Best Bet – (1) STRIKE ME DOWN – Race 3
Spot Play – (2) KANTHAKA – Race 9
Pick 4 Play (.20 cents, Races 4-7): 3, 4, 8 / 1, 3, 5, 8 / 2, 7, 8, 11 / 1 = $9.60
Late Pick 4 Play (.20 cents, Races 8-11): 2/ 2, 5, 8, 9 / 3, 6 / 1, 4, 6 8, 9 = $8.00
Race 1 – (4) YES TO MISCHIEF comes from the red hot Mark Casse team and she makes her Canadian debut afer three fringe placings in New York. There is a lot of other speed in this field that could give her grief early if she is not careful. (5) GOOD ALTERNATIVE is a beginner from Fair Hill for trainer Mike Stidham and her dam won first time out and has produced a 6 time winner on synthetic dirt. (1) BUNCHKINS could very well run down the speed if they falter and she has been hinting strongly since her second career race. (2) OUT ATTHESPEEDWAY ran a huge race 2nd
time out but flopped last time when back in 15 days.
Race 2- I have to stick with unlucky (3) PRICELESS WILL who has been second 6 times in 7 races before finally winning his latest, only to be disqualified. He is not a great value play as he could regress off that hard race Sept. 20 but the field is not tough. (1) CANOLA WORLD had a nice debut outing 6 weeks back when not far behind the top pick and he is listed as a gelding now. (8) FIRST DESIRE was having difficulties in his career debut when being steadied but he did beat a few.(5) WINDCHILL ZAR gets a big class drop from maiden allowance to maiden claiming and he has speed.
Race 3- (1) STRIKE ME DOWN ran the fastest race of his career last time but incredibly, was passed late to just miss and the one mile on turf went in a stunning 1:32 1/5. This is his 3rd
race off the layoff and he should be able to get it done. (2) MAGIC TAPIT had a good try on turf two starts ago at 10 furlongs when 4th
and the 2nd
place finisher Count Again came back to win a graded stakes race. He loses ground in the stretch run most times but cutting back to a one-turn 1 1/16 mile race helps. (5) MALIBU UPROAR had a disastrous run last time at 4 to 5 in an easier spot as he had nowhere to run for the entire stretch run. He returns in 9 days. (6) VIEWFINDER has won on this Taylor course at this distance and he has been an improved runner this year.
Race 4- The first Pick 4 wager begins here and (4) YOLA is very quick and might be able to get away from these guys as he drops from $40,00 claiming to just $15,000. (3) TORPEDO MAX worked hard on the pace in his latest and stayed on to be a clear second while coming back to his best career Beyer Figure of 71. He is up in claiming price. (8) CRYPTIC GRIP was 2nd
when he dropped to the $15,000 claiming price in August and that was in a route race; he may prefer sprinting. (1) AGNELLI has yet to come back to his Beyer Figures from last year but he showed progress last time.
Race 5 – The Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes at 1 1/2 miles brings together many who were in the Singspiel at 1 1/4 miles won by Count Again. That was an oddly run race as both Sam-Son Farms runners, (1) SAY THE WORD who was third to (8) COUNT AGAIN were in trouble in the back of the pack early in the race but still came from off the pace to run well. The former was following Count Again into the stretch after being checked a few times.(3) SIR SAHIB was also in trouble as he lost his path in mid stretch and had to change lanes. (5) NAKAMURA, meanwhile, glided up to take the lead after a perfect trip in the Singspiel but then stalled.
Race 6 – (7) VALHALLA AIR BASE makes his 2nd
career start for the Mark Casse team which won 5 races on Saturday. This youngster faded late in his debut but may stretch out his speed better in this longer race. (2) TRUFFLE KING is a beginner who has a super half brother in multiple stakes winner Born in a Breeze who handled any surface. He shows plenty of decent prep times. (8) HIATUS ran well in a 2 turn maiden race against easier in his second career start.(11) BEAU GUEST is another Casse runner and this guy has short, fast workouts and a strong grass pedigree.
Race 7 – The Grade 1 E.P. Taylor is worth $600,000 and will be a big payday for one filly or mare in this light field. (1) RIDEFORTHECAUSE just won the Grade 2 Canadian in a 22 to 1 upset but figures to be favoured. (4) THEODORA B won the Dance Smartly in August at this 10-furlong distance by setting a slow early pace and she came right back to win a rich race at Kentucky Downs the same way. (3) ETOILE has been away since she was a close 2nd
to Theodora B in the Dance Smartly but she won't have much pace to run at again. (6) SECRET MESSAGE is a stakes winner at Woodbine and has been in good form on firm turf in Kentucky and New York this year.
Race 8 – (2) RED HIERARCHY can get back to the winner's circle as he shortens up to 6 furlongs after his win streak came to an end by just a neck last time. (5) LEAD DIRECTOR will add blinkers as he shortens up in distance again and he has 4 lengths to make up on the top pick. (4) CRAWL FROM THE BAR is in good form and while he may be over his head class-wise, the field is not overly tough. (8) CASH DIVIDEND wants a bit more distance but he was not far off the top pick in his latest.
Race 9 – The Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes is at 6 furlongs on the grass and invader (2) KANTHAKA may be able to rally for a high placing for Graham Motion. He missed a year of racing but was a close 2nd
in his return in June before being bogged down on soft turf last month. (9) OLYMPIC RUNNER was a close 4th
in the Woodbine Mile and he sprints well he just has to hurry. (5) SILENT POET has won 3 of 4 this year and is a gritty sprinter who could stay on for a close placing. (8) CITY BOY won this race last year and lost a tough one Oct. 4 in the Vice Regent against easier.
Race 10 – Just 5 in the Display Stakes for 2-year-olds and (3) MACLEAN'S POSSE was an impressive debut winner in August who has been given lots of time to get ready for this stakes race. (6) HELIUM was also a big debut winner 3 weeks ago and if he can run right back to that 3 weeks later he will be tough. (1) EXCEED will like getting back to the main track and (4) KNIGHT KINGDOM reeled in a slowing pace to win on turf last time.
Race 11 – (6) VINYASA was 3rd
for $25,00 claiming last time and is in for $10,000 today making her the most likely in this turf race. (8) CHEEKY PINT makes her 3rd
start after a short layoff and is logical with her speed if she can save something for the last furlong. (1) LIGHT IT UP won on this course last fall and could sneak in at long odds and (4) MY SUGAR PIE stretches out in distance again after a sprint win.
Photo by Mr. Will Wong
Jennifer Morrison has been a public handicapper for the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail and Daily Racing Form. She is currently a writer for CanadianThoroughbred.com, Blood-Horse and Toronto Star and is the simulcast handicapper for Ajax Downs.
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