Spot Play – (4) – ERNIE PANIC – Race 5
Best Bet – (1) – IN THE NEWS – Race 6
20-cent Pick 5 - Race 1 – 2,4/1,5/1,4,6/1,3/1,4,8 = $14.40
20-cent Early Pick 4 - Race 3 – 1,4,6/1,3/1,4,8/1,5 = $7.20
20-cent Late Pick 4 - Race 8 – 1,4/6,9/5,7/1,7 = $3.20
Race 1 – (4) E L VINTAGE CUDA had tough post position to work with Nov. 5, detouring around breakers in first turn, taking overland route to a sixth-place finish; she hasn't raced since then, but a good draw puts three-year-old back where she looks likely to replicate her maiden win, accomplished here Oct. 29 at Filly and Mare Nw5000lcd classification for Travis Henry; Anthony Haughan aboard again this race. (2) JM SPORTSFAN is a two-year-old facing older fillies, but it's late in the season and she has two career victories, including a winning Flamboro distaff Nw5000lcd effort Nov. 12; waited in fourth as Cowgirlinthesand cut early fractions, then followed Passion N Pearls second over before outgunning her in the stretch; Colin Kelly stays loyal. (1) NIKI LOUDER is three-year-old making second pari-mutuel start tonight, for one of Flamboro's winningest drivers (Scott Coulter), from Flamboro's winningest post position; Nov. 12 debut from post #7 for Steve Byron didn't reveal much except basic willingness to chase horses and pace an individual 1:59.4 mile.
Race 2 – (1) PERFECT ROMI is Quebec stakes filly with great post and driver Scott Coulter for her second start at Flamboro; half-mile track experience and a return to distaff Nw20000l class where she closed for show Oct. 22; apparent choice of Coulter over #6 Acefortyfour River. (5) RIDE THE WIND has adapted quickly to Flamboro, winning her third Ontario start on a class drop Nov. 5; seems to be choice of Travis Cullen over #2 Happy Looker; last week, the Manitoban mare set the pace but ended up second as beaten fave behind... (6) ACEFORTYFOUR RIVER, another who's up in class tonight; late move after stalking trip behind #5 Ride the Wind Nov. 12 gave her the fastest win of her career (1:57.3); latest catch driver is Nick Steward, replacing Scott Coulter in the sulky of front-end-loving filly.
Race 3 – (4) AETHON went gate-to-wire in 1:57.3 for Travis Cullen Nov. 5, for the Richard Moreau trainee's fourth win on a half-mile track this year; Cullen is back aboard this race; fastest winner of this field over a half (1:55.2 at Grand River) pocketed up behind Noahs Play that personal-best race July 6, escaping in the final turn to outduel him. (6) NOTYOURTYPICALMAN qualified here in eye-catching style Nov. 7, wiring four other pacers by a final margin of over 8 lengths, in 2:00 flat; tonight, is Maritime stakes colt's first Ontario start; has won on front end and off the pace at Charlottetown and Summerside; qualifying driver Travis Henry returns this race. (1) BLAKES CHIP looks competitive from rail, particularly after place finish Nov. 12 and win Oct. 29; third race at Flamboro 7000clmcd level after less success at 15000clmcd.
Race 4 – (3) SHEILAS BRUSH is a two-year-old facing older competition, but has gained ground late in Nov. 5 and 12 efforts for Paul MacKenzie despite starting from posts #7 and #8; the fact that trainer Ken Oliver has used a catch driver for filly's previous two starts and tonight suggests she's pointed toward a maiden victory tonight; late speed. (1) PERFECT MIA is Quebec stakes filly finding post/class relief and retaining driver Scott Coulter in her third consecutive Flamboro start; in a field with few accomplishments, her pair of place finishes in Oct. 29/Nov. 5 efforts at this track are enough to recommend her. (4) PAYARA is two-year-old making second pari-mutuel start; trailing post #9 last week didn't help her chances, but her show result in Nov. 5 Mohawk qualifier elevates hopes from better post tonight.
Race 5 – (4) ERNIE PANIC is a two-time seasonal winner, with both victories on halfs (Hanover and Grand River); he's winless this Fall, but the versatile $7,000 claimer had his best recent effort Nov. 12 for Travis Henry, emerging from fifth to come first over at the opening quarter, then applying pressure to pacesetting winner Miramichi David the rest of the race, ending up second. (8) J J MYSTIC STORM has to work with challenging post and class hike; however, he's this field's most consistent top-three finisher, the richest and winningest (5 wins) this year; a distant second to runaway winner Dinner At The Met Nov. 7, he still paced a 1:57 flat personal mile; all his 2020 wins were from post #5 or inside, so use caution. (1) WORKING CLASS HERO is down in class following a disappointing Nov. 8 return to Flamboro from Mohawk; first over from sixth on the second turn Nov. 8, he backed through the field to last en route to the three-quarters; class drop from that 8500clmcd effort, and driver change to Travis Cullen; Scott Coulter has evidently chosen #7 Halton Hurricane instead.
Race 6– (1) IN THE NEWS is this race's headliner courtesy of her 8 wins in 21 seasonal starts, and that sharp 1:54 record set at Flamboro Oct. 22 in blowout Nw40000lcd win for Travis Cullen; responded to Nov. 5/12 class climb with more wins; her latest victory was for Brett MacDonald, who's in the bike again tonight, as Cullen has gone with... (2) WILDCAT DELIGHT, who captured two legs and final of Flamboro's Autumn Series for him last month; up in class. (5) SECRETS LADY nearly upset #1 In the News here Nov. 5, stalking early leader Watch My Speed (#4 tonight) and getting within a nose of the hard-charging 1:56.1 winner; Colin Kelly stays loyal to mare who was under tight hold at back of pack Nov. 12, boxed in until the three-quarters and flying once loose, only to encounter more traffic in the stretch; came home in field's-co-fastest 29.3. (7) BLUEWATER BEACH was the other 29.3 closer last week, besides the seventh-place Secrets Lady; despite post #7 Nov. 12, this frequent post time favourite closed for show; her two most recent victories were from inside posts, but her efforts have stayed strong in defeat. (9) LAILA BLUE was a game place finisher Nov. 12, chasing #1 In the News but unable to get within a length of her in the last quarter; Austin Sorrie returns to the sulky behind six-time 2020 place finisher with a single seasonal win; second tier start.
Race 7 – (5) ZACK TO THE MAX has five wins in 2020, all from September onward, all at Flamboro, all by margins of a length or more; only defeats since arrival from Saratoga have been at higher classifications. (7) CAVIARS TRIUMPH broke at the start last week, destroying his chances; lands outside post position again, but can't be ruled out: five-time seasonal winner had pair of December 2019 victories for Scott Coulter here from post #7 (he did benefit from a scratch to his inside Dec. 28), hunting down pacesetters. (1) LUCKY PROMESSES is up in class from rail, in a position where Pascal Berube can stalk like Nov. 12, when the mare finished third; if she leaves there's a chance she could wire rivals like she did for Travis Henry here Oct. 29, albeit at 10500clmhp classification.
Race 8 – (1) D GS FAIRYSTARS makes first start from the rail this year; outdueled late by #4 Ladies from Hell last week, she is trainer Chantal Mitchell's only horse entered tonight and retains driver who sat behind her for most recent (Oct. 29, Flamboro) win, Brett MacDonald. (4) LADIES FROM HELL stalked and then won by widening margin in Nov. 12 Flamboro distaff 10500clmhp pace for owner/trainer/driver Paul Davies; her second win of 2020 was in her second effort at lower classification. (6) HOWMACFIESTY emerged a winning 3/5 favourite in Flamboro Filly and Mare $8,500 claimer Nov. 10; it was her second victory of the year, and first for Scott Coulter; convenient pocket ride while leader Her Own Land (#7 this race) took a beating from first-up challenger Thats Mia Bad; she doesn't have the advantage of an interior post position this week, and is up in class.
Race 9 – (6) WILD EYED YANKEE has hit the board more than anyone else in this group this year; gained ground in 29.3 last quarter at this track's 7000clmcd level Nov. 12, advancing from sixth to fourth; intriguingly, this makes him the only horse in this race to have NOT fallen prey to closers or retreated on their own in their most recent start; class drop. (9) MISTER DG has Travis Henry catch driving, which suggests he means business; pacer's only win of 2020 was at Flamboro Feb. 22 for owner/trainer David Ahern and reinsman Henry; class relief from trailing post position. (1) JACKSON KILLEAN is Paul MacKenzie's apparent choice over the race's other teenager, #3 Wave That Banner; this is just his fifth pari-mutuel start of 2020, but he's got the post and class relief to hit the board for the first time as well.
Race 10 – (7) BIDFORA HUG left a lasting impression the last time she visited Flamboro, Oct. 22: a 9/5 hug for the bettors who embraced her at the windows; back from Mohawk and back with driver Nick Boyd for a good shot at another going-away victory. (5) DRESS TO THE NINES is reunited with Scott Coulter in hopes of recapturing her winning ways; she and the "Tan Tornado" teamed up to wire Nw40000l mares Sept. 3 and 10 by multi-length margins. (1) ASKMYSECRETARY exits this track's distaff Preferred 2&3 classifications, returns to the hands of catch driver Brett MacDonald, for whom the one-time 2020 winner had her best current results: a pair of October place finishes at lower classifications here and at Western Fair.
Race 11 – (1) SOMEHOWSOMEDAY and Preston Shaw were a winning team at Leamington twice in October, coming from off the pace and drawing away; no sign of that in his two Flamboro starts this month, but landing the rail and class drop the week after a fourth-place effort for Shaw raises hopes. (7) SEYMOUR LITTLE is competing at $7,000 claiming level now, but it was only last month he was still a Flamboro 15000clmcd regular; earned second win of 2020 Nov. 12 in gate-to-wire effort from post #6 for Nick Steward. (5) REGALLY MAGNIFIED has been successful at Leamington, and stepped up with a show finish Nov. 12 in Flamboro 7000clmcd competition, from rail; his only other win here this year was March 22, also from the inside post, when he stalked leader Bandicoot and made his move at the three-quarters; that 1:56 flat victory remains his fastest of 2020. (9) NAKED CITY was a show finisher from same second-tier post position Nov. 5; dangerous on the front end, although he hasn't gotten there since his last gate-to-wire win Oct. 15. (2) MAGNIFY BLISS and Paul MacKenzie have found their way into the top five of every Flamboro race the Kawartha Downs invader has been part of since Oct. 8; questionable late speed and moving up in class, but he's a logical must-use in Hi-5.
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 a whopping $1.60.
More Tips from the Pros