Harness Weekly Update: New Year's toast to 20% winners, 56% in the money

TwinSpires Staff

January 1st, 2023

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.

Thursday, Dec. 29

This week’s Mohawk Miles contenders numbered five, three of which were defeated strongly by one of the public’s top three choices. In finishing order, Zippidy Zoom ($5.90, $4.40) finished second to a 9-1 winner; Peggy J (12-1) came in fifth; CM Savewill GL (46-1) was seventh; Amalie Hanover (22-1) eighth; and Kevndan Fraudsters (6-1) wandered home ninth to a 34-1 winner.

We won with Hickok Forty Five ($6.40, $4.00, $3.20) in our selected feature at Dover.

Friday, Dec. 30

At Mohawk, a 5-1 shot defeated our 35-1 contender Nightlife Seelster as that one finished a respectful fourth.

Saturday, Dec. 31

The Meadowlands canceled their New Year’s Eve program after the first race due to brumous ground fog.


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 25 active H2W horses (a 20% win hit rate and a 56% ATB [across-the-board] hit). Horses with asterisks before their names were tweets @FrankCotolo. Follow for late choices.


Xenia, $17.00, $6.00, $5.80, Meadows
Mr Jeff, $8.40, $4.60, $3.60, Meadows
Keystone Chaos, $8.20, $4.40, $5.80, Meadows
Midnight Zen, $3.20, $2.20, $2.10, Freehold
Stonecold Bluechip, $3.20, $2.20, $2.10, Northfield


Play The Ponies, $7.80, $3.00, Dayton
Lucan Hanover, $6.60, $2.60 (Exacta, $29.40), Monticello
Makeitagaingo, $4.40, $3.80 (Exacta, $8.00), Dayton
Hoolie N Hector, $3.20, $3.00, Monticello
Twin B Jays, $3.20, $2.60, Cumberland


Caviart Eden, $3.80, Philly
DGs Elsa, $3.40, Dayton
Coach Cal, $2.60, Monticello
Boiler Maker, $2.40, Meadowlands


Once again, retiring standardbreds (14 and up) pace and trot for fun as Jan. 1 changes the casts of racing divisions. Two-year-olds turn three and three-year-olds join the ranks of the “aged.” Jan. 1 is the official birthday (in the Northern Hemisphere) of all racehorse breeds. Many standardbreds take on familiar foes from their 2022 divisions while those graduating to aged status meet millionaires and other wealthy, older competitors. Handicappers should trust in positive improvements for youths while respecting the experience age has helped develop.

We continue in 2023 to occasionally report on drivers’ winning streaks that make industry headlines. Our last for 2022 is Andrew McCarthy’s six-win program at Philly on Dec. 30. Andrew guided 14 entries, costing base bets of $28. The return on the blind-loyalty investment was $38.60, a profit of $10.60, which was thanks to a single double-digit winner ($17.40).

Northfield returned to a four-day schedule and a 6 p.m. (ET) program post time on Jan. 1. The Ohio track kicks off the 2023 season racing on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday through June 4, when it will be dark on Tuesdays and pick up Mondays. There is a new guaranteed wager beginning Jan. 1: a $10,000 guaranteed 20-cent Super High-5 in the first race each night. The wager could carryover until the 13th race Super High-5.

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in our monthly columns at Harness Racing Update.