Race of the Week 2017
HRN Original Blog:
Drive On

Two "Live" longshots in the North America Cup; "DriveOn Bets"

Anyone who has been following the North America Cup news knows by now that the Yankee Cruiser sophomore Sweet Lou looks like a horse of a generation - especially after last week’s sizzling 147.4 elimination win. You probably also know that his closest pursuer in last week’s dash, Warawee Needy is considered by most to be his biggest threat. Considering “Needy” fired off a 148.1 mile in his first start as a 3-year-ols, it’s hard to argue. Fair enough; Lou and Needy are the horses to beat. If everything falls into place perfectly, one of them could even eclipse the current all-age, all-time World Record of 146.4 shared by Somebeachsomewhere and Holborn Hanover. So, does anyone else have a shot tonight? We think so, and will provide some video evidence from last week’s eliminations to support out opinion.



First, we give you Thinking Out Loud, trained by Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh. This rapidly-improving son of Ponder had an eventful trip in Sweet Lou’s elimination heat last week, to say the least. First of all, the colt couldn’t find a spot on the pylons early and raced the entire mile parked-out, which according to Trakus data made his journey 51 feet longer than Lou’s. Yu’ll notice in the video, too, that Thinking Out Loud was mired behind dead cover around the home turn and had to circle as Lou and pocket-sitting Warawee Needy were accelerating away from the tiring first-over horse.



Now, I’m not going to go crazy emptying my pockets on him trying to beat Sweet Lou, but, chances are there is going to be a lively pace to chase and if Thinking Out Loud can save some ground early, he may just mow ‘em all down late at a healthy price. He is also a good horse to include in the kicker leg of the early pick 4 as is our next “live longshot”, Time To Roll.



Time to roll didn’t leave as alertly as he can in the elimination, and, as a result, found himself more than 10 lengths back in a 54.4 first half, which is reasonable, but also not crazy speed for these calibre of pacers. So TTR had his work cut out for him, for sure. To make things worse, Time To Roll when he pulled from the back, to make his assault on the leaders, found himself 4th-over behind excess cover and with a quarter mile to go, he was still 8 ¼ lengths in arrears despite having paced a rapid 26.2 3rd quarter. What happened from there home gives us the feeling that Time To Roll has a shot at the top prize tonight. He stormed home, firing off another 26.2 quarter and fell just a stride or two short of nailing the winner, Dapper Dude who came from 3rd over just in front of TTR. In his penultimate start, Time to Roll produced a courageous first-over gring in a New Jersey Sire stake to nail Cup rival A RockNRoll Dance in the final strides. Clearly if there is an early or mid-stages speed battle, this impeccably-bred son of Rock N Roll Hanover-Kikikikate could also be flying by horses late. He is another viable option to include on Pick 4 tickets at 12-1 in the morning line.


Let’s move into the “DriveOn Bets” segment which has has dreadful luck so far, missing several well-paying pick 4s by noses and heads on the wire. Still, that is often the way the game plays out, so we move on, looking specifically to cash the pick 4s and looking at a couple of “value” picks as well.


Original Balance: $1,000


Current Balance: $295


Let’s go get some money tonight!


Race 4 - $1 Pick 4 - 124569/2348/3/345 - $72 (20-cant option would cost $14.40 for this one)


40-cent Pick 4- 124569/2348/347/345 - $86.40


Race 4 - $1 Tri 29/124569/124569 - $40


- $5 exacta box 2-9 - $10


- $25 win 2 - $25


Race 10 - 20-cent Pick 4 -4678/14589/127/369 - $36


-40-cent Pick 4 - 8/14589/127/369 - $18


Total wagered - $277.40


Current Balance $17.60 (Gulp!)


Hoping for a score and a great show tonight at The ‘Hawk on Cup night!


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Older Comments about Two "Live" longshots in the North America Cup; "DriveOn Bets" ...

Thanks! It pays to read the "Drive On" blog!
Great call, Garnet!
sorry that 1:47.4 was correct. I heard a verbal statement from Twin Spires so I don't know where it came from.
from standardbred Canada: 12.1, 25.1, 52.4, 1:20.3, 1:33.4, 1:47.4 (Temperature: 23, Condition: FT, Variant: 0)
I just mirrored Ken's comment on the race, he is the one who informed me of the final time
They posted 1:46.4- thank you DriveOn
track record tying 1:47 and change and it was not Seet Lou as he got surrounded late...Jamieson suckered him to too fast a half
2/5 is not worth the wager on Sweet Lou
seet Lou 1;47 4/5
Love the on-the-scene video ... Looking good, G-Money!
I been away for awhile. Pleasantly surprised to see Jimmy Takter has two in this "pace" one of them your possible win choice. It used to seem like magic what Jimmy could get out of a trotter. I remember him just starting now it's 30 yrs gone by. Getting to the betting it seems your pick 4 is horizontal. If you can beat Sweet Lou and hit you'll have a nice one. your going to single the 3 in the sixth on your dollar ticket if I've counted this out right. This looks interesting even just to watch. I think I'll shoot ever to Vernon and catch it on their big screens as well as the live racing there. I'll use some concoction using your thoughts just to have something going. I have a strong preference for vertical betting so depending on the odds the 3 and 5 might be worth a small wager along with an ex or tri. GL Driveon and thanks for the tip either way it goes. I hope you win a bundle.
Hmmm...I'm thinking out loud here but....."I'm Thinking Out Loud" looks like a winner to me!!

Meet Garnet Barnsdale


I am an Honours Graduate from Humber College School of Journalism and a lifelong race fan and handicapper who has been watching and wagering on harness racing for more than 30 years. I was a staff writer for The Standardbred magazine in the late '80s. I will attempt to provide both beginners and veterans with valuable information and handicapping tips and advice on the top events from all major harness circuits.

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