Best Bet – (5) – J P OSCAR – Race 8
Spot Play – (2) VICTORIAHASASECRET – Race 4
20-cent Pick 4 - Race 4 – 1,2,3,9/1,6/1,4/5,6,9 = $9.60
Race 1 – (6) SOUTHWIND BAYOU landed same post position, but at half-mile Grand River Raceway July 24; she still sprinted home gamely for place in distaff 15000clmcd event, individually clocked in 1:55.3 with a 29.1 closing quarter; Scott Young is latest catch driver for going-away winner of June 20 (Hanover) and July 11 (Sarnia) Prospect Series legs; lacks post advantage she had in those efforts and will need to drop a second to overcome top fillies here. (5) HALLSGLENSMAVIS went from longshot to hotshot this week, beating pacesetter Acefortyfour Dome Tuesday at this track in 1:54.2 for Austin Sorrie, who stays aboard this race; the lifetime best effort was 3-year-old’s first win this year, a pocket trip that took down the tiring favourite with a 29.1 final quarter; tonight, she steps up from distaff Nw15000lcd competition to the Prospect Series, still looking sharp alongside a majority of rivals who have never gone faster than 1:55. (1) HIGHLAND SALSA was fifth here at filly and mare Nw15000lcd level July 21; closer examination shows that was from post #8, closing from second-last through traffic in a last quarter of 29.1; Paul MacKenzie is back to drive filly who’s winless in 2020, but managed second and fourth place cheques for different drivers in previous Prospect legs.
Race 2 – (6) LETSTAKETOTHESKY won her June 13 qualifier over a mixed-gait field at this track, timed in 2:01.3; the David Holliday-co-owned/trained 3-year-old battled to a front-end Prospect Series victory at half-mile Hanover Raceway July 4, from post #6; trotted past Cool Princess early in their Nw5000lcd Georgian Downs match-up July 18, only to end up fighting first-over Craving You and being outsprinted by the pocket-dwelling Cool Princess in final strides of personal 1:58.12 mile; usual reinsman Anthony Haughan returns tonight. (2) DRONE SEELSTER and Paul MacKenzie get class and post relief after July 25 place result at this track’s Nw5000lcd level, crossing over quickly from post #8 to pocket up and follow Snow Deal Hanover through most of mile, then making late move to finish second behind the now-absent Royal Jewels; maiden 3-year-old has trio of place results in 2020. (8) FINANCIAL DAY was the quickest closer in that same July 25 race, coming from far back in a field’s-fastest 29.1 to grab fourth in individually-clocked 2:00 flat performance for trainer/driver Paul Walker; past breaker was steady-gaited in 2 most recent efforts.
Race 3 – (2) SATDNITE JUKEBOX moves in from post #7, from which she made second-over effort at Georgian Downs distaff Nw30000lcd level July 21; she lagged behind first-over Smoke N Reactor N and was backing through the field before the “lively” 1:24.2 three-quarters, unable to keep pace in the 1:53.2 mile; class relief tonight as regular driver Scott Coulter joins Anthony Beaton-co-owned/trained filly for a chance at a front-end trip resembling their July 11 Prospect Series win at Hiawatha Horse Park. (6) ZEPHYR SEELSTER closed in 29.2 to finish runner-up behind winner Acefortyfour Dome at this track July 21; maiden has been on the board in half of her six 2020 starts; second consecutive race with catch driver Colin Kelly in the sulky comes with no guarantee of repeat pocket trip. (1) DREAMADREAMFORME finished a no-factor last in her July 26 distaff 15000clmcd race at Georgian from post #2, the track’s best position for pacers; John Darling-trained, Jack Darling-owned filly has been a beaten fave in 3 consecutive starts at 3 different tracks, finishing third in Clinton’s June 28 Kin Pace and July 11 Prospect leg at Sarnia for variety of drivers; catch driver Anthony Haughan aboard front-end-loving type in hopes of something like her 5-open-length Prospect win June 20 at Hanover or 1:56.4 Mohawk qualifier May 29, although recent form/closing efforts leave considerable room for improvement.
Race 4 – (2) VICTORIAHASASECRET gains post relief following pair of post #8 efforts at Georgian Downs and Grand River; Travis Henry stays with Britt Kennedy-trained mare making second 2020 start over this track; although fifth in July 24 Nw30000lcd event here, she closed 3-wide in 28.3 in pursuit of a long-gone Profound Paragon; lifetime-best 2:00.3 reflects a career spent mainly on half-mile tracks, often at added distance; nearly picked off Royaltys Pearl up passing lane here last August 24 in 1:59.2. (3) SHEENA SOLDIER gets the nod ahead of #9 Halo Its Me, but not just because he finished ahead of her in their July 25 Georgian Nw50000lcd match-up, won by tonight’s #1 Zorgwijk Tim; although this field’s lone 3-year-old has faster current closing quarters than most in this group, he also remains near post position that helped him in back-to-back place finishes July 18 and 25 here for returning reinsman Paul MacKenzie. By the time (9) HALO ITS ME got rolling from off the pace at the half July 25, the 9/5 fave had a formidable task ahead, trying to catch leader Zorgwijk Tim (tonight’s #1); 4-year-old mare showed impressive first-over closing effort, gaining ground for show finish, even after Aussie Lover joined outer flow and stalled in front of her; even after that strong seasonal debut, she faces the challenge of trying to become the first trotter to win from outer post #9 here this year; Aaron Byron stays loyal.
Race 5 – (6) CHASETHECLOUDSAWAY struggled from post #8 at Georgian Downs’ higher distaff Nw30000lcd classification July 21, still pacing a 1:55 flat mile for returning reinsman Travis Henry; let go at 3/1 odds in July 11 Prospect Series leg at 5/8-mile Hiawatha Horse Park, the Gerald Lilley-co-owned/trained filly closed well for the 1:56.3 victory; 3-year-old faces same-age peers in what amounts to a class drop. (1) CENTURY GIANNA reunites with driver Scott Young to pursue a replay of their gate-to-wire July 11 Prospect Series leg win at Sarnia; that 1:59.2 effort from post #7 was filly’s sole victory this season; most recent catch driver Brett MacDonald migrates to the sulky of… (3) PRIDEINMYSTRIDE; show result behind tonight’s #8 Southwind Maritime in July 11 Prospect leg at Sarnia; history of bad draws at half-mile tracks this season, but not tonight for 3-time 2020 show finisher. (8) SOUTHWIND MARITIME lands unfortunate post position; hasn’t missed board in 4 starts, albeit none of them here and only one at a 5/8-mile venue, Sarnia; Colin Kelly is back in the sulky for filly who paced back-to-back 1:56.1 miles at Georgian back in June, unable to hit board with Aaron Byron driving at distaff Nw15000l classification. (4) P L NOTORIOUS returns from pacing 1:53.2 mile at Mohawk July 25; with a single place finish at Grand River in 6 seasonal tries over various tracks, speed alone is not enough to recommend her for better ending tonight; Daryl Thiessen back in the bike.
Race 6 – (1) CHAOTIC DECISION almost fulfilled expectations with an unsuspenseful place finish at Georgian Downs July 25, as half-mile specialist was 1:56.4 runner-up to Legend Within (post #7 this race) for regular pilot Paul MacKenzie on the class jump; previously went off at 21/1 from post #4 July 18, settling third in the first turn, then turning on the late jets to power past the now-absent Asa Onamission in 29.2 for game place effort behind winner, tonight’s #8 Y C Broadway. (4) IMPRESSIVELY DONE drops in class and retains services of Anthony Haughan; post relief for winless-in-2020 mare who has nonetheless racked up 9 on-the-board results in 18 starts this year; career recently based at half-mile venues, but last week’s 29.2 last quarter in fifth-place result behind Zorgwijk Tim here suggests she’s capable of more at Georgian. (8) Y C BROADWAY lands another winless-in-2020 Georgian exterior post, moving in from July 25’s #9, 2 weeks after a successful 1:57.3 gate-to-wire $12,500 claiming handicap effort from post #6 for Steve Bryon, who stays loyal to July 25 show finisher (behind tonight’s #1 Chaotic Decision; also timed in 1:56.4); was still gaining ground late in previous performance.
Race 7 – (6) ROCKADERO shows some closing ability, like that 28.4 final quarter in Rideau Carleton OSS Grassroots July 26, where Carmen Auciello trainee finished third behind Peppas Angel; steady improvements; new driver Aaron Byron in the sulky tonight. (9) OH LINA lands tough outside post, or would be top selection; hasn’t raced since July 11, when she nearly defeated Argento in overland voyage from post #7 for Steve Byron, who stays aboard here; she was just a neck back at the wire in that effort at Georgian’s Nw5000lcd level, timed in a 2:01.1 identical to the winner. (5) HEID is one-half of the unofficial Keith Jones stable entry this race, with stablemate Annual Royalty in post #4; she’s trotted 2 flat miles with her conditioner in the bike at Georgian this month, finishing second in July 11 qualifier and fifth in pari-mutuel return July 18; adds catch driver Anthony Haughan in hopes of sustaining her front-end/stalking ways all the way to the wire, rather than fading out as she did last race.
Race 8 – (5) J P OSCAR arrives from Hippodrome 3R, where he was an off-the-pace show finisher in a personal 1:56.3 mile July 17; Travis Henry’s apparent choice over #9 Royal Canvas here; last win was over 5/8-mile Rideau Carleton June 21, where he pocketed up and popped late for a 1:54.1 victory that’s the best of any in this field; incidentally, that was also his last previous start in claiming company, to which he returns tonight. (2) LITTLE QUICK stunned Georgian Downs $7000 claimers with place finish at 60/1 odds July 25, timed in 1:56 flat; 13-year-old accomplished that feat from post #9 with Brett MacDonald in the bike, who stays loyal here; only #9 Royal Canvas shows current closing speed like that over this track; back on Lasix since July 4. (9) ROYAL CANVAS was gapping third-over coming from second-last at the half here last Saturday, and then seemed uninterested in trying things three-wide from last at the three-quarters; narrowly third to winner #2 Shadow of Lindy and runner-up #7 American Assassin July 18, clocked in a 1:56 mile identical to the win time; Steve Byron takes the lines on the only horse in this field with a lifetime mark (1:54.2) set at Georgian Downs.
Race 9 – (6) HIGHLAND FOXYTROTR gains class relief in first start Lasix tonight; back after overland fifth-place finish at Mohawk July 17 (from post #10), the 2-time show finisher in 3 seasonal starts makes her first attempt at Georgian Downs, for newest catch driver Jason Ryan; appears to be on comeback trail, as she danced big dances against Peaceful Way and Pure Ivory rivals at age 2. (2) HETTIES MAGIC opened up on Nw20000lcd Georgian competition July 4, winning in 1:57.4 from the rail with Colin Kelly, who’s back in the bike this race; 4-year-old’s previous 2020 victory was a successful closing effort March 2 at Mohawk, where he mowed down pacesetter Malcolm G and tonight’s #9 Hoya Saxa; dramatic post relief after never-involved trailing trip from post #8 July 25. (4) HALL OF SECRETS was a winning fave in 1:58.1 gate-to-wire Prospect Series leg at this track June 27, from post #5; OSS Grassroots at Mohawk proved too much from post #8 July 16; that last start was 3-year-old’s only off-board result in 4 tries this year for regular reinsman Dave Boughton.
Race 10 – (1) SHADOW OF LINDY led the way June 25 at this level, but folded in the stretch as JJ Mystic Storm and American Assassin closed in; a beaten fave finishing third last race, he was a winning best bet July 18 at Georgian Downs, setting the early pace and battling back to win by a head over now-absent American Assassin in 1:56 flat; claimed last start and now racing for conditioner Randy Ertel, with Brett MacDonald newly listed to drive. (8) SOMEHOWSOMEDAY wired Georgian $7000 claimers July 4, from post #7, one week after winning against same June 27, also for Travis Henry; no one else in this group has one, let alone 2, sub-1:55 victories this year; beaten fave from rail at Hiawatha Horse Park July 25, stalking a runaway Ride Away Shark in 1:56 place performance. (9) LEVY TAYLORE dropped in class from Mohawk $8000 claiming company last week; closed for show June 23, his most recent start at this track; winless-in-2020 pacer loses Austin Sorrie to #7 Wild Eyed Yankee here, which is likely related to drawing outermost post here; turned in a first-over effort from the half and hung on for show at this track/level July 25, taking it to Taladega Seelster in front-end duel to the three-quarters; Paul MacKenzie catch drives. (7) WILD EYED YANKEE and Austin Sorrie did not enjoy spending extended time on the outside July 25, as the usually-tenacious finisher couldn’t overcome post #8 and had to settle for seventh; still timed in 1:56 flat with a 29.2 closing quarter, he retains Austin Sorrie and remains a factor based on place finishes from Georgian’s #9 and #8 hole on June 23 and 27 respectively. (2) UNPRECEDENTED is here from Mohawk, where sub-1:55 efforts haven’t yielded much this season; class drop from $8000 claimers and driver change to Jason Ryan could ignite better result from pacer who wasn’t that bad July 24, closing in 27.3 for fourth and individually-clocked in 1:54.4.
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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