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$50,000 guaranteed pool Monday at Woodbine

November 29, 2010

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Woodbine Racetrack presents a $50,000 guaranteed pool for its early Pick-4 Monday night,  and it figures to be another challenging task of weeding out the contenders from the pretenders in races 4 through 7.
Track announcer Ken Middleton scanned through those four races and offers the following thoughts on constructing a Pick-4 ticket for tonight:
Race 4
This $10,000 to $15,000 claiming handicap is very challenging based on the fact that there are horses coming in from a number of different venues. It looks like a wide-open leg, and therefore I’m going to load up by using seven horses.
The horse with the best recent form is #3 BEECHWOOD WAYNE, who has put up some solid efforts against easier company at Western Fair Raceway.
He recently joined forces with Mark Herlihy (.326 UDR), and that trainer usually does well with new recruits. The pacer still has to fine-tune his speed in order to be competitive against this group. #2 WESTERN TRUTH and #4 WON NITE IN VEGAS both drop from the conditioned ranks and into the claiming game, and that could make a world of difference. #6 WESTERN EXPRESSION loves to win, and three of his recent victories have come at this level. He’s been streaky, however, in recent weeks for the solid tandem of trainer/driver Richard Moreau and Sylvain Filion.
#7 IDEAL LOCATION and #9 AMAZING QUEST have resided in this class for a while now, and they’re both capable of contending for the top spot with the right trip. #10 CRACKER STONEY has a tough post to deal with, but he gets some class relief for the always dangerous duo of trainer Shawn Robinson and driver Randy Waples.
Race 5
This elimination for the Autumn Stakes looks like a two-horse race. #2 OH NO THREE O has traveled all over the map in 2010 for trainer Jeff Long, who has watched the son of Ken Warkentin pile up more than $55,000. The gelding’s on-the-board numbers are solid and his overall speed makes him a serious threat from this inside post position. It’s worth noting he was a fast-closing fourth in a $130,000 O.S.S. Gold Series Final at Mohawk on October 4. #7 ROUSH HANOVER is the one to beat. The Kadabra colt figures to be the overwhelming favourite based on his sharp efforts in recent weeks for the father/son team of trainer Yves Filion and driver Sylvain Filion. He lost a heartbreaker in his latest outing, but he’s more than capable of bouncing back for a win tonight.
Race 6
The lone Autumn Stakes elimination for the freshmen pacing colts and geldings will have a number of players looking to single #2 TRIBUTE TO GEAR based on back-to-back wins for trainer Sue Gangell. Her barn has been putting up some lethal numbers all over Ontario in recent weeks, and this gelding has done his part to help her UTR swell to .297. He figures to be a pace factor once again, but I think he’ll have his hands full with #6 ROYAL WILL. The Ben Wallace pupil was doomed on Super Final night when he was asked to race from Post 10 against Ontario’s finest freshman pacers, but he should relish the opportunity to sink his teeth into these types. The talent pool isn’t quite as deep as it has been for the son of Royal Mattjesty throughout the season, so expect major improvement from the pacer tonight.
Race 7
Five-year-olds and younger will square off at the non-winners of 2 races or $34,000 lifetime level to wrap up the Pick-4, and the anchor leg appears to be much tougher than the middle legs.
#1 CRUNCH TIME has come up with some decent efforts in recent weeks, and with the help of an inside post he might be able to tag along and be a threat in the late stages. #3 MATTHEWS GAME BOY and #4 BRAVE ALEX SEMALU look like the most logical contenders in the field, but both have a penchant for making breaks. They’ve very capable of winning, but they lack consistency. #5 VAGABOND ANGUS won versus easier company two starts ago, but he was handcuffed in Post 10 at this level in last week’s follow-up effort and as a result he just went through the motions en route to finishing seventh. He can improve in her for Moreau and Filion. #7 ROCKNROLL JACKPOT makes his debut for trainer Merv Chupp. The regally-bred colt has put up good numbers stateside while racing on half-mile ovals, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fine-tune his speed upon moving to the bigger oval. #8 EAGLE ARTESIAN finished with the pack in his latest outing. He’s picked up small shares in all three of his starts since joining the barn of high percentage trainer Dave Tyrrell. #9 DIGAM is always in the hunt, but at times he lacks the killer instinct of a winner. His tactical gate speed can help him work out of the Post 9 jam, and if he trips out he can beat this group.
Pick-4 Ticket Summary
Race 4: 2-3-4-6-7-9-10
Race 5: 2-7
Race 6: 2-6
Race 7: 1-3-4-5-7-8-9
Cost: $196, or pay one-fifth of the price ($39.20) by playing a $.20 ticket. (WEG)
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