Exclusive Score: Matchmaker Triple With $74 Winner Brings $4,101, Including $459 Exacta; Levy Leg Lackluster

March 25th, 2018

On Friday, March 23,the2018 Matchmaker series at Yonkers hosted the single most profitable race presented in the 10-plus seasons of this blog (including the pre-TwinSpires years).

The second leg of the mares-pacing series, highlighted in our March 22 edition, covered the five divisions of the Matchmaker’s second round—it was the fourth division that gave bettors a roaring result which included the winner, the($2.00) exacta and the ($2.00) triple from the three horses highlighted in the blog.

From the first leg, we supported two contenders and they finished first and second in leg two. Motu Moonbeam N ($74.50, $16.60, $5.90) rolled home first and Safe From Terror ($7.70, $4.50) was right behind him to combine for an exacta worth $459.00. We offered a third contender for a big triple and scored with Gina Grace N ($3.10) for a combo worth $4,101.00. The fourth division result was the largest payoff of the quintet.

Our sole contender in the first division, Elliejet N, was scratched; it was won by the public’s second choice. In division two we were fifth with  Shesjusadelight N (47-1), beaten by the crowd’s choice. In the third division we offered a pair of contenders. Medusa (8-1) finished fifth and Annabeth (35-1) finished sixth. The favorite was the winner.

In the last division, one of last week’s choices from this blog—Mackenzie A—won, defeating our choice this week, Dudesalady ($10.40), who was third. We did not go along with Mackenzie A this week because we pegged her as a one of the favorites. That was wrong, she won at 7-1.

The second leg of the G.M. Levy series offered four divisions at Yonkers on Saturday, March 24. Three favorites and a 4-1 shot won the quartet. We were fourth in division one with Chumlee A (7-2); sixth in division two with Christen Me N (3-1); third and fourth, respectively, in division three with Missile J ($2.10) and Franco Rayner N (50-1); and in the fourth division we were second with Luciano N ($3.90, $2.40) to complete a paltry exacta worth $4.60.
All losers in our selected features appear the following week in the H2W list except any that raced in a feature after already listed once on the H2W.

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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 45 active horses (a 11-percent win hit rate and a 38-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 week) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review


Wish Granted, $19.60, $7.60, $3.50, Saratoga
Lastchancelilly, $10.20, $3.20, $2.40, Freehold
Gliding Senorita, $9.30, $4.70, $3.40, Flamboro
Mystery Dragon, $8.00, $4.00, $3.00, Cal-Expo
Tuition Money, $5.80, $4.00, n/s, Northville


Longlive Rocknroll, $7.90, $5.20 (Exacta $18.60), Monticello
Dangerwillrobinson, $7.60, $4.20, Meadows
J-S- Miss Carolyn, $6.30, $3.40 (Exacta $19.40), Saratoga
Verdad, $4.00, $2.40, $2.40, Pocono
Bupa Bruiser, $3.80, $2.60, Meadowlands
Coin Vault, $3.40, $3.60 ok (Exacta $9.80), Fraser
Brioni, $3.00, $3.20 ok (Exacta $10.00), Freehold
Mint To Cruise, $3.00, $2.10, Cal-Expo


Big Game, $5.70, Saratoga
I Will Score, $5.00, Cal-Expo
Rockntouch, $4.00, Pompano
Nashville Nasty, $2.60, Northfield

News & Notes

A smart tip that you will not read in any other platform for handicappers is a warning—be careful about horse names. We look at thousands of horse names each year when preparing our “suggested contenders” for features and the H2W, so we know how easily one can mix up similar names of horses—and horse names are rife with similarity. Always read a name twice, so that American Hill, for instance, is not mistaken for American Force. Try to narrow down “first names” of two-word-named horses so that you condition yourself to double check names. For instance, there are many horses with the exact same first name. Here are some examples: Ideal, Casimir, Mach, forms of the word “Rock,” Pembroke, Lady, Goldstar, Western. You get the drill.

You will also want to become acquainted with “Woodbine, Mohawk Park,” the clumsy title of all-harness raceway that is a part of the new arrangement in Ontario. Woodbine will become a thoroughbred-devoted facility after April 12, when Mohawk becomes “Woodbine, Mohawk Park,” a harness-racing-devoted facility. We have no idea how the renamed Mohawk was assigned a name that included the other raceway that held harness along with a comma in the title but it’s awkward ad will take some getting-used-to tactics. To us, there seems no reason not to have kept both names separate, no matter which company owns either or both.

Hoosier Park kicks off its 25th year of live harness racing on March 30. All major features will be addressed in the TwinSpires harness blog, along with H2W entries. A first post time of 6:30 p.m. gets the meet rolling. A 2018 racing season includes a full stakes schedule featuring the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes on Aug. 10. Racing at Hoosier will follow a Friday, Saturday schedule opening week, a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule the second week and continue with a Tuesday—Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the season.

Pocono and Philadelphia harness meets  offer a new series for Open-class pacers, trotters and mare pacers in 2018 racing season. The new series will begin in May. All three events will alternate between the two tracks during the summer with a few variations. Each leg has a $30,000 purse. The exceptions will be the opening leg held at Pocono on May 5 (the Van Rose Memorial) and the Invitational events held at Philly during Memorial Day weekend on May 27. Those purses have yet to be determined.Conditions insist that each leg has a minimum of seven horses. Each starter receives 25 points along with points awarded according to official finishes. The top nine point-earners that enter are eligible. There must be at least six legs held in an event in order to have a final. Trainers may only have one horse in a leg and no more than two in the finals. The $100,000 finals will be held on Sept. 2. The Open Class finals will go a distance of 1 1/4 miles.

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.

And check my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update