the leader of the division at this point (the argument arises due to Captain Crunch, his most fervent foe), Bettor’s Wish comes to the stakes having won the Art Rooney at Yonkers, Carl Millstein Memorial at Northfield, while defeating Captain Crunch in the Meadowlands Pace (won by Best In Show) and being narrowly defeated by Captain Crunch in the Cane Pace. Bettor’s Wish has earned more than Captain Crunch so far.

The arch enemies are both eligible to the Breeders Crown, as are other top glamour-boy pacers Best In Show, Shake That House and Workin Ona Mystery.

We endorse Bettor’s Wish (as we have in each of his stakes) to win his Messenger final, Saturday, Aug. 31 at Yonkers, even before that field is set. We have to look ahead, since Bettor’s Wish’s elim appearance on Aug. 24 is a non-betting affair.

Each elim is worth $40,000 but the first has become a spectator’s event.

In the betting-available elim, a short price is expected for one of the two most likely to win—US Captain and Air Force Hanover. There could be an upset here featuring Tony Alagna’s Waterway.

It should not be debatable Waterway is of this ilk. He is a Captaintreacherous colt with three wins in eight starts at three with only one of them off of the board. He will offer a good price. In general, for a six-horse field, there could be reasonable bets outside of the probable choices mentioned. Poor Reigning Deo has not won a race yet and Buddy Hill has only one in nine victories. But the top four from the inside post out, including Aflame Hanover (the only non-eligible), win certain arguments for upset scenarios.


Follow major 2019 BC hopefuls on their journey to the Breeders Crown at Woodbine/Mohawk at this Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, along with further information on the Hambletonian Society web site and @Hambletonian_ and @BreedersCrown .

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Frank Cotolo Blog 2

Bet-Backs Bountiful: Greenshoe, Bettor’s Wish, Swandre The Giant Soar; Powerful Place Prices Ignite $87, $47 Exactas


Monday, Aug. 12

The second Gold Cup & Saucer trial at Charlottestown was won by a 15-1 shot. Our choice, Lisburn (26-1) was fourth, making the final.

Thursday, Aug. 15

Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) for soph-colt trotters presented Hambo-elim-winner bet back Swandre The Giant ($2.10, $2.10, $2.10 ok) another hometown victory. Meanwhile, Sign Here N Here ($5.00), a Hambo-eligible that did not travel to compete in the event but was followed in this year’s Hambletonian Trail, finished third in the second INSS split.

At The Red Mile, soph-colt pacers raced in four Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) divisions. We had two slam-dunks, both Hambo-day bet-backs. We won with Cant Beach That ($4.00, $2.10, $2.10) in the first field and with Bettor’s Wish ($2.10, $2.10, $2.10 ok) in the third split.

In KYSS division two we were fourth to the favorite with Shipshape (13-1). In the fourth episode we were second with Alii Nui ($7.00, $3.40) to the favorite and an exacta worth $14.60.

Friday, Aug. 16

The favorite won the INSS colt pace at Hoosier, while our choice, Rockin TJ (35-1), finished eighth. In the second of the INSS pair, we were made the favorite but came in second with Shamwow ( $2.10, $2.20 ok), beaten by the crowd’s second choice.

Saturday, Aug. 17

Three lucrative Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) for frosh-colt trotters highlighted the afternoon card at the Meadows. One of our horses, Roger Rabbit, scratched. In another split we were second with Big Oil ($5.20, $3.20). In the remaining PASS mile we finished fourth with Worthy Of Honor (29-1), beaten by the scourge of the division, Real Cool Sam, a prohibitive favorite.

The Gold Cup & Saucer at Charlottetown we lost with Bettors Fire (3-1), who finished off the board.


The initial “Crown” blog features took place at Vernon and included bet-backs from the soph-colt-and-filly trotting divisions.

We were second in the “Zweig” filly consolation with Cloud Nine Fashion ($2.60, $2.10), beaten by a 4-1 shot.

The Zweig for fillies found us second with bet-back Evident Beauty ($2.60, $2.50) as bet-back The Ice Dutchess, the bettors’ second choice, won.

In the Zweig for the colts, bet-back Greenshoe won as the huge choice. An attempt for upset by us, using Don’t Let’em (8-1) failed as that one broke in the stretch after looking competitive for two calls.

Sunday, Aug. 18

The results of the events covered for this program at Tioga will be reported in our next Weekly Update.


The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Also, exactas listed are included when a H2W horse finishes second with a race favorite or the first two finishers making up the exacta are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses were listed to complete a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices published are correct even when a show price exceeds a place price or any or all of the prices are the same. This week, there were 42 active horses (a xx-percent win hit rate and a xx-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place, show and exotic results occurring by press time but some horses race after the blog is posted (we list them the following weeks) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review.


Shake N Bake, $10.60, $5.00, $3.00, Scioto
Drazzmatazz, $5.00, $2.60, $3.80 ok, Yonkers
Itsallaboutmach, $4.80, $2.40, $2.10, Plainridge
Mary’s A Keeper, $4.60, $2.80, $2.20, Ocean
Chiplosive, $4.20, $3.00, $2.80, Philly
Thisjetsabookin, $4.20, $4.10, $2.20, Batavia
Il Sogno Dream, $2.20, $2.20, $2.10, Philly


Beachy Hall, $14.60, $4.50 (Exacta $87.50), Batavia
This Is My Song, $12.00, $7.00, Meadows
Northern Jack, $10.00, $5.00 (Exacta $47.80), Monticello
Nurse Nattie, $7.60, $4.20, Running Aces
The Smidge, $7.40, $7.60 ok, Scioto
B’s Yankee, $3.40, $2.60, Ocean
Clever Character, $3.20, $2.60, Hoosier
Fox Valley Gemini, $3.20, $2.40, Hoosier
Lucille Amarone, $3.20, $2.60 (Exacta $11.80), Northfield
Dancin Yin, $2.80, $3.00 ok, Plainridge


Jude Hall, $4.30, Batavia
Stay In Your Place, $3.40, Northfield
Highalator, $2.60, Pocono
Southwind Rex, $2.20, Scarborough

News & Notes

We hope you have been following our “bet-back” horses, all that return to the races from programs on the first Friday and first Saturday of August at the Meadowlands. Since these are “automatic” win bets (no handicapping required), their price returns are huge in percentages. Lather Up, for instance, paid $2.60 winning his race after Aug. 3. He should have paid the minimum $2.10 to win as a bet-back. Fifty cents on a $2 bet is around a 25-percent profit. Bettor’s Wish won, paying $3.80 to win. Do the math; it’s a huge profit percentage.

Some other bet-backs returning to win from Aug. 3 were the Hambletonian winner, Forbidden Trade, Hambo-elim winner Swandre The Giant, Six Pack, Drazzmatazz, Can’t Beach That, Trump Nation, Top Flight Angel, Treacherous Rain and Trump That, The Ice Dutchess and Greenshoe. Others returning to races participated in exotics, some with huge influence, like Endeavor, who, at 80-1, finished third in the Dan Patch at Hoosier, resulting in a $50 result from a 10-cent. Superfecta. The bet-backs continue.

After nearly 34 months on the sidelines, 2015 U.S. Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit makes his long-awaited return to the racetrack with a qualifier on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Philly. After his stellar sophomore season in 2015, Wiggle It Jiggleit rarely raced in 2016. His four-year-old campaign featured tough battles with older pacer Always B Miki. “Wiggle” won Canadian Pacing Derby over his arch-rival. In his career, Wiggle went 38-10-2 from 51 starts with more than $3.9 million in earnings.

Mid-August action has many pondering The Little Brown Jug meet in Delaware, Ohio, where the glamour-boy colts next take the sport’s spotlight. Jay Wolf puts the “Jug” top 10 together. Our version is different. The following list displays Wolf’s top 10 with our top-10 in parenthesis.

1. Captain Crunch (Captain Victorious)
2. Shake That House (Stag Party)
3. Best In Show (Captain Crunch)
4. Southwind Ozzi (Best In Show);
5. Workin Ona Mystery (Goldberg)
6. American Mercury (Yacht Week)
7. Semi Tough (Southwind Ozzi)
8. Captain Victorious (Shipshape)
9. Stag Party (Shake That House)
10. De Los Cielos Deo (Proof)

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in our monthly columns, Alternative Actions and Bettors Banquet at Harness Racing Update

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Frank Cotolo Blog

Sires Stakes Stampede; Gold Cup & Saucer Serves Pacers; Tioga’s Setting For Speed Show On Sunday


Amid a summer that continues to scorch and soak North America, a busy schedule of harness racing ensues this weekend. A host of sophomore and aged events cover the features. Our weekly addendum, TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch (H2W) list fills in the gaps with a cast of candidates for all types wagers. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections.


Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) action continues on Aug. 15 for soph-colt trotters with a pair of races on the program. The first split ($48,000) brings back the two failed Hambo eligible colts, Lite Years Away and Sign Here N Here. It’s a stretch putting them up against It’s A Herbie, who is leading the division for Verlin Yoder. Only the latter, Sign Here N Here has a true shot at “Herbie” and should be in the mix, if not an upset winner.

There is nothing you can say about the $47.500 INSS—Swandre The Giant is the Hambo bet-back. Even though he did not make the final, he is back here he belongs and among these he is the best.


Three-year-old colt pacers go for $30,000 in each of four Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) divisions at The Red Mile on Aug. 15.

Dancin Lou is doing best among these but Skip To My Lou follows closely and may be the better choice considering the crowd will stay with the top earner. Third in line is our shot at a price—Can’t Beach That.

Next, Egomania is fastest and richest of seven, but Shipshape has not been out of the money and gets a spot here to cash a big check as one of Tony Alagna’s two entries.

From the H2W, Magic Joe Lindy ships in from New York but should be considered only in the context of exotics with Bettor’s Wish the key.

Then, in the KYSS left on the program, we like Alii Nui, who races better than his odds and can win in this group of 11 under those circumstances again.


Hoosier holds another Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) leg for soph-colt pacers on Aug. 16. There are two divisions, each worth $50,000.

Little Rocket Man and Jagger Rocks should both gain gamblers’ attentions because their performances in the INSS have put them atop the state’s division. Most will expect they will easily become exacta partners, but we expect nothing and demand everything else. That is why we are going with Rockin TJ. Jeff Cullipher’s colt has been in the thick of it with these types and done well enough to back shooting for a price against the obvious pair.

In round two, Rockie Got Framed should take most of the win money, but he has more competition than most handicappers would care to admit. Tellmeaboutit will challenge, Ima Real Ladys Man and White Hair Rocks, too. Certainly another threat is our choice, Shamwow. He has been lightly raced compared to the others but his penchant for winning (he is four for five) is impressive and he may not have peaked yet.


Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) for two-year-old colt trotters features three fields in divisions worth $61,000 plus on Aug. 17 at the Meadows.

Seven sons of either Muscle Hill or Father Patrick make up this field. So much for sire edges. These boys are apt to behave better or worse for no reason. The classiest on paper is Marcus Melander’s Rome Pays Off, with three times the next earner’s bankroll, though posting only one win.

Nifty Norman’s pair of colts—Chestnut Hill and Amigo Volo—loom boldly as threats, both with two wins in three starts and every reason to improve.

Julie Miller’s Big Oil, though, could steal this one from the Meadows rail and offer a good price to do so.

The middle PASS also offers a field of seven, though a few different sires are represented. Worth some faith are the progeny of Sebastian K and there is one here that may slip through bettors’ vision considering his trainer, the less-than-known Katricia Adams. The colt is Roger Rabbit (by Sebastian K) and he is our choice.

The third PASS is an easy bet-back for us. Worthy Of Honor. The only son of Cantab Hall in the bunch, another from Julie Miller, is the one to vote for an upset against the magnificent Real Cool Sam, as well as to use in the exotic blends.


Charlottetown’s Guardian Gold Cup & Saucer Final features the top four from each trial. Our choice in the first tirial, Midway Island, won at 5-2, getting a perfect trip to beat the 1-1 public choice, Somewhere Fancy.

There was a lot of noise in the first trial, as two pacers broke early, and that affected the favorite, as well as it did the show horse, Bettors Fire (8-1).

The second trial found our choice, Lisburn, fourth at 26-1. The second trial winner beat the favorite, doing so even after gate trouble. Sir Pugsley just made the win at 15-1.

Bettors Fire is the outsider worth a good look. His trip getting to the final was well earned from post 8 and in the final he will not get the attention he deserves. That is enough to fill our “saucer.”


Tioga presents the $137,000 Artiscape, featuring four daring pacing mares—the only left in the division to take another shot as beating Shartin N. This appears to hardly be a contest after Shartin N’s recent displays of indestructibility, pacing with disregard for records and all mares lining up on either side of her to go any distance. She has only herself to beat and it most likely won’t be the Artiscape at Tioga on Aug. 18.


Tioga also hosts the Roll With Joe Stakes on Aug. 18 for older male pacers. Only six are on tap, including McWicked. For the first race in a while, McWicked won’t face a field that includes Lather Up. Aside from Western Joe, there is little threat to McWicked. The pair will share the majority of the win bettors’ investments and exotics will offer laughable prices.


Two Empire Breeders Classics (EBC)—one for filly pacers and the other for colt pacers—also adorn the Aug. 18 Tioga program.

The $232,700 EBC for the fillies has a field of nine unremarkable entries. The marquee filly is Joe Holloway’s Zero Tolerance, who bettors will tolerate with much more than zero dollars. Considering the tepid lot, a strong price on DD Delicious would be a fine shot at a price that will be inflated based on a poor reason—the driver.

Lately, Matt Kakaley has been lacking winners and bettors are steering clear from him. That is a poor reason because there is no evidence that the skills of Matt Kakaley have disappeared. DD Delicious is the second-highest earner in the field and deserves respect. As we post this, Kakaley is listed as the driver for “DD” and Fool Me Again. Better judgment will have him choose DD, which could inflate the odds. If he chooses the other drive, we still like DD, but her odds could suffer if a popular driver gets the ride.

The $238,200 EBC for the colts also offers nine that have not made much noise against the division’s best, nationally. Shake That House is the most prominent, fastest and the richest and will soak up wagers. Seven others could be argued as challengers but only one comes from the extraordinary Meadowlands program on the first Saturday in August. That colt is World On Edge. The final race on that program was a conditioned event apt to be ignored among the classy events leading to it. We suggest he will be in the mix and needs attention as an element in all exotics, as well as a shot to beat Shake That House.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


8/16/19, +Jude Hall R3
8/17/19, Ali De Vie R2; +Beachy Dream R7; +Thisjetsabookin R8

8/16/19, +Fox Valley Genimi R6
8/18/19, Walter White R3; +Financial Prospect R8

8/15/19, +Clever Character R4; Power Of Tell R6
8/16/19, +Gazing Star R11

8/17/19, Sebastian U R7; Drop The Pilot R8; +This Is My Song R13

8/15/19, +Northern Jack R12

8/16/19, Lucille Amarone R8
8/17/19, +Anoche R5; Stay In Your Place R7; +Dash Point Hanover R9
8/19/19, Sir James R2

8/15/19, +B’s Yankee R6

8/15/19, Il Sogno Dream R9
8/16/19, Chiplosive R8

8/16/19, +Itsallaboutmach R1; +Sancin Yin R9

8/17/19, David The Saint R6; Highalator R10
8/18/19, +Deal The Cards R8

Red Mile
8/17/19, +Star Chaser R6

Running Aces
8/17/19, Nurse Nattie R5; Picket Hanover R6

8/16/19, Retro Blue Chip R7

8/17/19, +Southwind Rex R9
8/18/19, Hurrikane Bunny R6

8/15/19, The Smidge R5
8/17/19, +Gone Again R3

8/17/19, Gotta Pay To Play R7; +Ohoka Texas N R8

8/15/19, Jokes Jet R8; Fox Valley Steffen R9
8/17/19, +Nitro Glistening R5

8/19/19, Reigning Deo R4; US Captain R11

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Hoosier Park Harness Racing

Hoosier Park Harness Race of the Week for August 14

The 11th Race at Hoosier Park on Wednesday is the second division of the $47,500 Indiana Sires Stakes for trotting three-year-old fillies. The 5th leg of the series attracted a field of eight, led by the streaking GRAND SWAN (#8) (7-5). The bay filly has been sterling in 2019 with a five-for-five mark at this venue for trainer/driver Lewayne Miller. Daughter of Swan For All has accumulated more than $114,000 already this season and the race goes through her yet again. Expect the favorite to be in the mix from the early stages of this contest.

Don’t forget to get your GAIT INSURANCE before the Race of the Week! Your $5 WIN BET will be refunded if your horse breaks stride and loses the race!

A real test to the favorite is likely to come from MEASUREDPERFECTION (#5) (2-1) from the barn of Ron Burke. Also by Sawn for All, the sophomore was a game winner when running down a clear leader on the course most recently and should improve today. The bay was making her first official start since May in her tally, and a move forward second time back is expected. Trace Tetrick inherits the ride and will guide the contender.

SOPHIA LIA (#2) (15-1) could be the value of the field for the exotics. The Guccio filly has been very consistent in 2019 with top-three finishes in six of seven assignments, and the inner draw will aid the three-year-old who has been parked in wide slots in two races in succession. Trained by Christopher Beaver, Sophia Lia has good early speed and could be on top in the early going of the affair. John de Long will be in the sulky.

HAYLIE IVY (#1) (9-2) draws the rail and rates a chance with her top effort in this one-mile test. The daughter of Airzoom Lindy has hit the board in a trio of races in succession as of late, and she finished just a neck behind Grand Sawn three back to prove her class. Ricky Macoumber Jr. will be in the bike aboard the obvious top-three player.

(c) Photo courtesy of Jamie Linscott/Hoosier Park

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Frank Cotolo Blog 2

Lather Up Leads $500 For A Buck Hoosier Superfecta; Bettor’s Wish Storms Northfield Feature; Midway Island Dukes Out Cup & Saucer Trial


Thursday, Aug. 8

Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) for freshman colt-and-filly trotters were strewn across the program at The Red Mile. We were somewhat involved, though plagued by breakers and favorites.

In the colt divisions we were second with Legion Of Honor ($2.80, $2.60), beaten by an 11-1. Our other two choices, both race favorites, galloped, losing all chances. They were Sermon, who still finished fourth to the public’s 3-1 second choice, and Ready For Moni (who we incorrectly identified as the sire, Ready For Cash, in our blog), who broke and finished seventh to a 50-1 shot.

Second- and third-choices ruled the filly victories, while we finished third with Shape Shifter ($6.20), fourth with Miss Kendra D (23-1) and sixth with Evita (25-1).

At 11-1, Sweet Chapter ($5.20), one of our bet-backs from Hambletonian day, finished third to a 6-1 shot in a New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) leg at Vernon.

Friday, Aug. 9

The Dan Patch at Hoosier was our big catch this weekend. A strongly backed superfecta was available for the event for only 10 cents a combo. We offered a short ticket, using a key winner, Lather Up ($2.60, $2.20, $2.10), with a key second, McWicked ($3.60, $2.60)— exacta paying $3.10—with two horses for third and fourth. Coming in third for the $51.15 exacta was Endeavor ($7.60) and fourth was Jimmy Freight (10-1).

A $2.00 ticket using our quartet paid $500.

At Tioga, Grand Circuit action featuring divisions of Tomkins-Geers for frosh colt-and-filly pacers and trotters was true to form and generous to the public. We were deeply involved in the finishes, however.

For the filly trotters we were second with Luv U Bye Click ($33.60, $19.40) and third for Thankful For You ($4.70).

In the single division for colt trotters we backed Light Blue Movers, part of the favorite entry. He galloped and finished seventh.

Our sole winner in the sextet came in the filly pace mile, where we won with Shining Beauty ($4.80, $3.40, $2.80).

For colt pacers, we finished second with Bombshell Hanover ($2.60, $2.40), and third with JK Lucky Charms ($4.90)

Saturday, Aug. 10

We were, again, right in supporting Bettor’s Wish ($3.80, $2.60, $2.20) as he easily won the “Milstein” at Northfield.

Another NYSS pair took place at Saratoga and another bet-back went down as Mr Vicktor (3-2) came up very short, showing speed but finishing seventh to the public’s third choice. It was a disappointing return from the Hambletonian.

In the second split, Jason’s Camden, the favorite, finished fourth to a 5-1 shot.

The first Cup & Saucer trial at Charlottetown met with our approval as we won with Midway Island ($7.60, $4.40, $3.00), though our second choice, Make Some Luck, a top choice, broke twice and lugged home eighth, not making the final.

The second trial takes place on Monday’s program, which we will cover in next week’s Weekly Update.


The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Also, exactas listed are included when a H2W horse finishes second with a race favorite or the first two finishers making up the exacta are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses were listed to complete a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices published are correct even when a show price exceeds a place price or any or all of the prices are the same. This week, there were 58 active horses (a 16-percent win hit rate and a 45-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place, show and exotic results occurring by press time but some horses race after the blog is posted (we list them the following weeks) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review.


Starcasm, $14.40, $3.40, $.60 ok, Tioga
Metro Glide, $14.00, $7.40, $6.50, Tioga
Getting Serious, $13.40, $4.50, $3.20, Vernon
Roll With Jr, $8.20, $4.20, $2.80, Red Mile
Verge Of Insanity, $7.80, $4.40, $2.80, Hoosier
Arden Hanover, $7.60, $3.80, $2.60, Pocono
Brookstone, $4.40, $3.10, $2.50, Monticello
Six Pack, $2.70, $2.20, $2.10, Yonkers
*Galarina, $2.40, $2.30, $2.20, Tioga


Late Night Joke, $9.20, $5.40, Hawthorne
Wagon Master, $7.80, $4.00, Pocono
Thisjetsabookin, $7.50, $3.80, Batavia
*Filly Forty, $4.50, $3.90 (Exacta $11.20), Tioga
The Girls Of Image, $4.50, $3.40 (Exacta $27.30), Rideau-Carleton
Nitro Glistening, $4.30, $2.60, Vernon
Itsallaboutmach, $2.80, $2.10 (Exacta $7.40), Plainridge
Ohoka Texas N, $2.50, $2.10, Monticello
Marys A Keeper, $2.10, $2.10, Ocean


Dash Point Hanover, $13.80, Northfield
Oh Mare Ahs Bella, $8.40, Saratoga
Zeynep, $3.80, Plainridge
Jude Hall, $3.20, Batavia
Deal The Cards, $2.80, Meadows
Woodmere Soul, $2.70, Charlottetown
Between Me And You, $2.60, Hawthorne
St Lads Moonwalk, $2.60, Saratoga

News & Notes

A lot of players wondered about the absence of Atlanta on the Meadowlands’ Hambletonian program. The 2018 Hambletonian winner was expected by many to get into the action in either the John Cashman Memorial for older trotters or the Dr. John R. Steele Memorial for older trotting mares. Atlanta, who on July 6 became the fastest trotter in the history of Meadowlands racing, with a 1:49.1 win in the Graduate Series Final, sat on the sidelines, according to trainer Ron Burke, because “She has too many starts left, so I skipped a week.”

Our post-Hambletonian spin-off blog, Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC), begins next week. Each week until the eliminations of the 2019 championship season, BCC will highlight a race or races including “Crown”-eligible horses from various divisions. The races chosen for the BCC are races we feel TwinSpires bettors can profit by playing, based on the same factors we use in our preview blog weekly. The results of those featured races in the BCC as related to our analysis will appear in the Weekly Update blog.

The Hambletonian Society and Woodbine Entertainment management have chosen the last weekend in October for the Crown showcase at Woodbine/Mohawk Raceway. The four freshman Crown races held Friday, Oct. 25 and the eight three-year-old and open events raced Saturday, Oct. 26. Crown eliminations, if necessary would be raced the prior weekend, with two-year-olds on Friday, Oct. 18 and sophomore and opens eliminations scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19.

New Zealand-bred trotter Speeding Spur arrived in trainer Linda Toscano’s barn this summer. Speeding Spur, last season’s Trotter of the Year in New Zealand, raced twice in the U.S. and trotted 1:51.1 both times. The eight-year-old stallion was fourth behind Manchego, Marion Marauder and Lindy The Great in his debut and recently finished sixth in the Vincennes on Hambletonian day at The Meadowlands. Speeding Spur has won 27 of 58 races and hit the board 48 times to earn $1.09 million in New Zealand dollars. He will race in North America the remainder of the season before returning home for stud duty.

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in our monthly columns, Alternative Actions and Bettors Banquet at Harness Racing Update

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Frank Cotolo Blog

Lather Up In Dan Patch At Hoosier; Northfield’s ‘Milstein’ Hosts Bettor’s Wish; Grand Circuit Frosh Frenzy


We roll through August with many features for many divisions. This weekend there are two- and three-year-old state-bred stakes up and down the East Coast and in the Midwest the older pacers and some champion soph-colt pacers race after more six-digit purses.

TwinSpires’ harness blogs continue to scan North American harness racing activity for your consideration in the exclusive horses-to-watch (H2W) list at the bottom of every preview blog. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections.


In the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) soph-filly trot on Aug. 8 at Vernon comes a Hambletonian Oaks bet-back filly. Sweet Chapter is the only glamour-girl trotter in this $118,800 field of eight coming from the “Oaks” final, becoming an instant bet-back. Hopefully, she will not get the respect deserved coming from a field of the best in the division and the crowd will lean on Winndevie, Quincy Blue Chip and Sensibility, giving us a strong price on Sweet Chapter.


At The Red Mile on Aug. 8, six Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) frosh-trot fields line up for $30,000 a race. Top sires are representing green colts and fillies conditioned by top trainers.

The first KYSS, a seven-colt field includes five Father Patrick colts. The lone winner of a race among them is Bold Moves from Christopher Beaver. He is a certain favorite. Two Father Patrick sons are maidens. The two other colts are from Donato Hanover and Muscle Hill, Hambletonian champs. The Muscle Hill colt is, strangely enough among a quintet of Father Patrick colts, named Sermon. He is racing for the third time and in a good spot to live up to his sire’s dominance among these.

Fillies are next with a more diverse sire representation among nine. Returning from Grand Circuit action in Pennsylvania comes Miss Kendra D. The Cantab Hall filly from Chris Beaver is the bet, hands down.

Next on the KYSS agenda, colts ride again in the third KYSS on the program. Legion Of Honor’s qualifier is faster than any winning time, even another colt qualifying on a mile track. He is the sole Muscle Hill product, a plus and another reason to back him.

The penultimate frosh KYSS split, for fillies, sends nine to post. The obvious entry to gain public favor is the Father Patrick gal, Do You Wanna Dance. We draw your attention to the only Kadabra filly—Shape Shifter. The sire’s frosh fillies have always been good earners (Kadabra’s first Hambletonian colt winner is Forbidden Trade). She is on the verge of breaking her maiden in this.

Seven more KYSS colts are next in the most varied of sires’ reps. Two have recorded wins and one of them, Uncle Ed, already has three. We like the single-winning Ready For Cash, from up-and-coming sire, Ready Cash.

Nine fillies complete the sextet of Bluegrass products. Off of a good race in Ohio, Evita is our choice. She is the only product of Triumphant Caviar, a high-percentage sire of young trotters.


Freshman pacers and trotters separate in Grand Circuit action at Tioga on Aug. 9 into Tompkins-Geers stakes for colts and fillies.

Colt pacers are first for $29,350. There are only five involved and they are towered over by Columbo. Two wins, two starts and only Major Betts to worry about. That one is fast, winning at first crack. It will test Columbo and it could be the fault of both. We like one of three Somebeachsomewhere colts, Bombshell Hanover from Julie Miller, to beat them.

Next, a Tompkins stakes for colt trotters brings nine to the gate after $54,000. All but one is a maiden. We have a youngster by Ready Cash, a promising sire, named Light Blue Movers, in the hands of Ake Svanstedt as our choice. Ake feels as we do about the sire, no doubt.

Another five pacing colts go for $29,350 in a Geers stakes where Manticore is the standout. Never off the board, Manticore has earned more than the other four put together, doing it against bigger fields and, so far, more talented colts. Still, we lean toward the second start for JK Lucky Charm, a Sweet Lou product with a lot of promise from the resurrected Brett Pelling barn.

A $41,000 Tompkins for the filly trotters has a field of eight aboard. The Muscle Hill daughter, Aldabra Hanover, is from the Julie Miller crew and earning her keep. Still, Per Engblom’s Jula Champagne has made the most of the field without winning. She is a Trixton filly and will get some play. Do not overlook Thankful For You, though. She is the only filly here by the precocious Manofmanymissions. He produces speed that sometimes gets in its own way but other times controls any foes racing with them.

Filly pacers follow with a $64,900 Geers led by the three-time winner Ladyboss. Coming from a maiden-breaking race, AP Emily’s Dance has won her only start. There is a single Captaintreacherous filly in for her debut. Trainer Linda Toscano sends Shining Beauty into her first fray and she is worth the backing here in case she is anywhere near as good as her breeding.

Lastly, a seven-filly Tompkins trot worth $41,300 offers challenges to three-for-three Heart N Soul Deo (Muscle Hill). Trixton sired three of five but only one comes from Explosive Matter—Luv U Bye Click. Improvement is not out of the question, nor is a good price.


Post positions are official for two $12,500 trials of The Guardian Gold Cup & Saucer (C&S). Trials go on Aug. 10 and Aug. 12 at the event’s home track, Charlottetown Driving Park. The C&S attracted 14 pacers; each trial features seven.

Headlining the field is 2018 C&S champ, Somewhere Fancy from trainer Rene Allard. He will be tough to beat in the Aug. 10 trial but he has competition. Midway Island, a 40-1 winner at Pocono, may have faced tougher than these, if not Allard’s pacer. There is also Make Some Luck, a 9-1 winner at Woodbine-Mohawk. A winner with lesser credentials is Bettors Fire N, who ships in from Bangor. The first two, Midway Island and Make Some Luck could beat the champ; judge the betting action.

In the Aug. 12 trial, two pacers stand out for us. The crowd could easily back Rock Diamonds N as their top choice, as he comes from Plainridge. He won there for trainer Heidi Gibbs in a startling 1:50. Second in that mile was Sir Pugsly, who is also here but probably won’t carry lots of the public’s money to post.

The true outsider is Lisburn. He finished second at 14-1 at Philly, beating the favorite. The Philly crew looked way tougher than this group, but here he may go off as high as that, and if he races better or gets a gift trip, it should provide a fast upset mile.


The $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial on Aug. 10 at Northfield is a delightful spot for Bettor’s Wish. Not because Captain Crunch is absent, but because none of the competition can beat him on paper, no less on the Flying Turns. There will be support for some, though, including Southwind Ozzi, who won the Adios as if his shoes were coated with butter. Do not expect such a feat from his feet in the “Milstein.” This is Bettor’s Wish’s race. His loss to “Crunch” at the Meadowlands was a catbird-seat gift, just by a hair, no less. The best pacer is still Bettor’s Wish.


Hoosier’s historic $330,000 Dan Patch Stakes is a Free-For-All gathering nine national pacers for a mile on Aug. 9. The two top stars here, in order of this season’s achievements are Lather Up and McWicked.

Lather Up has been actually flawless the last month, at least, dominating this division with aplomb. He ripped through a fiery field in a come-from-behind win that matched the win time of Always B Miki. Last week he turned heads in the Sam McKee Memorial when he broke the record for a 1 1/8th-mile win on his own, from the top all the way around the Meadowlands.

He will offer nothing to win but is a good key for exotics. Since McWicked is better than all the rest in this field, he’s one of the exotic choices. Then we take a shot on pumping up the prices with Jimmy Freight and Endeavor.

Jimmy Freight is speedy but can also come from off the pace, something we expect him to do to get into the exotics late. Endeavor comes out of the “McKee” mile, which should produce a number of winners from that field. Work out the details, exotic players, this could wind up a good exacta, trifecta and superfecta.


A pair of NYSS for the glamour-boy trotters features $90,500 for each field’s best. We address the second split first, since we have an automatic play from one of last week’s three key races in the division—the Hambletonian elims and final.

Mr Vicktor did not make the final but raced with the best in his elim. No other colt in this field or in the second NYSS split qualifies as an instant bet-back, so no more writing about it—Mr Vicktor is the bet.

In the first split, we will support a bet-back from Jason’s Camden’s NYSS performance a week back, where he finished second for Julie Miller and faces a whole lot of nothing for bigger bucks here.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


8/10/19, Beachy Dream R5; Jude Hall R6; Thisjetsabookin R12

8/9/19, +Late Night Joke R4; +Between Me And You R8
8/11/19, Rollin Coal R6; Et Tu Brute R8

8/819, +Verge Of Insanity R1
8/9/19, +Medieval Dragon R14

8/10/19, Diamond Head R2; Deal The Cards R3; This Is My Song R7

8/8/19, +Acton Onelasttime R4; Brookstone R7; Northern Jack R8; Ohoka Texas N R8

8/9/19, +Upfront Stone R4
8/10/19, Dash Point Hanover R5; Anoche R14

8/8/19, Mary’s A Keeper R2; Duel Citizenship R6; B’s Yankee R10

8/8/19, +Big Top Lindy R1
8/11/19, +Dubious Claim R5; Lyons Steel R7

8/9/19, Itsallaboutmach R1; Dancin Yin R5; I’m A Clown R7; Zeynep R10

8/10/19, +Wagon Master R8; +Concur R9; Tight Lines R 7; Ideal Feeling R13
8/11/19, +Satin Dancer R12; +Go Byem R14

Red Mile
8/8/19, +Marco De Vie R16; Wilburs Z Tam ae R16
8/10/19, Reckless Sergeant R1; Roll With Jr R6

Running Aces
8/9/19, +Pancetta R9

8/9/19, +Oh Mare Ahs Bella R9
8/10/19, St Lads Moonwalk R10

8/9/19, Rockin Camrie R5; Our Walden Bury N R6
8/11/19, Southwind Rex R6

8/9/19, Frontloader R1
8/10/19, Gone Again R4; Lyons Snyder R11

8/9/19, +Filly Forty R1; +Galarina R1; Metro Glide R4; Post Time Terror R10; Starcasm R11
8/11/19, Artistic Cruiser R2

8/8/19, +Getting Serious R4
8/10/19, Nitro Glistening R9

8/10/19, +Six Pack R10; +Tymal Pacemaker R11
8/12/19, Drazzmatazz R2

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Hoosier Park Harness Racing

Hoosier Park Harness Race of the Week for August 7

The 7th Race at Hoosier Park on Wednesday is a $20,000 claiming event for three and four-year-olds. Six will vie in the pacing event at one mile which carries a $9,500 purse. While the field is small, this appears to be one of the more competitive betting events on the card with contenders from top to bottom.

Don’t forget to get your GAIT INSURANCE before the Race of the Week! Your $5 WIN BET will be refunded if your horse breaks stride and loses the race!

ROAN COLOR (#2) (2-1) is the one to beat today coming off of a superb score from the 10 post most recently. The son of Always A Virgin has fine current form with top-three finishes in four of his last five assignments, including three straight over the Hoosier Park surface. The roan gelding, who is trained and driven by Ross Leonard, has good tracking ability and will never be far back against this compact bunch.

SHER’S SPEEDYSHARK (#3) (9-2) has raced back into shape after missing a few turns with a scratch and a break, and the late runner could be the best upset chance in the field. Conditioned by Dylan Davis, the sophomore gelding was in an impossible spot when last and 21 lengths back early most recently, but he showed a fine turn of foot to be defeated by just four lengths under the wire when finishing fifth behind the aforementioned. Michael Oosting will be in the bike trying to run them down late.

COLITION (#6) (7-2) draws widest but could still be the one to catch if asked for run from the start. The three-year-old son of Always A Virgin was impressive in a wire-to-wire victory on the oval three back, but the Michigan-bred never got going early when an even fourth in advance of this assignment. The gelding will be guided home by his trainer, Matt Rheinheimer.

VALIANT IVY (#5) (3-1) was compromised from being hung wide for much of his latest offering at Scioto Downs and will surely get a better trip in this spot. Gelded four-year-old is a winner on the course in 2019 with a nice tally on May 24, getting his mile in 1:53. The son of Jereme’s Jet is bound for improvement with Joey Putnam in the sulky.

(c) Photo courtesy of Jamie Linscott/Hoosier Park

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Hambletonian Trail Blog

Hambletonian Afterthoughts: There Is No ‘Gimp’ In Gimpanzee; Follow The Bet-Backs


It was this reporter’s 30th year of Hambletonian-day coverage and though I did not cash a winning ticket in the event, I continue to study the final heat to extract bet-backs; they will be sprinkled in races throughout the next month or so.

All of the horses in any Hambletonian Final—along with most that finished sixth or worse in either elimination heat are worthy of backing in their next two races—but in final fields it pays to study the losers for horses that raced better than most handicappers noticed. Some of them may be on the precipice of extraordinary performances which could also produce very big overlays.

First and foremost in 2019’s final is Gimpanzee.

Gimpanzee started slowly, racing eighth on the outside to the first quarter (:26.1). He found a slot on the inside, ninth and was gapped into the half (:55). He took cover in the second tier behind Don’t Let’em and by three-quarters (1:23.2) was passed by that one.

In the second turn, Gimpanzee races ninth, next to last, about to be overtaken by Soul Strong.

Into the stretch, Gimpanzee lingered in a row of the last four racing behind five horses were strewn across the track, behind six beginning to fan across the track.

The common focus from that point was favorite Greenshoe closing mid-track to catch Forbidden Trade to his left. And, of course, all eyes rest upon Greenshoe’s brief struggle to beat Forbidden Trade, which failed.

Eluding the winning drama was Gimpanzee, who closed to finish third—best of the rest.

Better miles loom boldly for Gimpanzee, some of which could be against the likes of those in the final. He finished third at 7-1 against favorite Greenshoe; he could offer as much again against lesser, no less beat Greenshoe and Forbidden Trade.

The rest of the backfield deserves certain merits.

Green Manalishi S (who was number one on our TwinSpires Hambletonian Top Ten for the first few weeks of the poll), will not have to go two heats again. His elim win was super, even though he could not repeat it in the final (he tried).

Soul Strong (18-1) circled the field from last, a near 8 lengths behind and finished right behind Gimpanzee.

Osterc (84-1) had it too tough in the second heat, pushing it too early. He will win again, soon.

Watch for the others—Marseille, Pilot Discretion, Cantab Fashion and Don’t Let’em—to return with victories.

That is the order in which I put the bet-backs from this year’s Hambletonian Final. The elim trotters not making the final follow in importance. They are Swandre The Giant, Mr Vicktor, Summit In Sight, Reign Of Honor, Gerry (yes, even Gerry) and Super Schissel.

Watch the TwinSpires harness blogs for all the names above as they appear in summaries for features and our horses-to-watch list (H2W).

Follow the Hambletonian Society’s classic races on TwinSpires harness blogs.

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