Best Bet – (2) NEEDLECREST – Race 6
Spot Play – (2) J J POWERBALL – Race 9
20-Cent Early Pick 5 – Race 1: 2,5/4,6/3,4,6/1,2,3/6,7,8 = $21.60
20-Cent Late Pick 5 – Race 6: 2/2,4,6,7/2,4/1,2,4,7/1,8 = $12.80
20-Cent Early Pick 4 - Race 4: 1,2,3/6,7,8/2/2,6,7 = $5.40
20-Cent Late Pick 4 - Race 8: 2,4/1,2,4/1,8/1,7 = $4.80
Race 1 – (2) ACROBAT HANOVER no doubt needed his last start after missing close to two months of action and he blew the carbon out of his engine racing first up vs. better. Drawing inside and facing easier, there are plenty of things to like here. (5) LAST MACH destroyed weaker two starts back then he blew up at the start last week. He should be a speed threat here if he behaves. (4) MOONSHINE WILLY did well in the Autumn series here and he is in with a chance although I prefer to use him underneath.
Race 2 – (4) E L LONELY CHARLIE is the only one in here with a sharp recent race which means he is likely to get hammered at the windows but he gets the nod by default. (6) LITTLE TAGGS likely needed a race over the track and that came against better here on 10/12. The concern with this gelding is that this is only his third race in three months. (1) GUY SMILEY’s debut was decent then he broke stride last time. He can tag along and take a share here.
Race 3 – (3) SPARE SEED flashed big speed at Mohawk Park last time then stopped. A similar strategy can work here in this much easier conditioned claimer. (4) ASA ONAMISSION also fits better here on the class drop and getting out of the second tier to start; using. (6) P C GLIDELINE is capable of showing speed in this spot and she is another in with a decent chance. I’ll use her in the early Pick 5.
Race 4 – (2) EATAAMSBETTERSHARK was on a nice roll before drawing post 8 and never entering contention last time. I see him bouncing back in this spot. (3) P H IMPULSE is good enough to win this but he didn’t even make the gate last time in a case where it looks like he had broken equipment before the start. Check him out on the track before plunging. (1) WILSON WALL should be in line for another great trip here and he is also in with a good chance.
Race 5 – (7) SIGNIFICANCE and (6) MANHATTAN AGAIN both face easier in this spot and look best on paper but with them drawing worst, this race could get interesting. I’ll give the former the nod because she has better gate speed and could go down the road if she clears to the front. (8) WOODMERE CHELLA brings some excellent form west from the Maritimes and she is worth a look for multi-race tickets. (3) ARYA STARK tripped out to beat easier but she can get a similar journey here and take a share. (4) LIFELONG DREAM fits well here but she missed a month and I’ll use her on the bottom only.
Race 6 – (2) NEEDLECREST was relentless here last week to run his win streak to five and he can roll to another win starting from a good post. (1) STONEBRIDGE BETTOR should be the first leader again and he has a good chance of completing this Exacta. (6) MYSTIC MESSENGER should use his sharp gate speed to get position early and he can make it into the Tri or Super.
Race 7 – Last time (2) SIRIUS STAR dropped from the Preferred 3 level on October 19th
she popped big time with a huge win. She is undoubtedly the one to catch here. (7) BALFAST N is sneaky here coming off a break in stride because she was facing tougher before that race. She could offer some value in this spot. (6) CHARMBO BRIE should be passing some of these late to take a slice.
Race 8 – (2) MISTER J R’s form has improved recently and his aggressive approach should play well in this field; top call. (4) MALL PEEN HAMMER should go much better here getting off the worst post and he can be a big speed threat this week. (1) DEBS NEW MAN can get a nice following trip here and land in the Tri or Super.
Race 9 – (2) J J POWERBALL is an interesting longshot here who exits a fast race and projects to get a good trip racing near the front this time. I’ll take a swing on him hoping to add some value to the late multi-race tickets. (4) BETTORS WESTERN was right there in that same race and he finished ahead of the choice. He is a contender here. (1) KINGOFBROKENHEARTS is on a big roll right now and he gets a huge post position change and that might help him bridge the class rise; using.
Race 10 – (1) RIDE AWAY SHARK should be primed for a big speed try leaving from the rail here and she gets top call vs. these. (8) REGAL LUCK can get a great trip here if she follows the choice closely leaving the gate and she’s another possibility for multi-race tickets. (4) EVAS BEST GIRL owns many wins at this track and she is worth a look for exotic wagers coming off a break.
Race 11 – (1) MISSTWINKLINSJONES is hot right now and she might be hard to stop starting from the rail as she shoots for a fourpeat. (7) PRINCESS ABIE W faces far easier here and she should be a threat despite drawing the worst post. (3) CAMPASSION gets her nose back on the gate and takes a class drop and St Louis is sure to put her into the race but I prefer to use her underneath here. (9) ALYSSA MARIE responded to the driver change to Coulter with a win last week and she should be in the exotics mix. (8) REDHOT N SPORTY is another who is likely to land in the bottom of the High-5.
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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