Best Bet – (4) O NARUTAC PERFETTO – Race 4
Spot Play – (7) ALL THE TRIMMINS – Race 5
20-cent Early Pick 5 – Race 1 – 1,6,8/1,4,6/5/4/1,2,4,7,8 = $9.00
20-cent Late Pick 5 – Race 6 – 1,3,5/1,3/2,6/6/1,2,6,7 = $9.60
20-cent Early Pick 4 – Race 3 – 2,4,5/4/1,2,4,7,8/1,3,5 = $9.00
20-cent Late Pick 4 – Race 7 – 1,3,6/2,6/3,6/1,2,6,7 = $9.60
Race 1 – (6) SCOTTISH MACH's only off-the-pace win of 2021 was when she returned to trainer Robert Doyle October 18; in 2020, she won four times for Doyle and Travis Henry; returns to regular mile and front tier; first over from fifth in Monday's added-distance event, she kept finding more on last turn; still closing late and nearly took down pacesetting fave (8) IF YOU KNEW SUSIE in stretch drive; field's winningest mare (lifetime and last season) returns to second tier for chance to repeat her December 20 victory (same post, same distance); starts behind recent stalker (1) MORAMAPPO, who was one of Monday's five weather-related scratches; just missed in second start with Lasix; Samuel Fillion picks up catch drive behind mare who wired field in two of three 2021 wins, both from inside posts on other halfs (Clinton, Hanover).
Race 2 – Post relief for (4) THE CHAMP CHAMP; parked early near back of pack at Flamboro January 2; took a seat in last, losing ground when Skylee Dream broke at the half; closed widest of all, around a stalling Cj Glides; Ryan Holliday stays aboard for lone hobbled trotter's return; weather-related scratch Sunday. (6) ROAD TO REDEMPTION is the only non-maiden in this race; his win was gate-to-wire from rail here December 3, a scenario that doesn't look likely from outside post for horse with tendency to break leaving. Lightly-raced (1) TRISTEN intrigues based on going-away qualifying win at Northville, not Northfield, last month; former NJSS filly with past breaking problems was the only trotter to stay flat in that unhoppled debut for T Michael Clark.
Race 3 – (5) PDQ HANOVER teamed up with Tyler Borth for both Western Fair victories last year; deep closer with stamina rewarded backers at odds of 14/1 and 7/1 in late-season wins; New Year's Eve, covered up at half by advancing Moonshiners Credit and blocked in stretch by lane-changing Rave Review. Two moves for class-climbing (4) FARMERWHOSEMYDADDY Friday: fast off the gate from outside post, "going plenty" (Sugar Doyle) in early head-to-head battle with Shes A Comedian; closed three-wide for place in stretch. (2) GREYSTONE TREASURE has gate speed, but her lead has been precarious in last two tries at this track; last year, she had as many wins as the rest of this field combined; two of her three wins at Western Fair were at the mile-and-a-sixteenth distance.
Race 4 – (4) O NARUTAC PERFETTO loves London; back from Woodbine Mohawk Park to the scene of his most recent victory, last week's stalking trip at similar classification for Scott Coulter. (1) POLLAR HALL is competing above the classification of his most recent victories; covered up and shuffled back racing third along pylons Sunday at Flamboro; helpful draw for front-end-loving gelding. (3) SUPER T has also moved up in class since his most recent victory, a coast-to-coast effort for Scott Coulter from London rail November 29; has hit board but not won above this track's Nw4000l3cd classification in 2021/22.
Race 5 – (7) ALL THE TRIMMINS could be underrated in 12/1 morning line; teamed up with Samuel Fillion for successful second-over trip at Flamboro January 1, hunting down leaders deep stretch; spotted field early from trailing post in added-distance Western Fair debut last Friday; huge move from last was obstructed by breaker in second turn; closed gamely for show. No Hang On Baby this week means (4) CANE GANG looks to repeat after confident first-over trip; maiden-breaking victory here last Friday for recent Yonkers import who added Lasix since Ontario arrival; up in class, but just finding his best form; Tyler Borth catch drives, because Brett MacDonald seems to have picked class-dropping trailer (8) ATALANTA EXPRESS over three rivals; unhelpful post for mare whose only two career wins were gate-to-wire at Flamboro, from mid-pack post positions. (2) TRADE BARRIER moves inside after tough break here New Year's Eve; beaten 8/5 fave left aggressively from #7 hole, going offstride in pocket after leading nearly to opening quarter; rare miscue for strong closer. (1) PETRO DEALIN won from rail here November 19, wiring London Nw30000lcd rivals for Brett MacDonald; back in line to Scott Wray, he's still a factor; hasn't been carrying his speed as far lately.
Race 6 – (1) REMINISCE ROAD was parked first-over challenging 3/5 fave Shes A Comedian for lead last Friday; edged out for place, but brave effort for longest shot on board at 32/1; wired from London rail October 8 in distaff 15000clmcd company at 7/1 for different driver; second in last from same post for Garrett Rooney; loses Lorne House to his own trainee #5 Rave Review tonight. (3) KD ROSES is back in line to Travis Henry; they won together here New Year's Eve, in the mare's only 2021 victory; post #7 on class jump with driver change in subsequent start; shuffled back to last by the half, she still gained ground late up passing lane for show in field's-fastest 30.2. (5) RAVE REVIEW improved every week through December; made front on first turn here last week, gave it up to Charmbo Stormy, then followed her home for place, holding off KD Roses and Shes Gold.
Race 7 – Undefeated since Garrett Rooney took the lines, trotting-hobbled (1) LASS SHOT has won going away in four consecutive overland trips at The Raceway. Headstrong (3) RIVERSONTHEGO is Paul MacKenzie's lone catch drive this card; class-climber opened up for multi-length victory at added distance Friday; they won here from tonight's post position December 3, at regular mile distance, when Lass Shot had #7 hole. (6) HOT FUDGE SUNDAE is Alfie Carroll's only drive of the night; didn't even attempt a third front-end win when faced with Lass Shot on class hike last Friday, opting to stalk for place instead.
Race 8 – Despite multi-length lead, (2) STORMONT TIM was unable to hold off Royaltys Rocket when that rival came calling New Year's Eve; both lifetime wins were at Western Fair in late 2020, on/near front end, with Lorne House in the sulky; faces light-on-wins field tonight. Let go at 17/1 last Friday, (6) TAKEAPEEK AT ME won here, from same post position as tonight; got help from 6/5 second choice Hang On Baby jumping it off leaving; followed cover of My Old Stud Leroy (#5 this race) at three-quarters, successfully hunting down softened-up 3/5 pacesetter Denise in stretch drive. (3) LUNA SEELSTER finished third 9 times last year; only career win was last August at Sarnia, stalking a little closer to the pace than she typically does for trainer/driver Greg Dustin.
Race 9 – (6) WHISKEY TO WINE is lone Richard Moreau starter at Western Fair this card; took new lifetime best at Flamboro from this post after arrival from New Brunswick last September; added-distance winner at The Raceway November 5, launching first over from fourth at the half and never headed after making front. (3) GOLDEN LEADER makes second start in a row with Lasix; pocket trip behind front-end winning fave Lydias Liberty last Friday; may be Tyler Borth's pick over #4 Moonlitebeach, who drove (2) ANCHOR SO REEL to her most recent victory; Scott Coulter gets catch drive on field's winningest mare of 2021, from a favoured post position--she won 6 of 9 races last year from post #1 or #2 on half-mile tracks; class jump after last week's claim for stalker extraordinaire.
Race 10 – (1) GOALTENDER ran out of racetrack after getting around tiring fave Esquire last Friday; closed widest of all in Western Fair Preferred-3, chasing Franks Angel and runner-up (2) SCENE A MAGICIAN, who missed by a head after leading through most of mile; front-end-loving gelding was third at extra distance October 29, from same post as tonight. O'Brien Award finalist (6) POWER AND GRACE only won at Western Fair once last season, wiring field March 24 in Preferred-2; beaten 1/5 fave in her first start of 2022 here January 3, from same post as tonight; cut mile and overtaken in stretch duel by (7) SIZZLEN HOT HERBIE; back-to-back Preferred-2/3 winner is handicapped with tough outside assignment. (4) WRAP AND A HOOEY cut mile January 3 and was overtaken late by the now-absent O Narutac Perfetto; note all three of his 2021 victories at this track were in claiming company, not Preferred, at regular mile distance; loses Garrett Rooney to #2 Scene a Magician.
Melissa Keith is a lifelong harness handicapper/bettor, Hervey/O'Brien Media Excellence Award-winning writer, and occasional racecaller. She is a contributor to TROT, Hoof Beats, Atlantic Post Calls, and Harness Racing Update, often covering topics related to wagering. Her most memorable bets include taking down the Truro Raceway Pick-7 pool for a $36 investment (it has not been offered since) and collecting $1,287 for a Woodbine Harness Pick-4, which cost $1.60.
Photo by Ryan Clements
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