Best Bet – (5) – ORLYS DREAM – Race 7
Spot Play – (2) – MONTANABLACKANGEL – Race 4
20-cent Early Pick 4 - Race 3 – 3,5,7/2,5,7/2,5/3,4,5,9 = $14.40
20-cent Late Pick 4 - Race 7 – 2,5/1,3,9/4,6/1,4,9 = $7.20
Race 1 – (7) DABARNDAWGSWATCHIN was second over from fifth at the half in her July 17 OSS Grassroots event at Grand River Raceway; despite outermost post #9 that night and spending half the race parked in pursuit of 1/9 winner Cyclone Sister, she battled through the final turn and finished fourth in 1:57.3; Ted McDonald trains/drives filly who had not missed board in previous Rideau Carleton starts, both from outer posts in small fields won by the now-absent Sir A. (3) SOS FALINE and owner/trainer/driver Stephane Brosseau let Sir A cut the mile July 16 at this track, but the filly closed in a field’s-fastest 29 flat to catch him and take her maiden 1:56.3 mark; she hasn’t raced since then, and faces same 2yr-Nw7500l class as the fastest of the 3 winners in this group; she did benefit from tactical drive splitting horses when Sir A and Jim Blue battled down the lane last outing. (1) D GS RUNFORHIM chased the now-absent Jim Blue from post #2 in last week’s Rideau debut; second by a half-length in a 1:58.3 mile, fast-closing colt now has back-to-back sub-2:00 efforts in a single qualifier and pair of pari-mutuel races; retains catch driver Jonathan Lachance; potential for better than show spot this race.
Race 2 – (7) MITT JAGGER enjoys class relief from the outermost post; note that fifth-place results July 12 and 19 were at Rideau Carleton’s higher classifications; top-2 finisher in half his 12 seasonal starts, all for trainer/driver Ted McDonald; a 25/1 off-the-pace winner March 8 from post #8 at same level as tonight. (1) GENESEE is the winningest horse here in 2020; latest of 4 victories came June 14 at this track’s $7000 claiming level for Stephane Brosseau, who apparently picked him over #6 Mohegan Blue Chip tonight; lands best post for pacers and class drop from $10,000 claimers tonight; nearly edged out pacesetting winner Mitt Jagger (#7 this race) with ground-saving trip July 2. (6) MOHEGAN BLUE CHIP set his seasonal-best 1:54.3 mark wiring $7000 conditioned claimers July 9 for Stephane Brosseau, who’s aboard #1 Genesee here; jumped it off badly on the lead when challenged by SOS Justified in deep stretch last week, ending up fourth for Guy Gagnon; Pascal Berube takes the lines on gelding who’s a 2-time winner this year and momentarily appeared en route to a third victory last race.
Race 3 – (7) STOLEN ART is one from the “why are they here?” files: a 7-time winner at Mohawk last year, the Luc Loyer-owned/trained gelding qualified with a 1:56.2 eighth-place finish there July 24, turning in that field’s second-fastest 27.1 closing quarter while discreetly gaining ground late; top Rideau Carleton reinsman Pascal Berube at the controls for what’s likely a tightener for 5-year-old making first start since March 5. (5) BET TIL DAWN was a beaten top-choice selection July 9 and 16, after wiring rivals in 1:56.3 qualifier July 5 for Richard Simard; trailing position last week didn’t produce expected result in overland effort, as he finished seventh behind a wall of horses; light on the wins in 2019/20, yet should improve tonight on the class drop and same post position from which he’s been most effective this year. (3) SHRIMP AND GRITS battled for early control here July 23, soon finding himself shuffled back to spot with “absolutely, positively no racing room” in the view of racecaller John MacMillan; shook loose to accelerate up the pylons for photo-finish show result for Guy Gagnon, who’s at Mohawk tonight; Stephane Brosseau becomes his fifth catch driver in 5 races.
Race 4 – (2) MONTANABLACKANGEL was a 1:56.3 gate-to-wire July 23 winner, on the class drop into Rideau Carleton’s Nw2r7500lc company; tonight’s driver Pascal Berube was also in the bike for the 4-year-old’s new lifetime mark that race; although he’s up in class this week, rivals would have to drop a second or more to match strides with trotter whose recent starts show steady-gaited versatility. (5) ORLYS PRIDE won with a stalking trip against similar here July 16; multiple 1:58-range efforts this season have earned him top-2 results in last 4 races for regular driver Richard Simard; typical front-end tactics do not appear to put him in range of this race’s top choice at the wire. (7) FRIDO PV hasn’t missed the board in 5 tries this year, handling the class climb at this track well in consecutive starts from post #1; conditioner Yves St. Jacques handles reliable 1:58-zone closer who stole the show from post #6 here June 25 in atypical gate-to-wire win.
Race 5 – (5) JON SNOW finished third, timed in 1:54.2, behind runner-up Task Bar Hanover in their July 2 match-up at Rideau Carleton; taken back to third and shuffled when he could not clear Retour au Jeu in bid for lead in 26.4 opening quarter last week; 4 show finishes this year, but 4-year-old has a legitimate chance to upset from same post as his 1:56.3 July 9 win here for returning reinsman Pascal Berube. (2) TASK BAR HANOVER is one of the fastest 2 pacers this race, with a 1:54.2 place finish July 2 behind Mickeymaksomespeed; 3-year-old was a beaten fave in runner-up finish to the now-absent Retour au Jeu July 23; new catch driver Rodney Laframboise aboard fast-closing maiden pacer for owner/trainer Ronald Charette. (7) DÉJÀ VU SEELSTER has 4 wins in 5 starts and has never missed the top 2; this is 3-year-old’s steepest post assignment, especially with pair of frontrunning types to her inside; Robert Robinson stays loyal to owner/trainer Andrew Moore’s front-end-loving filly.
Race 6 – (4) ROAD RUNNER COLONY is back in the hands of regular driver Jonathan Lachance tonight, finding class relief as he returns to claiming company; in over his head but pacing 1:54 or faster miles over Rideau Carleton in recent starts; an off-the-pace winner for Lachance for 4 of 7 victories last year, owner/trainer Gilbert Mercier’s gelding couldn’t put a dent in the hot pace of July 26 race 10, but managed to equal his lifetime-best 1:54 speed badge, set last year at this venue, in sixth-place result. (9) ZEN DE BALLYKEEL lands the trailing post and class relief for driver Tyler Jones; claimed after wiring Rideau’s optional $10,000 claimers in 1:55.2 July 9, he tried similar front-end strategy July 19 at higher classification, ending up fourth in a personal 1:55.4 mile; was fifth in previous start for Jones at $12,000 claiming level June 28, but the 3-time 2020 winner was saddled with post #7 that outing. (3) MACH MESSIER was a first-up 1:56.3 winner for Guy Gagnon facing optional $10,000 claimers last week; he was third in same class July 9 for tonight’s driver Pascal Berube, from post #7; wired $7000 claimers at this track for Berube Feb. 9; main question remains speed, as none of his 3 seasonal victories have been sub-1:56. (8) LARRYS IS DEBS ROCK is in great form right now, finishing second despite broken equipment with a 28.2 closing quarter last start; up in class, with a bad post and about a second slower than top rival this race, he’s still the best closer in this field; retains Richard Simard. (5) SPRINGBRIDGEVISION is newly Lasix-free 4-year-old mare making first pari-mutuel start of 2020 for co-owner/trainer/driver Andrew Moore; winning July 12 and 19 Rideau qualifiers by a combined 24 open lengths should count for something, but we’re not sure exactly what, yet; 8-time winner made one OSS Grassroots stop at this track last year, closing for show as beaten fave, individually timed in 1:54.3.
Race 7 – (5) ORLYS DREAM closed in 29.4 to get show money July 16 for trainer/driver Richard Simard; that was from trailing post #9, upgraded tonight to a better-for-trotters mid-pack assignment; an overland 2:00.1 winner at Rideau Nw1250l3cd level June 10, he’s trotted 1:58-zone miles in 3 subsequent starts and looks primed to repeat on the class drop. (2) FIERCE MAGIC drops in class and again draws post #2, a spot that let front-end-loving trotter cut back-to-back miles at Rideau Carleton for regular driver Pascal Berube; caught at the finish on both occasions, he’s still assembled a flawless 5-for-5 record of finishing on the board this year; took lifetime best 1:58.3 in July 9 pocket ride to victory behind the now-absent Orlys Pride. (8) STPATTYSDAY has only missed hitting board in 2 starts this year, leaving from post #6 in Hippodrome 3R Preferred-2&3 Handicap July 17, and again when she jumped it off leaving from post #7 in debut for driver Tyler Jones July 23; Sylvain Cote-co-owned/trained mare still rallied in 29.3 to grab fourth last race; she’s not a fan of outside post positions, but finished third from post #8 here June 25 in typical off-the-pace style.
Race 8 – (1) MICKEYMAKSOMESPEED lands rail for owner/trainer Michel Allard; undefeated 3-year-old can win up front, but can also close, as he demonstrated July 19 at Hippodrome 3R’s Nw2r5000lcd classification, from post #9; Richard Simard returns to drive colt who coasted to uncontested 1:54 personal best at Rideau Carleton July 2. (3) SHINE A LIGHT has 4 wins in 10 tries this year, and like Mickeymaksomespeed, is undefeated in his last 4 races; easy 1:55.1 victory for Jacques Beaudoin here last start despite moving up to Nw1r15000lcd classification; wired Rideau rivals in consecutive 1:53.3 miles in June 28 and July 5. (9) REDDIT HANOVER worked out a 60/1 win June 14 for regular reinsman Stephane Brosseau and co-owner/trainer Anne-Marie Turenne, the last time he raced from post #9 at this track; 4-year-old’s maiden victory came courtesy of 27.3 closing speed allowing him to take down 1/5 favourite and pacesetter Cal Hanover; unusually-soft opening quarter and half set up for 1:55.2 win then—could a speed duel between the top 2 selections this race achieve the same effect, setting up for a longshot from out of the clouds? For those who dare.
Race 9 – (4) ZAR E IP is back from successful Hippodrome 3R campaign, collecting 3 victories before last week’s show finish behind the undefeated Mickeymaksomespeed (#1 in race 8 tonight); a going away winner in her June 10 qualifier at Rideau Carleton, she paced a 1:56.2 mile in runner-up result behind Déjà Vu Seelster in pari-mutuel debut the following week; 1:57 record filly retains Pascal Berube in return to distaff competition. (6) KISS IT BETTER has a string of 3 place finishes coming into this race, her most recent at Kawartha Downs July 25; reunited with Stephane Brosseau, who steered her to 1:56.1 place finish behind the familiar-sounding Déjà Vu Seelster here July 16; John MacMillan co-owned/trained filly remains winless in 8 tries this year, but looks likely to hit board based on improving form. (2) PERFECT DALIANCE and #5 Better Than Men both race for trainer Kathy McBride, but Perfect Daliance looks to be the better of the pair this race; 4-year-old mare is coming in off 1:58.1 maiden victory at this track’s Nw7500lcd level July 23; retains same post position as in that effort, when driver Jonathan Lachance used first-over strategy to put her on uncatchable lead.
Race 10 – (9) ROSE RUN VOLCANO finished second to tonight’s #4 She the North July 23, his first start at Rideau Carleton’s $10,000 claiming conditioned level; while an early speed duel changed the complexion of that race, Jason Gilchrist-driven 3-year-old was still able to turn post position #1 into a place result timed in 1:58.1; more intriguing is his June 28 start from same post as tonight: he followed single-file in fifth through a 27.2 opening quarter, finishing seventh-placed-sixth, individually clocked in 1:56.1 as Shine a Light wired field in 1:53.3. (1) COOL HAND LUCAN was third with broken equipment in that same June 28 race; unable to capitalize on rail for Guy Gagnon at Nw7500lcd level July 19; now winless in 19 starts, he was sixth as beaten fave from post #8 with Gagnon July 23; 4-year-old gets catch driver Pascal Berube, class relief, and another shot from inside post. (4) SHE THE NORTH was the John MacMillan trainee we expected would make #6 Queenjane Bluechip’s trip a bit more challenging July 23; instead, she scooped up the 1:57.1 victory after Music Note (#7 here) took care of that rival; 3-year-old won by 6 open lengths for tonight’s driver Stephane Brosseau as the pacesetters dropped anchor; equalled time of that career-best performance at Kawartha Downs July 25, in sixth-place finish. (7) MUSIC NOTE and stablemate #4 She the North are back together at Rideau Carleton for first start since July 23; he was 6/5 co-favourite with tonight’s #8 Queenjane Bluechip that race, in which he laid down the 27.1 opening quarter that paved the way for She the North’s win at odds of 5/2; not sure what his job is here, but note driver change to Richard Simard. (8) QUEENJANE BLUECHIP’s 2 career victories were back-to-back at Rideau Carleton’s NW7500LCD level last October, both for Pascal Berube, who drives #1 Cool Hand Lucan here; 4-year-old hung on for fourth as beaten fave last Thursday, despite tangling early with tonight’s #7 Music Note in a race that set up for closers; outermost post for second race in a row does not help chances.
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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