January 10, 2011
Woodbine Racetrack presents a $50,000 guaranteed pool for its early Pick-4 on Monday evening, and WEG’s track announcer Ken Middleton scanned through Races 4 thru 7 to come up with a plan of attack for constructing a ticket.
Here are Middleton’s thoughts on a ticket for Monday’s Pick-4:
A full field squares off in this non-winners of 2 races or $20,000 lifetime class, and I’ve identified two serious contenders:
#4 PROSPECT OF WHITBY assembled a nice winning streak at Windsor Raceway late last year, but it came to a grinding halt when he finished sixth as a beaten favourite on November 28. He missed a month of racing going into his latest outing at Flamboro Downs, but still managed to finish a respectable third. He tries his luck on the big track tonight, and that can only help his chances. He has shown big speed already, and if he can find that speed tonight he’ll be around at the end of the mile.
#5 PANFERMIN FESTIVAL had a horrible trip in his latest assignment, but he still managed to handle the roughing up en route to finishing fourth. Randy Waples returns to the bike this evening after Mike Saftic got the call last week. That change combined with the post improvement should help his chances. The pacer won half of his starts last season for his owner/breeder, the Peter Pan Stables Inc. The pacer is scheduled to sell at the January Select Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands on January 17.
The second leg of tonight’s Pick-4 is the $60,000 final of the Lifetime Dream Stakes, and fittingly I like a mare driven by Paul MacDonell, who guided the series namesake to some of her biggest wins including her score in the Breeders Crown at Mohawk back in 1993. MacDonell will team up with #4 PJS PHOTO tonight, and she was an ultra-impressive winner in last week’s elimination round. She powered off cover and used a :28-second final frame to propel herself to a career-best clocking of 1:56.1. She won more than half of her starts last season, and I’m confident enough to use her a key horse in the second leg of the Pick-4.
The third leg of tonight’s Pick-4 looks as though it could be the trouble leg. It’s a wide-open group of conditioned horses racing at the non-winners of 3 races of $60,000 lifetime class. Here are seven horses I’d give serious consideration to:
#1 CACTUS JACK debuts for trainer Victor Puddy and gets to work from an inside post position. He his the board in more than half of his starts last year, and his form has been solid in recent weeks at Georgian Downs. He can step up his game and be close in here.
#2 THREE PUTT AGAIN was hard used to make the lead in his latest outing, and that left him with little to offer in the late stages of that contest. He gets some post relief to work with tonight, and that should give driver Luc Ouellette more tactical options.
#3 TIGERS MATTJESTY has shown improvement in his last two outings over this oval for trainer Des Tackoor, who gets a great post position to work from tonight. The gelding notched a narrow win two starts ago, and he was a respectable fourth in his latest.
#5 DOUG AND DUDE was a front-stepping winner in his latest effort at Georgian Downs, and now he’ll try his luck on the big track for Team Byron. The gelding has shown high speed in the past, and with the right type of trip he could pull off the upset.
#7 ADRENALINE finds himself in a much easier spot compared to foes he’s been facing in recent weeks. The son of Mach Three made an uncharacteristic break behind the gate in his latest outing, but I can see him regrouping tonight. He has the tools needed to beat this bunch.
#8 BRAVE ALEX SEMALU was a fast-closing runner-up in his Valedictory Stakes elimination, but he turned in a brutal performance in the final on Boxing Day. The gelding enjoyed a solid 2010 campaign, and hopefully he can right the ship tonight.
#9 LEGAL JUSTICE has looked very sharp since returning from some down time for trainer Eric Adams, who has a tougher post position to deal with tonight. The son of Western Hanover still merits consideration even from out here.
The final leg of the Pick-4 is made up of conditioned horses racing at the non-winners of 2 races of $40,000 lifetime level. Here are the four horses I’ll use to wrap up my ticket:
#1 STRIKE THREE returns to action after being on the shelf since September 6. This will be his pari-mutuel debut for WEG’s top trainer of 2010, Richard Moreau. The gelding was given a qualifier on December 30, but the effort was nothing to write home about. Moreau is capable of having him ready to roll at first asking even though the qualifier was unimpressive.
#4 EMERALD LEXUS raced twice in 2009 before being put away, and he had the same number of starts in 2010. Both of last year’s efforts were winning ones, and despite the hike up to this tougher class the pacer merits serious consideration to keep the ball rolling.
#5 COMPETITION CAM was a going away winner at the non-winners of 2 or $30,000 lifetime class two starts ago, but when bumped up to the non-winners of 3 or $53,000 level in his latest he struggled. He finds himself in a better spot tonight, and that could lead to an improved performance. The Shawn Robinson trainee merits some respect.
#10 WESTERN TRUTH was an over-drive last week from an inside post position, and as a result he had nothing left for the stretch drive. He has a challenging post position to deal with tonight, but I still think he can make his presence felt if he can work out the right type of trip.
Pick-4 Ticket Summary:
Race 4: 4-5>br> Race 5: 4
Race 6: 1-2-3-5-7-8-9
Race 7: 1-4-5-10
Cost: $56, or you can pay one-fifth of the price ($11.20) by playing a $.20 ticket.