Race 1: 5-1-2
#5 COUGAR GAL was non-competitive in her last start, a $10,000 claimer at Flamboro on March 6 where she drew a very poor post. Two starts ago she raced a respectable fourth for $5,000. She qualified here last week, showing early speed but having to deal with broken equipment at the 3/4 marker and finishing in 2.01.2. She had success at Kawartha last year, taking a seasonal mark of 1.57 flat. #1 LILY REI has spent the winter and spring racing at Pompano Park in Florida, hitting the board in eight of 16 starts so far in 2016. She has suffered numerous bad trips down there but was beaten only a nose in her last start. She was vet scratch on May 15. She draws the rail post and should have a fitness edge over her rivals. Despite her win-shy record, she looks like the one to beat. #2 KEYSTONE SAMURAI had a good season last year, taking a record of 26-3-6-5 with a mark of 1.56.2 here at Kawartha. She ended last year's meet with three consecutive runner up finishes behind Carly Hollywood, who at the time was razor sharp. Her qualifying effort looks solid, going in 1.59.1 with a final 1/4 of 28.3.
Race 2: 1-5-4
#1 SEDONA SEELSTER is a new addition to the barn of Doug Hie. He has shown very little in his racing career, the exception being a runner-up finish at Flamboro for $10,000 claiming despite a parked out trip on December 31. He exits a narrow qualifying win in 1.58.4 over Dg Ramtough and Mr Xl, both respectable horses here. We'll see how sharp he is. #5 ROYAL MACHERY had a few solid races here last summer. He has raced twice at Mohawk recently, finishing fourth in 1.55 flat last out on May 5. He was scratched due to sickness on May 16 and now returns at this much lower level. Expect him to be tough. #4 ROSE RUN REBEL has only one parimutuel start under his belt, making a break and showing little at Sarnia in July. He qualified last week, making a first over move past the 1/2 and flattening out in the stretch. We will have to see if he can get a trip tonight.
Race 3: 3-4-1
#3 POWERFUL WOMEN raced against NW$10,000 conditioned foes at Flamboro last time out where she finished sixth. She made a three-wide move at 3/4s and paced the back half of the mile in 59 flat. She makes her third start off of a layoff here and drops back into the claiming ranks. #4 MARITIME GIRL had five wins in 23 starts last year, more than any of her rivals tonight. This year she has not been so lucky, racing 19 times already in 2016 with four third-place finishes. Her last three efforts, which came at Flamboro and London, were all respectable and she drops in class here. Certainly one to consider at 10-1. #1 E L WILDSPIRIT has been racing for $12,000 claiming at Flamboro and has put in quite a few good efforts. Last time out he was shuffled back past the 1/2, swung three-wide at 3/4s, made up some ground but flattened out in the final 1/8th. The class drop and the rail post make him a large threat here.
Race 4: 1-2-6
#1 NORTHERN PRIMA has been racing at Mohawk and showing some kick over the big oval. Last time out he took a shuffle but still came home in 28.2, two back he paced the back half in 56.1, and three back he finished third with a three-wide move at 3/4s. She's got sme form and drops in class. Looks tough to me. #2 TREASURED MOMENTS made three breaks at Flamboro last time out on May 7, but had a pair of decent runner up finishes their prior to that disaster. She has been given three weeks off since then and should hopefully be able to stay flat tonight. #6 E L DARTSMYBOY wrapped up 2015 with some okay races at the higher condition levels in London. He qualified in 1.57.2 aty Georgian Downs last week with a 57.3 middle half. The post isn't great but he seems to have some pace.
Race 5: 5-1-3
#5 LILYSGONECHEATING was a wire to wire winner at London three starts back. She followed that up with a runner up finish, then got a tough trip in a City of London series division. If she gets off of the gate well I expect her to be a factor. #1 CANTAFFORDHOLIDAY made two starts down in London, finishing second first time out then finishing fourth in a City Of London series division, trotting the mile in 2.04.2. She draws well and has the right to improve with experience. #3 CAN EYE GO has been racing in Pennsylvania with no success. She is capable of showing speed off of the gate and with the class drop she may have a shot here.
Race 6: 8-2-4
#8 TEAM LEADER made a break at the start then was swung three wide at the half in London last out. In her previous start at Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago she was beaten only a nose, and before that showed very good finishing kick at Miami Valley Raceway in Ohio. The post will make things tough for her. #2 SILKYS LADY exits the same race in London as my top choice. She was parked every step from the 1/2 marker on and raced fairly well to be fourth by four lengths. She shows a couple of respectable miles at Vernon Downs in New York last fall. She looks like a big contender. #4 BONNIES GEM makes her career debut following two qualifiers at Mohawk. She showed some gate speed in her most recent qualifier where she was beaten a length in 1.59.2. Her talent level is an unknown at this point.
Race 7: 1-5-4
#1 STRONSKI made her first Ontario start at Flamboro last week after campaigning at Northfield Park in Cleveland. At Flamboro he set the pace, met pressure at the 3/4 marker, dueled gamely but missed by a head. I expect him to be on or near the front tonight. #5 CONNERY BLUE CHIP wintered at Pompano and already has a win in 1.53.2 this season. She returned to Ontario after two weeks off in a $6,500 claimer at Rideau, finishing third in 1.56 flat but was placed eighth for interference. He certainly has the speed, expect him to be live. #4 TWANG TWANG finished third and was claimed for $6,500 at Rideau two back, getting parked and going the mile in 1.57.1. He returned for $8,000 at Flamboro but caught the eight hole, finished fairly well but was a non-threatening sixth. Post and class relief make him a player here.
Race 8: 7-1-4
#7 PACIFIC WAVE K invades from Northfield where has caught a few poor post positions as of late. Unfortunately the poor post luck continues here. Last time out he trotted the back half in 57.3, quite quick for a trotter over a half mile track. He already has two wins to his name in 2016, with a mark of 1.57.2 at Miami Valley. #1 SCARY GOOD was racing at Woodbine over the winter and early spring with a few okay miles. On February 5 he finished third in 1.57.3. On March 5 he was fourth in 1.56.4 with a 57.2 back half. He was very win shy last year, just one for 39, but if he's ready off of the layoff he could contend in this field. #4 EXCUSE ME PLEASE has finished second in two of his last three starts, both at Flamboro in similar conditions to what he faces tonight. He is not a super consistent type but can show some speed off of the gate when asked.
Race 9: 3-6-2
#3 P L DANGEROUS has been having a great 2016, compiling a record of 16-4-5-1 with nearly $15,000 banked. Two back at London in an Alliance Claiming Stakes Series divison he got an awful trip and finished fifth, but was claimed for $6,000. He returned at Rideau in a $6,500 claimer, got a first over trip but still finished second by a length in a very quick 1.55.3. If he can show that kind of speed again he will be a big threat. #6 ABERADER MAX has two wins for $8,000 claiming at London so far this year. Three back he was a first over winner in 1.57 flat, a solid time over the London half miler. In his two most recent starts he has not gotten great trips but has raced well regardless. His come from behind style mixed with post 6 may not be beneficial but he certainly isn't lacking in talent. #2 SANTANNAS GAL is winless in 13 tries this year but has some good miles that make her looks tough. Two back she finished second (albeit by six lengths) in a $12,000 claimer at Flamboro. She managed to hit the board a few times at Woodbine back in March in $10,000 claimers. The class drop and good post give her win potential here.
Race 10: 1-5-2
#1 MISTER BIG TOP has been racing in the high level conditions at Flamboro and London as of late. Last time out in London he was fifth by four lengths in 1.56.4. Although he's a win shy type, the class drop and the post make him appealing with an 8-1 ML. #5 EVENING JOB was a winner in an $8,000 claimer at Flamboro two back in 1.56.1. He jumped up for $12,000 last time out and raced an okay fourth (placed third.) He's a very classy old horse, 10 years old, 46 wins in his career, what's not to love? A win tonight would push his career earnings over the $500,000 mark. #2 GALAGHER SEELSTER has returned from a layoff with two starts at Mohawk, both times showing no early speed, rushing up in the third quarter but flattening out late. Last year he took a mark of 1.51.1 at Woodbine. I have to expect he'll be asked for some speed tonight, and could be sharp in his third start off of the break.
Good luck to everyone playing tonight!