Overall Bets: $ $
Cash: $ $
Best Win Bet: $12 on Crafty Master in the 2nd
Best Longshot Win Bet: $12 on Axelerate Seelster in the 4th
Best Place Bet:$10 on New York Nightmare in the 7th
Best Show Bet: $13 on Axelerate Seelster in the 4th
Worst Win Bet:$15 on THISORTHAT HANOVER in the 3rd
Overall synopsis: If the chalk is good tonight, he is pretty close to a slam dunk for me.
Probable Favorite: DAMFOOLRMILLIONAIR
DAMFOOLRMILLIONAIR will get my top call. He moved up to the Preferred last time, likely before he was ready, without beating these, and he raced pretty good. He left hard but was forced to a 2 hole. Slipped out on the final turn and raced solid to the wire. The field was deep, and he isn't quite ready to go with those yet. Back in with these, with his gate speed, he makes his own luck and wins or loses on his own merit. I don't see anything racing to his level in this race currently. He isn't he ML choice, but I expect him to be the heavy favorite. I'm hoping he stays above even money to make him viable. Solid place bet in that I think Whiskey Tax isn't making the ticket, inflating that price and maybe getting almost as much to place as to win, with less risk overall.
Value Win Price 6-5
WINDSONG GEANT looked like his old self, last time, meaning wonky gaited and being held together by the driver. He goes with it, but you can't drive him full out. When he gets like that, he is hard to like. Jody ditches him for a long shot. That should tell you what he thinks here. I list him 2nd, but he would have to be fixed up to be likeable. Watch him parade. He shows you how he is that night at slow speed.
WHISKEY TAX Durand went to Campbell last time, and that drew the price and aggressive steer. Parked to the quarter, he had every chance to get it done. It still wasn't enough to even get him on the ticket. Fillion this time. He just isn't the same horse, and in my view, has lost a couple of steps.
WHITE BECOMES HER would seem to have raced better last time, but really she pocket popped, opened up, and then hung on, just like the time before. The time before she didn't hang on. Mostly because she had to go faster in the 3rd quarter. Mario was chasing her home both times, and now she moves up to face a few who will go by her if she tries that tactic again. As a 4yo trotting mare, she is finding the going a lot tougher with these. She isn't good enough to go with top mares, and there isn't restricted classes for her to compete against like last year. She appears to be between a rock and a hard place.
MONEY MAVEN--was close to a toss for me. He picked off a very tired leader last time, and another who is a grinder but rarely wins. I think there are at least a couple in here he can't touch if they show up. His only shot is they don't and he completely trips out. He also moves up, and he rarely wins. I don't see it.
NORTHERN VICTORY--went to the back and closed with the pack last time. I could see him doing that again, because currently that is pretty much what he's got. At some point, he will turn back around. Even if that is tonight, I'd think he was 2nd best to my top choice.
STRONG HOPE--speed isn't everything. Class matters and when you meet others who will repel you, it doesn't matter how fast you went last time. It's the bursts of speed in a mile that show up.
TOTALLY RIPPED--ships back from Barrie, where he got his confidence back. He has a lot of talent, but he also has breaking issues. I will watch him tonight to see where he is at, but he is a big longshot to even make the ticket, let alone win. Not a toss though. You never toss one like this.
Overall synopsis: Claimers, which we don't see that much of anymore at WEG, are a different ballgame than normal pacers. Each week they go good or bad, and you have to try and figure out which direction they are headed before they do, if you want value. I attempt to do that here. I picked the two going in the right direction, and booked the two I think are going in the wrong one. The rest are bit players.
Probable Favorite: TWOMICKEYTRIP
CRAFTY MASTER Tried it on the front two back and got swamped at the tote board. Last time, he was well back of the gate, then rushed up to catch it but enough that Trevor could wrangle him back, he took back, sat last and followed very dead cover, then shifted inside at the top of the stretch and had lots of go, but too far to come. I could see more of a battle this time, and hopefully he gets away closer to mid pack, in striking position, and passes them all at the price. Top call. I think the ML is about where he should be. I would give a bit on that if he parades okay. He doesn't always.
Value Win Price 9-2
BEACH HERO left a ton last time, went a huge trip when he vacated the pocket and was much the best. He looked pretty iffy the few starts before that, but with claimers, every week is another week and they can get good--really good--for a short while. If anything beats my top choice here, it's probably this one. He didn't look anywhere near as suspect at the wire last time as he has for a while. That is a very positive sign.
ODYSSEUS BLUECHIP first time ever claimer, but he doesn't find a softer spot to compete. I have never liked him much anyway. He is mostly a non trier, and I don't see him doing well with most of these as is.
TWOMICKEYTRIP backed up last time, 2nd time Moreau, and Joe C took him. He missed last week, so its anybody's guess which one will show up this time. The crazy fast pacer who bears out in the lane but keeps going forward, or the one who was driving straight, winning once, but then stopping. I will go against him. There is enough speed and live ones in here to take him down either way. Massey only makes it easier to play against this guy.
KEYSTONE DALTON--isn't as sharp as he was when Brewer first got him and tuned him up. Jody gunned him that night and he was long gone on them. Since then, he has reverted back to his follow and finish evenly tactic. More of the same likely here. I like others better.
AMBLE OVER HANOVER--left and followed last time, but gapped down the lane, while he held 2nd. Barely. At this level, he is in very tough. Not quite a toss, but not really win worthy in my view. Back down for 15/20, with a decent post, he is very playable.
MODERN XHIBIT--is a nice cheque getter at this level, but not in the top tier. CC stays in for a reason. That is the best move to pick up money.
Overall synopsis: Thisorthat. Can she be beaten tonight? Can, yes. Likely, no. But, I will take a shot at her. She is, still a green 2yo, no matter how good she looks. They make mistakes and learn as they go. Treating them like aged pacers is a mistake those make who get sucked in on short priced nursery school types. They win enough, but not enough to cover the times they don't. I like to be on the other side of that fence, or pass the race if I think they are just about bulletproof. I see the chance for the flak jacket to fail here.
Probable Favorite: THISORTHAT HANOVER
MACH MAJORETTE is just a little filly, and A Mac raced her easy but not soft last time. He let them settle, picked up a live helmet, stuck to it and then she kept digging right to the wire when that one ducked for cover once she was repelled by the very large winner. Solid first effort and if she can get away closer, follow the live helmet of either of my 2 next choices, she has a shot with some improvement. Price makes her viable if I get it. I list my low end target, but I'd expect much higher. I wouldn't be surprised to see upper teens if the chalk gets hammered down.
Value Win Price 9-1
THISORTHAT HANOVER was dominant, start to finish last time. As Sportswriter's go, she is slicker, straighter and smoother than most I've seen. And obviously she has major speed and go, and seems mature beyond her age in terms of going when asked, and rating when needed. All that being said, she is beatable when challenged. Tonight? Maybe. Likely not. But at 1-5 or less, she is impossible to play on top. Or even place, in that there is likely a bridgejumper on board for that.
THATSOVERYVERYNICE is an obvious danger in here. Unseen to this point, but certainly well prepped and the speed seems to be there. However, first lifetime start for a purse. That puts her in the hole to my top 2 choices. Minor shot, but very legit shot. She was only asked once really in her qualifier, which I post below. She had mild urging and was pacing away, much the same trip as my 2nd choice went in the race last time.
GOLDEN IDOL--was well back of the winner last time, the chalk in here, and that had more to give, which she likely will tonight. Can't see this one. She is probably a few steps on the ladder behind her at this stage.
SOUTHWIND TANGO--has not showed the speed of these and now comes off a 7 day vet scratch, which is suspect to begin with, being that she qualified two days earlier and was already entered to race. No thanks. She will have to be seen and rated.
DANISH N COFFEE--Mach Three filly, 3 time qualifier, ships up and lands in Pentland's barn. She seems well up against it here. If she can get around a half, she will be pointed to the Grassroots in all likelihood.
CONNIE MACH--first time starter. Who knows what she's got. If something is taking down the chalk here, I don't think its her. This race might go in 53 flat...or less. The best I'd see for this one is 54. That doesn't get her the win photo tonight.
WATCHING FOR A FUTURE PLAY
ROSY OUTLOOK--is impossible to read. Very solid and fast the first time, ran at the start and didn't recover the next time, and now goes right into a Gold race for her first start for a purse. Jody ditches her, a Menary pupil, for a likely better option. I will watch to see what she looks like for later. Can't go near her tonight.
Overall synopsis: I have a significant angle play here if you read all the comments. I don't like the chalk, or the next 2 in line, and I like others for the reasons I state. Your call.
Probable Favorite: HARD ROCK
AXELERATE SEELSTER back when I was owning and training, Bill Budd was the man. He was known as a fixer. He took many horses that couldn't go, or go much and made them go. A lot. And for a good while Concord Al comes to mind, but he wasn't the only one. They used to say "Who's the best? Billy Budd's the best." He now has a much smaller stable, but he still gets results with horses like Nirvana Seelster, and others. This horse clearly needs fixing. He has speed, but he is very lame and could not drive straight once those issues piled up on him at speed. Enter Billy Budd tonight. With an ownership change. That would indicate he had seen the horse go and either liked him, or knew what to try and fix.
He has been off almost a month now, but I'm guessing there was significant fine tuning going on. Further, Jody was a Flamboro guy for a very long time, and Billy Budd was the top or one of the top drivers at Flamboro for most of the 80s and part of the 90s. So, if he tells Jody to race him like he is much better, he will do so. I will play that angle tonight, at the price because the pedigree horse is likely to be overbet.
Value Win Price 18-1
UNIX HANOVER was solid last time on the transition to this track, and Phil was hacking away on him down the lane to nab 3rd. His breeding doesn't thrill me, but he has a longshot chance if the trip works out. I'd definitely use him on my pick 4 ticket.
SHOE SHINE is coming along, and now gets Trevor over Mike Whelan. That is an upgrade, but Mike Whelan is capable enough. The price gets shortened on that angle alone, as well as his 2nd over this track. I will call him 3rd, as I like my top 2 choices better. Not going to take his action though. He is more than capable and has a legit shot. Price likely doesn't match chance in my view.
HARD ROCK reasons below
FOCUS POWER--won at Georgian coming a back half in a minute. At this track, he gets passed by legit horses trying that. He appears to be a B track horse, but I will list him minor shot one more time. If he doesn't step up, he is on the no shot list going forward.
ARAZI--drew the 10 hole last time, got parked leaving but finished okay. He gets the 6 hole here, and that is the best spot to be on the car if you are a leaver. His previous miles were good. He is coming along, but for tonight, I go elsewhere. On the ticket for sure if he keep doing what he has been doing. He will need to do a bit more now to get the win prize.
JIMMY BE GOOD--I ask again, for the 3rd week in a row. Why is this horse racing at WEG?
BIG MAGICK--has horrific form and seems to be going backwards to me. He has tried Grand River and Georgian, and that didn't work either. 9 hole tonight. Total pass.
SILVERADO---very late starting 4yo with the 10 hole first timer for a very low percentage trainer. Trip around the track, and we shall see what the next move is.
SABINE PASS--first time starter has some breeding and upside from the performance of his qualifier. If he paraded good, I'd toss him on the pick 4, but otherwise I'd just watch him to see what he is like.
WATCHING FOR A FUTURE PLAY
HARD ROCK--Is well related, as most know. The thing with pedigree plays is that full brothers and sisters are usually flops or very much a cut below the superstar sibling. Tell me the name of Falcon Almahurst's full brother? You can't. Look him up. Hawk Almahurst. Flop. Total flop. HARD ROCK is also late to the races, after a failed attempt at 2, which included breaks in stride. He seems to have qualified okay, and only got beat by a proven Stakes mare, and he left well and smooth...but...he was bearing out very bad in that test and I suspect under pressure he will be in trouble. I will watch for tonight, and book his very short price.
Probable Favorite: EXEMPLAR
JOSEPH GERARD left a bit last time, but others were faster and he isn't the type you can gun out full out with confidence. That left him sitting and buried on the rail, with no way out until it was too late to matter. If you get past the favorite in here, who could easily be running before the start, and the next logical one, who runs all the time at any point in the mile, there isn't that much that is any better than him if he is good Joseph tonight. He is very tough if he makes front and gets his own way. If he is good, I expect P Mac to try that here.
Value Win Price 15-1
EXEMPLAR world of talent. Just as much baggage to check as he approaches liftoff. I will stay away from him. He is more trouble than he is worth when the price will be short, which it will tonight.
EXEMPLAR reasons above.
BAGS FOR ALL--is being raced strangely. Taken to Hoosier on 4 days rest and then not raced for a month, comes back here in a tough spot. I can't go near her. She has looked suspect a few times, even when she has raced okay. Pass, but mindful of who trains her and what she is capable of.
KINETIC KING--talented and very fast horse when he is on his game. He probably has Preferred ability, but he needed to dive to the bottom to win last time. I will pass on him and his short price tonight, but in the pick 4, you have to use him on the chance he behaves and is as good as he can be. If he was and did, he would likely steamroll this bunch.
CAN I SAY--bears out horrible even when she goes forward. There are enough in here to suggest that will cost her a shot at the win, if she is even in the mix for that, which is debatable.
WAIKIKI HANOVER--1 for 31, rat. Easiest toss of the night.
KENNEL BUDDY--appears to be about 2 steps over his head with many of these.
FLEXIBLE WOMAN---went to the back and raced with the pack, as a no threat to the winner last time. At this level, she seems to be in too deep. I can't see her.
O U SEXY GUY---very low percentage winner from the 10 hole at a level well above where he usually a check getter or infrequent tripped out winner. Pass.
ROSE RUN ORIANA--her last at this track was not good, and she has missed some time now after a failed Georgian try. She won at the bottom when she tripped out completely, but at this level, with some tough customers, she is overmatched, unless she returns to what she became two years ago. That is strictly a longshot possibility.
synopsis: Kays Shadow should be much the best tonight and have some fear factor after the move she made last week. My 2nd choice looks very solid for that spot. They should be 1-2 all the way around and finish that way.
Probable Favorite: KAYS SHADOW
KAYS SHADOW you don't see many young 2yo fillies making their first lifetime start pull the 3 hole when the first up backstretch popper hasn't cleared, but that is what Fillion did last time. And then when headed, she simply let out a notch and was long gone. All of that adds up to a single in the pick 4 for me. She is a giant of a filly, and she paces smooth. Maybe later in the season some of these catch up to her, or she meets ThisorThat and they go toe to toe. Unlikely as they are trained by the same trainer, so it would only happen in the Superfinal. Or something else comes along. Tonight, she behaves, she is in a world of her own. I can't play straight win, because I fully expect to see 1-5 here, and that is a waste of cash flow. Single in the pick 4 for me.
MANIANA sat a solid 2nd to a bearcat last time who walked the 2nd quarter and paced away from her and the rest. If you take that one out of the mix, this girl wired the balance. I think she is solid again for 2nd here, to one who is likely better than the one who beat her last time.
All the rest.
KEYSTONE PAULA--a first time starter that doesn't get the automatic toss from me from the 9 hole. Only because she shows talent and Erv Miller is the trainer. Still probably 3rd best, but respect has to be paid to guys like Miller who know young horses and where to spot them.
BIG WHITE PEARL--shows nothing yet to suggest she is even a Grassroots worthy entry.
STONEBRIDGE PEARL--came a big back half. Now, she would have to get to the half much faster and still take 4 seconds off her overall time. I don't think so. Might be a nice Grassroots filly if I like what I see. No shot, but watching also.
NOONE TO DEPEND ON---seems like a nice enough filly to win a few this year, be it in conditions or a Grassroots. Not with these types.
WESTERN LYNX--shows enough promise to not toss in this spot, but she was still 7 lengths behind a wrapped up winner she meets again with a post disadvantage. Looking for 3rd or 4th money tonight.
WATCHING FOR A FUTURE PLAY
SOUTHWIND SHANIA-- broke at the start last time and looked bad doing it. This is a very tough spot to come back and try. So, I will give the benefit of the doubt to Coleman and think she might be okay to play at some point, and watch her to see if she is better tonight. That doesn't get her the win today, but it gets my attention.
NORTHERN PRIMA--went to KD to start out after her Mohawk preps, and was raced for experience. I am not sure what to make of this one, so another I watch but don't see as a threat to the top 2, or really the top 4 likely players.
Overall synopsis: If the Montini horse is as good as I think, he should blow these away, at hopefully a still decent price. Pretty soft, top to bottom, after him.
Probable Favorite: NEW YORK NIGHTMARE
NEW YORK NIGHTMARE joins the Montini outfit and has paced some decent miles up to this point, taking monster chalk money at Buffalo and getting beat. That suggests somebody thought he had big talent but he didn't get it done that night. I am not a big Montini fan, but with this type of horse, he is good and its a good angle. If he improves him 1 second, he bests this bunch. Top call but I have to have my price point to play him.
Value Win Price 8-5
ALONEINSPADES backed up badly last time, going left and right in the lane liked he was very stressed. That is not a good recommendation to fend off some tougher foes tonight.
SHIPPEN OUT nice enough horse, but hardly ever shows enough to suggest he wins one until the winter and the better ones have won out or are in the field. He is 1 for 34 life.
MYSTICAL JET--has major issues and I wont go near him. He has talent. That gives him a minor shot. Not my money though. His last line was horrid and Jones sends them right back out without doing much to fix them, as we saw with Nat A Virgin the other night.
WILDCAT LIGHTNING--daylighted a very suspect bunch last time, finally popping his cherry. Now what? Contend with these? Nope. Wrong answer. Cheque hunt for a while then go to KD or Georgian and try to win that purse before the fall and the conditioned claimers come back around and the better ones have won out of that also.
DEES ROCKETMAN--was on his hands and knees to break his maiden against future Flamboro conditioned claimers. Nuff said in with this bunch.
LIBRADO HANOVER--off a month and he wasn't very impressive before that. 9 hole ensures a back of the bus ride and possible 4th money attempt.
WILD BILL M--ships in from Northville where he made a big score one moving on rats to simply out class them. That isn't going to work here, and I think he is overbet tonight. So, I won't touch him, but with these, you just never know what to expect.
WATCHING FOR A FUTURE PLAY
MITCHELL BLUE CHIP--ran at the start last time. I will watch him this time if he can get around and see what he can do. As a Western Canada shipper, you rarely get a read on their proper class level until you see them compete. In real terms, there are no softer horses out there than Century Downs types. They go 59 over that track when any of these would easily go 55.
Overall synopsis: Playing for the upset and trip. Its a gamble. A lot has to go right and I am at the mercy of a trip scenario here. Not fond of the faves here at their likely short prices.
Probable Favorite: COCO LINDY
HLDONTGHTTOYURDRMS did nothing from the back last time, as he wont work hard for it most nights. From the inside, with Fillion, he is gunning, letting one go and hoping for a seam or lane in the stretch to come back on. At the right price, I will play him for that chance. If the front is Little Red Chev, she is a good one to follow. She carries you a very long way.
Value Win Price 8-1
COCO LINDY the obvious choice. He chased Etruscan's tail in vain last time, and while he is certainly live, viable and proven at this track and level, he draws the short price tonight and I slot him 2nd and play for a better percentage return.
LITTLE RED CHEV likes the front and will get it. Carrying it all the way with these has not been proven, so I think she gets picked up down the lane, and stays possibly for 3rd.
SLIP INTO GLIDE --the classic tease. So much talent, so little heart. So many wins and money made, so much chalk burned each year. I will go with chalk burning tonight. He got it done last time. Now, one more level up the ladder, he gets picked up if he goes the front end route.
WINDSUN REVENGE--is tough to ignore, but I think he gets the same trip as last time, or in the flow with little flow, and comes on too late or is spent. I will wait for another day on him. Sharp, but the race might not set up for him tonight.
ZEUS LIGHTNING--has enough recent back class to always respect him. I just like so many ahead of him here, I go elsewhere. He is dangerous, but I wouldn't play him. I'd leave him off my late pick 4 ticket, as you have to make choices and he is much more likely to fail than succeed.
BURNIN MONEY--was off stride, gapping the gate badly last time and didn't look good at all. He would be an easy toss, but he beats these the odd time when he is good, and he turns on a dime form wise. I don't like him, but he is always dangerous. He drops out of the Preferred, where he currently doesn't belong. Either way, he would have to be a lot better than his last few to take these down. This isn't a soft spot for him.
ADVERSITY---tripped out last time, swung wide and passed them all. He is still pretty erratic, but very talented. Respect him, but I go elsewhere to others who wont be trip dependent.
CHARLIE IS A JOKER--hardly ever wins, and this is about as bad a spot for him to do it as can be. Mario chose the better entry of the stable, and I booked that one anyway.
Overall synopsis: The softest of the 3 splits, and therefore the most wide open. Hard to hang your hat on Betty Hill.
Probable Favorite: BETTY HILL
TWENTY THREE RED was leaving hard last time then ran, but recovered. Whatever it was, I'm sure it has been corrected and Sylvain will gun out again...after a hard score out to make sure she is all set. Watch for that if the camera is on her. It's the sign she is ready to rumble.
Value Win Price 4-1
FREE SHOW got around last time, and did okay. Jody had a hot prospect of his fathers who ran, but he takes back over here. She has a legit shot in a weak split if she keeps progressing.
ALWAYS COVERS ships up to O'Sullivan from Croghan, who used to be his top assistant. They ship them back and forth to each other and have the same program. She has a shot. First time starter, but in this group, there isn't much edge for the ones who have raced.
BETTY HILL pretty much wired them last time, as she cleared and went down the pike. J Mac takes the rail horse, so Drury is on. I think she is a solid play against on the short price. Risk/reward. She is viable, but overbet in my view. And vulnerable when tested by better this time, including the 2nd place horse she beat last time.
TWIN B THONG went first up to a bearcat last time, headed her, and then ducked in when that one just began to pace away. That was a solid effort, and it will draw significant tote money along with Betty Hill. I will book them both. I think the winner is one of my top 3, although which I am not certain. CC takes over. That is a plus. It also shortens her price tonight.
MATTJESTIC TEMPO--was solid last time, and can't be discounted. But, she loses her driver, who chooses another, and he isn't dead locked into that trainer now. That is a negative for me. It doesn't cinch her as a no shot type, but it leads me to go elsewhere when I was already inclined to do so anyway.
MISS READ--is shipped up off three solid baby race preps, which she won all of them. Post 8, first time starter for a purse, and since this is a soft division, lots of guys leaving thinking they can get a good chunk if they get spotted up near the lead. That leaves her near the back. No good tonight for the win play, so I will just watch her. She has a shot, but a very minor one.
DOCS SAUSALITO--doesn't show anything to suggest she is in the top 4 prospects in this split. A curious entry.
Overall synopsis: Trip is key in a race like this. You have to try and predict where every horse is likely to be and how that helps or hurts their cause, and therefore the fortunes of others as well. I will attempt to do that.
Probable Favorite: SANTANNA BLUE CHIP
YUCATAN improved when in for the tag, and now hits the lowest condition. He will be tough to beat with these, but he is no cinch.
Value Win Price 5-2
BUGGER BRUISER ships back up here from the States, where he did a tour of many tracks searching for a place to do well. No luck. He has been pretty good here before, although nothing like he was at 2. With his gate speed, and his driver tonight, he has a shot if the trip works out.
TOMITTA BAYAMA 55.4 at Dresden is not to be taken lightly. He needs to step up, but he's in the mix with these.
SANTANNA BLUE CHIP seems logical, but he is such a trip horse at this point, and was even at 2 and 3, that he is hard to back at short odds. One of many in my view.