January 24, 2011
Woodbine Racetrack will present a $50,000 guaranteed pool for its early Pick-4 Monday 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 –6, 7, 9
Race 5 – 2, 6, 9
Race 6 – 1, 2, 4
Race 7 – 2, 3, 5, 10
Total – $108 for $1, or $21.60 for $.20
#6. Northern Breakout – is undefeated this season for new trainer Mike Weller. This horse is certainly beatable, especially after going winless from 20 starts last year. He will have to step up his game to be the winner tonight, but he’s definitely capable of doing it.
#7. Rock The Nest – put in his best race of his career last week after finishing third with a :28 final-quarter. He should offer a valid price to the bettors. This horse seems like he could win tonight or remain in this class for a long time.
#9. Hendrix – I think you have to have him in your Pick-4 ticket. He’s coming off a sharp 1:54.2 qualifying effort at The Meadowlands, and if that same speed returns tonight, he should be your winner. I’d imagine Baillargeon will put him in the mix early from post 9.
#2. Shelbys Cobra – just got picked off in the late stages last week and had to settle for 3rd. He has a lifetime best of 1:51.2, so he certainly has enough speed to win at this level. He will, however, have to step up his game tonight to find the winners circle.
#6. Xcell Irish Spirit – used a sharp :27.2 final-quarter last week but was only able to finish fourth. There is no standout in this race and he won at this level two starts ago, so he’s capable of doing it again.
#9.Jepson Hanover – driver Simon Allard seemed to get along very well this horse but Mario Baillargeon will be driving him tonight. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. On paper, it looks like he needs to be near the front to be in contention. With a post 9 start, I don’t think Baillargeon can afford to take-back.
#1. Victors Valiant – was a 7 time winner last year from 16 starts, so he knows how to find the winners circle. He was a recent purchase by trainer and co-owner Kevin O’Reilly and shows terrific gate-speed which I think will be used tonight. He scored his lifetime best of 1:56.2 at this level and he could top that tonight.
#2. Celebrity Ferrari – should offer bettors a valid price coming from Rideau Carleton to Woodbine tonight. I don’t know if he has enough speed to go at this level but I think this is a very light field of horses which allows him to possibly step up. The move to the big track could be the winning move.
#4. Hustledlux – will likely be the post time favourite after scoring 7 wins last year. What’s most impressive is his 1:57.3 victory at Northfield Downs (half-mile track) in his most recent start. He’s won four-in-a-row and could make it five tonight for new trainer Steve Charlton.
#2. Canaco Run – enters the Rene Allard barn for the first time tonight. Allard has 10 wins from 49 starts coming into tonight, so that also plays a factor. I think Allard was smart to put him back into this same class because he shows he’s most competitive at this level. I wouldn’t like to see him on the front-end, I think he needs a trip to win.
#3. Artchduke – has been knocking on the door in his last 2 starts with a pair of second place efforts. Zeron returns to the bike tonight which is never a bad thing. Again, just like Canaco Run, I think Artchduke needs a trip to win. This race appears wide-open.
#5. Pacer Bayama – has had a great run in his last 6 starts coming into tonight. He seems to be able to find the winners circle and he definitely can do it again tonight for new trainer Jeff Brewer. This horse will likely be used early in the mile to establish an early presence, it’s just a question if he can go the distance or not.
#10. Colonel Moffitt – is classed right at this level for trainer Kevin McMaster. I’m worried about his post 10 start because he doesn’t show any gate-speed which isn’t a positive sign on this track. Things could work out well for him or he could be way too far back at the head of the stretch to be a threat.