January 14, 2011
Woodbine Racetrack will present a $40,000 guaranteed pool for its early Pick-4 Friday evening. The Pick-4 will kick off as usual in Race 4.
Greg Gangle of the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s media department has handicapped the four races and has provided his following insight:
Race 4 – 3, 5, 7
Race 5 – 1, 3, 4, 9
Race 6 – 2, 4, 5
Race 7 – 3, 5, 7
Total – $108 for $1, or $16.20 for $21.60
#3. Quarter Bayama – Was a beaten favourite last week but has drawn better with a post 3 start tonight. I’m not overly convinced that he can get the job done but has been trotting miles in the 1:56 range. An effort like that tonight with a decent trip should make him a contender.
#5. My Leap Of Faith – Used his front-end speed last which failed to work. Prior to last week, he was knocking on the door with a second and third place finish at this level. With post 5, he has gate speed which can play a positive factor but I wouldn’t like to see him on the front.
#7. Initial Strike – After having post 9 and finishing sixth last week, he scored an open-length victory at Georgian Downs in 1:58.2. He shows that he can leave the gate aggressively and Waples might elect to do so. I wouldn’t be to optimistic if Waples decided to not leave. It looks like he needs to be active in the race to be a threat.
#1. Premier Intel – Went a huge trip last week to finish second to Hamlin Hanover in 1:52, the fastest elimination. He has a post 1 start again tonight and Zeron will take that into consideration. It will be interesting to see how this race plays out. There isn’t much that separates four horses in this race.
#3. The Platinum Guy – Mark MacDonald gave him a text book drive last week to win the other elimination. It was a much slower time (1:55) but he has a record of 3-1-0 in his last 4 starts which cannot be overlooked. I’m sure MacDonald will use his gate speed again tonight.
#4. Hamlin Hanover – Went a big trip last week to secure the victory with a :28.1 final-quarter. He doesn’t show much gate speed, so I would look for an off-the-pace effort tonight for Waples. Last week’s victory was his first lifetime win and I didn’t think he had a 1:52 mile in him. Can he do it again tonight?
#9. Web Cam – Waples elected to drive Hamlin Hanover so Sylvain Filion will drive Web Cam tonight. He got tired late in the mile and had to accept finishing third. He is usually placed near the front and I think he has to leave from post 9 to have a reasonable shot to win. If he gets the correct trip, he has enough talent and speed to win.
#2. Slightly Tipsy – Is due for a win after finishing second and third at this level in his last two starts. With 8 wins last year, he knows how to find the winners circle. Trainer Richard Moreau was the leading trainer in wins last year on this circuit so I’m sure he will be ready. Filion will likely leave and look for a trip, which is what I would like to see.
#4. Homerun Hitter – Is a chancy wager. Allard elected to put trotting hobbles back on him which was needed. I don’t know if this horse has enough speed to race at this level. Prominent trainer, Ray Schnittker previously trained him and he’s not someone who is easily improved on. He does, however, show terrific gate speed which have him situated aggressively in the early-going.
#5. An Honorable Man – It seems Per Henriksen has been having a hard time figuring this one out. He has been very inconsistent in his last seven races but he does drop to the lowest class on this circuit. This race is a tricky one to handicap, there are many possibilities.
#3. Shipps Bikini – Draws a much better post tonight for trainer John Kopas. She certainly seems to be stage fright with just one victory last year. This is a weak field of horses and she has enough back-class to get the job done. She has zero gate-speed, so I hope the doesn’t get away too far back. Maybe tonight’s her night!
#5. Shez So Foxy – Despite just two wins last year, she has enough speed to win tonight. She usually races from off-the-pace and there is a short field of eight which should play to her advantage. This race is wide-open and will largely decide on the trip.
#7. Joeys Girl – Was a dominant winner in her most recent start at Flamboro Downs for trainer Shawn Robinson. She had no luck racing at this level a few starts ago but she is coming in on a winning effort. She has solid gate speed which should put her near the front in the early going.