Rejuvenated And Raring To Go, Harness Racing Returns


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Enduring the aches and pain, sneezes and sniffles, I return after battling a cold last week to get all of you up to speed on the thrilling harness action happening this weekend. So grab your Dayquil, grab your tissues, grab your Super Bowl memorabilia and grab a pen so we can tackle some valuable races set for the weekend.

Let’s begin our comeback with Woodbine’s sixth race on Friday, Feb. 10. A bottom-level trotting event, these races frequently promote creative handicapping to compensate for poor horse form.

Here, it seems Our Mojo, now drawing an inside post, could be the outside contender. He has gradually descended the class ladder over many starts, but in his last two outings managed to implicate himself into the mile. Foregoing the possibility of a break, he appears to be a versatile horse in racing style and can end up involved to a point where he might win.

Next, we venture westward to Fraser Downs for its third race, a conditioned claiming pace. The public will clearly attach themselves to Camita B And E under the assumption that he’ll have the stamina to wire the field this go-around. However, the unreliability factor of many of these horses makes it wiser to go against the probable public choice.

To the inside, Makinitnotfakinit has put in sharp efforts in her last four outings, traveling first over and sustaining her bids to finish second, fifth, fourth and second respectively. Now she is pinned against a questionable enough group where she appears to be a viable value option.

Moving to Saturday, Feb. 11, we begin with the fourth race from Yonkers Raceway, a mid-level conditioned trotting event. Many of these trotters are coming from the French races held at Yonkers and will now be going the standard mile distance compared to the mile-and-a-quarter.

Lucky Colby is not exiting a French race, but enters off a sharp second against this competition following a layoff. Presuming he improves in his second go off the bench, he could be sliding into contention.

Chipps Lake is exiting a French race, and has been on the improvement trail over his last few starts. Ascending the class ladder, he has won with sweeping moves to the lead and with off-the-pace rallies. In his last start, he attempted to pull off another off-the-pace rally but was too far out to make a strong enough bid. It seems that he could improve at this class level going a shorter distance.

Finally, we look at Pompano Park and its fourth race, a maiden event of enthralling proportions. Initial glance at this race shows it to be, as some critics may pen, “awful,” “total garbage” and “complete garbage.” Yet, these inexperienced and poor-form horses could also make for the best value because of the uncertainty they produce.

Making a break in his debut, Theoddsarestacked was never given an opportunity to show his form, instead he coasted around the track to finish eighth and go home. He followed that with a qualifier against classier stock, including Mcwicked, Some Kinda Beach and Rocking Katie, pacing 1:57.4 while they traveled a 1:51.2 mile, an improvement from his first qualifier. Given the opportunity to display his form, he could have enough to win his way out of the maiden ranks.

Preview Review 

On Friday, Jan. 27, both Choose My Jet (fifth, 7-1), going at Western Fair, and Downundermatter (seventh, 45-1), competing at the Meadowlands, missed the board.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, So Dreaming went off a poorer price than we anticipated or hoped and finished fifth at 4-1 at The Meadows. Heza Thrill N ($13.20, $7.80, $7.40), racing at Miami Valley, swept by all his rivals to win.

And there is no bounce back list this week since all of our contenders from two weeks ago came back to race last week. Here’re the results:

Downundermatter (M, R1 2/3) – fourth, 21-1
So Dreaming (Mea, R5 2/4) – fifth, 3-5 (favorite)
Choose My Jet (FlmD, R6 2/5) – $4.30, $3.40 and second to favorite in $26.30 exacta

Ray Cotolo
Ray Cotolo is a seasoned handicapper and harness writer. At 17-years-old, he has worked in the harness racing industry for approaching a decade. Known for his creativity, humor, and eccentric personality, he works to promote harness racing while also entertaining. He is also known as the son of harness-racing guru Frank Cotolo and focuses primarily on the pari-mutuel side of the sport, invested in seeking value.

Ray hosts the weekly radio show “North American Harness Update,” which combines his talents to both entertain and aid the public in discovering overlay contenders from the highest-stake harness races to the cheapest overnights at Truro Raceway. He strives to put on the greatest show possible for all audiences along with his co-host, Mike Pribozie. It airs from 9-11pmEDT on SRN One.

Outside of racing, Ray is a playwright, writer, and, debatably, a comedian. He has performed and written sketch comedy while attending high school, as well as plays and varying side projects. He continually updates his Twitter account, @RayCotolo, with thoughts either pertaining to or not pertaining to harness racing.

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