Spot Play – (3) – GOALTENDER – Race 3
Best Bet – (1) – DOC DARRYL – Race 5
20-cent Early Pick 4 - Race 3 – 2,3,6/2,4/1,5/2,3,9 = $7.20
20-cent Late Pick 4 - Race 7 – 3/1,5,7/5,7/2,5,9 = $3.60
Race 1 – (6) DONTBURSTMYBUBBLE is the only winner in this field this year, besides #4 Northern Juno; his single 1:56.2 seasonal victory at Kawartha Downs makes him the fastest winner of the year among this group; his last win of 2019 came at Rideau Carleton Dec. 1, when he went off at 35/1; he and tonight's driver Ryan Guy powered past rivals up the passing lane, after letting Guy Gagnon cut the early fractions with 1/5 fave C L Art Magic; class drop. (4) NORTHERN JUNO's two 2020 victories are more than the rest of this field have this year, combined; add in a trainer change to Mandy Archer/driver change to Guy Gagnon and this looks like a shot at redemption following sixth-place finish at similar Rideau Nw210pscd level Nov. 12; judges' scratch at Hippodrome 3R Sunday was due to transportation; half-mile track specialist with no recent wins at this venue. (1) ITS ALL WORTH IT tends to stalk through the mile, but give ground late; Nw210pscd classification and rail boost chances of nine-year-old whose last win came at this track Dec. 22, 2019: he prevailed by a nose at 40/1 courtesy of pocket trip and passing lane move against Nw850pscd pacers.
Race 2 – (8) SAULSBROOK OLYMPIA exited the Maritimes before Truro Raceway's last 2020 race date (Dec. 13), possibly to get to Ontario before travel becomes more challenging; it could also be that the two-year-old is ready to graduate to the bigger track for her third lifetime start; her field's-fastest 28.2 closing kick nearly took down three-year-old colt winner Okie From Muskogee Nov. 8 at Truro; this is her first race restricted to fillies/mares. (7) SAGALI has been superb, narrowly missing from off the pace Nov. 12 in her place finish for Stephane Brosseau; broke maiden at Rideau Nov. 5, in dead heat from post #7 (after a scratch to her inside); retains Brosseau and her closing ability remains strong late-season. (2) POWERED BY MACH wired everyone but Sagali (#7 this race) when the fillies dead-heated here Nov. 5; weather/track conditions this week haven't suited that approach, with just three front-end winners here Nov. 15; both her lifetime wins used that approach, so Guy Gagnon may need to ask for more dimension from this filly tonight.
Race 3 – (3) GOALTENDER has four wins on half-mile tracks in 2020, two at Hippodrome 3R and two at Grand River; he's never won on a larger track, but the determined closer was fourth here Nov. 5 when facing similar Nw2r33000lcd classification...from post #8; has persevered through some wild miles and gotten two victories for trainer/driver Marie Claude Auger; upset potential. (2) MONTANABLACKANGEL has been a transformed trotter in his last five races; Tyler Jones has him back in perfect post position to overtake his top rival and last week's winner... (6) ASA IM READY; six-time seasonal winner is versatile; wired Rideau Nw2r31000lcd company from same post Oct. 22 for trainer John MacMillan/driver Stephane Brosseau; that field did not contain #2 Montanablackangel, however, and the gelding was able to take his career-best 1:56.2 mark when he drew inside and the mare landed post #7 Nov. 5.
Race 4 – (2) CASSIUS enjoys steep class drop and post relief this race; ineffective from post #7 at Rideau Carleton's Nw2r31000lcd classification Nov. 12, the six-time 2020 winner looks promising, although he hasn't won at this track and just one of his victories was on anything but a half, a stalking trip June 6 at Georgian Downs. (4) KEYSTONE PRESTIGE has not won since that Oct. 29 victory at lower Nw240pscd level here; improved post position for two-time 2020 winner racing for owner/trainer John MacMillan; apparent choice of Stephane Brosseau over #1 Mitt Jagger. (5) STELIOS hasn't been hitting board lately, but with class drop in this small field, he seems ready; late speed.
Race 5 – (1) DOC DARRYL is a second-time Lasix starter tonight for Clarke and Cara Steacy; dramatic improvement in closing speed Nov. 12, pacing a 28 flat last quarter, and improved position in the stretch for the first time since June. (5) DANCE MACHINE was taken back to fifth early Nov. 12, then came first over at the half in pursuit of leader Double Down Duke; part of a wild five-horse blanket finish in which he ended up fifth by a mere half-length. (3) BLISSFULL FACTOR lost ground late in Nov. 5 and 12, where he was on/near front throughout the mile; now he's down in class to level approximating that of the nine-year-old's maiden-breaking Oct. 29 win for trainer/driver Darcy Clancy; last week's beaten fave has no Three Trick Gainer to contend with here, but #1 Doc Darryl might improve after his show finish behind this Nov. 12 Rideau runner-up.
Race 6 – (3) SENIOR K is dropping from $10,000 claiming class to $7,000 here for trainer Mandy Archer; went gate-to-wire in same class, from same post, Oct. 18; claimed that start, he was a beaten front-end fave the following week when the now-absent Sin City Shark came calling late; latest catch driver is Stephane Brosseau, as Guy Gagnon moves inside to drive his own... (2) DUTCH SEELSTER; up in class, yet qualified well here Nov. 15 and a gate-to-wire 1:54.2 winner as recently as Oct. 1 for his owner/trainer/driver. (9) JANS LEGACY is down in class and exits Flamboro distaff competition this start; her last victory was over Rideau Sept. 6, when she and Darcy Clancy wired Nw460pscd males in her career-best 1:54.3 record mile; second tier adds mystery. (8) BET TILL DAWN drops from $10,000 claimers; post hurts, but he has turned in overland efforts that put him in top five, and sometimes top three, from the #8 hole over the past month; winless in 2020. (6) SOS JUSTIFIED loses Tyler Jones to #4 Shrimp and Grits, but gains Richard Simard, for whom the 12-time seasonal winner had his most recent victory here Sept. 13.
Race 7 – (3) SAVANNAH SPLENDOR was a different animal Nov. 12; closed widest of all in the stretch and just missed hitting board with his field's-fastest 28.4 last quarter, moving from seventh to fourth, less than a length shy of winner Dabunka; that performance was for Rodney Laframboise, who drives again tonight; winless in 26 tries this year, the 11-year-old still has the most lifetime victories (34) of any horse this race. (9) MACH LEE starts from trailing post, but seems to be the stronger of trainer Michael Armstrong's two contenders this race (#7 Pantheon Seelster is the other); gains Tyler Jones, who apparently chose him over the class-climbing... (7) PANTHEON SEELSTER, who closed well first over at Rideau Nw210pscd level for a Nov. 12 place finish behind Mistys Delight (#5 his race); one-time 2020 winner has catch driver Stephane Brosseau aboard tonight.
Race 8 – (7) MONEY EARNED got the job done Nov. 12, wiring $7,000 Rideau Carleton claimers in 1:57.2; class drop tonight. (1) WILD RIVER COYOTEE was third in Nov. 12 Nw1r15000lcd pace where any of five horses hitting wire together could have been the winner; beaten fave on that occasion for Guy Gagnon. (5) JOURNALISTIC broke before the start last week, but he caught the field--and then some; big overland closing effort for owner/trainer/driver Phil Reid got pacer up for place spot behind the now-absent General Lee, in a 1:56.2 head-margin decision.
Race 9 – (5) PRINCE GIOVANNI finds class relief following disastrous broken-equipment-marred trip over "good" surface at Rideau Carleton Nw1250l3cd level Nov. 15; had been improving in recent starts leading up to that; his only 2020 win was gate-to-wire Sept. 27 over Rideau Nw635pscd company. (7) SASKABUSH STEVE won from nearly this far out Oct. 8, closing steadily overland for Stephane Pouliot; class drop here after unsuccessful attempt at Hippodrome 3R Nov. 15, starting from second tier. (3) WOO SHARK is evident choice of Tyler Jones over #4 Mybrothergeorge; couldn't make inroads from trailing post position Nov. 12, spending much of mile in outer flow and having to tip three-wide around a backpedaling Cruise Captain, yet still holding on for fourth at the wire.
Race 10 – (2) THE ROADIES was beaten fave from same post Nov. 15, setting the pace and falling prey to Brookletsjustified by a head at the wire; remains at lower classification than he's typically faced since Sept. 20, when he won at Rideau Carleton Nw1350l3cd level with stalking trip behind Its Eds Idea for Mandy Archer/Guy Gagnon. (5) BADSTORMANYPORT hasn't been as sharp lately, however that could change in rein to Richard Simard this race; Tyler Jones isn't driving any rivals in this race, and Simard drove this Anne Marie Turenne trainee to a gate-to-wire, 1:53 flat win here Sept. 24; poor result last outing when far back in pack on tiring "good" surface. (9) SIR GALAHAD finished third by just a half-length Nov. 15; beaten fave returns from second tier in second start since winning his Nov. 8 qualifier gate-to-wire; Rodney Laframboise returns to the sulky behind four-time 2020 winner who's still in search of his first of the season at Rideau Carleton. (3) STATE NEWS is up from Nw650pscd class this week; eighth-to-fifth effort in final quarter suggests improving form for class-climber who retains Ryan Guy. (1) ROSE RUN SLIDER from rail with Stephane Brosseau is logical, after the horse struggled overland from post #7 for another driver Nov. 15, ending up seventh; second at lower classification Oct. 18 as beaten fave in last start for Brosseau.
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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