Saturday, July 31, 2010

Flamboro's Saturday afternoon card...

Post time for this afternoon's 1pm card at Flamboro Downs is fast approaching! Good luck if you're playing the races today.

Race 3

1-SEDNA is inconsistent and races for a .109 barn, but I'm able to overlook those two negatives on a day when he's facing an absolutely despicable field of rivals. He's lone speed from the inside and has a great driver in young Zeron. The last time the pair drew well and were able to control the pace (May 26 @ FLMD), they won by open lengths over Lord Oliver N and M G Energik, either of which would be 2-5 in this race. A gate-to-wire win is predicted for the horse that THE PETE SHEETS are tabbing as the Most Probable winner of the day.

After the pick, there are only a few other horses even worth talking about. 6-CRUISING KYLER, 7-CANT WAIT TIL MAY and 9-CAVIART TEXAS are absolute tosses, leaving five underneath contenders.

I give slight preference to 2-FOURSTARZ TREASURE, 3-INDEPENDENT GUY and 5-SAN ANDREAS, but won't totally exclude 4-CROWE RIVER or 8-RAVENS RAIDER.

Race 4

Here's a beatable race! 2-GO MAN GO's last two have been very good and while he's no cinch, he shouldn't be worse than 2nd among these. The only horse that I think that has a shot at beating him is 1-CAMS OAK, who might trip-out and pick him up late. Might.

If you toss the outside two, 7-CASH LE RU and 8-TREND SPOTTER, you're left with five others to use in the underneath positions. Of those, 5-BAREITALL HANOVER and 9-LUCKY GIFT are preferred, the former because he's of more talent than most of the rest and the latter because he figures to be a forwardly placed recipient of a good trip behind 1-CAMS OAK and 2-GO MAN GO.

Let's take a shot at the Early Pick Four today:

$2.40 P4 2 with 234 with 136 with 467 = $64.80
$1.20 P4 2 with 1578 with 136 with 467 = $43.20
$1.20 P4 2 with 234 with 2578 with 467 = $43.20
$0.80 P4 2 with 1578 with 2578 with 467 = $38.40
$1.80 P4 1 with 234 with 136 with 467 = $48.60
$1.00 P4 1 with 1578 with 136 with 467 = $36.00
$1.00 P4 1 with 234 with 2578 with 467 = $36.00
$0.60 P4 1 with 1578 with 2578 with 467 = $28.80
Total investment: $339.00

You might want to fool around with the numbers a little bit and perhaps even invest less. I'll leave that up to you!

Race 8

With 1-TYPECAST, 2-SERENA DRUMMOND and 6-B B WINDFALL expected to attract plenty of support, 3-SEALCREST PENNY impresses me as being a very good Value Play. She was very good at Grand River on Wednesday night and I would go as far as to say that she might've won the race if not for suffering interference and other compromising dynamics. Play her for 1st and 2nd with the aforementioned three and maybe play some smaller savers with 8-RISQUE BUSINESS.

Here are some suggestions for the Late Pick Four:

$1.60 P4 123 with 15 with 129 with 49 = $57.60
$0.80 P4 123 with 15 with 458 with 49 = $28.80
$0.80 P4 123 with 15 with 129 with 568 = $43.20
$0.40 P4 123 with 15 with 458 with 568 = $21.60
Total investment: $151.20

Race 9

Two horses standout in this race. 1-MATHERS VALLEY showed marked improvement when winning her Pereira debut last time and I'm sure she'll be favored to repeat. She's a must-use in the multi-race wager, but I'm not sure I'd be in a big hurry to take a short price on her today. She's no killer, can't finish and is a prime example of a horse that you were supposed to have last time. 5-TACO is actually of more talent than her, but her breaking tendencies make her hard to trust.


Race 10

9-EXOTIC MAN RJ seems like a good Value Play in a race where the relatively useless, 2-D J ADONIS (Beatable Favorite)figures to be even money or less. The Yates trainee makes his third start off of the shelf after having compromising (impossible) trips in his first two for the new barn.

4-ENDURING SPIRIT is another less obvious horse of interest. He wasn't nearly as bad as his last line suggests, but had no chance of improving his position while being blind-switched for the entire last quarter. He's reunited with MacDonald today and impresses me as being a Live Longshot.

You can infer from my Late Pick Four suggestions as to which of the others I think are contenders, but they are obvious horses that anyone can pick. As such, their prices aren't expected to be true reflections of their real chances of winning. In these races for inconsistent, mediocre, restricted claimers, it often pays to stay away from favorites and gamble on other more imaginative horses.


Live Longshot: 4-ENDURING SPIRIT (10th)

Most Probable Winner: 1-SEDNA (3rd)

Show Parlay: 8-D C JUDGE (2nd)
1-SEDNA (3rd)
2-GO MAN GO (4th)
4-MS REDD (7th)

Value Plays: 3-SEALCREST PENNY (8th)
9-EXOTIC MAN RJ (10th)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

All Tucked Up

I think I saw a very, very special filly debut at Grand River last night. All Tucked Up, a two year-old daughter of Western Ideal, won at first asking in 1:59.2. 1:59.2, big deal, right? Wrong. She paced her own last half in :56.0 and flashed a freakish, :27.2, turn of foot in the last quarter, all while being hand driven. She sure looks like the real thing.

Her driver, Randy Waples, seems to think so, too. I spoke to him this morning to and he was still beside himself. I learned that both he and Austin had an inkling that she was a good filly even through her early schooling efforts and especially after her initial qualifying effort at Mohawk on July 13.

Speed aside, Waples was equally impressed with All Tucked Up's professionalism. "She's as smart as a whip and looks after herself. Last night's mile was huge, especially when you consider that I pretty much stopped her in the first turn to get around some trouble. She's the perfect size, good-gaited and has a big engine." Needless to say, Waples said he was going to take some time this morning to further investigate the Stakes engagements that the filly has ahead of her.

Be sure to add All Tucked Up to your list of horses to watch in the weeks ahead. Her debut suggests she's one worthy of the attention.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Super Saturday...

Rockin Image, that's my Meadowlands Pace pick. I have no argument with anyone that sides with Rock N Roll Heaven, but Rockin Image seems like the "now" horse to me. His last two have been absolutely robotic and it just feels to me like he's ideally drawn and has a tactical advantage on the other son of Rocknroll Hanover and the others. It should be a hell of a race, maybe even better than The North America Cup!

As for Sportswriter, I'm afraid I'm out. I know he had systemic problems leading up to last week's race and that he's reported to be doing much better this week, but I can't fathom any horse winning from post ten in a field as deep as this one, regardless of the obscure stat that the outside rail is actually the winningest post position in Meadowlands Pace history.

If you're looking for a sleeper, my sources tell me that Kyle Major has had the best week he's had in awhile and that he's sitting on a big race.

Really, Nova Artist is the only horse that looks outmatched, but how can anyone rule out any horse trained by Sweet Lou after the two-year run he's had? Projected post time for the million-dollar affair is 9:20pm ET. Enjoy it!

If you can't wait until tonight to see some familiar faces racing south of the border, tune in to coverage of this afternoon's races from The Meadows. Gregg McNair's Aracache Hanover is racing in a division of the PaSS and his son, Doug, is there to drive. The colt has won three in a row and has quickly stamped himself as a Grand Circuit type. He's drawn post eight in the 6th, for which post time is estimated to be 2:35pm ET. Aracache Hanover is 9-2 on the Morning Line and if you get anything close to that price at post time, it's the best bet you'll make all year! I think he's the best and will be watching with interest.

Flamboro is the first Canadian harness track to get underway today and there is only one horse (race) that interests me. You'll have to wait until the 10th, but 9-SCOTIAN DELIGHT lays over the field. Use 1-NEVER ENUFF LUCK, 4-MATOU ROSE, 5-M G ENERGIK and 6-CANT BE CAUGHT underneath and pad your account heading into the evening races.

I have to tell you -- the card at Mohawk tonight could not be better, both from a quality standpoint and a betting one. There are three eliminations of The Canadian Breeders' Championship for three year-old pacing colts, one for trotting colts of the same age, as well as single prep races for both the Roses Are Red Stakes and The Maple Leaf Trot. The $42,000 Open pace has been carded as the 10th.

Here are some notes pertaining to tonight's card from Campbellville:

Race 2
6-DALHOUSIE DAVE will be heavily favoured and I can't pick against him. He'll lose one of these nights, because they all do, but I don't think it'll be tonight. 3-TWIN B WARRIO and 4-BIG BAY POINT are the best of the rest and throw 1-CODE WORD and 5-TERROR TIME in as 3rd-place savers.

Race 3
Another reliable favourite -- 3-TEXT ME. He had a compromising trip in the Gold Final at Georgian but should enjoy much better circumstances tonight. He's the speed of the field and will have a distinct tactical advantage on his main rivals. 8-DONTGETINMYWAY is a great horse himself, but he's drawn outside tonight and will likely be far back in the early going. Expect him to make a big late move, but I'm dubious as to whether it will be enough to have him repeat. 2-STORMONT TRIGGER and 5-QUANTUM STARSHIP are the other underneath contenders.

Race 4
Want a Live Longshot? 8-FOOLISH JUSTICE makes his fourth start for Menary, gets McNair for the first time and has had trip excuses in his first three for the new barn. He'll be a big price, should enjoy favourable dynamics and I don't mind taking a small shot on him. You'll remember that 1-PLUMB DUFF was a horse that THE PETE SHEETS projected to win last week, but that was the wedding -- tonight is the funeral. He moves up in class, draws inside of other speed types and will be offered at a drastically reduced price. I'm out tonight.

Race 6
4-BAY OF SHARKS is rounding into top form and has raced deceptively well against much better company in his last several. He drops in class tonight and seems like one of the card's most reliable plays.

Race 7
Okay, this is where many of you will think I'm crazy because I don't want anything to do with 9-DREAMFAIR ETERNAL tonight! She draws outside against the deepest field she's faced in Canada in awhile and it just feels like she'll have to be as good as ever to win. She's 5-2 on the Morning Line, but we all know that she'll be 3-5 and so even if she does win, she won't pay anything. Why not take a shot on one of the American invaders -- 1-CHANCEY LADY, 2-GINGER AND FRED (who was as good as I've seen her in awhile in her most recent at YR) or 4-TUG RIVER PRINCESS?

Race 9
I'm a huge fan of 4-FUTURE MILLION and this is the most beatable field he's faced all year. He beat himself last week, which he's done in the past, but if he fires his best tonight, these won't see which way he went.

Race 10
Please, please, please don't get sucked in on 3-MAJOR HOTTIE! He's a lovely horse, but all of these are, and his most recent win was one of the most dressed up in the history of the sport. Kudos to Christoforou for stealing the race last time, but under less idyllic circumstances, this horse isn't nearly the force that those paper optics might suggest. He might win, but he'll be ridiculously overbet if he does. I'm leaving him out of the Late Pick Four.

Race 13
Live Longshot, 9-SHADYWOOD BARON, is a better horse than his recent lines suggest and he's a worth a shot in the finale at tonight's overlay odds. His lack of gate speed is disheartening, but if he gets any kind of pace to chase, expect him to come screaming home for Brewer.

There are a few races of interest at Georgian Downs tonight, too. Post time is 7:25pm ET.

Race 4
3-GIRLS WILLB GIRLS makes her second start for Fellows and her debut is a very good frame of reference because she finished a respectable 3rd behind McCloud and Stormont Trigger, either of which would be 1-5 in this spot. She might prove to be overbet tonight but she sure seems too good for these if she repeats her July 5 effort.

Race 5
Listen, I know post eight is a difficult one at Georgian, but I still don't mind having a few bucks on 8-BEECHWOOD TIGER tonight. He has been facing horses that would be 1-9 if they were in this race and the paper optics of his efforts don't do him much justice because he actually hasn't been that bad. Exploiting overlays is the only way to make money gambling on horses. Play him for 1st and 2nd.

Race 8
7-ALLAMERICAN SWIFT drops to a new low and if she can't beat these horses, they might as well breed her.

Race 11
Similar to the situation in the 5th, this race's most talented horse draws outside and should be offered at odds that are bigger than they should be. 9-MY JEWELS has been keeping good company at Mohawk and this is a distinct class drop for him. Had he drawn three spots to the left he'd be 2-1, but his post time odds should be better than that because of the outside draw.

Have a great day everyone! Enjoy the races!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dalhousie Dave: horse or robot?

Dalhousie Dave's winning performance in last night's Summertime Series Final has me wondering if he's not a robot disguised as a horse. Did you see the race? Horses just aren't supposed to be able to do what he did last night. Jody used him a little bit leaving, then came a long first-over into a :54.2 last half and still drove away from good horses like Outrageous Art and Dreamlands Art to win in 1:49.4! Wow! I can't figure out what his own last half was because I can't read the chart lines anymore, but I know that he was as good as a horse could be. Congratulations to Tony O'Sullivan and The Fielding Brothers, who are also the breeders of the Ontario-sired (Astreos) colt.

It was "Chalk or Bomb Night" at Flamboro on Friday. Five of the card's ten winners paid $4.60 or less while the other half of the races were taken by horses that paid $12.30, $14.80, $42.70, $51.40 and $78.70. Post time today is 1pm.

At Grand River, veterans Bill Megens and Art Craig both won races with trotters while Just A Lad earned his 45th lifetime win. Trevor Henry had the best night of all of the Elora track's drivers, yielding a 3-2-2 record from his ten drives.

I don't know what you've got planned for tonight, but you should be making the trek to Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ontario for this year's Gold Rush card. Four Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series Finals, four Masters Series Finals and more than $1,000,000 in purses. The weather is supposed to be great and the atmosphere will be second to none. See you there!

THE PETE SHEETS' Meadowlands Pace Picks:

Race 4 - Planned Post Time 8:00pm
6-ROCK N ROLL HEAVEN...back at home track, in a great spot tactically.
7-ALL SPEED HANOVER...choked (literally) in NA Cup, he can bounce back.
3-ONE MORE chance at Mohawk, as dangerous as any from covered trip.

Race 5 - Planned Post Time 8:20pm
2-ROCKIN good as ever right now, Jersey Cup win was freakish.
3-IDEAL MATTERS...a better horse than most of these, lone threat to Takter trainee.
4-NOVA ARTIST...Pena power.

Race 6 - Planned Post Time 8:40pm
7-FRED AND GINGER...Palone's last two drives have been just plain awful.
5-SPORTSWRITER...obviously capable but ridiculously overbet tonight.
6-IAM BONASERA...2nd-time Jamieson, favourable dynamics, longshot potential.

Some other races of interest for you Weekend Warriors:

Flamboro - Race 3
Please, please, please don't get sucked in on 1-MR STRUT today! His win of last week was a dynamics win as he was in the right place at the right time when he took over from a recently useless Lifestream Mindale. He got the jump on the field in the third quarter, a headstart that he needed because he ended up walking the last eighth and narrowly holding off the free-too-late 8-DREAMDROP HANOVER. If you didn't go to the wedding last week (14-1), why go to the funeral today? I'm not sure which of these will win, but I know I don't want anything to do with 1-MR STRUT, nor should you!

Flamboro - Race 5
2-TEAM MATE is one-dimensional sort with an aversion to winning, but he drops to a new low today and his need-to-lead-to-win preference should be satisfied. I'm never a fan of favourites, but this looks like a "can't lose" situation for him. Use 1-KEYSTONE BEST BET, 3-LORELEI HANOVER, 5-MAPLE RUN DELIGHT, 6-KG WEAPON and 8-FBS GAL underneath.

Flamboro - Race 10
You can suit yourself, but I always like a fresh face in these restricted claiming races for mediocre horses. 6-PAUL ALEX is tagged for the first time and though he's obviously no killer, he's probably as good or better than any of today's rivals. You can have 2-AWARD HANOVER and 3-NOTIFY and 5-KILKERRAN ACCORD and all of the other bad, overbet horses that have already have several chances in this class.

Mohawk - Race 6
There are two mares that interest me here: 1-SMASHBOX and 7-BLISSFUL SMILE. The former finally draws inside and shouldn't be as far back as she's been in recent weeks from outside draws. The latter is intriguing as Scott Zeron takes over in a race that should feature dynamics that are favourable to her. Both of these will be acceptable prices.

Mohawk - Race 9
6-PLUMB DUFF makes his third start for Fellows and after a very conservative trip in his debut, he went off to Kawartha and absolutely jogged in his most recent start. He's one of only a few speed horses in tonight's field and he should have the kind of trip that he needs to win. I think he's sitting on a lifetime best tonight.

Enjoy the races tonight and feel free to share your thoughts or selections with readers in the comment section below.

Check back on Monday (or Tuesday, depending on my condition) for news and pictures from Sunday's Canadian Drivers Showcase from St. John's Racing & Entertainment Centre.

Take care...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday morning musings...

It's been a few weeks since my last blog post and I have a lot to talk about.

While there haven't been any posts or actual SHEETS circulating for a few weeks, things are as busy as ever here at headquarters. The web site is only a few days away from being complete and is expected to launch next week once I'm back from Newfoundland and Fort Erie.

Initial sponsorship of the project is better than I had expected. Thanks to Great Canadian Gaming,, Tickets Etc. Inc. and Clinton Raceway for being the first to support the project. More is needed. This free blog has quickly become a daily destination for racing and gambling enthusiasts who aren't afraid to spend money and the viewership is expected to triple once the actual web site is active. Since this project is just getting off of the ground, advertising rates are almost unreasonably moderate considering the tremendous opportunities of sales promotion offered by Connect with your target audience. Maximize advertising dollars. See the results. For more information, please contact Peter Kyte at 226-374-4874 or

Did you get this month's edition of Trot Magazine yet? Take your eyes off of the beautiful Riina long enough to read Darryl Kaplan's editorial. I thoroughly enjoyed it because I found his opinion to be very similar to that of mine which I shared in my "Please, tell me I'm wrong" post of Wednesday June 9. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section at the end of this post.

Sportswriter and the rest of this year's deep group of three year-old colts come together at The Meadowlands tomorrow night for three eliminations of The Meadowlands Pace. The North America Cup Champ is in the third elimination, Race 6 on the program. Post time is 8:40pm. The second elimination, the night's 5th Race, is by far the most shallow of the three but if Lou Pena's new recruit, Nova Artist, wins, you can be sure that it may just end up being the most talked about of the three! I think the horse is inferior to both Rockin Image and Ideal Matters, but can't rule out any horse sent forth by the sport's latest Super Trainer. I'll have more insight for you in tomorrow's Meadowlands Pace version of THE PETE SHEETS.

I'll be at Georgian Downs on Saturday night handling the handicapping duties for their Gold Rush card. Four Gold Series Finals, four Masters Series Finals, 12 races in total -- it's going to be one hell of a night and I hope you're making plans to be in attendance.

First thing Sunday morning, myself and several local drivers are flying to Newfoundland to St. John's Racing & Entertainment Centre to participate in this year's Canadian Drivers Showcase. I'm really looking forward to it and am flattered to be invited. I'll have a full report with pictures on the blog once I'm back in Ontario. Thanks to Greg Blanchard for covering for me at Fort Erie. Greg is among the best announcer's there are but doesn't get as much exposure as others, so I hope you'll tune in to The Fort's Sunday card to hear him!

That's all for today. THE PETE SHEETS for tomorrow cover racing from Flamboro, Georgian, Mohawk and the three Meadowlands Pace elims. If you aren't already a subscriber and would like to receive the free product, send an email requesting your inclusion to

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hey Mark, can I borrow $20?

What a race! What a horse! What a story!

I'll be the first to admit that I was among the skeptics. I know he won his qualifiers and that he flashed :26.3 closing speed in his first two, but wasn't it fair to expect more out of last year's superhorse? Brian Sears certainly thought so. Maybe we all would've been less judgemental had we known of the multiple quarter cracks that were plaguing Sportswriter.

Jeff Boyd is Sportswriter's blacksmith and he's a friend of mine. I called him early last week looking for the scoop on Sportswriter's ailing tootsies. "Pete, he's going to win the North America Cup!" he told me. Neither of us would ever dare saying that loud enough for Ms. Coleman's ears to hear it because we'd have to listen to a tirade about her superstitions and blah, blah, blah. Women. "Seriously. I know he still didn't look perfect last week, but he really needed the stretching out that he got in the elim and I saw him today and he was acting like the Sports of old -- bouncing around in the cross ties, throwing his head around -- he's ready." Was he ever.

Besides the horse, I was happiest for Mark MacDonald. Listen, business is business and just as drivers are allowed to pick off of horses, it's supposed to be okay on the rare occasion that trainers and owners pick off of drivers. Still, the human side of me couldn't help but feel bad for Mark when it was announced he was getting the hook this year in favour of Brian Sears. It's funny how things go sometimes, isn't it?

This year's race saw a little more than an 11% increase in handle -- from $670,383 in '09 to $747,475 -- and the card's overall intake ($3,191,986) was just $51,287 less than last year's.

Congratulations to Jamie Smith from Prince Edward Island! "Smitty" was among those subscribers that chose Sportswriter to win The Cup and his name was chosen as the winner for dinner for two on THE PETE SHEETS. CDP or Summerside, Smitty? Thanks to all of you that participated.

Enjoy your Sunday and be sure to check tomorrow's blog for an important announcement!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pepsi North America Cup XXVII...

As I type this, there are only six hours until post time of what promises to be one of the greatest North America Cup races in history!

THE PETE SHEETS for tonight's Mohawk card have already been sent to subscribers, but it's not too late for you to get yours!

Send an email to and I'll add you to the mailing list.

Enjoy the races everyone!