Best Bet - (1) EXIT SMILING - Race 9
Spot Play - (5) THE DEVIL YOU KNOW - Race 6
20-Cent Pick 4 - Race 3 - 3,4/5,6,7,9/2,3,6/1,5,9 = $14.40
20-Cent Pick 4 - Race 7 - 3,4,9/2,3,6/1,3/1,3 = $7.20
Race 1 - (4) ONE SMART COOKIE was a winner of a Prospect Series race over the Grand River 1/2-miler with Shepherd driving two starts back and he returns here so she gets top call. (3) INCREDIBLE TWO holds the fastest mark in the race by a few seconds and she is the one the choice will need to beat. (1) RADICAL J J will contend and likely take a share if she stays flat.
Race 2 - (1) JUST DONT WAIT paced his back 1/2 in 55 2/5 last time after starting from a poor post. Getting the rail here, Coulter is sure to put him into the race leaving the gate. He gets the nod. (2) BETTER BE GOUDA beat the choice last time and he could provide a perfect pocket for him here but he will still need to be passed. (3) NOSPORTPUNINTENDED is right there every week and he is impossible to leave off Tri tickets.
Race 3 - (3) LOS BALLYKEELAMIGO is in a great spot to attempt another front-end score here. (4) TEN FOUR WE GONE tripped out to win here Friday night and he will likely be the main threat if he goes on one day rest. (5) DRONE SEELSTER’s good gate speed can get him position early and he should take a slice.
Race 4 - (5) YOURTHEONE gets post relief and he gets sent out by a hot barn; slight nod. (6) ACROBAT HANOVER comes off a sharp try and he is getting closer. He’s on my Pick 4 ticket. (7) TWIN B POWERBALL also was narrowly defeated but now he moves from the rail to an outside post; demand a price.
Race 5 - (6) GOALTENDER gets the trainer back in the bike here and she knows him best. I expect a rebound effort. (2) TRAVELLER was in a tough spot last time chasing an unyielding leader (as was the rest of the field). Sharp improvement is likely here. (3) NORTHERN FLAME’s current form indicates that he has a good chance in here and the 8 to 1 morning line entices Pick 4 usage.
Race 6 - (5) THE DEVIL YOU KNOW comes off a sharp try and he gets his nose back on the gate. I’ll call him for the mild upset over likely chalk (9) CARSONS KENNEDY who is obvious shipping in from Mohawk Park but must navigate the outside post. (1) RAISE YOU TWENTY’s only bad races came when he started in the second tier. He figures for a good share here. (2) GROOGRUX KING is well traveled and he typically tries hard. He can share from an inside post. (3) CHAPPIESBOY should rally for another small slice in this spot.
Race 7 - (4) EPIC PROPORTION couldn’t close into an accelerating back 1/2 last time but making his second start out of the Darveau barn more aggression could be coming here; slight nod. (9) SOUTHPAW HANOVER improved in his second start for Bourgault and he should be a major contender here. (3) ADAM BAYAMA raced well from bad posts at Grand River and he is hard to leave off late Pick 4 tickets starting from the inside.
Race 8 - (2) BEE TWO BEE adds Lasix after tiring in the stretch last week and that could lead to him lasting this week; slight nod. (3) CHIEFS BEACH qualified well for this and he should be prominent throughout; using. (6) PEMBROOK LEGACY N was sharp in victory at Grand River but there will be inside leavers here that could make it tough on him early; demand a price.
Race 9 - (1) EXIT SMILING draws best, drops and likely pops here. (3) ALWAYS N THE MONEY should leave quickly and he could end up being a pocket rocket in the stretch; using. (2) HOMEY JOE usually passes horses in the back 1/2 and the inside draw helps him here.
Race 10 - (3) STOLEN ART moves into the Moreau barn, faces easier and draws inside; top call. (1) SHADES OF BAY gets his easiest assignment in a long time and he draws best but his form has been poor for several weeks and he has now missed a month; using but I wouldn’t take a short price. (2) DREAMFAIR TECATE can fly off the gate when he is in form. He could add some value to the Trip making his initial 2020 start and coming in off a nondescript qualifier. (4) DRAGON TIME should leave for position and ride a good trip to a top four finish. (5) MATTS TUITION can close for a small share in this spot.
Garnet Barnsdale is a veteran handicapper, bettor and racing writer who has worked as an analyst for DRF Harness for the past five years. He is also the current President of the Canadian Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association.
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