Race 1: 5-3-1
We kick off our holiday card with a low-level conditioned allowance. #5 Jess Royal Bucks made his 2014 debut on July 20th over a muddy track. He's never had any success over a wet track so I can forgive the poor effort he gave that day. His speed figures are consistently higher than the rest of this field, and he should be very tough second off the layoff. #3 Runnin Is My Game has had very little luck this year, consistently having issues at the gate. However, the one race where he did get away well, he ran a respectable fourth. Hopefully he breaks well today. #1 Hussey Too offered nothing in a starter allowance two weeks ago. However, she did race well two back, and she's hit the board in half of her starts at the 300 yard distance. Early Double wagering starts here.
Race 2: 3-6-5
Pick 3 wagering kicks off here. #3 Yessir E Bob is lightly raced, only five career starts. He broke his maiden two back, and came back to run a decent fifth in a competitive non-winners of two allowance. Today he drops in for the tag, and catches what looks to be a soft group. #6 Lolamo has been racing against tougher company this year, racing in a pair of Derby trials, and not being particularly competitive. This will be an easier spot for him. #5 Winners Spirit started the season with an even fifth at this level, but he did end 2013 off in decent form and he can improve second off the layoff.
Race 3: 1-4-3
This is the first of two trials for the Ontario Sired Maturity. #1 Jesskissmytexas makes his seasonal debut after a great 2013, winning three of five starts including the Ontario Sired Derby. He shows a a bullet 220 yard work in 12.32 on July 16th, and should be tough here. #4 Pegasos One Underpar has been competitive in all four of his starts this year, including a win at the Ontario Sired open allowance level. He's classy, and it's worth noting that he's the only horse in this field with a win at the 400 yard distance. #3 Cruwysn Down Home defeated Pegasos One Underpar by a nose last time. In his previous race that result was reversed. He has run some good races before, including a third behind Jesskissmytexas in the Ontario Sired Derby, and deserves respect.
Race 4: 1-4-5
This is the second of two trials for the Ontario Sired Maturity, and the start of the $.20 Pick 4. #1 Not Looking to Shake exits a good fourth behind Cruwysn Down Home and Pegasos One Underpar. Three back he finished a close third to Mitford. His class rating is almost ten points higher than anyone else here; the one to beat. #4 Cruwysn the Arctic is three-for-four this year, all at the Ontario Sired conditioned allowance levels. This is a class test for him, but winning horses find ways to keep winning. #5 Charted By Dm raced also raced a good third behind Pegasos One Underpar and Cruwysn Down Home last time, but not in the same race as Not Looking to Shake. I don't think he's as fast as my top choice, but he may have a chance at an upset if he gets away well from the outside post.
Race 5: 2-5-3
#2 Hot Harvest Moon debuted in a trial for the John Deere Juvenile Challenge where he ran a good third. In the final he lost all chance after rearing at the break. Today he drops into Ontario Sired maiden company and should be tough with a good break. #5 Jess as Sweet as You has raced twice, both third place finishes in today's class. She gets a shorter field today, and should run another good race. #3 Super Sweet Herman ran third in his second start, but offered nothing in his most recent try. We'll see if he'll be able to duplicate the good effort he threw on July 6th.
Race 6: 1-2-4
Here we've got a 110 yard 'Gridiron Gallop!' #1 Jessies Leaving You tries the 110 yard distance for the first time after two consecutive wins. She broke very quick in her last two, a good thing to be able to do at this distance. #2 Tough Twist has run at the 110 yard distance in his last two starts, first at today's claiming level where he ran a good third, and then at the open allowance level where he didn't offer as much. We'll see if the drop back in class helps him today. #4 The Choochinator makes his 99th career start today. He's run some decent races at the distance before, and he still knows how to get away from the gate.
Race 7: 1A-6-3
#1A Theydontlikemyname has been in good form this year, hitting the board in all four of her starts, two against open runners. She exits a win, and the second place finisher came back to win. We'll see if she can make it two in a row. #6 Mr Eazy ran a game second in a trial for the Adequan Derby Challenge, but was not competitive in the final. This is a much easier spot, and he is the one to beat here. #3 Chuggington won his non-winners of two two starts ago, and came back to run a decent third against non-winners of three. He's not as fast as the top two, but at 10-1 I figure he's worth a shot to round out the triactor.
Race 8: 4-2-6
#4 Donttellmemybusiness has been racing against tougher company this year, and has run some decent races as well. He started the year in a Picov Derby trial, finishing fifth in a tough field, then finished third in a trial for the AQHA Maiden Challenge. In the Maiden Challenge final he broke poorly and didn't recover. He drops down into Ontario Bred maiden claiming where he should be quite tough. #2 Smoken Eagle debuted on July 13th for this tag and finished second. We can expect some improvement second time out, but she'll need to run faster than a 35 speed figure to win here. #6 Buster Bri beat only one horse in a trial for the AQHA Maiden Challenge. He's run some good races in the straight maiden levels, four on the board finishes in eight starts, and could be a factor here. Be sure to play the Late Pick 3, which starts in this race.
Race 9: 1-4-2
This race is the start of the Late Double. #1 Lookingforagoodtime really seems to lay over this field. He's dropping down from the open allowance class, he qualified to last year's Alex Picov Championship, his class rating is nine points the highest; he looks very tough. #4 Code 36 has run two good races for the $3,000 claiming tag this year. Most horses here have been running at higher levels, but I like that he's been finishing in the money; at 10-1 why not try him for the exactor? #2 Shake Pretty Baby finished third in an Ontario Sired conditioned allowance last time behind Andelay Okey, who came back to win again. She's far from consistent, but so are most of this group.
Race 10: 9-6-1
#9 Zommin to the Artic showed no talent at all as a two year old, but made his three year old debut on July 20th and ran a good third. With some second off the layoff improvement and a good break from the outside post, he could find his way to the winner's circle. #6 Lil Shaz was well beaten in the trial and the AQHA Maiden Challenge final, but those were tougher horses. Her one try against Ontario Sired maiden company resulted in a third place finish. This class suits her better. #1 Everything Fast has been in good form this year, with a seasonal record of 4-0-1-2. He's a tough horse to back with a win bet, due to his 0-for-17 career record. He can certainly hit the board, and perhaps today will be the day he gets the job done.