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I'm On Board
Monday, January 06, 2014 - by Frank Cotolo

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Since I recently announced my Players’ Horse of the Year, I thought I would pass on my choice as an industry participant. After all, anyone that reads my blogs could safely predict which horse I would vote to get the honor. My blogs on Captaintreacherous date to before he was the talk of the town and after he developed a cult of detestors.

Then I saw Dean Hoffman’s piece in the Jan. 3 Harness Racing Update and I knew I had to weigh in again to document that my vote for Horse of the Year is Captaintreacherous. I don’t want Dean or any of the others voting for Captaintreacherous to feel like a lone “pariah.” Nor do I want anyone to feel I did not document my choice because I suddenly had a change of heart and was embarassed to admit it.

A strange twist for me is that when Bee A Magician was 2 and unknown, I documented her prowess, as I had been publicly supporting some of the better frosh daughters of Kadabra. It was I who gave out Poof She’s Gone when she won the Merrie Annabelle and paid 5-1.

As well, my picks for three races where Bee A Magician, at 2, paid as well as she would to date, also appeared in my players blog (June 28, $11.60; July 22, $13.60; and in the Peaceful Way, $7.60). So, when she went on to the track at 3, I had already applauded her prowess as a player and a journalist and expected excellence.

But when she was heralded as the top sophomore trotter of 2013, I figured that would mean she would challenge the colts. She did not do it; she stayed within the territory of a division she dominated with ease. The critics of Captaintreacherous are quick to belie his connetions for passing the Little Brown Jug but don’t feel Bee A Magician should loss points for not stepping out of her comfort zone.

Foiled Again, as Mr. Hoffman reminded us, had a horrible losing streak in 2013 before a valorous rebound as the season waned. But Captaintreacherous never stopped being gallant on the track, even losing twice by close margins to his own division mates (both circumstancial considering how the two winners raced from the point of beating him until the season’s end) and the third time to Foiled Again, a senior pacer.

So, I swim the deep, dank waters with Dean in my decision. I would wager that a lot of my betting audience swims along with us, since Captaintreacherous not only won as an overlay a few times but made the hearts of his supporters pump faster by overcoming adversities to get to the winner’s circle. There was never a race in which he participated in 2013 that did not get the attention of bettors. His name and performances transcended insiders and excited outsiders to no end.

Captaintreacherous, no matter which horse gets the most votes, will always be, for many people on both sides of the apron, 2013’s Horse of the Year.

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Hoof Beats Magazine The forum of Hoof Beats bloggers, featuring some of the best writers in harness racing: New York writer Tim Bojarski, handicapper Frank Cotolo, Tom LaMarra, Harness Racing Communications’ Ellen Harvey and Ken Weingartner, and Hoof Beats’ T.J. Burkett.
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