Thursday, May 18, 2017

first five


1 Eve Duharas doesn't appear to be much stock. She is 4 now, and she has 1 lifetime win, taken at Rideau last August when Pierre Bovay had her. In that race, she was the longest shot on the board at 21-1 in a 7 horse field where she was sent to the top and wired them. Since then, she has done zip. She has moved to Ben B's barn, and two qualifiers in, there doesn't seem to be any progress at all. She was 9th of 9 in the last one, way back the entire way, never gaining. She will have to be seen for future plays. Not tonight for me.

2 Hab Faith didn't win in 8 starts last year, but she was fairly steady and competitive. That is half the battle in these trot maiden races when there are no future bearcat standouts like there was on Monday in the 3rd race. That is in her favor tonight. She seemed to do her better work last year at the B tracks in the Grassroots when she had good posts and got out ahead of any commotion. When she tried the Grassroots on her return to Mohawk, she was unlucky in that she hooked Magic Presto, a Breeders Crown winner, and Anikadabra, a Grassroots final winner who rarely lost at 2. She was shut down after her next start, when it was obvious she was tired and others had caught up to her. Her return qualifier on May 12th was good, but not spectacular. She is in the mix, but others look a bit better to this point. If they behave, she is likely chasing their tails. If they don't, she could fall into a win here. 

3 Asa Im Ready did not race at 2, and debuts off one qualifier with Per holding the lines. As noted this week, the rail is very deep and bad for any horse, let alone a green trotter. That is to be taken into account here as she starts her career. She is perhaps she is better than we think, and even if she goes evenly here but shows flashes of talent, I might be tempted to take her next time at a price, on the premise she had some things against her in the qualifier and Per is test driving and tuning her tonight. Some back story on the horse and connections. Her dam, All Ready Hanover was also no good at 2, but they bought her for 5k at the Harrisburg mixed sale, and turned her around completely at 3, winning a division of the Casual Breeze in 1:53.4. They kept the dam and bred her to Muscle Massive, an odd choice if you race primarily in Ontario, so obviously they have a reason to do that. These people know trotters. She is one to watch. Because of all that, I'd be tempted to toss her on the pick 5 to be safe, although, again, she is likely out for a training mile tonight. According to Hamilton, she is still eligible to the Hambo Oaks. That speaks volumes at this stage.

4 Regal Magician has 2 qualifiers under his belt, where in both, 4 days apart, he started way back. In the 2nd one, he picked up the bit and worked for his position on the outside, fading late to a pretty nice trotter in Dancer Hall. He is obviously learning as he goes, but he does most everything right so far and he shows nice back half speed, whether he parks or he just follows. That is good to see when you are trying to figure out if one like this will go forward and when he might do that. Slow starts in races like this though can get you a lot of road trouble and even some dodging runners when you would rather be trotting into contention. He was a big ticket yearling, his dam has decent pedigree on her side and won a few races while bagging 73k. He is possible, but I will have to see him parade and how he acts when the real racing is done at night. Usable, but must be seen.

5 Dunbar Hall is still learning, and the learning curve appears fairly slow with this one. He is a full brother to Danielle Hall, who was a very good and reliable 2yo, but terrible at 3 and never returned to be anything after that. This guy couldn't get it together at 2, but he did trot in 55.2 over The Red Mile on the one day when he did to get 2nd money in the Bluegrass. He paraded last time like I expected him to, jumping around and running, but got his act together going to the gate, where he was floated out carefully by JJ, making his way to the top, but handling him like that to keep him going cost him late when he got tired. He is progressing, and has a shot tonight, but I still prefer others. He should make a decent older horse, even a solid fall 3yo when he puts it all together. This is just a straight maiden, so, he doesn't have to be a finished product to beat these. Shot.

6 Late Shift will be my top choice off the variables and for the price I expect to see when I consider how the raceline looks on the page to those who wouldn't take the time to watch his last race. He has post 6 tonight, and very little speed inside him. Last time, he left hard and had the lead, but let Per's horse--the favorite--go to the top and followed him all the way to the last turn. It was an awful night, and the track was bad, Per's horse sat in J Mac's lap, and he had nowhere to go for most of the stretch, finally just giving up and coasting in to finish 4th after a horrid shuffle. He is 0 for 10 lifetime, but kept decent company last year, shows to be a consistent and reliable leaver, and has solid yet unspectacular speed. I would think a few in here will go on to be much better class horses than him, but for tonight, he could be in the right spot to get the job done.

7 Pinecone Pete is a homebred making his first lifetime start off one qualifier, which frankly was nothing to write home about. He is another that has to be seen. Pass for tonight.

8 A Doozy made 10 starts last year, including a 90-1 attempt at the Peaceful Way that was grounded before it could even take off as she on the run before the start and she never trotted. She did the same thing the next start, regrouped with trotting hopples, but, it didn't help and broke again one more time in October before she was shut down. She qualified back okay and while she is a huge longshot, she isn't a toss either. Fillion and Milner have done pretty good together in the past on some young horses. Consider.

9 Lady Justice couldn't get a win in many starts last year, but she did make 52k and also made the Gold Superfinal. She qualified back decent but she draws bad here. Her experience and class, with the speed she has already shown are all pluses, and in that many of these will either run off the gate or take way back, post 9 isn't the post 9 we view it as in a race like this. If she can get away 4th or 5th and sit to the last turn, she is possible. I'd use her among many in the pick 5.

10 Routine was a solid 3rd in his 3yo debut, and while that was a good recommendation, I find lots of options in this race and a 10 hole leads me to think he is not one of them here. Phil goes to the obvious better prospect with the trainer that has the stock he wants to keep driving. Roger takes over. Pass and watch for another day.
Overall synopsis of this race. Lots of options in this race. I would be going 7 deep and hoping something pops from the ones I mentioned who could tonight. It only takes one of them to do that. Even if a chalkier one does it, its still a lukewarm chalk and you aren't locked into a 1-5 shot when you went 7 deep. Post parade is important here, and you get to see them all for a few minutes before you put the bet in. That is the advantage of Race 1 in a Daily Double or pick 5 bet.


1 Happy Trio was pretty reliable at 2 and only really didn't perform when he made a break at Grand River, which is forgivable. He made the Gold Superfinal, drew the 9 hole, but still got up for 4th money off a back end trip. He has qualified back adequately, with the 2 qualifier variable O'sullivan seems to like to use to make sure his are ready to perform right off the shelf. He gets to start back with a soft nw2 class and that should have been enough to make him a solid top pick. However, post 1 is horrendous currently, and I'm sure he is being pointed at some pretty big local dances that are close on the horizon. I doubt he is blasted out and while I will stick with him on top, he is no single or sure thing tonight. One of many. Slight edge.

2 Lawrencetown Beach
like his older full brother Melmerby Beach, he has a lot of talent, but just as many issues to go with them. He is also being aimed at big dances as that one was without the on track performance to back that up that one had. He got out on the engine last time with a jam up in the backfield taking many out of the mix, and a couple of others who didn't want to move early, so he got butter soft fractions to half to accelerate off of. Which he did. While I think he has a bright future, that is not the analysis I am doing here. For tonight, and the likely short price he brings, I will go against him. He will have to progress a lot to handle some stakes placed and decent winners. These aren't green maidens. No free pass this time.

3 Bills Fella has some ability, but can also be dangerous at times. He fell in one of his early starts last year, and when Saftic took over, he was very careful to keep him back and out of trouble, gradually letting him find himself and work towards winning form, and he got it done. McNair was at the lines when he fell last year, and he ran on him off the gate in the first qualifier this year. Saftic got him around in the 2nd one, but again, he kept him well back and out of trouble. That wont play with this bunch. Pass and watch. I'd think he is going into a Grassroots at some stage, and unless he becomes more reliable, he is a good play against at short odds at a track where neither Saftic or McNair are traveling to have him stand on his head into the first turn. He is on my watch list, and not because he is some live prospect.

4 Twin B Cowboy could possibly get it done tonight and I say that for one reason. He was fairly classy last year, making the rich NYSS final at Yonkers and getting 3rd money, and it was noted by the talking heads last time that Dr. Moore said he didn't warm up good, and he didn't seem to like the track when he was raced, although he wasn't horrid either. He comes back on two weeks, and I suspect  Moore has attempted to rectify whatever his problem was. I don't like the horses breeding at all, being a Roll With Joe from a The Panderosa mare, which screams to me a horse who wont fight for the win when asked to do so. I would expect if he is live tonight that Trevor puts him on the engine and tries to wire them. Will that work? I don't know, but he is an option if some other horses have issues, namely the 1 and 2, and he can get away with a soft 2nd quarter. Reasonable shot.

5 Clouseau Hanover is 1 for 24 lifetime and that was a win off a very good trip deep in the winter. He appears likely to be racing in a 20k conditioned claimer that we see later on in this card by the fall. He started out as a prospect last summer, but as many of us know, most fail on that trail and look to find levels and develop later when they put it together. He doesn't look dangerous in this race and possibly could use a trainer change as well. He isn't performing.

6 In Spades broke his maiden March 19th at Flamboro but couldn't take the maidens at this track when he still had earning room left to do that. Its not many horses that never break their maiden at this track that move up to nw2 and face the types he meets here with high aspirations and the actual performance to justify those hopes. He is hard to like, even with the best post and best current driver at this track. He does consistently finish well, and that will serve him well if he finds the right field to make that profitable. This doesn't look like that spot.

7 Fusion Five broke his maiden in March, before the better colts started to surface. He didn't have much next out, and was given a short rest. I don't like him tonight, but he might be another that finds a level and will improve with 5 or 6 more starts. He probably would have been better off staying a maiden for 5 more starts, but he won himself into a tough spot. Watch for tonight.

8 Biggieteen ships in from The Meadows from a low claimer, off almost a month and draws bad. That is the trifecta of negatives to start his stay at Chez WEG. Just for kicks, lets add two more. He is a Mister Big. Nuff said there, and he broke his maiden in fractions that would gap out in a qualifier at some B tracks around here. I'm sure there is a reason time was taken to send him to one of the toughest harness circuits around from one that lets you race in cheap conditioned claimers. What that is, you got me? All that being said, he is probably a cinch.

9 Down on My Luck won a Grassroots at Grand River at 2 by getting a very cheap half and using that to get home first. He went backwards entirely after that. He draws bad here, against a bunch that look a lot more talented than him. I will have to see where he is at, and rate him for the likely Grassroots shot he will be taking this summer. Not tonight.

10 Some Attitude is named right, as he has one. An attitude that is. Not always a bad thing, when you learn how to manage it. It comes attached with a lot of raw speed, which is buried in his high end breeding on both sides of the pedigree. P Mac is his regular ride and that is important for one like him, but he has to take his own charge in this one. Randy is MacIntosh's preferred colt driver anyway, so he will be a capable replacement. Post 10 tonight and he is getting a late start for one that has aspirations of racing in the NA Cup. He paced in 52 over Delaware during Jug week, and that is nothing to discount, although he did that chasing Downbytheseaside's tail from a long distance back. Pass and watch tonight. He has enough strikes to leave him off the pick 5 ticket tonight. Next week will be a different story if he shows me he has come back more mature and as strong as he was last year. He was very physically imposing on the track last year. That is to his credit going forward. He just needs his brain to catch up to his body.


1 Grana Padanno has upset potential in with this group. Post 1 and Mario are strikes against, but price makes it tolerable to accept that. He had post 10 last time against a decent group that stack up pretty well with this bunch, top to bottom. Underneath that line, he has two rails and a 9 hole on this circuit, where he raced decently, got a cheque in two of those, and gunned out from the outside in the other and paid the price for that. More recently, he went to Flamboro, where he won one of those and was a solid 2nd in the other. I can think of good reasons not to like many of the apparent viable ones here, so, I can list him underneath my top choice with a shot if he can get away clean, close up enough to pop out on the turn with a one move brush to try and get there. Price play add.

2 P L Jerico held good form moving up the ladder but he seemed spent from the get go last time and backed away badly. That was 17 days ago, and he just doesn't figure in here with a reasonably deep and tough bunch. His back to back wins have backed him into a corner and he will have to wait a few starts to get out of jail. Pass.

3 Mass Production did little wrong last year and did it right when it mattered most on Superfinal night when he trotted away from them all like they weren't there. Upon his return, he has used the 2 qualifier preparation, which seems to be the new normal, and in both, he toyed with the ones behind him, mostly inferior and green horses trying to stay out of their own way. Nevertheless, he is very talented, one year older and looking to have a big season and earn big bucks. No reason for Zeron to go wild and take shots at salty veterans like Tony Soprano, Grana Padanno and Exemplar. Minor shot on talent, but hard to like on age, experience and motivation to try tonight. I will leave him off the pick 5 and go deeper in race 1, where that is likely to pay off and is wiser in terms of chance of getting upset.

4 Sass if this horse was a pacer, he would be Melmerby Beach. He has a world of talent, and also a ton of issues that derail him some nights. The obvious one being prone to making breaks and completely blowing up. Perhaps he comes back at 4 and matures out of that. Some do. Like others of Steacy, he qualified but didn't race right away, and now has had 3 weeks between that appearance and this race. The one the other night with that variable raced short. I'd have to think this one is up against it tonight on all of that summed together. I would expect the typical J Mac steer here when he has one of these....take back, stay back, be 4th over and then come wide and brush late for whatever that gets. To me, that probably is 4th or 5th here, possibly 3rd if one of the contenders jumps it off.

5 Tony Soprano looks to be building towards a win and a progression to the Preferred. He was a topnotch 2yo who faced the best and held his own. His 3yo year never worked out, but that happens with some. He followed cover flow last time, but it was excessive and took him wide, while the dropping winner opened up daylight and hung on for dear life. He came at her and the other one but couldn't reach. He drops a notch from that level and gets a solid post. He looks like the one to me, but he is also beatable and has showed many times he doesn't always decide he feels like racing that night. Top call, but others need to be used as backups.

6 Batoutahill concluded a very good run with a 53.3 score in March, and was shut down to be bred. She returns now, and she probably needs at least one to tackle this bunch, which are a much tougher group than she was facing in the winter. I will watch.

7 Duh Bubbees left out last time, first off a long layoff and one qualifier, and while he was hung out the entire way, he did clear and make the lead, only to be swamped and passed by a few and the winner just sailed by them all. He moves up here, as 5th money earned him out of that class. No shot tonight, but the way he was gassed out last time, coupled with the big price wins he has produced before makes me keep an eye on him for the drop back down. He can be very variable, even more so than most trotters.

8 Exemplar has had terrible posts on the page for a long time, outside of one 3 hole at Woodbine when he got 2nd to a steamrolling Sargeant Seelster at that stage. He gets another bad post, but gets 2nd time Roy, and all of that in sum gives him a shot to turn the tables on these. He is another who has been higher up and done it before, not in the so distant past that you can't make a case he is one to consider as a longshot play add. That is my call on him tonight.

9 Charlie Is a Joker gets class relief tonight, but he was 75-1 last time, so, its more class reality here. He also gets the 9 hole and is the B team of the stable entry, as Mario opts for the rail horse. He wired a soft bunch a class below this, and on the right day and time of year can even compete at the Preferred level. This is not that time of the season, his form is not great anyway, and he is likely just out to drop another line. 


1 Malwhere didnt race at 2, but looks to have been trained down in Florida by Fred Grant, of Cambest fame. He is on the same cross as Melmerby Beach and his full brother who races earlier on the card. Ergo, big speed potential. His dam is a sister to Malicious, and he had both speed and class as a racehorse. He debuted last time at Pocono on the ship up north from Florida, left hard for a 2 hole, which became a 3 hole, which was no problem for him as he was gapping badly in a very hot pace for maidens. Eventually he came back out on the last turn and finished evenly in a slowing last quarter. He shows up in Blake MacIntosh's barn and draws the rail tonight. I don't expect much from him tonight, but he is one to watch.

2 Aphro Star was 80-1 last time, but was well meant. Fillion left out hard, sat a 2 hole which became a 3 hole, which became a road block when he wisely stayed in but was behind a stopper, got out on the turn, had to tip 3 wide, but came on late as the pace was picking up sharply on a very rainy and wet track and night. He didn't race much at 3, and has just gotten going now at 4, but he looks like a prospect for as long as his legs last. Fillion and Larocque have a positive ROI together and are winning at a 22% clip. He is a top contender for a price with the likelihood the 6 and 7 both take heavy win money here. Of note, in one of his two starts last year, the last one, he won a race in good time for Rideau with two sharp back half quarters. He is a winner among non winners with good form and 3rd off the shelf. All positives when you get a price.

3 Hes Gone Badder went to Flamboro last time and drew the rail, looking to show he is competitive so Joe Hudon can move him and get on with better stock. He got the lead, he got the cheap 2nd quarter, but he also hooked a tough colt for Flamboro types from the Blais barn and he couldn't handle him. He is now 0 for 16 lifetime and gets son Steven to drive him tonight. He looks to be in very deep water with this bunch. He can hope for 5th, but I can't see that he could do any better tonight. He might mature into something, but he is not there yet.

4 Rock on Line raced in the NYSS last year, where he was mostly overmatched, and has moved this year to O'sullivans barn for one of his better and deeper pocketed owners. They owned the sire of this colt, and I'm sure that is an attraction for them on this one. In his first try last time, he drew post 10, went to the back of the bus, where it turned out that was not safe, as he was completely wiped out before the half. To his credit, he regrouped and paced back to back 27.3 quarters out of sight of the field and most eyes. The better post, the 2nd off the shelf and in the new barn, the license to improve off interference and J Mac, who seems to win with these types every now and then, he is another I can use as a possible upset play.

5 Devils Peak has missed 17 days and has done little in the starts he has had to inspire any confidence in me. He now meets tougher and tougher every time, and he looks to be in for a long stay in this class if he doesn't head to the B tracks, if that is plan B. When Georgian opens, that might be a good fit for him. As they haven't tried Flamboro or London, I'm guessing a half mile track is not a good option. Pass.

6 American Sportsman was another bothered by one who stumbled directly in front of him last time and McNair had to veer left and around him into the safety lane, which he did. He then caught up to the 7 horse in this race, followed him but couldn't keep up, and was also steppy and iffy near the wire. He also didn't parade very sound, and being that he is a half brother to Sportswriter, and other pretty nice, but not so durable ones, and the gaps and problems he seems to have had getting into racing shape and staying racing, I will take a pass on him tonight. I'm on the fence as to which direction he will end up going, but my hunch is backwards.

7 Hurricane Beach unlike others, had a clean trip last time, but he was laid way off the pace, came for the leader, but the pace was picking up and he was never going to get to that one. He was a very big ticket yearling, but he has had issues along the way, among them not making the gate and also just not even trying once. He seems to be maturing a bit and looks like a solid contender in with this bunch and the driver he retains here, but he is one of a few in my eyes, not the clear favorite or dominant enough to single. He just isn't reliable or consistent enough yet, and not my top pick either, although I concede he has a decent shot.

8 Blacky Black ships into the Jason Libby barn for his owner who has purchased him, certainly a positive, but he draws bad and he has finished terrible twice in a row at Miami Valley. I will look him over in the post parade, but unless he wows me, he is a watch tonight, not a play.

9 Big Charlie Horse is a decently bred homebred for Carmen's dad, as they raced the dam and she was a pretty good race mare in her day. He looks to have some talent, pacing a back half in 56 and change in his first try. He draws the 9 hole here for his debut, and that is enough to lay off him and watch for future plays. That is my plan with him here. Might be a decent Grassroots type for a big score come June.

10 Go Like a Pro has consistently drawn well, but hasn't done enough to get it done. He is a homebred for MacIntosh, and I suspect he is going out the barn door soon to a new home. Tonight he draws bad in with some pretty decent prospects who look far ahead of him on many variables. Pass.


1 Dreamfair Eternity is bred to be good, and like her mother, she is starting fairly late and doesn't look like she is in any hurry to make waves. Post 1 tonight off one so so qualifier. I will watch and see where she is at. She will have to learn to leave a lot faster than 33 seconds if she is to be viable at this track. Lets see how she improves over the qualifier.

2 Tanzanian was sent to London by McNair, but she didn't even handle those, and he moved her out the door. Based on her breeding, I would expect her to be a poor finisher, and that is what she is. I don't see the ability to keep up at this track in the stretch. Her trainer is also 0 for 18, and I would think he is waiting for Grand River where she can probably earn a decent buck this summer. Pass.

3 Delightful Space looks to have all the variables in her favor here. She gets Trevor from Young, although he has handled her well, she gets a better post, she is 2nd time over this track, she closed well first time out, and she is gaining experience after also winning 2 at Flamboro. Last time she had to close into an accelerating pace and really had little chance to do much better than she did. Robert Young is a very capable trainer and I rate her my top choice, with only two others I view as a real threat in here.

4 Pl Katnisseverdeen ships in from Tioga off one bad line, is 2nd time lasix, first time McNair and I suppose can be dangerous as maiden shippers with some speed always can. But her consistent bad last quarters are not convincing me to fear her. I will watch her for a later assessment. Tonight, I pass on her.

5 American Cheer was given every chance by Zeron last time, but she was looking for her mother at the tote board and had nothing left. She looked like a solid stakes filly at 2, and might still be that, but I have doubts she has come around yet. The fact she didn't take much tote support last time when she figured to do that suggests the people who might know know that she isn't good yet. I'd keep my eye on that variable. Minor shot on a turnaround, but I like three others better.

6 B Fifteen saved all the ground last time on a very heady steer by CC. He just kept moving up the pylons, then angled out and back in between, looked to have the race won, but the other filly just did a shade more when they were together a few steps to the wire. She looks very logical and live tonight, but, not my top call. Must use in the pick 5 and she has the right post. She looks to be a solid Grassroots filly as the summer goes on, but she has to do more than just pace fast in the last quarter, but pass horses when she get up to their wheel.

7 Lady Sherri is 0 for 19 and shows me nothing to suggest she is dangerous at the A track to this point.

8 Columnist is what she is. She is a 30 plus start maiden who has bagged 30k plus for her trainer/owner. That's okay for him. Doesn't do much for us bettors. She paced a back half in 55.3 last time. That is something and if she shows a bit more here, I might keep my eye on her for when she heads to a B track to possibly pop her cherry.

9 Northern Swift trained down and raced once at 2 off a decent qualifier, but ran in the race and was put on the shelf. She has come back ready to race now, and drew the rail last time, which probably compromised her overall chances. She came late and looked live, and while she draws the 9 hole here, she is a reasonable add if you aren't sold on too many in here, which I'm not.

10 Rose Run Samantha raced at 2, did little, has had 2 qualifiers off the shelf and now starts with Jones driving from the 10 hole. Watching tonight, but I can't see how she wins this with all that in play. Big longshot, and deservedly so.

No comments:

Post a Comment