Best Bet - (4) PICKEM - Race 2
Spot Play - (1) GENESEE – Race 5
Early Pick 4 – 1,2,9/2,3/1/5,8,9- $3.60
Late Pick 4 – 1,2,8/4,5,6,7,8/2,6/1,2,4 - $18.00
Race 1 - (1) FOUR STARZ SPEED looked really sharp last week and pounced on the leaders late to score the victory. Tonight, he draws the rail and his early speed should help elevate him to victory. (6) MASSMADE draws tough, but that is not unusual for this mare who has learned to race from an outside post. She is a bit of a closer and if things go her way, watch out. (3) FORTUNES FRIEND is coming back off the layoff this week for trainer Gerard Demers. He raced well last year and liked to hit the ticket. Definitely a play underneath.
Race 2 - (4) PICKEM has the numbers and the times to easily handle this field. This would be one that I would key off of tonight. (2) SOUTHWIND JERRY is making his first start of the year against much easier company than he faced in the NY Sire Stake events last year. He qualified well; I look for improvement this week. (1) KEEPER CRUISIN is another gelding that kicks off his 2019 campaign tonight, and that qualifier looked good on April 7. Something to note, the last time he raced over this surface he was a hard-charging third.
Race 3 - (2) DADS FILLY just did not fire last week from an inside post, throw that race out as just a random bad effort. Tonight, she comes back with another good post and I expect her to get a better trip. (9) MOREMUNKYBUSINESS was a mare I liked last week, and she just had too much ground to make up. She gets a driver change this week to a driver who could be a little more aggressive. (1) DOSTAL ALLEY had a short layoff after a lackluster performance on March 24. Not quite sure what happened that day, but maybe post had something to do with it. Deserves another chance.
Race 4 - (3) TALBOTCREEK SUZIE threw in a clunker last week and raced from a near impossible position. Tonight, she draws well once again; if she is on or near the lead, she will be dangerous. (2) WINDSUN HUGO narrowly missed last week but looked like a tired racehorse, He draws well again and his consistency on the board makes him a play. (6) IFIHADABRAIN is aptly named for the handicapper here, but besides that is taking a hefty drop in class this week. His TrackMaster speed rating matches up with these and he should not be overlooked at the right price.
Race 5 - (1) GENESEE has been hitting the board a lot as of late and his connections feel he is good enough to take on tougher. He finally gets a good draw tonight and should be able to use that closing power he has to take down this field at good odds. (4) P L IDAHO has won two straight races including a win last week as my best bet. He will for sure be the speed of the race, step up in class for him as well. (7) MACKTWOWILLDEW has won two of his last three, one of them against this class. He is hindered some by the post draw.
Race 6 - (5) E R RHONDA has enjoyed a lot of success as of late and has been bouncing from barn to barn. She enters the barn of Guy Gagnon who is winning at a 22% clip, definitely worth a look tonight. (8) OLIVIA V was a play of mine last week at big odds and she was coming on strongly. She draws tough once again but is a major player against this group. (9) DRY CREEK IMAGE has raced well against this clan before and there is no reason to think tonight will be any different.
Race 7 - (7) NEON LIGHTS came from off the pace in his last start and had a ton of heart late to hang on for a victory against this bunch. Tonight, he is assigned the outside, but I don’t think that will bother him too much. Expect Lachance to get him into the race early. (6) FLYING ISA N has really had to learn how to race from the outside as of late and has handled it with class. He has a big closing kick that makes him hard to leave off the ticket. Expect a price here. (2) WILDWILD MEN set a torrid pace last week that allowed the others to close in. If Gagnon can ration out the speed more effectively tonight, he could be a player.
Race 8 - (1) PLAYIN FOR KEEPS gets another advantageous draw and the change of racing style of going to the lead last week seemed to play to his liking. From a speed rating (TM) perspective he is much the best against these, let's see if he can work out a trip. (3) IM THE PIED PIPER is back on Lasix tonight after a few disappointing efforts. He has done well with Lasix before, I’m anxious to see if the same thing happens tonight. (9) MITT JAGGER was a horse I fancied last week, and he proved me right as he came first up and drew off to win by a half-length. The draw here is the only concern. (4) ASTERISM flashed speed as she normally does last week but just wasn’t able to go the whole mile. Driver change to Pouliot could make the difference. (7) HEAVEN FOR SURE got a brutal trip from here last week, parked through the first quarter. If Berube can get into a better position early this week there is nothing saying he can’t hit the ticket.
Race 9 - (4) MELANIE G has put together a string of really good races, she likes to be forwardly placed and should outclass these. (3) CHEQUE THE MAGIC looks to drop and pop against this group tonight. He didn’t get the best of trips last week, getting locked down and never advancing. Expect a better effort this week. (9) A J DESTINY looked like a very strong racehorse last week and then they turned for home and he was empty. He gets a really tough draw tonight, but if Pouliot can get into a good striking position he could work underneath.
Race 10 - (1) BEACH RUNNER A M drops out of the Open into an easier condition that he should be able to do something with. He gets the rail draw which could allow him to flash his usual early speed. (8) ITS EDS IDEA has been ultra-sharp as of late, the post is what gets me here. He shows hitting the board and winning from the outside but is very much a trip dependent horse. Definitely a play on the ticket. (2) VALIDUS DEO went from Woodbine Mohawk Park to Flamboro a couple starts back and he seemed to get over the half well, but it took him a start to get going. I think that is what happened to him here last week, going to give another opportunity to get his feet under him.
Race 11 - (8) SAULSBROOK PEACH has been racing impeccably in his last five starts, all from outside draws. Tonight, he is assigned the outside once again, but I don’t expect that to be too big of an issue, worthy of being a key horse. (4) BESTOFBEST HANOVER has had a case of seconditis as of late, but he has been hitting the board at decent odds in those efforts. We could always use value underneath and I think you’ll get it here. (6) UFDRAGONS ROCKET tried to close from off the pace last week and just didn’t get rolling against this field. If he gets into a better early position look for him to be dangerous.
Race 12 - (6) COMPANY MAN comes off of Lasix tonight, and that may actually help this gelding out. When he has raced off Lasix for the first time in the past, he has normally raced very well. Watch out at a price. (2) OK JASMINE has early speed and that may be all she needs as this race does not appear to carry a lot of speed in it. If she clears early, she may be tough to catch. (4) LOOKIN ATA WINNER has been very consistent as of late and is one I would not overlook.
Race 13 - (2) MOHEGAN BLUE CHIP was a gelding I liked a little bit last week. He got stung to the first quarter and just never fired after that. The potential is there if he is good enough. (1) SURF REPORT comes off Lasix tonight and is another that performs well first time off it. He draws the winningest post position at Rideau, that certainly could not hurt. (4) FASHION DRAGON has drawn horrendously in his past couple of starts stretching back to December. When he draws well, he is in the mix, he could be overlooked in the betting. (6) DUTCH SEELSTER is another interesting horse who has some sneaky early speed. His issue, at least from a winning standpoint, has always been holding on at the end of the mile. He doesn’t need to hold on to win to make a case in the High 5. Worth a look at a price. (9) STATE NEWS qualified well and appears to be ready for his 2019 debut. If he repeats his season from last year, he should have no issues here.
Michael Carter is the co-host of Post Time with Mike and Mike and also is one of the USTA Social Media/Publicity Coordinators. Carter got his start in the sport from going to the track with his father. Carter is the former announcer at Buffalo Raceway and worked at Northfield Park prior to working at the USTA. - JJ Zamaiko Photo