Overnights Dominate Harness Weekend

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We continue to journey through the winter months, dry of any kind of stakes action, as well as any kind of moisture in the air. Instead, overnights continue to be the featured harness events across the continent; thus, our value ventures are directed towards conditioned events from varying tracks this weekend.

Kicking off our Friday, Feb. 17 escapades will be Buffalo Raceway and its third race, a conditioned trotting event. Our focus is on Shanghai Jack who, starting from an outside post, has demonstrated the early speed necessary to assert himself into the race and rally to victory. His post will then serve to inflate his price while the public shoots for the “safer” choices to the inside.

A past value contender, Limitless starts from post eight in Buffalo’s sixth race. He could be a great price again this time around, and is in sharp enough form to overcome post eight.

Fraser Downs cancelled their program last Friday, so we’ll try to nab a price out of them this week. Its seventh race, a conditioned pace, could play out to be a great exotic affair, with the obvious choices of Gable Blue Chip and Prodigal drawing outside posts.

Yet, Delite Debettor has the ability to pump a few dollars into the exotic payouts. Considering he was shuffled out of contention in his most recent outing, he hasn’t gone a mile representative of his ability since Dec. 16, when he closed in :28.4 to finish fifth. He is guaranteed to be a large price, but we will have to put faith into this longshot and the conjecture that he is better than his lines demonstrate.

We have two value contenders to start Saturday, Feb. 18 at Woodbine Racetrack. In its fourth race, Vegas Rocks appears to be peaking while the public continually dismisses him, as he recently flew home to finish second at 67-1. However, he may need to show gate speed like he did when winning against the level below this on Jan. 28, since this race lacks pace. He could benefit from being forwardly placed and be able to utilize his late kick from a position closer to the front.

Then, in Woodbine’s seventh race, Ado Duharas could be sent off an enticing price after losing stride in his most recent effort. He is consistently sharp at this class level, exempting his one start from post 10 where he lagged behind the field and chased horses home. If he leaves, he should be in the prime position to pounce his way to an upset.

Finally, we go to the Meadowlands to cap our weekend features. Its seventh race, beginning the $50,000 guaranteed pick-4, is a competitive conditioned pacing event which may feature Somesizesomestyle as the favorite after a strong third-place finish at this level, as well as the barn change to Dylan Davis. We don’t really care about any of that.

Alberto Contador N is coming into this race sharp. He dropped from this class level last out and won with ease, being ignored at 14-1. In his last effort against this group, he sprinted home to finish seventh only because he lacked the gate speed to position himself well from post 10. Now starting from post three off an easy win against lower company, this horse should go off a decent price in comparison to the ability he’s displaying heading into this affair.

Bounce Backs

The “Bounce Back” list features contenders we touted in the past who did not win in their first outing, but are worth considering a second time.

Chipps Lake – Saturday, Feb. 18 | Yonkers, Race 3
*Makinitnotfakinit – Sunday, Feb. 19 | Fraser Downs, Race 5

*Makinitnotfakinit was promoted in our blog last week, but did not get a chance to race. If he does not win this time around, expect him to be on the bounce back list again.

Preview Review

Only three of our contenders in two races ended up racing last weekend. Our Mojo, racing at Woodbine on Friday, ended up going off at 4-1 and finished fourth after setting the pace for most of the mile before faltering. Makinitnotfakinit was supposed to race at Fraser Downs, but did not since they cancelled their Friday, Feb. 10 program due to poor track conditions.

Since Theoddsarestacked scratched out of our feature at Pompano Park, our lone play on Saturday, Feb. 11 was at Yonkers Raceway. The longer of the two contenders advertised, Chipps Lake, finished second at 19-1to the 17-1 winner, paying $18.20 to place and $4.50 to show. Lucky Colby was the pacesetter of the race and faltered to finish fourth at 5-2.

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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