Best Bet – (2) PERSISTANT XAMPLE – Race 12
Spot Play – (7) PRINT MEDIA – Race 11
20-Cent Pick 5 Race 1: 1,2/3,6/1,4,6,8/1,3,6/1,4,5 = $28.80
20-Cent Pick 4 Race 4: 1,3,6/1,4,5/3,4,9/1,2,6 = $16.20
20-Cent Pick 4 Race 8: 1,3,5/2,3,6/1,2/1,7 = $7.20
Race 1 – The opening leg of the $2,500 Guaranteed 20-Cent Pick 5 is likely to come down to either (1) LITTLEBEARCAT or (2) PRIDEINMYSTRIDE who both drop in for a claiming tag and draw the best posts. I’ll give the edge to the former based on post position advantage. (8) ROLLWITHITJESSIE also fits better here but from the second tier post I prefer to use her underneath.
Race 2 – (6) LAST MACH exploded with a big win at Flamboro Downs in his second start of the year and that should set him up nicely for this stakes series; top call. (3) MACHAHOLIC’s 1:55 1/5 win two starts back makes him a contender here and he is a threat to lead all the way. (2) SMILINGBILLYTHEKID was recently third to a strong winner and that was a good race. He’s not out of this.
Race 3 – (4) FINAL CHEQUE made all the pace and fought off challengers for a hard-earned win here last week and off that strong effort he gets the call to repeat. (6) D PROCRASTINATOR is 0 for 18 but this is the easiest spot to date and he wouldn’t be a shock if he popped here. (8) NORTHERN FLAME is capable of rallying for a win if the late pace collapses; using.
Race 4 – (6) GAMBLIN ROAD trotted a huge mile on the rim the whole way last week here and he gets the nod in a race where he could offer another good price. (1) DUSTYLANE THUNDER is a three-time winner this year and if she can stay flat this time she could be looking to blast and protect rail position and that makes her a contender. (3) ETERNAL JEWEL shows some races that make her a contender in this spot but she loses driver Byron; your call.
Race 5 – (4) ORIGAMI SEELSTER came close in two straight starts at this class level at Grand River then raced okay vs. much tougher at Mohawk Park. She gets a slight nod here over (1) SHES MAGIC who gets critical post relief and will likely try to wire this field. (5) SHAKEITIFYOUGOTIT isn’t out of place vs. these and she could provide some value for multi-race tickets with her 10 to 1 morning line quote.
Race 6 – (9) MISSYS MAGIC MAN shipped in from Mohawk Park and crushed easier and these also appear to be well within his scope. The only question mark is leaving from the second slot in the second tier but he gets the nod. (3) P C JUSTA DREAM fits well here and she will be in with a decent chance if she stays flat this week; using. (4) IAM WHAT I AM gets post relief after finishing third behind a blowout winner at Flamboro and he should be more aggressive early this time. He’s the third one that I’ll use in the Pick 4. (1) SUPER T should supply some early speed again but he needs to find more late; using on the bottom. (2) VICTORIAHASASECRET draws well and she should use her good speed to get position early then hang around for a share.
Race 7 – (6) DUBAI SEELSTER gets a notable driver change to St Louis here and that could make the difference despite the wide post; top call. (2) BIG FRANKIE ships in from the Maritimes in excellent form and he moves to the capable Symes barn; Exacta factor. (1) RAISE YOU TWENTY is only one for 11 and he may get overbet here but his last race was very good and he is an obvious contender.
Race 8 – (3) CARD SWAP comes off three 2nd-place finishes to some sharp winners and he is best on paper here. Will the 13th time be the charm? (1) DRAGON TEEN almost got the job done from the rail at Flamboro Downs and he is the obvious threat here. (5) BRYDOWN ROYAL ART showed good speed vs. tougher at Mohawk Park and he is another contender to consider for this late Pick 4.
Race 9 – (2) BRAVE WORLD classes up well vs. these and he draws a great post from which to launch an early speed attack. He gets top call here. (3) PRO BEACH’s chances also increase with the move inside and he should be a threat this week. (6) AMERICAN WIGGLE has been right there every week for a while but the task is tougher from post 6 tonight; using underneath.
Race 10 – (2) BUCKEROO was used up early vs. tougher at Grand River last start and he should be hard to beat if he makes front leaving the gate tonight. (1) OFFICER JONES has been an infrequent winner this year but getting both class and post relief here makes him a top contender in this spot. (4) GOOD AND SWEET’s form is improving a bit but I still prefer to use him underneath.
Race 11 – (7) PRINT MEDIA is in a much easier spot here and if Kelly puts him into the race from post 7, he can beat these. (1) ROUGH TRADE almost won from the rail three starts back in Sarnia when facing similar and he is the other one that I’ll use in the Pick 4. (4) BETTORS WESTERN draws much better this time but I see him finishing on the edges vs. these.
Race 12 – (2) PERSISTANT XAMPLE was a sharp winner racing off the Nixon claim here last week and she draws better now and gets my nod. (1) VINTAGE SMILE is sure to get put into the race by St Louis leaving from the rail; consider for the exotics. (6) FASHION WRITER always seems to show big early speed from any post and she should be in the mix throughout here. (4) P L NOTORIOUS should move up starting from a better post here; using underneath. (9) COCO BEACH DE VIE should pass a few of these late and land in the High-5 ticket.
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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