Best Bet - (9) PETER CROWN - Race 1
Spot Play - (9) LOS BALLYKEELAMIGO - Race 11
20-Cent Early Pick 5 - Race 1: 9/1,8/3,4,5/1,3/1,3,9 = $7.20
20-Cent Early Pick 4 - Race 3: 3,4,5/1,3/1,3,9/2,3,6,9 = $14.40
20-Cent Late Pick 4 - Race 8: 3,4,7/3,4/2,5,9/9 = $3.60
Race 1 – (9) PETER CROWN stepped up to face this group last week, and he was very impressive only missing by a neck. There isn’t much speed on the rail for him to follow, but he could follow post two and be in early contention. (1) RUBBLEONTHEDOUBLE gets Colin Kelly back in the bike tonight for trainer David Holliday. He has won two straight; this is a solid group, look for him to be on the scene late at a price. (7) ZOES CHOICE has only missed the board once in 2021; after a difficult 2-year-old season she has transitioned well into a 3-year-old.
Race 2 – (1) ERIKAS SHADOW looks to drop and pop after a game effort against $15,000 claimers last week where she dug in late to hang on by a nose. She is versatile and I expect a big mile from the rail. (8) T C SCANDAL dropped to this group last week and closed gamely after starting from post seven. She starts outside again, but she is a solid player tonight. (4) DEX THE LAND has only been worse than fourth once since coming back off the layoff. She always manages to find a way to make the ticket.
Race 3 – (4) TOM D BAKER finally gets some post relief tonight for trainer/driver Dagfin Henriksen. The son of Muscle Mass has multiple racing styles, and should use the class drop to his advantage. (5) ITALIAN GRIT made a miscue when making a move turning for home last week. He draws into a decent spot this week for trainer Madalyn Henry. (3) TWIN B HUGS is another in the field that gets post and class relief. I look for her to be leaving tonight from the inside.
Race 4 - (3) SAUBLE PLAY has won three of his last five starts; clearly his form transferred well from Hanover Raceway. He is a strong closer and should have no issues tonight. (1) BAROSSA BLUE GENES has been caught three-high at the three-quarter pole three weeks in a row. I look for him to get a better trip from the inside tonight. (9) CARWINS SMORE gets Travis Cullen in the bike this week after a decent effort at Charlottetown.
Race 5 – (1) LIFELONG WISH has drawn towards the outside two starts in a row against tougher company. He gets a big chance to improve this week from the rail against slightly easier. (3) ETERNAL JEWEL is currently hitting the board at over a 50% clip for trainer Jared Bothwell. She is a solid player who is always in the mix. (9) BLACK SEVEN closed strongly from off the pace last week and only missed by three-quarters of a length. Look for him to get into a good early position with the rail horse having speed.
Race 6 -(6) HEADLINE MAKER draws into an interesting spot here facing older company for trainer John Bax. His mile against two-year-old competition resulted in a big speed figure; if he is anywhere close to that good tonight, look out. (9) RANGER ROB can flash some early speed and should be able to use the second-tier draw to his advantage with some speed on the inside. (2) M AND MMS made a break just after the start last week at Mohawk Park. She faces much easier company here. (3) DIOR HALL picked up Anthony Haughan following almost a 12-month layoff. He has speed and should be into the mix early. (7) WARRAWEE WIZ dropped to this group last week and handled himself well from post eight. I think he could make the ticket again.
Race 7 - The Mohawk shippers tend to do very well when coming to Grand River. (1) HOWMACFIESTY closed gamely from out of it last week against tougher. Expect a big effort from the inside. (3) SR BEACH BABE gets some major post relief this week coming back from Mohawk. She clearly gets over this track well. (4) STREAKAZANA gets Henry back in the bike with post improvement, she looks like a player underneath.
Race 8 - (4) YOUCOULDBETHATGIRL had way too much ground to make up last week against competition at this level. That was some effort with a big speed figure; if she puts in a similar effort tonight, look out. (7) HETTIES COMMANDER didn’t draw the best in his return to Grand River, but this is a track that he clearly likes and gets over well. Bruce Richardson returns in the sulky. (3) CD MAX dropped to this group last week and didn’t get the best trip from post eight. Expect improvement tonight.
Race 9 - Trainer Beau Brown has been doing very well since coming north of the border and he brings (4) EMBLYNETTE in against Preferred 3 company here. She raced well last week but just had too far to come turning for home. I like her chances at decent odds tonight. (3) CASIMIR SWAMP GIRL got the perfect trip from post eight last week and just didn’t have enough to get to the leader. She draws into a good spot this week and should use her early speed to control the pace. (1) CHARMBO BRIE stepped up to this class last week, racing very well. She frequently makes the ticket and could do so at decent odds tonight.
Race 10 - (2) TYMAL HOUDINI put up a big number last week against Preferred company. He faces easier this week with a good draw, Travis Henry clearly gets along well with this son of Kadabra. (9) NORWEGIAN DAD has raced well two starts in a row from the outside. The second tier should allow him to get a decent trip, his versatility is hard to ignore. (5) MUSCLES APLENTY flashed speed at Mohawk last week and tired badly through the stretch. Her returning to Grand River, where she has had some decent racing luck, should benefit her.
Race 11 - (9) LOS BALLYKEELAMIGO is 5 for 5 this year for trainer Joshua McKibben. Bob McClure comes in to drive the son of Amigo Hall who has been an absolute monster of late. (8) WILLYORWONTHE was a winner against this group last week going wire to wire. He would normally be a top pick, but his track record from post eight isn’t the greatest. (5) KATCH KANNA struggled last week after being assigned post eight. He gets a better draw tonight and that should make a big difference for the son of Lucky Chucky. (7) COOL MUSCLE gets stuck on the outside again this week. Look for him to be slightly closer tonight in his second start off the layoff. (4) RED HOT TORCH steps up in class to face Preferred company again this week. He could spice things up on the back part of the Super Hi-5.
Michael Carter is the co-host of Post Time with Mike and Mike and also is one of the USTA Social Media/Publicity Coordinators. Carter got his start in the sport from going to the track with his father. Carter is the former announcer at Buffalo Raceway and worked at Northfield Park prior to working at the USTA. JJ Zamaiko Photo
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