Best Bet – (2) BYE BYE DADDY – Race 5
Spot Play – (3) REGAL MAC – Race 9
$1 Pick 3 – Race 2 – 1,3/1,2/1,2 – $8
20¢ Pick 4 – Race 5 – 2/2,4,6,7/2/3,4,6,7 – $3.20
Race 1 - (4) KISS IT BETTER tries for two with Marc St. Louis in the bike, and I don’t see another that can stop her. (6) CANT BE BETTER was second best to the top pick last time; again, he appears to outclass most of the other foes. (7) ROLLWITHITJESSIE produced a strong effort for the place spot last week, but I’ll slot her in for show from post seven.
Race 2 – (3) BETTER THAN CASH has been moderately successful against much heftier foes. The speedy gelding finds a very winnable spot today. (1) CAMPASSION must be respected with St. Louis from the rail. She also took this condition earlier in the meet and figures to be a contender. (4) GO MUD has been solid at the Leamington meet thus far and should fare well from post four.
Race 3 – (2) LADY NATASHA has been wrestling with higher-level horses the past several weeks. She faces her easiest field yet, and I expect her to finally bag that elusive first victory. (1) MACHED UP went wire-to-wire in last Sunday’s edition of this maiden or Nw6000l class. Rooney is likely to put the colt up front again and ask him to hold off the choice. (6) THE WITCHES BREW did all the work in Mached Up’s win last week and bravely held on for third. He’s a show chance again.
Race 4 – (1) STONEBRIDGE STING or (2) FRONTIER SEELSTER? It’s been a question that’s haunted me throughout the meet as these two have been locked in a battle for supremacy. I’ll go with Stonebridge Sting from the rail – he’s had the upper hand to this point and should be fresher than his opponent, having made one fewer start in the past seven days. The latter gave two big efforts on the long weekend though, so another scintillating showdown is expected. (5) REGALLY MAGNIFIED has suffered breaking issues in recent weeks, but if he stays flat, he should have the ability to fight for the show placing.
Race 5 – (2) BYE BYE DADDY drops several levels and gets St. Louis – this one is a no-brainer. (5) DONTWANTALKABOUTIT is in the midst of a great spell and picks up Rooney. She should be able to mount an able challenge this afternoon. (1) SPORTS ICON got off the schneid in an admittedly impressive four-length win last week. Don’t discount.
Race 6 – (4) LEGEND WITHIN gets a much easier group and should shine first off the claim for the Michelle and Marc St. Louis combo. (7) IONIA is always capable of a good performance and has been racing well at Clinton and Sarnia. She’ll be in contention if the trip is workable. (2) TOTALLY RIPPED appears to be relishing his return to the track after missing all of 2019. He may have to take some air, but he has the ability to compete with these.
Race 7 – (2) RYE N CLYNE is on an absolute tear recently. His 1:53.4 lifetime-best win on September 5 affirms the likelihood of his win today. (3) TERRA COTTA LAD was second to the top pick in that race last week. This gelding’s efforts have also been good, but likely not enough to reverse the result of the previous contest. (7) STONEBRIDGE BETTOR returned to winning ways on the same card as the choice’s romp and appears to be back in good form. With an effective drive, he will have a chance down the lane.
Race 8 – (3) SMILE IN STYLE’s times are very competitive, and her early speed makes her a threat. St. Louis has been unable to get her home in two tries, but this field seems a touch easier. (7) BLISSFULLANNMARIE tops this class in pure ability, but her win chances are hindered by the trailing position and disappointing form to this point. Still, she warrants consideration. (4) ACTION ROYAL GRIN steps away from some very stern opposition and should be now in the mix in a wide-open race.
Race 9 – (3) REGAL MAC races for the deadly combo of Nostadt and St. Louis, both of whom will certainly look to improve the gelding after his dismal prior start. A palatable price may be available too. (4) FOR KEVINS SAKE brought home a comprehensive win last week in wire-to-wire fashion. His performances are sharp, and he has every chance to take home another here. (6) ADDITUDE has been competitive at similar levels for years and seems to be in a strong patch. Leave off your tickets at your own peril.
Race 10 – (7) YNOTHOS is the only multiple-race winner this year and the highest-quality horse in the contest. Shaw’s drive will dictate her chances today, and I fancy the chances for a good one. (4) A BIT A BILLIE has put forth solid efforts in weeks past, and she contends with one of her softest fields of the meet. I give her a big chance. (1) ONIMPULSE has struck once this season already, and drawing the rail here means she gets a big advantage in a wide-open affair.
LEAMINGTON HANDICAPPING CHALLENGE STANDINGS
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