Northfield Winner At $21 Highlights; Best ‘Levy’ Price Nabbed; $11 Matchmaker Victor; Six Exacta Partners

TwinSpires Staff

April 9th, 2017

Grand Circuit action on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 featured leg three of the Matchmaker and “Levy.” In each of the series’ fewer divisions we scored once in each series.

In the Levy we hit Clear Vision ($8.90, $4.90, $3.30), with no exotic luck, as Long Live Rock (7-1) finished sixth and Santa Fe Beachboy (42-1) finished seventh.

Clear Vision’s win price was the best of the three divisions. In the second split we were seventh with PH Supercam (13-1), where the winner was 2-1. In the third division we were fourth with Soto (4-1), beaten by another 2-1.

Friday’s Matchmaker pair of divisions featured double-digit winners and we had one, Medusa ($11.20, $4.30, $2.80). In the other split we were fourth with outsider Hidden Land (10-1).

We began the weekend with Power Plays at Philly on April 6. We won with Giant Muscles ($3.00, $2.20, $2.10) and took the place with Bluenose Gal ($3.00, $2.20). That returned a small Exacta worth $9.60. We contributed to the Superfecta ($140.80) with Driven (15-1), finishing fourth. We were sour only with Creampuff Macdaddy (48-1), who finished seventh-placed-sixth due to a judges’ call from a gate breaking horse that interfered with two others.

Wednesday, April 5 we made a go with three spot plays at Buffalo, beaten by one favorite and two second-and-third choices. We were best at fourth with Wacky Rei (13-1) and seventh with both Safe Bet Hanover (13-1) and Bands Ariston (11-1).

On various Wednesday nights we tweet for TwinSpires Twitter members from @FrankCotolo –retweeted by @twinspires—and the raceway involved. Losers from each week will appear on the next week’s horses-to-watch (H2W) list unless they race before that blog is published, so watch for them returning to the races on days in between blogs. Watch for special tweets from raceways on various Wednesdays.


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 49 active horses (a 10-percent win hit rate and a 53-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 is posted.


Skyway Sonoma, $21.80, $5.20, $3.60, Northfield
Rufo, $4.00, $2.40, $2.10, Pocono
Dontcallmefrancis, $3.80, $2.60, $2.20, Meadowlands
Aberarder Smitty, $3.60, $6.40, $2.40 ok, Scarborough
Seeking Nirvana, $2.80, $2.60, $2.10, Freehold


Albionkinginfinito, $12.60, $5.80 (Exacta $43.60), Meadows
Sadies Art, $8.80, $4.60, Hoosier
Cane Ridge, $8.60, $4.00 (Exacta $27.20), Pocono
Luvuthemostest, $7.20, $4.60, Cal-Expo
Western Dynasty, $6.60, $4.60, Philadelphia
EL Wildspirit, $6.20, $4.70, Rideau-Carleton
Moonlight Spin, $5.10, $2.50 (Exacta $9.50), Saratoga
Haileysgonedancing, $4.60, $2.80, Pocono
Southwind Yukon, $3.80, $2.40, Meadows
Cheyenne Oxe, $3.40, $2.80 (Exacta $6.20), Freehold
Corky Baran, $2.80, $2.20 (Exacta, $6.40), Scarborough
Regalanthropist, $2.80, $2.80 ok (Exacta $10.60), Pompano
Whoyoucallingafool, $2.80, $2.40, Miami
Cashendash Hanover, $2.20, $2.10, Philadelphia
Lutetia Semalu, $2.20, $2.10, Rideau-Carleton


Steuben Patriot, $5.20, Buffalo
Amora Beach, $4.00, Philadelphia
Carols Z Tam, $3.60, Hoosier
Box Car Johnnie, $3.10, Buffalo
Classy Kyle, $2.80, Scarborough
Gold Star Sonata, $2.10, Pompano

News & Notes

H2W followers have noticed the addition of Philadelphia harness, as the Chester, PA track opened its 12th season on April 2. The 50-cent Pick-5 exotic was added to this season’s wagering menu. The multi-race bet starts in Race 6. Like the Pick 4, it boasts a low takeout of 15 percent. The 50-cent Pick-4 sequence will now begin in Race 2. Racing has a first post of 12:40 p.m. The track’s regular schedule four-day a schedule includes Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, with the 12:40 p.m. (EST) post.

Aaron Merriman, harness racing’s top-winning driver in 2015 and 2016, nabbed career win 9,000 on April 4. He did it at one of the two tracks where he drives regularly, the Meadows. A native of Ohio, Merriman, 38, has been driving at The Meadows and Northfield for the past few years. He notched career win 6,000 in October 2013, amassing 3,000 victories in the last 42 months. Unlike some other ultra-popular drivers, Aaron scores with horses at many price ranges. Driving regularly at two tracks is grueling, but Aaron says he expects to maintain the hectic schedule, as well as show up for drives he catches on Grand Circuit horses.

There has always been a horseman relationship between the harness meets in California, at Cal Expo, and those in Minnesota, at Running Aces. A recent announcement has made their connection closer. The tracks will offer a joint incentive program for Cal-Expo horsemen racing horses at Running Aces in 2017. Horses that have made 10 or more starts at Cal Expo since Jan. 1 will be eligible for a 10 percent win bonus during the Running Aces season. Cal Expo, in turn, will offer the same incentive to any winning horse with 10 or more starts during 2017 at Running Aces. Minnesota officials called the plan means to “provide a better product and reward those who support racing in Minnesota and California,” which is hoped to “further develop a natural circuit.”

Extraordinary Extras

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

For Thom Pye cartoons, informative harness history and more, click here ~