Best Bet – (4) – SAULSBROOK PEACH – Race 7
Spot Play – (1) – CASIMIR OVERDRIVE – Race 2
20-cent Early Pick 4 - Race 3 – 3,5/4,5/5,6,8/1,2,5 = $7.20
20-cent Late Pick 4 - Race 7 –4/3,8/5/1,3,9 = $1.20
Race 1 – (6) DREYDL HANOVER was runner-up to Mcjagersonthemove last week, closing from fifth to second in a 27.1 final quarter at this track/level; that 1:53.4 mile didn’t put him in reach of the now-absent August 6 winner; however, it was from post #6, which he lands again tonight; faced lower Nw625pscd company at this venue August 20 and wired them in 1:52.2...also from post #6. (1) ROAD RUNNER COLONY has had rail facing similar Rideau company in last two starts, but hasn’t won in either; 27.4 closing quarter in personal 1:53.4 September 6 show finish behind class-dropping speedster Mcjagersonthemove hints at further improvement here. (5) WOO SHARK won the last time he was in rein to Guy Gagnon, at Rideau’s Nw435pscd level August 6, in an off-the-pace 1:55.2 effort from post #6; Gagnon’s back tonight, so three-time 2020 winner looks playable despite class climb.
Race 2 – (1) CASIMIR OVERDRIVE gets class relief as the popular claimer returns to co-owner/trainer Gary Mc Donald and catch driver Tyler Jones; that winning combination recorded an overland 1:56.1 win over Rideau Carleton $12,000 claimers August 23; nine seasonal victories. (7) DARCEE N and Guy Gagnon present a strong challenge, but from a less-attractive post position and without class drop this week; with 5 wins in 22 starts this year, the front-end-loving claim-o-rama pacer is capable, but missed by a nose in gate-to-wire effort as beaten fave August 30 for owner/trainer/driver Gagnon. (2) STATE OF PLAY races for the Mandy Archer barn, which has been posting Rideau wins at an impressive rate; two-time 2020 winner also enjoys relief from higher $12,000 claiming company this time around.
Race 3 – (5) CARWINS SMORE was second in 1:54 mile for Pascal Berube August 30, behind Dutch Seelster, who’s not in this Hard Rock Summer Series Consolation; parked from post #8 Sept. 6 for Guy Gagnon, he understandably faded into non-factor status; claimed again, he races for Anne-Marie Turenne and Berube here. (3) SANTANNA TONY starts in consolation following a fourth-place result in previous leg Sept. 6; no Cheeky Cherry, Machapelo, or Genesee here, and Tyler Jones is back for third consecutive catch drive on gelding who needs to carry his speed just a little further for the win; timed in 1:54-zone twice in last four races, ~2 seconds better than his 1:56.2 seasonal best. (2) DRY CREEK IMAGE doesn’t show current 1:54-zone speed like top pair this race; she does draw well and hit the board with regularity: 7 top-three finishes, one of them a 1:55 Rideau victory, in 2020.
Race 4 – (5) MCJAGERSONTHEMOVE has no Lit de Rose to deal with; she won Sept. 11 Mohawk distaff Preferred instead; despite a mild class climb this race, Guy Gagnon-trained and reined gelding is a five-time winner who looks live after leading most of the way in Rideau Carleton Nw860pscd event Sept. 6, going away in 1:53.1 mile. (4) VANILLA MALTED draws inside and gets class relief, one week after finishing sixth from post #7 in Rideau’s “not listed” Preferred; seven wins this year, but needs to turn around after losing ground in second half of last two races. (2) BESTOFBEST HANOVER has hit board in half his 14 races this year at this track; he has three wins and three show results, and appears most likely to hit board behind top two choices, based on being up in class and his fastest win of the season being a 1:54.1 effort August 9 against Nw2750l3cd rivals.
Race 5 – (5) STORMONT VENTNOR has eye-catching late speed in a three-race season so far; 10-and-a-half-length winning qualifier at Kawartha Downs August 1 made an impression on bettors, but subsequent trips haven’t been right for August 30 beaten fave to get his first pari-mutuel victory of 2020; class drop and helpful post may tonight. (8) LESTENPERCENT is assigned tough post to work with in this week’s “not listed” Preferred Handicap; won by a head over now-absent Hat Trick Marleau Sept. 6 at this level, but on front end from post #4. (6) CHEQUE THE MAGIC ended up fourth behind this race’s #8 Lestenpercent Sept. 6, yet he’s been leaving well, leading the way, and hitting board in current races; could surprise in this relatively deep group of trotters.
Race 6 – (5) KAHLUA MORNING represents the powerful Mandy Archer/Guy Gagnon team in the Hard Rock Summer Series Final; wired rivals by widening margin in 1:54.4 series leg August 30, pacing to new lifetime mark from rail; overmatched in tough trip from post #7 last week; one of three mares in final must drop her personal best clocking to win tonight. (1) CHEEKY CHERRY paced the race of her life in last week’s series leg; the career-best 1:53.4 victory from post #6 was an overland journey built upon a second-over trip; front-end combat between consolation-bound Carwins Smore and #6 Genesee set up for someone to win with a late move. (2) MOHEGAN BLUE CHIP has the most 2020 wins (five) in this field; Sept. 6 marked his first victory in three races after his most recent claim; 1:53.2 pocket ride behind the pacesetting speedster Chaleurs AD (#8 here) was with driver Ryan Desroche aboard, who curiously drives stablemate #1 Cheeky Cherry for owner/trainer Mark Goddard in tonight’s final. (6) GENESEE is more of a closer than his fast-leaving stablemate #8 Chaleurs AD; with 11 top-three finishes in 17 starts this season, he doesn’t show the same sub-29 last quarters of the other Anne-Marie Turenne trainee, but he’s not reliant on making front early and running away with the race, either. (8) CHALEURS AD has recently won from post #7, opening up by over six lengths on a “good” Rideau surface for Guy Gagnon August 23; Pascal Berube drives tonight as front-end-loving pacer faces tough task from outermost post.
Race 7 – (4) SAULSBROOK PEACH disappointed from same post, higher classification Sept. 6; trailing early through hot fractions, he scooted up pylons late in 1:55.1 personal effort for fourth-place finish; closed in field’s-fastest 29 flat final quarter; latest catch driver Tyler Jones has real firepower with pacer whose 1:51.4 lifetime-best (set here in 2019) stands as the fastest win by anyone in this field over this track in last 2 years, possibly ever. (2) ARRHYTHMOGENIC held on for the win as a Rideau Carleton top choice with Ontario Racing Tips from the Pros Sept. 10, rewarding her backers at 6/1; won’t get that price again this race, but the early-season 1:53.2 Pompano winner likes a 5/8 mile track and only #9 Its Eds Idea has a faster win on same-sized track this year. (9) ITS EDS IDEA is down in class from trailing post in his first start since show finish at Rideau Nw1350l3cd level behind #2 Arrhythmogenic Sept. 10; he cut middle fractions of that mile, getting stung by closers in the stretch.
Race 8 – (8) CITY OF THE YEAR is familiar to tonight’s driver Pascal Berube, who drove him to most recent Hippodrome 3R victories August 2 and 28; the latest win was from post #7 over the half-mile track, where the 7.7% win percentage from that post is still better than the 4.2% win percentage for post #8 pacers at Rideau Carleton; the fact that he’s here suggests he means business, especially if able to make front early. (3) RUB OFTHEGREEN N closed well in 29.1 for fifth-to-first voyage with Tyler Jones at Rideau’s Nw665pscd level Sept. 10; fifth win of 2020 for 5/8-mile track specialist. (2) WILDCAT CAM recorded his sole win of the year Sept. 3 in gate-to-wire effort against Nw600pscd company, then followed up with heartbreaker at the wire Sept. 10, beaten by the neck of this race’s #3 Rub Ofthe Green N; both those game efforts were with Berube, who stays loyal to #8 City of the Year.
Race 9 – (5) NATIONAL DEBT is apparent choice of Pascal Berube, over #4 Vegas Rocks; back-to-back Rideau Carleton victories in 1:51.4/1:51.2 August 23 and 30 for Berube indicate horse in great form; won on class jump to “Not listed” Preferred Handicap last start, from identical post position. (4) VEGAS ROCKS has two seasonal victories to #5 National Debt’s six; catch driver Stephane Brosseau takes the lines from Berube, who was aboard for this Sept. 6 “not listed” Preferred winner’s 1:51.4 mile. (2) TAKE THE DEAL is up in class following place finish behind #4 Vegas Rocks here Sept. 6; draws well and has Guy Gagnon in the sulky, but he has not ever been a 1:51-zone winner at Rideau.
Race 10 – (1) LUKE AND DUKE won his previous pair of starts for owner/trainer/driver Guy Gagnon using front-end tactics; after 1:51.4 effort over $12,000 claimers Sept. 6, it seems that the five-time seasonal winner’s up-in-class status may not make much difference. (9) BIG PETES STYLE is stablemate to the top choice this race; Stephane Brosseau catch drives the 12-time seasonal winner from trailing post that may feel unfamiliar to the pacer given lack of post #9 draws this year. (3) SHINE A LIGHT upset against August 30 Rideau Nw2950l3cd company, pacing to 1:53.3 personal best by holding off late-charging Big Petes Style (#9 here) in front-end effort; lacks demonstrated speed of top choices, but was overlooked at 17/1 from same post #3 in that mile. (4) STONEBRIDGE BEACH is class-dropper from Preferred level; lacks recent speed of top two, with just one, 1:55.2, win this year. (2) MISTER GODRO closed for show in 28.1 last week; up in class in first recent trip with Pascal Berube aboard.
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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