Harness Weekly Update: 24% winners, 47% in the money
The TwinSpires Harness Blog Weekly Update covers our successes and failures from selected features and the H2W (horses-to-watch list). H2W horses through the following Monday appear in the next Update’s results.
Selections for Monday, April 24
MATCHMAKER FINAL $328k
Tough but not impossible, the weakest earner can win at a price better than the crowd will measure. #3 Dougs Babe A is as good as any here and in a perfect spot to get a convenient trip with plenty of gas left to beat the name-brand mares whom suck up the most betting bucks. Unless she is jammed, we expect to collect.
BORGATA PACING FINAL $511k
Classy stalwart pacers are hard to separate. The “now” horse is #1 Covered Bridge but he has to win as #6 Funatthebeach N won last year’s final—racing late against speed-balls. #2 This Is The Plan and #4 Leonidas A are the classiest speed-balls but there is so much speed here that the race can be won off the gate—but which pacer controls it? In the money department #7 Lochinvar Art A could be the strongest overlay considering post and driver. That’s where we are putting our money but certainly not a major portion of it.
Review of last week's action
Monday, April 17
The Borgata series last leg included no winners, though Leonidas A ($4.10, $3.10) finished second. Dean B Hanover (5-1) ended up fourth and Splash Brother (25-1) was fifth; both lost to crowd choices.
Thursday, April 20
Our Mohawk Miles (MM) trio turned in a winner, favorite Blue Glamber ($4.10, $2.60, $2.50). Alcina’s second chance failed and Land Of Royalty (8-1) also did not make the board, losing to the public’s third choice.
At Hoosier we addressed the TwinSpires-bonus play for the Late Pick 4. Our only contribution to the wager was Liteningonthebeach ($4.40, $3.20, $2.60) in leg two. In single-race action, our choice in leg one, Big Time Barbie ($26.60), was third, a major addition to exotics, while Sugar And Spite (25-1) finished second. Peter Dalt (17-1) came home fifth in leg three, and in leg four, Pink Ruby ($2.40) was third and Always In Flight (29-1) fourth.
April 23 at Oak Grove and April 24 at Yonkers results appear in the next Update.
H2W LIST RESULTS
The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Exactas listed include a H2W horse finishing second to a race-favorite or if the first two finishers are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses are listed—a cold exacta). The note “OK” determines that prices are correct (even when a show price exceeds a place price or all prices are the same).
Please note that some results reflect horses racing after the blog posts (they appear the following week).
This week, there were 55 active H2W horses (a 24% win hit rate and a 47% ATB [across-the-board] hit). Horses with asterisks before their names were tweets @FrankCotolo. Follow for late choices.
Surf Cast Zette, $14.20, $6.70, $2.80, Saratoga
Shaw Town, $11.60, $6.40, $5.80, Cumberland
American Rebel, $7.30, $4.10, $2.40, Saratoga
Haggard, $6.60, $2.80, $2.80 OK, Freehold
Lady Remi, $6.20, $3.10, $2.30, Oak Grove
Rollinwitdaponyzzz, $5.80, $3.60, $4.20 OK, Hoosier
Early Action, $5.60, $2.60, $2.10, Meadowlands
Bumpy Jack, $5.40, $3.60, $3.20, Pocono
Lougazi, $4.30, $2.90, $2.50, Buffalo
Town Gossip, $3.60, $2.60, $2.20, Hoosier
Face The Shadows, $3.40, $2.40, $2.10, Northfield
Smooth Rocket, $3.40, 2.10, $2.10 OK, Rosecroft
Go Viral, $3.20, $2.20, $2.10, Cal-Expo
Natural Forces, $10.20, $5.60 (Exacta $23.00), Northville
Beach Dreamzzz, $6.20, $4.00 (Exacta $20.20), Meadows
Arden, $2.80, $2.10 (Exacta $4.60), Monticello
Sir Shadow, $2.40, $2.20, Monticello
Oakwoodnitownit IR, $2.20, $2.10 (Exacta $3.60), Yonkers
Pardonnez-moi, $2.10, $2.10 (Exacta $4.60)
And I Quote, $7.90, Buffalo
Rockin Deo, $4.60, Northville
We Shall Sea, $4.20, Pocono
Doubleagentman, $3.20, Harrington
Riproy, $2.40, Cumberland
Dees Red Delicious, $2.20, Pocono
Mongolian Hero, $2.20, Philly
NEWS & NOTES
The absence of Jimmy Freight from the Borgata final is due to injury. With a win and three seconds, Jimmy Freight earned a berth in the final despite a vet scratch from the final leg on April 17. The problem was a tendon tear, demanding a rest from racing. Vets are optimistic; it wasn’t severe. Connections are hopeful for his return, and his breeding moves forward.
Bettors beware—the fields for the Borgata and Matchmaker finals will all be considered “key races.” This means that no matter where any of them finish, they will be automatic win bets (as well as place and show bets) in their next few races, no matter on what track they race. Look for them in the H2W list and on your own, just in case we miss one or two.
A year older and perhaps a ton better than last year, a number of 2022 star trotters and pacers are prepping to meet foes of older ilk. Jim Campbell’s two stars—Cool Papa Bell and Fashion Schooner—looked great qualifying at the Meadowlands last week. Millionaire mare Niki Hill soared home, as did Linda Toscano’s pacers Fulton and Its My Show. We will be monitors for ’22 stars debuts.
Yes is the answer to those asking if Ray Cotolo is related to TwinSpires’ veteran harness consultant Frank Cotolo. Ray Cotolo, who is the new track handicapper at Oak Grove, is his son. It’s one of many harness racing activities for Ray, who can occasionally be heard calling races at Freehold and Rosecraft and articulating his racing acumen in a monthly DRF column.
Indulge in our new monthly column, Among Ourselves, at Harness Racing Update.