Starting today (Saturday, June 6) I am doing a program tip sheet called "Doug on the Downs" for Kawartha Downs. For those who aren't too familiar with harness racing, Kawartha is a little harness track near Peterborough, Ontario. I needed some harness racing on my resume. I figured I might as well post them on here, too. So here it is, the inaugural "Doug on the Downs."
Race 1: 2-1-3
#2 THE ROCK took three weeks off and came here last week, racing an okay fifth. Came home in a good 27.3 at Mohawk on May 7. Gets some post relief and should be a bit sharper tonight. #1 REAL RAYE won here last week by almost three lengths in 1.57.1 (same race as The Rock) sitting a pocket trip. Good post to work with tonight, can double up with a good trip. #3 CAMSTER races best on the front end, winning two in a row at Flamboro and Western Fair. Big post relief and gets Gord Brown in the bike tonight.
Race 2: 2-7-6
#2 ARTISTIC GUSSIE has been racing well at Flamboro, exiting a 4th place finish against NW$10,000L. She drops in class tonight and can race well both on and off the pace. #7 CROSSROADS came off of a two week break and scored an easy win here last week. She got very soft fractions in that start and will need to work harder tonight from post seven. #6 FLIGHT OF AN ANGEL came in from Rideau and finished 4th behind Crossroads. She is a come from behind type who would be helped if the early fractions were faster tonight.
Race 3: 1-5-9
#1 P L INFERNO has had poor posts in his three starts so far but draws the rail tonight. He is capable of coming home quickly and will benefit if the pace is fast tonight. #5 SPORTS FEVER finished third in a higher class last week on the front end. It doesn't look like there is any pace to his inside so he will probably look to go wire to wire. #9 ROYAL MACHERY exits a runner up finish at Flamboro. He could improve in his third start, but will need to work out a trip from the trailing tier.
Race 4: 6-5-4
#6 GWENS A STAR raced a good third last week, beaten very little for second. She catches a soft looking group here. #5 MACH OF THE TOWN comes in from Flamboro. She has taken a lot of money in her last three starts and has not been able to win. Perhaps she will like the 5/8ths oval better than the half. #4 LEAHS JET exits a qualifying win over a sloppy track. She has not raced since January, but the time off may have benefited her.
Race 5: 2-9-6
#2 HURRICANE HAZEL raced on the WEG circuit this spring. She showed some ability in her debut, finishing third with a final 1/4 in 28. She took an easy qualifying win coming into this race. #9 WINDSUN MADISON made her career debut last week, finishing second. She starts from the trailing tier behind two horses who may show early foot, meaning she could work out a good trip. #6 EARLY HIT raced at this level last week, going to the front and getting caught late. He was a three time winner last year with seven on the board finishes in 13 starts. He makes his second start off the layoff tonight.
Race 6: 4-3-5
#4 KEYSTONE SAMURAI blew up the board with a 28-1 win last week. When she can work out a trip she is almost always competitive. She should be able to race well again tonight. #3 HELLO AMERICA finished fourth behind Keystone Samurai last week. She had been racing primarily in the Maritimes, where she had an okay 2014, with three wins and a mark of 1.57.1 at Charlottetown. She may improve in her second local start. #5 ANNIE MCVICAR is a bit win-shy, hitting the board in 19 of her last 35 starts but only managing to win once. She managed to finish second behind Keystone Samurai with a bad post last week and has a shot to turn the tables.
Race 7: 5-3-6
#5 JET AIRLINER raced a very good second last week, fighting for the lead early and only getting beat a half length. Last year he took a mark of 1.55.4 over this oval and could improve second off the layoff. #3 MAJOR AARIES came in from Rideau and beat Jet Airliner last week with a stalking trip. He gets an easier post tonight and will likely be a big factor again. #6 SOS MACH XTREME dead heated for second with Jet Airliner, rallying from off the pace. He did benefit from the contested pace, but he could race well second off the bench.
Race 8: 1-5-4
#1 LOVES A CHALLENGE took an easier win at Hiawatha on May 9th and has since raced well twice at Mohawk, beaten only two lengths on Monday. He should be tough in this spot. #5 ZAMBUCA GASS was a seven time winner last year with a mark of 1.53.4 at Rideau. He raced at this level last week and was beaten only 3/4 of a length. A repeat of the effort should make him a factor tonight. #4 FORTUNE PLAYBOY has been racing in the high claiming ranks at Rideau and doing well when he gets a trip. He had some decent races at Woodbine earlier this year, notably a third on March 19.
Race 9: 1-6-3
#1 SURVEILLANCE exits a two length win at Rideau. She had some breaking issues here last year but was competitive whenever she stayed flat. Hopefully these issues don't arise this year. #6 GIRL DRAMA was a very easy winner at this level last week. She was a winner at Woodbine last year, and a repeat of last week's race makes her very tough tonight. #3 REDIAL finished third behind Girl Drama last week, making an off the pace middle move and evening out down the stretch. He gets some post relief tonight.
Race 10: 3-2-1
#3 BETTER ART showed some improvement last week, moving in from Mohawk. He had a very good year on the B tracks last year and should be good if he continues moving in the right direction. #2 JACKSON KILLEAN finished fifth last week in his first start since December. Gord Brown takes the drive tonight. She could move forward second off the layoff. #1 THREE NEW DAWNS won a couple of races in California this winter. In four starts at Rideau he has managed a very good third on May 10 and nothing else particularly notable. He is an on and off type who should be a factor if he is on.
Good luck to everybody playing tonight!