Best Bet – (1) VANILLA MALTED – Race 7
Spot Play – (4) ALEXUS EH – Race 8
20-cent Pick 5 – Race 5 – 3,6/1,4,6/1/2,4,5/2,4,5 = $10.80
20-cent Early Pick 4 – Race 2 – 1,2/1,2,4,5/3,6,7/3,6 = $9.60
20-cent Middle Pick 4 – Race 4 – 3,6,7/3,6/1,4,6/1,9 = $7.20
20-cent Late Pick 4 – Race 6 – 1,4,6/1,9/2,4,5/2,4,5 = $10.80
20-cent Last Pick 4 – Race 8 – 2,4/2,4/1,3,4,6/2,3 = $6.40
Race 1 — (2) BROOKDALE JOEY was parked from quarter onward in Rideau debut from second tier Sunday; quick turnaround for strong recent arrival from Truro; retains Jimmy Gagnon for second Ontario start. (1) ROCKIN FIRE had the easier trip Sunday, yet couldn't catch off-the-pace winner Sharks Inthe Creek; first off the gate in mile where heavy lifting was done by (9) BOARDING DOGS, from outside post; loses Guy Gagnon to Mandy Archer stablemate Pack Your Bags (#7 this race); beaten 9/5 fave finished last in his only other Rideau start from trailing post, although that was in the fourth race of his career, for previous connections.
Race 2 — (1) FIX A DRINK bided his time third-over in sixth at Hippodrome 3R last start; big three-wide move at three-quarters; unsuccessfully hunted down breakaway 1/9 leader Archimed Alpha; Ottawa and 5/8-mile track pari-mutuel debut for lightly-campaigned four-year-old; he qualified at Rideau June 23 for Jacques Beaudoin, finishing a distanced sixth after two distinct duels the same race; different horse without trotting hobbles. (2) VITOR timed the gate last Thursday, jumping offstride in first turn when Incredible Hall broke to his immediate outside; beaten even-money co-fave reset and caught field. Veteran (7) P C HEISENBERG was one of three who didn't break in his race last Thursday; his 30.3 closing quarter was field's fastest; second over from fourth at the half, behind first-up winner Betonawheelin; winless this year despite ample opportunity.
Race 3 — (1) SOUFFLE DE VIE leaves Coville Cup and post 8 behind; literally parked the entire mile, yet still closed for fourth; regularly pacing 1-2 seconds faster than his lifetime mark; in previous start for Stephane Brosseau, he lost narrow decision to (2) ROLLIN WITH ROCK; front-end-loving class-climber retains Guy Gagnon; can be vulnerable late, as (4) HARDY MILL JOE can attest; he stalked and outdueled the morning-line favourite here for his one seasonal victory, two starts ago; this beaten 4/5 fave may improve for newest catch driver Pascal Berube.
Race 4 — (3) MONTYSGONEMARBLE has been too good at Rideau; troubled trip at Mohawk doesn't detract from open-length front-end victories here; recently took lifetime mark with tonight's driver Stephane Brosseau aboard. (7) LIKE LIGHTNING LOU launched from second-last and had to go four-wide in "bumper to bumper" traffic at Hippodrome 3R last Sunday; impressive turn of foot in last quarter; hasn't had Jessica Turenne driving in previous Rideau visits. Second start in a row with Lasix for (6) WINDSONG QUINCY; beaten 2/1 co-fave was first over from third Sunday, approaching three-quarters, but couldn't catch quick pacesetter Hopetobefirst; backed through field; uninspired or just tired?
Race 5 — (3) JESSICAS LEGACY loses Pascal Berube after latest claim; this field's only mare with recent back-to-back Rideau victories is in the hands of hot catch driver Jimmy Gagnon, who won 2 of 6 drives here Sunday; class jump. (6) KOLOY DM returns to distaff competition following place efforts in Coville Cup events; DQ’d 2p9 two starts back for bearing in and hooking wheels; pocket ride and narrowly held off closers last week; latest win was nearly a month ago, closing to take down vulnerable pacesetter Thinkingofyoubabe. (8) JK ELLEM ENOH adds Lasix and Berube, but draws same post from which she was third behind Jessicas Legacy last week. (7) SAUBLE DELIGHTFUL is a twice-beaten fave in two Rideau starts; class relief for recent Mohawk arrival who was parked and tired in latest effort. (1) JANS LEGACY didn't fire in Coville Cup; better for Stephane Brosseau in last two tries together; has missed top five just once this year from Rideau rail.
Race 6 — (1) SAM MCKEE HANOVER debuts for Mandy Archer/Guy Gagnon; three seasonal victories over three different track dimensions, including 5/8-mile Georgian Downs June 19; on top at Mohawk opening quarter last week, ended up boxed in third under strong hold by Trevor Henry; faded late in passing lane. Stablemate (4) MS BRAMPTON BEAST has been gradually improving after dropping from this track's distaff $10K claiming level; all six 2021 wins are on 5/8-mile tracks (Georgian and Kawartha), at $7K distaff claiming tag; all but one was in gate-to-wire style. (6) THATS SOME PLAN makes second consecutive start with Lasix; he hasn't won here since February 21 (for Guy Gagnon), but has been competing at higher classifications; fifth along pylons at the half last start, he was shuffled back, closed well through traffic.
Race 7 — Class-dropping (1) VANILLA MALTED is irresistible from rail, after fourth-place result in Sunday's Preferred Handicap; late speed matched field's fastest. (9) SHINE A LIGHT is apparently Marie-Claude Auger's pick over Dreamfair Tecate (#6 this race); second tier for pacer back at level where he's most competitive; back-to-back wins here for former connections September 19-26, at 6/1 and 9/1; deep closer. (2) WHATS INTHE ESKY A also gets major class relief; briefly battled Thrilling Times last start, opting to shadow him instead for place.
Race 8 — (4) ALEXUS EH outperformed her 17/1 odds last Thursday for tonight's driver Steeven Genois; class drop for mare who followed gate-to-wire winner Sir Chopin from third along pylons; covered up on last turn by first-over Flying Isa N (#9 tonight), she circled him to close for show; third start Lasix. (2) ARCHIMED ALPHA is evidently Pascal Berube's choice over #3 Amigo Mio; a combined win margin of over 10 open lengths in his last two starts, here and at Trois-Rivieres; up in class; vulnerable on lead. (5) UNDERCOVER STRIKE was in pocket directly behind Sir Chopin last Thursday; class drop for trotter who wasn't catching that front-end winner; Guy Gagnon looked to the side in the stretch, seeing Flying Isa N retreat and Alexus Eh winding up.
Race 9 — Three-year-old (4) PLATINE ALPHA has hit late-season winning stride against older mares; recently first-up from third at Hippodrome 3R distaff Preferred-1 opening quarter, she was parked battling Fancy Girl; amazingly overtook that leader in the stretch and held off late-charging Fern Hill Bella; only (2) YNOTHOS has more seasonal victories; not as dominant without Guy Gagnon and competing above distaff $10K claiming classification. (5) CLODAM BAYAMA was first away last Thursday, with Ynothos first-up to challenge; Sauble Delightful pressed her through the fastest first quarter (27.1) and half (56.2) of the entire card, which set up for Howmacfiesty's mild 7/2 upset.
Race 10 — (3) AMERICAN SNIPER pulled off his first win of the year in 2021 Rideau debut for Marie-Claude Auger last Thursday; going-away victory for deep closer who enjoyed the longer stretch of a 5/8-mile venue; consistent cheque-getter for Auger in seven 2019 Rideau starts. (1) DARKEST SECRET closed widest of all in field's-co-fastest 29.3 Sunday; note that favourite Take The Deal hooked wheels with Mach Lee (#5 tonight) in the stretch that race, so closers like Darkest Secret and (4) DELLAS BOY advanced by avoiding interference; left hard in the driving rain Sunday; stalked 2/5 fave Take the Deal from pocket; Pascal Berube remains loyal.
Race 11 — (3) SAULSBROOK VELVETA looks to avenge last week's show finish in hard-fought battle from post 7; three wide on first turn, she finally landed on the lead at the quarter; overtaken in the shadow of the wire. (2) SPORT A LUCKY STAR gets helpful draw; won from rail at similar classification two starts ago; Mike Healey was in the sulky for the win, and returns this race. (4) BATTLE WITH DESIRE loses Robbie Robinson, who orchestrated well-timed move as leaders were tiring last week; two of her three 2021 wins were from same post as tonight; 20/1 winner seems unlikely to have things her way again here. (7) STEELMEATREASURE stayed game to the finish; engaged in early and late sparring with Saulsbrook Velveta; beaten 4/5 fave. (5) SAGALI closed in field's-fastest 29.4 last Thursday; front-end-loving 3R winner is winless at this track this year; at Rideau, late speed.
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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