Harness Preview: Picks and Horses to Watch Oct. 27-31

October 26th, 2022

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.

Thursday, October 27


Each Thursday we highlight some probable long shots from Mohawk Park. If they do not win at first crack we add them to the H2W the following week as bet-backs or in selected features, adding new possibilities to this section.
R1 — #1 Merchantman (15-1): Bet back, looking for a smooth gait trip win
R5 — #7 Game Set Match (10-1): Early lick going farther each race.

Friday, October 28


Mohawk Park

Race 6 - 2yo colt trot
We expect this will be a good-to-great string of competitors for the Ake Svanstedt barn, one that could start here with #3 Kierkegaard K (10-1). In the field that beat favorite #9 Oh Well (3-1), Ake’s trotter made the final finishing third behind Oh Well and recording the same final time. Ake did not press the colt but made two moves to hit the board at 18-1. Oh Well will be in the mix, too, as could Marcus Melander’s other colt, #10 Dire Straits (15-1), who would spike the prices leaving from post 10 where he is bound to be ignored by bettors.

Race 7 - 2yo filly pace
Bret Pelling’s #1 Charleston (5-2) was as good as we figured but better than figured was the other daughter of Downbytheseaside, #4 Mcseaside (8-1). We went with her and she came up second (at 5-1) behind the favorite. Mcseaside had a mighty brush that put her only two ticks from winning her elim and we like her to take Charleston late in the mile, if only by a hair.

Race 8 - 2yo filly trot
Svanstedt’s #4 Special Way (2-1) had much to spare after a strong 3-length win in her elim, where she was a big favorite, but we are going for a bet-back #1 Silly Me Hanover (15-1). She made the final with a steady trot in traffic most of the way, finishing fourth behind #5 Mambacita (10-1), who we also backed. But that one was heartedly beaten when she quit, while “Silly” gained two positions. She was 18-1 getting fourth. Walner Payton looks to put in another worthy finish and help exotics.

Race 9 - 2yo colt pace
Everyone forgot #10 Ervin Hanover (12-1) was once memorable in his first season of racing and so they let him go off at 50-1 and he spoke back to his reflectors early, soaring from post 8 into contention and able to hold on and finish second. Even so, it may be considered a fluke and because he gets post 10 he will go off again at generous odds not reflecting his chances. In league with #7 Stockade Seelster (5-1) there could be some money from him again.

Saturday, October 29


Mohawk Park

Race 2 - Open Mare Trot
More than most this season, #5 Bella Bellini (2-1) has been pushed aside as a favorite and that made her second- and third-choice statuses produce good prices. This looks like a possibility once again as the outside speed digs in and “Bella” gets an easy ride behind fractured fractions only to glide by at the wire and win.

Race 3 - Open Mare Pace
Looking at the field of this one just makes my eyes tired. #1 Test Of Faith (6-5) would have no excuse—none—to lose this and that’s just one reason my eyelids yawn. Unless fans hit on #2 So Much More (9-2) for an almost loss of “Faith,” what could there be elsewise? Only #3 Mikala (5-1), if the duel scenario takes shape and Faith is not involved. A sawbuck, at least, in case speed is the burden that night.

Race 4 - 3yo filly trot
Svanstedt strikes again. Both of the big glamour gals are here, as in Kentucky, and they – #4 Joviality S (6-5) and #2 Jiggy Jog S (7-5) - have it over the rest just as they have all season, give or take a few steps. You can pass this and watch for startling fractions that hold up after four panels or . . .?

Race 5 - 3yo filly pace
Julie Miller’s #7 Max Contract (9-2) has been flirting with competition and earning well enough to find a spot among her division’s best where she can kick out the stops. This could be that race and she would pay well for the win. She has rested some since a fine prep at The Red Mile and the Millers are always filled with intent when their stock is challenged for the big bucks. #10 Niki Hill (5-2) may be worth more from post 10 as many will think is too tough a spot for her but in exotics, and especially with “Max” the bonus bucks will mean profit.

Race 6 - 3yo colt trot
All right, #1 King Of The North (7-2) wakes up and owns the division’s late-season remnants in his elim. It remains to be seen (maybe not bet upon) if he can put two of any kind of wins in a row together. Remember, this is the glamour-boy trotting division that was beaten by a 52-1 shot in the Hambletonian - no sign of #9 Cool Papa Bell (3-1) here - and dominated by a filly (Joviality S) in the division’s best stakes. Now what? Here’s a scenario—perhaps King Of The North is not as Fast As The Wind. Seriously, #2 Fast As The Wind (8-1) is, as Yogi Berra might say, better than his race finishes. The right trip may be waiting in the two slot and the right price may be on the board to nip an upset in the bud.

Race 7 - 3yo colt pace
What happened to Svanstedt’s pacer, #4 Captain Cowboy (20-1)? Perhaps something similar as happened to Sandbetweenmytoes last year? Seriously, there was decent money backing “Cowboy” a few back and he made this final at 35-1 with a good gain but no special interest. We are liking the scenario that rocks the toteboard, even if it turns into a giveaway from fiery fractions as was the “Sand” final. After all, the glamour-boy pacers have been streakers, at best. We ought to know because we hit #2 Bythemissal (9-5) in the Adios at double digits and passed on him since because he was never worth a short buck. Streak’s over now. Back to you, Ake.

Race 8 - Open Trot
We were correct measuring #8 Back Of The Neck (9-2) fit to tackle international stars at Yonkers in the million-dollar stake so he is certainly in shape to take on homeboys at Mohawk in this $600k battle. The betting should be well spread in this one and that’s a plus for #6 Jujubee (7-2). From Kentucky to Ontario has been a clear path for some headed to the BC and this one qualifies to be in the thick of this affair.

Race 9 - Open Pace
As opposed to passing the buck to #6 Bulldog Hanover (4-5), let’s take the road less traveled once more and invest in a repeat defeat. The logic is that “Bull” gets compromised in a speed duel, maybe two, with a few in this field capable of it. In other words, we’ll take the scenario where a trip horse takes Bull down this time after one or a pair of daring steeds make him work too hard to the half or so. The result could catapult #5 American Courage (20-1) or #9 Lous Pearlman (20-1) or even #8 Abuckabett Hanover (12-1) to put another asterisk on the Bull’s ’22 season capper.

Horses to Watch

H2W Legend

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.


10/27/22, Differentforgirls R2

10/28/22, Red Dirt Boomer R2; Elegant Blue R3; +Rockin Roger R6

Hoosier Park
10/28/22, +Let's Rhyed R3; Bold And Brassy R6

The Meadows
10/28/22, Pretty Ricki R11

10/27/22, Big Money Mike R5; +Sunburst Cruze R12

Northfield Park
10/29/22, Winning Hill R1; La Belle Riviere R3; Lunar Beach R5; Chapter Twelve R8

Northville Downs
10/28/22, +Imgonnacatchya R3; Wild Nite Tina R7; Omyheart R8; Imnottellinyaagain R10

10/27/22, +Straight Up Cool R12

Plainridge Park
10/27/22, Court's N Session R3; Big Al M R9

10/29/22, Rycroft N R1
10/31/22, Major Battle R10; Northern Blizzard R11

10/27/22, Red Mustang R2; Beachhead R7

10/29/22, +Dull Roar R2; Riggins Revenge R3; Vel Bitter Chip R13

Vernon Downs
10/28/22, +Summer Chrome R1; Tactical Flame R4; Lightfootedlegend R9

10/27/22, Violets Rainbow R5; +In Lou Of Money R7
10/28/22, +DC Batgirl R3