Saturday, May 1, 2010

Friday recap

(THE PETE SHEETS is a new project that I've been working on for a little while now and in the weeks ahead I'll have a web site and much more to coincide with this blog. With the ultimate goal being to increase both the handle and overall popularity of harness racing in Ontario, THE PETE SHEETS provide in-depth, comprehensive analysis of racing from Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Western Fair Raceway and the WEG circuit. Beatable favorites, spot plays, live longshots, trainer change angles, Win Four analysis: THE PETE SHEETS will have it all! You can help to make it all happen! As this blog is the first part of the project that I've implemented, the more views and attention that it gets, the easier it will be to convince sponsors to get involved on the rest of the project. Below is a recap of Friday night racing from Flamboro, Western Fair and Woodbine. Enjoy!)

It was Simon Allard Night at Flamboro as he won six of the card's 11 races, including three for Team Robinson. Burnt Stew debuted for Shawn and new co-owner Bert Harris and won the 6th with condescending ease, much more than the margin of victory might lead one to believe. He certainly has the look of a horse that is headed for bigger and better and is one that I'm adding to my Watch List. Bill's Lifestream Mindale won the night's 8th race, his ninth consecutive win and 69th of his career. The most impressive winner of the night was Like A Redhead, who won the 3rd by nearly 12 lengths in robotic fashion, achieving a new lifetime mark of 1:54.3 in the process.

It was a pretty chalky Friday night at The Downs as the favorite won eight of the 11 races, making for an average win price was $5.25. I thought the Win Four paid very generously, though, returning almost $170 even though the highest priced winner in the sequence was Mystically (5th, paid $8.00) and Burnt Stew's predicted dominance in the 6th more or less made it a Pick Three. There was a gift exactor in the 3rd when the aforementioned Like A Redhead won at 6-5 and combined with logical (second choice at 5-2) runner up Maggie Mae Wilwin for a nearly $26 payoff. Tough to beat that!

Western Fair Raceway's Friday program sent a lot of people home with money for The Derby as favorites won five of the 12 races (the average win price was $8.42, a number that was greatly enhanced by Mach Dismissal's 16-1 win in the inquiry-riddled 10th), including G L Gogetem, who won the opener in impressive fashion. The second-time starter led from start to finish and flashed :28.2 closing speed, one of two winners on the program for Alex Lilley.

London Knights coach and co-owner, Dale Hunter, was at the track with a big group for the second straight Friday to watch Laredo Seelster, a three year-old Ken Warkentin colt, win in his second lifetime start after making a good impression in his debut on April 23. The win was one of three on the program for Bruce Richardson, who also scored with Susie Kerwood's three year-old trotting colt Los Cabos (Amigo Hall).

Racing resumes at Western Fair on Wednesday May 5 as the track races just twice a week during the month of May, Wednesday and Friday nights at 7:05pm.

Woodbine continues to be the best track on the planet for playing against the chalk! Favorite players can blame it on the track configuration or the drivers or the shape of the races, but more times than not, the masses simply create false favorites! Last night's card provided several perfect examples: Bunny In The Bank, T C Cruiser, Scotian Sunset, Ladycino, Freckly Sara. I mean, who would bet these horses on top to begin with, let alone at short prices?

Bunny In The Bank had a dream trip on the cones and won at 5-1 the week prior. She's okay, but is a classic example of a horse that you were supposed to have last time.

T C Cruiser is flat and has always shown an aversion to winning. Rick Zeron even mentioned similar in his pre-race interview from the paddock with Chris Hickey, but he was still 7-5! He raced well enough, but didn't win.

Scotian Sunset freaked in 1:51.3 last Friday (at 5-1) but it was an effort that was somewhat dressed up by the dynamics of the race. Despite moving up in class and drawing post ten for last night's race, the public made him the chalk! He was 12-1 and 17-1 in his previous two attempts at last night's level! He, too, raced well and Waples gave him every chance to win, but the classy Great Expense (who, lame or not, I'll take every day of the week over Scotian Sunset) collared him at the wire.

Ladycino has never been a winner and had no business being 3-2 even if she was dropping from the Mares Open and had Jamieson. Here's my comment from THE PETE SHEETS for last night's Woodbine card:

Play LADYCINO on top at your own risk. I recognize that she's dropping out of the Mares Open and that she's ideally drawn to use her good gate speed and that she's paired with Jody, but more than anything I recognize that this mare just isn't a winner. Numbers don't lie and her one for 14 win record this year (76-11-15-10 career record, more 2nds than 1sts) is an automatic cause for pause for me. Sure, she's been facing some of the best mares in the country, but those that she's facing tonight aren't bad themselves. Besides, even if she wins, what her price going to be, 4-5? There's no money to be made there! I'm leaving her off of my Win Four ticket and will go four deep in this leg to try to beat her.

Race 9: 1/2/3/5
Race 10: 2/4/5/6/8
Race 11: 4/7
Race 12: 4/6/7/9
Total for $0.60-based wager: $96

Freckly Sara was the overbet of the night in the finale when she and her (then) zero for 14 win record were bet down to 7-5. She had a perfect trip and no excuse. Followers of THE PETE SHEETS were alive onto four horses in the last leg of the late Win Four but Windsun Countess snuck through at the cones and caught My Ideal right at the wire. Better luck next time!

Woodbine's Saturday program starts a little later than usual because of The Kentucky Derby. Post time is 7:55pm.

Those interested in receiving their own copy of THE PETE SHEETS for tonight's races at Georgian Downs and/or Woodbine can send an email request to

I'll update this blog daily, so be sure to check back regularly. Thanks for the support and feel free to provide feedback.

Enjoy The Derby everyone,


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