Harness Preview: Picks and Horses to Watch for Oct. 26-30

TwinSpires Staff

October 25th, 2023

Selected features, stakes coverage, and the never-ending TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch list (H2W) share keys to success in exotics, win, place, and show payoffs. 

Breeders' Crown 2023 Edition Two 

From 1986, the first year of the classic series, when we covered a Breeders Crown Final at Los Alamitos Harness for major publications, we have had a close relationship with the Hambletonian Society. At TwinSpires, we continue to have a close relationship with Hoosier Park. This season, The Breeders Crown finals are hosted at the Indiana track and TwinSpires harness focuses on its wagering opportunities. 

Please check your programs for the 12 finals split into two nights of racing.

Breeders' Crown: Friday & Saturday, Oct. 27, 28



Open Mares Trot ($770k): This season, the applauded mare trotter is Ake Svanstedt’s Jiggy Jog S. By four, she beat males her age and older males, and in 2023, she hit the board all eight times she raced. She won her elim with the finesse of a morning workout. In the final, she faces the other elim winner, Refined. She beat her in the Dayton Oaks without breathing, so to speak, and Refined had no excuse, except a lack of class. Betting-wise, she is a key-win horse for exotics, none of which support any arguments for a good profit.

Open Mares Pace ($400k): At 9-1, Valar Dohaeris deserves respect coming into the final. She pushed the opening of the elim and burned too much speed. Still, she sat second and a ground-saving winner drew away with the classic luck-of-the-configuration stretch drive. This is the kind of race that wins overnight events for many displaying Valar Dohaeris’s trip the race before. A good chance offering a good price is a good prediction. 

Open Trot ($700k): The close finish of the sole elim field leads us to a possible upset by Delayed Hanover. The 69-1 shot finished fourth by only two ticks to the winner and was the quickest in the stretch with a :26.3 measure, making up six lengths during the mile. Including the two byes to the final only makes the upset possible considering their competition by the obvious winner of the elim. 

Open Pace ($700k): The heart-pounding success of Tattoo Artist in the past season turned the heads of those thinking he would continue to be remembered as ordinary. It is a story like that of Sweet Lou, who, although he was applauded at two, blossomed as an older pacer and then as a sire. Tattoo Artist won seven in a row heading into the final and the only question about eight in a row is will Bythemissal compromise the feat? Let’s go with that scenario for a wager and go with Charlie May. Practically always an underlay, a setup scenario is worth the chance. 

Three-Year-Old Colt Pace ($600k): The relentless performances of Confederate defy supernatural explanation. If he loses, he will finish second by a quark. A cartoon series must be in the works. The only thing wrong with this colt is his name; the kindest definition is onerous. His win chances are awesome. Even though no winner is a lock, Confederate could be an asterisk to the definition. 

Three-Year-Old Colt Trot ($672k): Fourth in line for contention, Air Power made it into the final because Marcus Melander’s colt has the seasonal earnings meeting the requirements. All year long, Air Power has raced with the best of the glamour-boy trotters and qualifies as the honest upset colt in the final. Melander’s herd has been quiet in ’23 compared to recent years, and but for a few common performances (and jumping in the Kentucky Futurity), this son of Muscle Hill cannot be dismissed. 

Three-Year-Old Filly Trot ($600k): I love Kadabra fillies. They have always raced better than bettors believe them capable. In this competitive division, Baroness Hill, third at 40-1 in her elim, massages my interest. She could be peaking at this time and a mere touch of improvement makes her twice as dangerous as most other handicappers dare admit. She will hit the board. But beat Bond? Men have been killed for less. 

Three-Year-Old Filly Pace ($600k): If an outsider is what determines a bet here, that filly is Brett Pelling’s Charleston. There’s no arguing the breeding; she is one of two Downbytheseaside freshmen in the field (Mcseaside the other) and yet the only one trained by Pelling. Though his colt pacer would be no betting bargain (see Three-Year-Old Colt Pace), this one would deliver some extra bucks for the Pelling Patrol. 

Two-Year-Old Filly Pace ($700k): The hardest worker with the best results in this division’s elims was My Girl EJ. She made two handsome moves against the division’s heroine and finished only two ticks from a win. She shares family blood with Geocentric and Blue Pacific, both in play for the final, but may offer the best price of the Sweet Lous involved. 

Two-Year-Old Colt Pace ($700k): Newsroom was too confident for three-quarters in his elim but top trainer Joe Holloway will be sure the Always B Miki product is humble when he wins this by mucho lengths. The colt’s price may still be low, but if he blows this field away as he handled foes all season, odds-on money may seem generous afterward.

Two-Year-Old Colt Trot ($700k): Security Protected, Marcus Melander’s beaten favorite in an elim, had first-over blues that helped a 14-1 win. This Father Patrick colt should race impressively off of that loss, having plenty in the tank to prove he is the division leader.

Two-Year-Old Filly Trot ($700k): Senorita Palema (Chapter Seven) should be an Ake Svanstedt overlay in the final for this sketchy division. Never off the board in seven starts and still dismissed by bettors most of the time. She was close to winning her elim at 7-1 and is, for all due racing purposes, as good as any here—or better for the bettor given the price.

H2W Legend

Horses to watch (H2W) are strong contenders evaluated from overnight-race charts (including qualifiers), replays, and trainers’ current win percentages. Each horse appears in two consecutive lists if it does not win on its first listing.

H2W horses are suggested for win, place, show (across the board) wagering, and to be included in exotic combinations.

Exactas listed in H2W results reflect an H2W horse finishing second to a race favorite or if the first two finishers were on the list when an asterisk appears for cold exactas. The note “ok” determines prices are correct when a show price exceeds the place price or all three prices are identical. 

Some results reflect horses racing after preview blog posts and appear the following week. As well, some horses will not appear a second time when their first time is followed by a race at a non-pari-mutuel fair. They will get a second time on the list when returning to a betting race.

10/27/23, +CR Blazin Beauty R6; Da Boogie Man R8

10/26/23, Stars Align A R1; Americanfirewater R3; Cinnamon Beach R6; Major Crocker A R7

10/27/23, +Ghibli R2; Reachin For Heaven R5; Ashtini R8

10/27/23, +Fox Valley Julian R4; +Fireballs Pride R5; One Bad Dragon R8
10/28/23, +Illini Diva R5; +Fox Valley Sadie R6

10/26/23, +Southeside Kid R10; +Ben Racin R12
10/27/23, Secret Threat R2
10/28/23, +Nico Man R3

10/28/23, +Bet A Bundle R8

10/26/23, Smilin Lou R2; Ripple Of Hope R4; +Southwind Caine R5; +Goo For Broke R7; +Rock On Express R7

10/26/23, +Caviart Sage R1; +Shamma Lamma R6

10/28/23, Sweet Pink R1; Rock Me Cristal R4

10/27/23, +Deerrun Sandy R2; +Ariser R9

10/26/23, +Southwind Bronn R3; +Googoo Eyes R14

10/26/23, Crocketts Cullen N R4; Seeley Man R6; Greatest Ending R9

10/28/23, Orlando Blue A R2; TNT Blue Chip R7

10/28/23, Captain Map R2; Franzo R5; Fast Chat R7; +Starship R11

10/28/23, Six Degrees R4; Twin B Kingston R5
10/27/23, +Cloudbreak R8
10/26/23, Bluebird Recon R3; +Buddy Hill R10
10/27/23, Cowgirl Lilly R1; Milieu R6; +Willy Walton R7