Best Bet – (1) – HERCULE J M – Race 4
Spot Play – (2) – TILIKUM – Race 7
20-cent Early Pick 4 - Race 3 – 2,3,7/1,9/2,3,9/4,5,7 = $10.80
20-cent Late Pick 4 - Race 7 – 1,2/2,3,6/1,3,4/2,3,4 = $10.80
Race 1 – (1) FISCAL POLICY has pair of wins and pair of place results in six lifetime starts, the strongest resume among this group of 2-year-olds; won his July 18 Prospect Series leg at Sarnia and finished second to the now-absent Southwind Sandor in August 21 leg at Grand River; losses easily attributable to races where class or post position were too much for him. (5) LIL RED SPORTSSTAR gains class relief as he departs OSS Grassroots for Prospect Series; this is half-mile track debut for Blake MacIntosh trainee, but he’s in the capable hands of newest catch driver Paul MacKenzie. (4) PARTYINTHESHADOWS was a 2-length, gate-to-wire winner in Sept. 5 Flamboro qualifier with Jason Ryan in the bike; only pari-mutuel start to date was fourth-place finish in Mohawk OSS Grassroots July 20.
Race 2 – (3) INITIAL CONCEPT was a beaten fave who finished third behind tonight’s #6 Kodiak Seelster, in August 21 Prospect Series leg at Grand River Raceway; his lone victory was at that track’s 2yr-Nw5000l level August 10, from rail; Brett MacDonald drove him both races and should be able to get him a front-end or stalking trip this time around; improved post after drawing #8 last week in what Gary Guy dubbed “game effort” behind winner Twin B Powerball at this venue. (1) FAVARO SEELSTER was second-over in fourth behind tonight’s #3 Initial Concept at the half, when they met up in Sept. 6 Flamboro Downs 2yr-Nw5000l; left from post #6 and gained ground through the mile, ending up a close fourth thanks to late passing lane move. (6) KODIAK SEELSTER won his previous Prospect Series leg with co-owner/trainer Chris Matthew in the sulky; that 1:58.1 August 21 effort at Grand River was from the rail with Matthews driving; class drop from Mohawk OSS Grassroots here tonight.
Race 3 – (2) STORM CHASER has his first recent draw of a post position inside #4; while he’s still a 1:57-1:58-zone pacer, this fourth consecutive start at Flamboro Downs’ $15,000 claiming classification could be where that changes; he’s this year’s richest and co-winningest (2 wins) performer. (3) COIN FLIP had an extended overland journey Sept. 8 at Flamboro’s 15000clmcd event, starting from post #7 and forced three-wide when Morneau (#4 this race) tired and backed through the field after unsuccessfully challenging eventual winner Blakes Chip for the lead; had to go wide again when Irish Prince pulled out of third to go first-over on the last turn; better trip likely here. (7) NOAHS PLAY was scratched at Grand River August 7 and 10, when he would have raced from posts #7 and #6 respectively; lone career victory was post #2 effort March 18 at Western Fair’s added-distance event for $15,000 claimers; has never hit the board from a post position outside #6 (although he enjoys trailing positions); if any to his inside scratch tonight, he deserves re-evaluation.
Race 4 – (1) HERCULE J M was sixth at the half here Sept. 6, never really getting into serious contention; March 11, he wired $15,000 claimers from Flamboro post #6, at 60/1 odds; he had used the same approach February 8 for an 8/1 victory over this track; Colin Kelly drove for trainer Chantal Mitchell in both, so from the rail, the winningest horse in this field could be an overlay. (9) SEYMOUR LITTLE went gate-to-wire for his first win of 2020 last week, edging out Arcane Seelster by a neck in Flamboro Downs’ 15000clmcd event; tonight is second start Lasix for 6-year-old who set new lifetime mark (1:57) in that Sept. 8 victory. (4) BANKROLL had four January-February victories at this track for Team Cullen; recent form suspect, however he’s down in class with a good draw here.
Race 5 – (2) RUNNINDOWNADREAM has five wins this year, second only to #2 Kinda Like Her’s record; Brett MacDonald back aboard mare he piloted to her last win, July 26 at Georgian’s distaff 15000clmcd level; pair of early-2020 Flamboro victories from post #1; boxed in fourth at Georgian three-quarters August 15, she finished sixth, and now returns from month off. (3) KINDA LIKE HER changes drivers from Guy Gagnon to Denis St. Pierre; her six 2020 victories stand out as the best record in this field, and she’s capable on a half with her 1:56.4 Grand River romp on July 13, the most recent example; note that she didn’t get easy trip in show result at Hanover Sept. 5, and she was a beaten fave at Kawartha the previous race. (9) XELENE BAYAMA gets trailing post and class drop this week; flushed out from fourth to go first up at the half in August 31 distaff $8,500 claiming competition at Grand River, she backed off to last on the final turn; closed for show there August 17, so bigger-track-favouring mare may hit board again with tonight’s advantages.
Race 6 – (4) MAJOR ON THE BEACH was a determined off-the-pace 1:56.2 winner at Grand River Raceway Sept. 9, his first race for tonight’s driver Colin Kelly; three-year-old’s previous 2 wins were going-away front-end cakewalks at Kawartha July 15 and August 1, each time from post #3; Rene Bourassa trainee is this group’s fastest and winningest (3) this season. (5) YARIS SEELSTER has three consecutive place results since he was claimed August 15; all were at tonight’s $15,000 claiming level, while his most recent win was over $7,000 claimers. (7) BAYONET won at Georgian the last time he was treated with Lasix (August 23, taking a new lifetime mark of 1:54 flat); tonight is his second current start with the medication, so there’s a literal outside chance he could add to his one-win total for the year. (2) BETTORS PRIDE is back from Maritimes, where he had limited success when not on front end; good post and Travis Henry help, although finishing sixth at Truro Raceway August 28 doesn't build case for better now. (6) BLACK TITANIUM is winless in 2020, although pair of place results last month at Sarnia and Grand River make him worth watching next time he's down in class.
Race 7 – (2) TILIKUM gains class/post relief following off-the-pace Preferred-2 effort from Flamboro Downs post #7, Sept. 8; she still closed for fourth at a 70/1 price that now seems astonishingly mismatched with her performance; won from same post as tonight, at same level, August 12 for Denis St. Pierre at Grand River Raceway; that 1:54.1 mile was fastest win by any mare in this field over a half this year. (1) LARJON LEGACY landing the rail proves that this distaff Preferred-3 isn’t a Preferred-3 Handicap; finished second to the now-absent So Frisky (twice) and Custard Lite in Grand River Preferred-3 in her most recent three starts; this is her first Flamboro Downs race since March 12, when she hunted down a 1:56.3 victory from post #5. (6) OK JASMINE had her fastest win of the year Sept. 9 at Grand River Raceway, despite an overland journey from post #6; that neck-margin 1:55.1 effort shows strong form, even as she must take on Preferred-3 mares this week.
Race 8 – (3) P L LIGHTNING drops in class from Grand River Raceway filly & mare Preferred-3 to take on claiming company from improved post; Denis St. Pierre picks up the catch drive because J Harris drives Jack Harris’ #1, Howmacfeisty. (6) SR BEACH BABE won by back-to-back multi-open-length margins over half-mile Grand River and Clinton Sept. 6 and 9; while looking to add to her six seasonal victories, she’s up in class with tough post here. (2) BRYN BARONESS closed for fourth from post #8 at this track’s distaff 10500clmhp level Sept. 9; up in class, but from decent inside post and with plenty of demonstrated, current late speed on a half.
Race 9 – (1) CASIMIR SWAMP GIRL: nine-time seasonal winner gets rail, retains Colin Kelly; that’s it—that’s the tip. (4) WATCH MY LUCK class-drops in exit from Mohawk; three 2020 wins, but lack of half-mile track experience may negate other advantages. (3) SO FRISKY will get respect based on 1:53.2 Sept. 9 distaff Preferred-3 victory at Grand River, although that gate-to-wire performance was from rail and she’s up in class now; finishing on the board in 9 of 16 seasonal starts (5 wins) shows front-end-loving mare is no #1-hit wonder.
Race 10 – (4) PATRICKS COOKIE resumes Lasix following pair of strong front-end efforts at Grand River Raceway; two seasonal victories and just missed August 26 in the slop for tonight’s driver Brett MacDonald. (2) ASKMYSECRETARY adds Lasix and driver Jean-Rene Plante for second week in a row; place finish with stalking trip against distaff Nw2000l3cd companions at Flamboro Sept. 8; winless in 2020. (5) WAR FILLY enjoys class drop after pair of seventh-place results at Grand River’s filly & mare Nw3000l3cd level; those were both from same post position as tonight, however, while her only 2 seasonal wins were from Grand River rail. (3) IM A DEBUTANT had back-to-back March wins at this track, on both occasions picking off leaders late in the mile at long odds for Garry MacDonald, with Tyler Moore in the bike; has worked way down class ladder where this could happen again, although recent form isn’t ideal. (1) WILDCAT MAGIC is reunited with Austin Sorrie from advantageous post position; show finish for Scott Coulter was her only top-3 finish this year, so proceed with caution.
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.
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