Best Bet – (4) ARRHYTHMOGENIC – Race 8
Spot Play – (6) STORMONT MUFFIN – Race 11
20-cent Pick 5 – Race 5 – 1,5,6/3,9/1,6,8/4/1,2,4 = $10.80
20-cent Early Pick 4 – Race 2 – 3,5,7/2,6/1,3,7/1,6 = $7.20
20-cent Middle Pick 4 – Race 4 – 1,3,5,7/1,5,6/3/1,6,7,8 = $9.60
20-cent Late Pick 4 – Race 6 – 3,9/1,6,7,8/1,2,4/2,4 = $9.60
20-cent Last Pick 4 – Race 8 – 1,2,4/2,4/2,5,6/4,5,6 = $10.80
Race 1 — (5) ARCHIMED ALPHA finds class relief after disappointing break in Quebec stakes company; very eager to follow cover in OSS start at Mohawk, when he stayed flat in trip through traffic; Rideau debut for gelding with breaks only at half-mile Hippodrome 3R; recently-hobbled trotter is apparent choice of Pascal Berube over class-dropping (2) BETONAWHEELIN, who self-destructed here last Thursday; filly is winningest in this break-prone field, but her three Rideau victories were for Berube (one) and Stephane Pouliot (two), neither of whom catch drives her this race; gapped near back of field last start, 6p5 because she was impeded by breaker Sky Spirit. (3) VITOR was unlucky with post position in his only two pari-mutuel starts; three-year-old debut for lightly-campaigned colt; out of dam who also went winless and frequently offstride at two, but broke maiden in first start over 5/8-mile track (Pocono) at age three.
Race 2 — (3) SHALLOW's most recent Rideau victory was gate-to-wire July 29; last week, she was boxed in and shuffled back, yet closed strongly in stretch for place in co-fastest (29.3) last quarter. A week after taking new personal best in going-away front-end effort, beaten 1/2 fave (5) STEELMEATREASURE cut mile last Thursday, only to be stung late by the two closers, Shallow and (7) CURIOUS KHALEESI, who draws difficult post following second recent off-the-pace victory here; late speed.
Race 3 — (6) MONTANABLACKANGEL improved dramatically as temperatures dropped last Fall, winning three in a row here in October-November; ambitious first over from fifth to the opening quarter last Thursday, he ended up covered and shuffled back; dangerous if he can make front early. Stablemate (2) AMIGO MIO hasn't won since July 18; closed in co-field's-fastest 29.3 last Thursday, chasing the too-good Duke Lavictoire and Stormont Muffin; Guy Gagnon remains loyal to most consistent 2021 performer in this group. (4) VOLEUR DE BANQUE enjoys an even steeper class drop; with just two lifetime wins and tendency to lose ground late; he's a safer bet for lesser shares.
Race 4 — (7) BATTLE WITH DESIRE won Ottawa debut last month for Pascal Berube; while at lower classification, she left aggressively and stalked Ys Big Girl throughout, pulling pocket at top of the stretch and holding off late-flying Curious Khaleesi; perfect pocket trip didn't work out as well two starts ago for different driver; interfered with last Thursday when she was already disadvantaged by post 8. (3) DEOLICIOUS is unpredictable with her wild breaks; Guy Gagnon hasn't figured out win-averse maiden, but with five place finishes this year (all but one at Grand River) she's nonetheless a must-use in exotics. (1) FARMERWHOSEMYDADDY would not go by Century Gaga in the stretch last Thursday; although Clarke Steacy had slowed down pace in second quarter sufficiently to be fined for failing to maintain reasonable pace, she couldn't maintain lead; wired for Stephane Brosseau September 2, but he's aboard #2 Classic Watching this race.
Race 5 — (6) GETYOURLICENSELIAM has been dominant on front end in two of two for Guy Gagnon; unraced since September 23, the Mandy Archer trainee has been flawless so far at this track. (1) WELLWORTHTHEWAIT stalked from pocket at lower level the last time he drew Rideau rail, emerging en route to three-quarters and outdueling Breakaway Louis for maiden victory; landed #8 hole in his two subsequent starts. Recent maiden-breaker (5) SHARKS INTHE CREEK worked to make front by opening quarter last Thursday, stretched out by early leader Premier Star; confidently opened up on closers in debut for Pascal Berube. (7) DEAN STREET upset favoured Ptitebouledechafra last start; both his victories have been from Rideau rail, an advantage the front-end-loving colt lacks here. (4) HARDY MILL JOE just missed last Thursday; second over from fourth at three-quarters, in pursuit of first-up winner Ptitebouledechafra; jumped previous week, seemingly at shadows on track, when facing larger field.
Race 6 — (3) ROLLIN WITH ROCK ran out of racetrack in extended overland effort last Thursday; beaten even-money fave closed in field's-second-fastest 29.1 as game runner-up to the now-absent Sharks Inthe Creek. (9) SAULSBROOK VELVETA won from #7 hole, but how will she like second-tier? That's the question for filly who destroyed rivals in maiden-breaking effort after previous start was declared "no contest"; recent gate-to-wire winner may follow (1) ROCKIN FIRE, who showed a liking for front end in qualifying win; post/class relief helps in second pari-mutuel start.
Race 7 — (6) COLD CREEK LACEY closed in co-field's-fastest 29.2 in Rideau debut for newest trainer Vic Puddy last Thursday; overcame post 8 for fast-closing third from second over, following first-over favourite (8) YNOTHOS, who's currently tied for fifth among North American pacing mares for most 2021 wins (ten); four-wide off the gate last Thursday, she took back when asked and renewed her attack from first-over fifth on the way to the half; needed the wire. (1) MS BRAMPTON BEAST gains rail advantage for second Ottawa start; note all six of her seasonal wins have been on 5/8-mile tracks; trailing post didn't help last week, although she came home in co-fastest last panel (29.2); latest win was front-end trip at Kawartha, facing lesser mares than these.
Race 8 — (4) ARRHYTHMOGENIC dodges the top mares this week; she did beat them with front-end trip for Daniel St. Pierre August 12, but outside posts haven't helped when facing the likes of Village Jamie and Thinkingofyoubabe; biggest class drop since she left Pompano. (2) ROAD RUNNER COLONY improved on recent class hike and driver upgrade to Guy Gagnon; Sunday he emerged from third past the half to challenge pacesetter Salty Robyn N, only to end up parked and fading to third in the stretch drive. (1) PRINT MEDIA started October with place finish at similar level for tonight's driver, Marie-Claude Auger; trailed throughout mile Sunday, advancing up passing lane in field's-co-fastest 28.2 last quarter; beaten 4/5 fave on previous start from rail with class drop.
Race 9 — (2) ANGELS KID raced at Kawartha Downs June 19, then wired at Rideau five days later, even parking a first-up Raising Rusty; same strategy nearly worked August 19, but pressure from first-over longshot Drone Seelster softened him up through hot fractions; tonight, perfect post to leave aggressively for latest catch driver Pascal Berube. (4) JUMPSHOT got the jump on field last Thursday, putting new spin on name; previously notable for jumping it off in most starts since Rideau arrival, he circled rivals early from outside post to get separation that lasted to the wire; that kind of trip is tougher to envision from mid-pack post. (1) PASADENA STAR could not get to front-running Cheque the Magic despite rail last Thursday; came home in field's-fastest 28.3; conspicuously winless this year despite recent class drop.
Race 10 — (6) JUST MY SHADOW finished third as beaten spot play last Thursday; why play back? Looking live on class drop from Mohawk, she waited a patient fifth to pick up cover from Village Jamie and was, in John MacMillan's words, "looming large, second over from fifth" on last turn; ran out of racetrack in three-wide stretch drive, pacing second-fastest last quarter (28.2). (2) THINKINGOFYOUBABE looks to set brisk early pace again; battled first-up challenger Arrhythmogenic early in last mile, leaving not quite enough to fend off late-surging winner (5) VILLAGE JAMIE, who couldn't get to a breakaway Thinkingofyoubabe despite stalking trip and passing lane sprint in their September 30 match-up; a tough decision among these mares tonight.
Race 11 — (6) STORMONT MUFFIN has not missed Rideau board from tonight's post position in five post 6 starts this year, winning two of them in familiar off-the-pace style; drew this track's lowest-percentage post for trotters last Thursday, then pocketed up for place behind front-end 3/5 winner (4) DUKE LAVICTOIRE, who has gone relatively untested on lead at lower classifications; he will face test tonight on class jump, possibly from class-dropping (5) THE MAGIC OF LIFE, who ventured first over from fifth chasing Jumpshot to the half in strung-out field last start; gained considerable ground for show, despite never seeing rail for remainder of mile. (2) BOO THANG is newly Lasix-free and finished second to a pacer in latest Rideau qualifier; perplexingly winless at Hoosier Park, he's back at the track where he took lifetime best last year. (9) SEVERUS HANOVER romped at Hippodrome 3R last Thursday for different driver; left well in second-tier start here September 30, but was gapping fourth along pylons by the half; confidence-building win and driver change may improve prospects.
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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