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Melissa Keith’s Western Fair Raceway Selections: Friday, January 17, 2020

Best Bet – (1) – ALL OUT HENRY – Race 10
Spot Play – (4) – SETTING DAY – Race 3
20-cent Early Pick 4 – Race 4 –3,4/2,5,6/2,3,5,9/1,3,5 = $14.40
20-cent Late Pick 4 – Race 8 – 3,4/1,3,7/1,6/5,8,9 = $7.20

Race 1 – (2) MAJESTIC HERO has closed well in last 2 races, including a place effort from post #8 on Jan. 3; presence of early pacesetter #1 Dumb Is Forever helps reliable closer with infrequent breaks get closer to maiden-breaking victory tonight. (4) JAYPORT HI CLASS is the lone 3-year-old in field, but fits this classification well; broke maiden for trainer/driver Greg Dustin in last, passing tired leaders at the end of a second-over trip. (5) TOURIST ATTRACTION has been fourth in last 2 starts, but mild closer is steady-gaited enough and shows an identical fastest recent last quarter (30.3) to top 2 selections here.
Race 2 – (8) DREAM BALL was impressive at 18/1 odds Jan. 3, grabbing early lead from post #7 in added-distance event, then making second move in deep stretch to grab place spot; her sixth-place finish Dec. 6 resulted from extended duel on front end against a first-over challenger (Only One Star), a scenario unlikely to unfold here. (2) MACH SHARK was in same race Jan. 3, closing for fourth; down in class and back to mile distance with Marc St. Louis Jr. picking up the drive, she could end up closing aggressively like she did February 26, 2019—her last London victory. (6) MOON LAKE has been posting some fast miles, but just one top-3 finish in last 6 starts; 14-year-old veteran drops in class, although post means she may end up enduring another overland trip here.
Race 3 – (4) SETTING DAY’s best previous Ontario result was a fast-closing place finish at London NW12000 level Dec. 6; had to get around early breakers from post #7 in last 2 starts, so post #4 an advantage here. (1) MUSCLES APLENTY was beaten fav on Jan. 11 at Flamboro, giving way early as 20/1 longshot Delcrest Ronnie took charge, and offering little late; 3-year-old has nonetheless recorded 3 close place finishes in 4 most recent starts with Shepherd, who stays aboard. (6) IAM WHAT I AM gains class relief; 10-time show finisher seems inclined to follow horses for similar result here.
Race 4 – (4) TALBOT EH PLUS put away fellow front-ender Super T in their previous match-up; undefeated since first start on Lasix, she looks to keep win streak alive with Coulter. (3) NCUTSNBUTSNCOCANTS keeps outperforming his odds, trotting home strong to hit board in all but 1 of last 5 trips at various class levels; now trained by Patrick Shepherd and driven by Colin Kelly. (6) SUPER T stalked to finish second behind Talbot Eh Plus on Jan. 3 from post #6, unable to advance beyond leader’s wheel despite urging from Henry; unlikely to get his preferred front-end trip from this spot tonight.
Race 5 – (2) SECRETLY FLASHY draws well, moves up London class ladder to same level where she finished second to Warrawee Usain Dec. 13; beaten fav Jan. 13 for Coulter, mare was “all dressed up and no place to go” third due to boxed-in pocket ride noted Sugar Doyle in the race call. (6) WARRAWEE USAIN likes the lead, so will have to work harder than usual from this post and class level to get there; note that in both of his recent victories over Secretly Flashy, the gelding has drawn inside the mare. 
(5) VICTORIAHASASECRET is a determined closer who won on the class drop in Jan. 3 outing; missed by a nose at this level Nov. 29.  
Race 6 – (5) WHITE DANCER lands the best post position for London pacers; Jan. 8, she closed in pylon-skimming last-to-fourth fashion, recording the fastest added-distance closing panel (36.0) of any mare in this field. (2) MICHELLES DEUCE tried to make front from post #6 at this distance Jan. 8, but ended up parked out fifth and later forced to close wide from second-last; post improvement here for the mare with fastest recent clocking at the mile-and-1/16 (2:06.4). (3) IDEAL TOY seems well-positioned to control early pace; gate-to-wire approach at extra distance proved successful with Marc St. Louis Jr. on Nov. 15 and Dec. 16, albeit by wafer-thin winning margins. (1) BRAONACH was beaten favourite Jan. 3 after three-wide battle to grab the early lead; likely to face another duel against Ideal Toy tonight, but from improved post. (9) MOLLIE Z TAM can be expected to launch late for trainer/driver Rankin Jr.; second only to Ideal Toy for wins last year, her lone current effort at added distance was declared “no contest” Dec. 13.
Race 7 – (5) DIVA DALI closed strongly from same post, at same level, to win by open lengths on Jan. 3; Robert Shepherd remains aboard. (3) SPORTS ICON has been consistent performer for owner/trainer/driver Donald Rankin Jr.; looks to work out a ground-saving trip behind pacesetters. (1) MACH ON went winless last season, but draws better here than in recent efforts at Flamboro; show finisher in nearly a third of her 2019 starts.
Race 8 – (3) EATAAMS ELLIE finished second as beaten fav in same class Dec. 13, and third as beaten fav at Flamboro Jan. 9; class drops and improved results hint at better finish in near future. (4) FURIOSA has been competing with limited success at higher level; last win was March 19, when she went straight to front from post #5 for what announcer Sugar Doyle called “the race of her life.” (5) MISS OHIO can be excused after sixth-place finish from post #7 in last start; draws better, keeps Nat Day, and appears ready to add another show finish to the 10 she collected last season.
Race 9 – (3) BAD NIGHT MARE is this field’s fastest recent closer on a half-mile track, which has translated into show finishes with Coulter in recent class-climber’s previous 2 starts; going-away victory at lower level in London Dec. 6. (7) TOBINS TERROR has undeniable half-mile track speed and questionable post; needs to get involved early to ensure she’s well-placed for late move, like her strong second-over Dec. 13 place finish behind Kahlua Morning. (1) FRIENDS TO THE END is a deep closer who finished second to Only One Star Jan. 3; unsure she can hunt down formful leader with late speed here.
Race 10 – (1) ALL OUT HENRY is a 3-time beaten favourite in his last 3 starts, and missed his chance Dec. 17 due to interference; speedy half-mile track specialist lands inside post and Scott Coulter.
(6) EAGLE SCOUT has struggled a bit at London Preferred-3 level, but class-dropper can stay flat-gaited and trot a sub-30-second final quarter, which many here cannot. (8) YOUCOULDBETHATGIRL broke leaving in London debut Jan. 8, so much depends on manners tonight; Maine invader has closed for top-3 finishes over muddy conditions at Scarborough Downs, and could improve on the class drop, return to mile distance here.
Race 11 – (8) MAY TO FOR dominated at the mile-and-1/16 back on Nov. 18; Travis Henry piloted him in that front-end win, and takes the lines again tonight. (9) THE REGULATOR followed Bettors Mark from the back of the pack Jan. 3, tried again from the inside path after that rival stalled first-over, and unleashed the fastest closing quarter in the race (29.1); trailing post and extra distance give him better shot to get involved. (5) ROUGH TRADE closed well late to grab the show spot from post #6 Jan. 3; tough to leave fast-closing London regular out of Hi-5 tickets. (3) TWILITE ZONE is one of several in this field who show recent sub-2:00 miles at Flamboro; improved to finish second there Jan. 5 and adds Robert Shepherd tonight. (1) ETERNAL RULER won from off the pace at huge odds at this distance Dec. 2; erratic recent form and class jump prevent higher estimation of his chances.


Melissa Keith is a lifelong harness handicapper/bettor, Hervey/O'Brien Media Excellence Award-winning writer, and occasional racecaller. She is a contributor to TROT, Hoof Beats, Atlantic Post Calls, and Harness Racing Update, often covering topics related to wagering. Her most memorable bets include taking down the Truro Raceway Pick-7 pool for a $36 investment (it has not been offered since) and collecting $1,287 for a Woodbine Harness Pick-4 which cost a whopping $1.60.

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