Best Bet – (2) THRILLING TIMES – Race 8
Spot Play – (4) STATE NEWS – Race 7
20-cent Pick 5 – Race 5 – 2,3,5,6/1,2/4,5,6/2/2,3,4 = $14.40
20-cent Early Pick 4 – Race 2 – 1,3,4/2,5,6/4/3,5 = $3.60
20-cent Middle Pick 4 – Race 4 – 4,7/2,3,5,6/1,2/4,5,6 = $9.60
20-cent Late Pick 4 – Race 7 – 4,5,6/2/2,3,4/3,9 = $3.60
20-cent Last Pick 4 – Race 9 – 2,3,4/3,9/3/1,3,6,9 = $4.80
Race 1 — (6) FOUR FINGER FLOYD is up in class, but deservedly so, after going-away romp in taking new lifetime mark Thursday; no one in this good field has a resume to match the formful Mandy Archer trainee. Class-dropper (2) PERFECT DALIANCE returns to level of recent win; improved post for lone mare, who has notably shaved three seconds off her individual clockings and recorded new personal best two starts back, in her first recent try against males. Back in Rideau winners' circle in first start back for Stephane Brosseau Thursday, (1) HES GOT A VENDETTA added to their three 2021 Rideau wins together; seasonal victory #8 for gelding who captured two at Kawartha Downs before that off-the-pace effort against talented group, closing in field's-fastest 27.4.
Race 2 — (4) WALKS OF LIFE arrived at Kawartha Downs in June, winning on third try for trainer John MacMillan; winless since claimed, but back at level where he's found recent success here; impressive move off the wings last Sunday, when he did all the heavy lifting to the three-quarters for late-flying winner Shadow Moon; fun fact: both his Rideau victories were from same post as tonight. (1) MISTER GODRO picks up catch driver Guy Gagnon; third start since dropping from $12K to $10K claiming tag; left well last week, but was squeezed back to third along pylons and covered up until stretch drive, where he didn't make expected progress. (3) DARKEST SECRET arrives on heels of off-the-pace Kawartha victory and picks up the hot hands of Pascal Berube, who hit board in six of ten races here Thursday.
Race 3 — (5) CROSSFIT continues strong Rideau form spree; first over from third when Raising Rusty (#1 tonight) went offstride in pocket last Sunday, he survived the early interference; narrowly missed a third consecutive Preferred Handicap victory, shadowing pacesetting winner (6) CAPTEUR DE REVE right to the wire; while Steeven Genois inherits catch drive from Guy Gagnon (who's aboard his own trainee this race), frontrunner with gate speed and love for Rideau has already captured four of seven tries at this track this year, all but one at Preferred classifications. (2) GLOIRE DREAM is reunited with Samuel Fillion, for whom he's done his best work this season; fourth from second over at the half two starts ago, he closed strongly behind a victorious first-over Crossfit.
Race 4 — (4) HITMAN HILL plus Pascal Berube should equal a brisk early pace in second try at Rideau Preferred classification; three-wide at 26.3 opening quarter in last edition, the demanding early effort took its toll when closers came calling. (7) THE LIGHT SPEED took command as Hitman Hill lost momentum that race, yet proved vulnerable to the deep-closing speed of National Debt, who's absent from tonight's field; assigned outside post makes his trip more challenging. (6) HISTOIRE ENCHANTEE is another who enjoys front end; catch driver Steeven Genois aboard instead of trainer Guy Corbeil suggests different trip and result than five-time 2021 winner's only other Ottawa start this year.
Race 5 — Class-dropping (3) ITS EDS IDEA returns to claiming classification of his most recent victory for Samuel Fillion; stalking trip for this field's co-winningest horse of 2021 (five wins) worked out perfectly against the strong Dreamfair Tecate then and looks even more promising now. Better draw for revenge-minded beaten 4/5 fave (5) MORTGAGE MY VILLA, who set pace but had no answer for the mild closing bid of (2) EMPTYTHETILL last matchup; Pascal Berube's gelding stepped up for second win in three latest tries last Sunday; closed well to overtake a tiring Mortgage My Villa; doesn't show the recent raw speed of top two. (6) MISSION THREE makes second start after recent claim for trainer Michelle Leblanc; surprising back-to-back victories at Hanover and Mohawk last month suggest five-time 2021 winner is capable of more, especially at $10K claiming level tonight. (1) MACH LEE remains winless this year; rail and new catch driver for pacer who hasn't missed a cheque since July, competing here and Kawartha Downs.
Race 6 — (1) LUCKY LEONARD was a beaten Best Bet September 26; under a huge hold in fourth at the half, he was unable to flush out cover; held on for fourth after short-lived overland grind; class drop, driver change and rail elevate chances after trailing throughout with no shot in latest from #8 hole. (2) SPRINGBRIDGEVISION is one of two mares in field; infrequently hitting board regardless of post position, she benefits from class relief; note she finished last with broken equipment Thursday, facing the best distaff pacers at this track. (3) OFFICIALLY RUSTY is also down in class for Coville Cup; stalked from rail and narrowly missed top three last week; note Mike Healey was assigned drive via Coville Cup draw and didn't choose over #8 Bet Til Dawn.
Race 7 — (4) STATE NEWS won in gate-to-wire style at this track last October 15; class/post relief on return from Kawartha Downs; game late effort after boxed-in trip in most recent Rideau try; William Roy has enjoyed recent Ottawa success driving Curious Khaleesi and that could translate into Coville Cup form reversal for winless-in-2021 gelding. (6) FERN HILL FLIGHT was third-over from sixth in Rideau debut, chasing gate-to-wire winner Mister Big Top; followed a three-wide (5) BET ON A DREAM off last turn, closing in identical 29.2 field's-fastest last quarters; a tough choice this race between these two closely-matched competitors in Coville Cup race.
Race 8 — (2) THRILLING TIMES is Marie-Claude Auger's apparent choice over # 3 Print Media and # 5 Night Club Hanover; near back of pack throughout last Sunday's start, he skimmed pylons almost undetected in field's-second-fastest (28.1) last quarter; top rivals tonight were hard-used last start, while his conservative effort leaves him something in reserve for tonight. (4) SHADOW MARGEAUX was parked every step last Sunday; game effort on class drop, in spite of tough trip; second consecutive start at reduced classification; won from off the pace for Ryan Guy on similar class drop here July 18. (6) MISSION BAY came second over from fifth en route to the half in recent Preferred Handicap; no match for front-running National Debt, he remained parked through the rest of the mile; back at similar level to where his win streak left off.
Race 9 — Class-dropping (3) ST LADS CASH is back in line to Ryan Guy; they finished third in last two starts together; eye-catching speed, but cautious optimism: latest victory was for Guy Gagnon, who's aboard #5 Road Runner Colony here. (2) SALTY ROBYN N looks good on Kawartha-to-Rideau angle, especially after decisive going-away win; August 19, finished second for Stephane Brosseau as beaten 4/5 fave, chasing breakaway leader Prince Giovanni. (4) SASKABUSH STEVE nearly pulled 9/1 upset last Sunday; he and Pascal Berube were boxed in near back of pack going to the half, but advanced along inside path and exploded up passing lane from third, nearly nailing front-end winner Larry Is Debs Rock with a 28.3 field's-fastest closing panel.
Race 10 — (9) DREAMFAIR TECATE won his last two starts from second tier, including August 8 Rideau victory; claimed last week, he's in line to Marie-Claude Auger for Vic Puddy after uncharacteristic result when spending too much time on the outside in pursuit of leader (3) FCEE N; he and Guy Gagnon are near-perfect together; beaten fave was 1/5 from post 8 last Sunday, finishing third after cutting mile; post makes difference here. (8) SPORTS JACKET gets tough draw for gelding who won from off the pace from this track's post 7 last month, in the same kind of overland trip for Pascal Berube that resulted in last weekend's victory; paced field's fastest (28.4) last quarter last race.
Race 11 — (3) THUNDERING JIM rides three-race win streak at latest claiming level; eye-catching going-away victories for Guy Gagnon trainee who has clearly found his best form since August 29 claim. (2) WESTERN PHIL gets class drop and is back at level of latest win, for tonight's driver Marie-Claude Auger; popular claimer is winningest (five) of this field in 2021, but would need to drop a couple of seconds here to get in reach of front-end-loving top choice who took new lifetime mark at Rideau two starts ago. (1) GENESEE hits board with reliable frequency; class/post relief for veteran who retains Clarke Steacy for second week after latest win at Kawartha.
Race 12 — (6) ATOMIC MILLION AM is apparent choice of Marie-Claude Auger over #5 Shine a Light; undeniable recent form reversal for veteran who blew up toteboard here at 74/1 for tonight's driver September 28...from post 8. (3) LEVIS DAY has faced tougher rivals and gets class relief; loses catch driver who authored his recent off-the-pace Rideau victory to (1) MATTS TUITION, who wired in latest for trainer Guy Gagnon; faces class hike from rail. (9) SILVERADO faded out on front end last start, despite winning in similar fashion from post 7 the previous week; that's the difference a class climb made for gelding who gets second tier tonight. (7) MACHO POLO offers late speed from challenging post; retains Pascal Berube; rarely missed a cheque here this season.
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 Photos
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