Spot Play – (7) – COOL HAND LUCAN – Race 4
Best Bet – (1) – THE MAGIC OF LIFE – Race 3
20-cent Early Pick 4 (race 3) – 1,4/4,5,7,9/3,6,7/2,3,9 = $14.40
20-cent Late Pick 4 (race 7) – 1,3,5/2,6,8/2,3/1,6,9 = $10.80
Race 1 – (6) FRIDO PV was successful in Quebec stakes and conditioned races recently, wiring Hippodrome 3R Nw500pscd trotters Oct. 4 and 11 for Stephane Brosseau; front-end-loving three-year-old is the fastest (1:57) winner of this group, and back at the track where he took that mark. (4) ARCHIES STAR got parked Oct. 8, his return to Rideau Carleton after OSS action at Mohawk; he challenged leader Fierce Magic first-over at the half, but was unable to clear and finished fourth as beaten fave; expecting better. (1) ESPOIR GO was Western Fair Trotting Mare of the Year in 2018, then took a year off; she left quickly in her Rideau Carleton Nw2r30000lcd start Oct. 8, getting squeezed back to third moments after making front; she made no further moves in that race, her second pari-mutuel start since Oct. 5, 2018 at Mohawk, finishing fifth; third here Oct. 1, her back class could come through at any time.
Race 2 – (4) MORTGAGE MY VILLA blitzed Rideau Carleton Nw400pscd pacers Sept. 3 in 1:55.1, only to be set back from first to last later on; same class again tonight; retains Clarke Steacy; sharp 28.3 final quarter last week. (3) STATE NEWS won for Ryan Guy Oct. 1 at Nw265pscd level; class drop here for horse who got that win when he closed from stalking spot in third after The Girls of Image and Mister J R went to war ahead of him. (6) STELIOS closed well for place with Marie-Claude Auger at the controls Oct. 8; workable post position instead of #8 tonight.
Race 3 – (1) THE MAGIC OF LIFE typically closes well and managed second on the class drop last week at Rideau Carleton Nw1550l3cd classification, despite post #8; couldn't catch Batting Stats, but could be returning to the form he showed in back-to-back wins August 27 and Sept. 3. (4) P C HEISENBERG is back to a class and post where he won't be roughed up before the race even starts; second by a head to Ace Bi Sept. 6 at this track's Nw2750l3cd classification, the field's lone class dropper has a single 2020 win (at Western Fair), but should hit board easily here. (2) ABC MUSCLES BOY has back class to spare, which wasn't enough to propel the nine-year-old ahead of the show spot Oct. 7; with only two show finishes in four pari-mutuel starts this year, he's still working on getting back to his 2019 form.
Race 4 – (7) COOL HAND LUCAN is down in class after pacing a 1:55.1 mile finishing an enthusiastic fifth against Ottawa Nw450pscd pacers Oct. 8; second at this level for previous connections July 19, he shows recent improvement in form, diving for the passing lane last week and likely better if not for traffic ahead in deep stretch; latest catch driver Pascal Berube ups the ante. (9) MAGNUS SEELSTER seems to be approaching a maiden victory; second-tier post position for lightly-raced colt who closed strongly for a place finish behind Rub Me Oct. 8 from post #6 at Rideau Carleton's Nw1r7500lcd level; individually timed in 1:54.3 when he finished fourth here Sept. 24, in a race also captured by the now-absent Rub Me. (4) WILD RIVER COYOTEE disappointed Oct. 8, leading through quick early fractions but unable to defend against a too-good Rub Me; he ended up a tired fourth, but the fastest winner (1:55.1) in a field of mainly maidens can probably find better use for his next burst of speed.
Race 5 – (6) OSIRIS BLUE CHIP's six seasonal victories equal the combined number of 2020 wins for the rest of this field; class drop; Archer/Gagnon; enough said. (7) ROSE RUN SLIDER would be less attractive without Stephane Brosseau in the sulky; also note he's dropping down from Hippodrome 3R's Preferred-1&3 Handicap, but late speed specialist has been second (four times) more often than he's won this year (once), so from post #7, use caution. (3) SPRINGBRIDGEVISION has speed and some impressive qualifiers, but rarely gets involved in her races this year; a show finish here back on August 6 is her best result of 2020, but adding Robert Robinson again could activate her out of complacency.
Race 6 – (2) STAGE TERROR left alertly from trailing post last start, following eventual winner Baywatching (#3 this race) attentively throughout the first half, only to gap in fifth in the second half of the race; four-year-old closed in field's-fastest 28.3 last quarter, gaining ground impressively despite the top four having a multi-length lead on her at the top of the stretch; going out on a limb with this maiden, but she could prove rewarding. (9) PERFECT DALIANCE starts from second tier; last win was August 1 from rail, when she upset P H Impulse at 10/1 odds in a 1:55.4 personal best; both her victories this year were over males, and from inside post positions; if Baywatching has to mix it up throughout the mile, the race could easily go to this closer. (7) BUMBLEBABYNME couldn't turn a pocket ride behind #3 Baywatching into a win last week, although she did get up to the winner's sulky wheel at the wire; relentless string of difficult draws hasn't diminished effort from seven-time 2020 place finisher; her one win this year was in Ottawa debut, from rail, August 20. (3) BAYWATCHING loves to set the pace, as she did from the rail in getting her second career win at Rideau Carleton Oct. 8; took the lead away from tonight's #7 Bumblebabynme before the 29.2 opening quarter in their previous match-up, never looking back; repeat performance possible but a strong closing effort could take her down. (5) GRACE TOO was first up to challenge leader Baywatching at the three-quarters Oct. 8; however, she couldn't pass the pacesetter and instantly gave up the chase, finishing an uninspired fourth and pacing the slowest last quarter (30.2) of the field; a threat only if her one move is better deployed tonight.
Race 7 – (1) BEYOND THE LENS lands perfect post for another front-end voyage with Guy Gagnon; breaking issues appear to be in the past. (3) ASA IM READY was a beaten fave when she finished third to #1 Beyond the Lens here Oct. 8; third consecutive start at Rideau Carleton for mare on comeback trail who hasn't missed board in four tries this year. (5) GOALTENDER was taken to the back of the field soon after the start here Sept. 24, when the half-mile track specialist made his Ottawa debut; three-wide move before the turn for home came too late for him to finish better than fifth; rebounded with a win at Hippodrome 3R Oct. 2 for trainer/driver Marie-Claude Auger, who drives again this race.
Race 8 – (8) KEYSTONE PRESTIGE closed for show behind tonight's #6 Matts Tuition (place) and winner Mister J R (now absent) when they met up in Rideau Carleton Nw200pscd event Oct. 8; he finished just a neck shy of the two-horse win photo, yet paced his mile in an identical 1:56.4; some deep-closer tendencies could offset tough post. (2) QUEENJANE BLUECHIP is down in class, with new catch driver Marie-Claude Auger; a conservative trip from this inside post could easily add to her three 2020 place finishes. (6) MATTS TUITION just missed winning Oct. 8, but his inconsistent record doesn't suggest beaten fave's second-best mile of the year will be followed by a similar performance, even in the hands of trainer/driver Guy Gagnon; last victory was from Rideau rail Feb. 9.
Race 9 – (3) SHINE A LIGHT's seven 2020 victories and 1:53.3 record (set at Rideau Carleton in near gate-to-wire style August 30 against Nw2950l3cd company) make him the one to beat; class and post relief after tough fifth-place finish behind Mcjagersonthemove Oct. 11. (2) BRUTUS BAYAMA finally lands interior post position; remained game in pair of Rideau Nw2r30000lcd efforts from the #7 and #9 spots, closing for Oct. 1 win from the trailing post and grabbing show money last week for Guy Gagnon. (1) LARRY IS DEBS ROCK is dependable top-three finisher and closed for place in last start from the rail, August 27.
Race 10 – (1) G A SPEED JOEY has trainer Stephane Pouliot in the sulky; in good spot to replicate Sept. 10 gate-to-wire Rideau Carleton Nw1r15000lcd victory. (3) GENERAL LEE has seven place finishes in a 20-race season so far; his one 1:59.4 win this year does little to suggest he'll do it again tonight, although he's shown improving form and closed well in recent tries. (6) DOUBLE DOWN DUKE has back-to-back wins at Rideau Carleton's Nw1r15000lcd level for Mandy Archer; Guy Gagnon back in sulky for three-year-old facing tougher post position tonight. (5) TASK BAR HANOVER hovers around the top three on regular basis; closing capabilities are better than his typical odds. (9) MONEY EARNED is second-tier starter this time; brings a respectable record of hitting board, even if she's weakened at end of most recent efforts; top earner and winningest of 2020 in this field.
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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