Spot Play – (5) – EAU NATURELLE – Race 3
Best Bet – (2) – JUST MY SHADOW – Race 2
20-cent Early Pick 4 (race 3) – 1,3,5/1,4/1,3/5,9 = $4.80
20-cent Late Pick 4 (race 7) – 2,3/1,2,4,7/5/1,3,5 = $4.80
Race 1 – (3) GENESEE hasn’t won since June 14, but missed by a head as Best Bet August 9; Mohegan Blue Chip (#2 this race) led throughout that 1:55.4 mile, and Tyler Jones’ passing lane move almost earned this 11-year-old win #5 in 13 races this year; another 29.2 last quarter could put fast-closing claimer back in the winners’ circle; Jones’ apparent choice over #1 Santanna Tony. (4) MACHAPELO won a single race this year (July 18, from post #1 at Kawartha Downs, in 1:56.3) and a single race in 2019 (at Rideau Carleton, Oct. 27, in a 1:58.1 effort from post #7); strong try from off the pace at Kawartha August 8, holding on for second to Needlecrest in 1:56.2, despite spending much of mile on the outside; John MacMillan-co-owned/trained pacer has improved since being claimed here July 21: he has five top-3 results in 2020, all but one since the claim. (2) MOHEGAN BLUE CHIP got away fast for Guy Gagnon August 9, wiring Rideau’s $7000 claimers from the rail in 1:55.4; tonight, he’s the apparent choice of Pascal Berube over #1 Santanna Tony; looked vulnerable in stretch as Genesee (#3 here) just missed catching him at the wire last start; making front from post #2 involves getting around Santanna Tony, who generally needs to get away first when he draws the rail, or else finish off the board.
Race 2 – (2) JUST MY SHADOW was third in Mcjagersonthemove’s 1:51.1 Canadian record mile August 2 at Rideau Carleton, pacing her own mile in 1:54.2 with a last quarter of 29 flat; closed impressively July 19 at Nw2750l3cd classification, nearly picking off 1:55.1 winner Sea Laird; excluding qualifiers, she’s winless in 2020, but tough to argue against here. (4) JULIO LAUXMONT exits claiming company this race, making second pari-mutuel start since five-plus length qualifying win at Kawartha August 1, timed in 1:57.3; has been unable to hold his ground late in recent miles, and hasn’t had much success at half-mile venues; 0-for-9 this year, this gelding appears on brink of turnaround after that qualifier and subsequent start August 8, where he managed to hang on for fourth in a personal 1:56.3. (5) AMERICAN PARADISE hasn’t raced since March 15; clocked in an impressive 1:55.4 with tonight’s driver Rodney Laframboise in the bike here August 9, finishing fourth with a 28.3 last quarter.
Race 3 – (5) EAU NATURELLE has flat lines and has been competing in half-mile Hippodrome 3R’s Preferred-2&3 Handicap; this, plus her 12-for-21 record of on-the-board finishes this season are enough to recommend her on rare 5/8-mile excursion; gearing up when others were gearing down in the stretch of Rideau’s NW1250L3CD trot July 2, she closed well for second to now-absent 1:57.4 winner Unabating. (3) THE MAGIC OF LIFE has improved in last few tries; second start Lasix tonight for gelding who’s been a place finisher (to trotters who are not in this race) in July 30 and August 6 starts at same level at Rideau Carleton. (6) FIERCE MAGIC is another with recent place results at this track; second consecutive week at Nw1250l3cd classification for gelding who was third July 30, catching the field after a break leaving; won from same post as tonight back on July 9, as Pascal Berube used stalking trip to take down Orlys Pride in 1:58.3; Tyler Jones drives tonight, as Berube opts for #1 Batting Stats (who broke leaving in his only 2019 start from post #1 at Rideau).
Race 4 – (1) INDIGO SEELSTER took his lifetime-best 1:55.1 win at Rideau Carleton’s NW1R8000LCD level June 25, sweeping past leaders late in a ground-saving trip from trailing post #9; last week, he finished fourth behind the now-absent Best of Best Hanover, but closed in a field’s-fastest 28.1; class relief and the winningest post for pacers tonight. (4) BADSTORMANYPORT is an 8-for-13 top-three finisher this year; draws helpful post and drops from Op15000clm level where he’s been competitive, including pacing this field’s fastest winning mile of 2020, a 1:53 victory June 21 from the Rideau Carleton rail; very tough on the front end, when he can get there to defend it. (8) CASIMIR OVERDRIVE has a win and a place from pair of post #6 assignments here in June, but the outermost post is an unknown; has missed board just once at this track since he began season here June 7; closed for show behind the now-absent Big Petes Style and winner Best of Best Hanover August 9; won with broken equipment for Tyler Jones July 18, and they are reunited this race.
Race 5 – (1) REYS N A ROCKET likes to leave and doesn’t always sustain her front-end effort all the way to the win; June 18 victory from trailing post #9 suggests that her first try from the Rideau rail this year—her first race from inside post #5 since June—could suit the style of that lone 2020 win, a 1:54.4 pocket ride behind tonight’s #4, Rose Run Slider. (3) PRINCE GIOVANNI turned in an eye-catching 1:54.2 performance August 9, briefly duelling with Singhampton Kenny right off the gate, then closing widest of all to get within one-third of a length of winner Kwik Talkin at the wire; while fourth in the photo finish, it was the best recent mile by pacer whose last (gate-to-wire) victory was here on Hallowe’en night 2019; second start Lasix for winless-in-2020 pacer driven by co-owner Jacques Beaudoin. (6) SILVERADO gave the now-absent 1/5 winner Kwik Talkin a real run for his money August 9, putting away early pacesetter Singhampton Kenny and nearly upsetting the nose-margin, 1:54.1 winner; may not be able to improve upon that near-victory this race due to fast leavers drawing inside, but definite Hi-5 material. (5) MR BIG TOP has no 2020 wins, but has 3 place and 3 show results in his 14 seasonal starts; came home in 27.3 August 9 from far back, only finishing seventh due to traffic; that was from post #6, and a radical improvement seems unlikely from one spot in against these. (9) MORTGAGE MY VILLA is up in class, yet from a great spot to follow leavers and build upon August 2 and 6 performances from the less-advantageous posts #5 and #8; lacks the late speed of some rivals, but can shadow them for a piece of the pie.
Race 6 – (5) MISTER GODRO was parked August 9, unable to clear the now-absent Osiris Blue Chip, who would go on to win as he backed off at the three-quarters; exits $12,000 claimers for class relief here; every recent mile has been 1:54 or faster for pacer who last won at Kawartha Downs July 25 with co-owner/driver Clarke Steacy in the bike. (9) SPRINGBRIDGEVISION makes second start Lasix this race; good late kick August 6, closing for show in 1:55.1 effort chasing winner Darcee N. (8) MACH MESSIER often comes flying late when he’s got an outer post position like this; June 11 and 28, he was the show finisher from post #8, hunting down horses in off-the-pace style for Pascal Berube.
Race 7 – (3) BET TILL DAWN was fifth at the end of a third-over voyage August 9, closing in 29.2 for a 1:54.4 individual clocking that sets him apart from most in this field; loses Guy Gagnon, who isn’t driving at Rideau Carleton tonight; gains catch driver Ryan Guy and a bona fide chance to make the early lead. (2) DARKEST SECRET suffered interference at the start August 6, losing contact with the competition for the duration of the race; this was one week after the pacer’s promising 1:54.3 win for latest driver Jonathan Lachance, in which he opened up on runner-up Bet Till Dawn (#3 this race) by nearly three lengths at the wire; with just one win in 10 tries this year, his lighter resume makes him the choice for place this race. (6) SHRIMP AND GRITS is understandably up in class following his 1:55.1 Rideau win by six open lengths on August 6; versatile and in good form, he’s nonetheless gotten better results at lower classification and finds himself north of post #4 for the first time since July 4, when he was sixth at Sarnia.
Race 8 – (4) LARRY IS DEBS ROCK is a strong closer from seemingly-impossible places; overlooked at the windows in his last 3 Rideau Carleton starts, he was second twice, then fourth last week; his fastest lifetime win is a 1:55.2 effort from the pocket at Kawartha Downs June 27; his 3 most recent clockings have all been within a fifth of a second of that time; back in the same post position where only broken equipment and a fast-closing SOS Justified stood between him and victory July 23. (5) GENERAL LEE has 6 place finishes this year in 13 starts; August 6, he closed from seventh at the three-quarters to second at the wire, at odds of 38/1. (2) REDDIT HANOVER’s 1:53.3 place result from trailing post #9 on July 30 raises interest; fast closer’s one career victory was also from post #9, back on June 14; gapping fifth along the pylons at the half August 6, he stepped out third-over for the second half of the mile, but faded to seventh behind a wall of horses in the stretch.
Race 9 – (5) YS BIG GIRL displayed no breaking issues with owner/trainer/driver Carl Duguay in the sulky her last 2 starts, getting a win and a fourth at Hippodrome 3R August 2 and 9; the latter was a Quebec stake where she did much of the work and paced her own 2:00.2 mile; 3-year-old won her June 24 qualifier at Grand River by 2-and-a-half lengths in 2:00.1; half-sister to a pair of divisional track record holders at Trois-Rivieres, Ys Tallia and Ys Sunshine; larger track dimension remains a question mark. (3) SPORT A LUCKY STAR shows more late speed than stablemate #1 Better Than Men, closing for place and show in her only pari-mutuel tries this year; 5-year-old maiden making fifth career start has followed leaders and closed efficiently. (2) STAGE TERROR had broken equipment when she finished fourth in her second career start last week; 4-year-old maiden lands helpful post for trainer/driver Darcy Clancy to either set the pace or follow more erratic types who may want to cut the mile (the #5 or #4).
Race 10 – (1) P H IMPULSE finished second as beaten fave August 6, caught in the stretch by tonight’s #5 Perfect Daliance; lands winningest Rideau Carleton post for pacers tonight; has missed board just once in 5 starts this year. (3) DÉJÀ VU SEELSTER is a 4-time seasonal winner who seems a riskier proposition after back-to-back defeats; tougher post positions in those 2 excursions beyond Rideau distaff pacing ranks meant challenging trips; co-winningest entry in this field took her 1:55.4 record from trailing post #9 in first start of her career, June 18. (2) JON SNOW could be nicknamed Jon Show; he’s been third in half his 12 starts this year, including 3 of his last 4 tries; 4-year-old has pair of victories Feb. 23 and June 9, beating exactly one of the horses he faces tonight (#8 Rose Run Volcano) in those combined fields. (5) PERFECT DALIANCE beat the boys (and girl) August 6, getting her second-ever and fastest win with a good closing effort in 1:55.4; that was from the rail, an advantage she lacks tonight, but her form remains strong. (9) STONEY CURTIS flew under the radar July 30, steadily gaining ground until second to winner P H Impulse (#1 here) at odds of 45/1; Jon Snow (#2 this race), De Chairman and Déjà Vu Seelster (#3 here) mixed it up in an early slugfest that set up for closers that race.
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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