It’s not a secret that Mohawk is our favorite racetrack in
the civilized world. That being said (and repeated), tonight marks the first
Saturday card of what promises to be an exciting summer meet. We are only 3
weeks away from the Pepsi North America Cup final in which 2013 USTA Pacer Of
The Year Captain Treacherous will be out to avenge his loss in the Breeders
Crown 2YO pace at Woodbine last fall.
Tonight’s card looks very competitive with a good likelihood
of some healthy payoffs. Before we get to our full-card analysis and the “Drive
On Bets” segment here are some things to look for that may help when
handicapping the Mohawk races as they have recently switched from the quirky
Woodbine oval 30 minutes down the 401 highway.
Mohawk’s races have a much better “flow” as
closers can latch onto cover better and fields don’t typically gap out like
they do at Woodbine. While speed horses and quick-leavers still win the lion’s
share of the dashes, closers have a much better chance of mounting successful rallies
due to the better flow. Quite often at Woodbine powerful stretch headwinds also
favor front-enders. Wind is rarely a factor at Mohawk. It pays to look for
horses that consistently have shown the fastest last ¼ times at Woodbine even
if their rallies fell short. Chances are they will be into the race earlier and
closer at the head of the lane. Some of these horses pay very well because they
have no wins on their most recent PP lines.
Look for horses that had their fastest season mark
at Mohawk in 2012. Many horses return to form at the Campbellville oval and the
“horses for courses” mantra certainly applies here.
Watch closely for hot connections. Driver Scott
Zeron dominated the Mohawk meet in 2012 and drove many Casie Coleman-trained
freshman to victory. Young Z is already off to a hot start knocking out a Grand
Slam opening night on Thursday. When young aggressive drivers like Zeron, Doug
McNair or Billy Davis Jr. get hot they can bunch wins together in a hurry.
Let’s dig into tonight’s card:
Race 1: Trot-Purse $20,000 5 YO &
Younger NW 3 (FM 5) Races or $70,000 Lifetime
The opener is a bit of a head scratcher
with several possibilities. We are going to go for a bit of a price, the #9 R
Raised Emotions on top. This 4YO Kadabra gelding won 6 of 17 last year with 10
exacta finishes and took his season’s mark at The ‘Hawk (1:56 in the slop).
Trainer Henriksen took him out for some exercise from the 10-hole in his 2013
debut and now switches to catch-driver Chris Christoforou Jr. We’re pretty sure
that RRE beat better than this last year. Top call. Others to watch here are the
#2 Strawberry Wine with a 3-5-0 mark from 13 starts this season and the #7
Cimeronken who faced better at London recently.
Race 2: Pace-$8,500 4YO Claiming Handicap
$10,000 to $15,000
#7 Crawfish Creek looks formidable here for
leading trainer Moreau who currently holds almost a 2 to 1 (63 to 33) advantage
on his nearest rival for the winning dash title. Next best are likely the #2
Creighton Hanover and the #8 Cashem In. I wouldn’t expect a large return here,
but that exacta and tri key look solid.
Race 3 Trot-$16,000 NW $8,000 last 5 or
$20,000 last 10 starts
#4 Bruce The Brave made a devastating move
on the Woodbine backstretch to win going away last week. A similar brush could
crush these. The two “Photos” #8 Wine Photo and #7 Star Photo both took quick
marks at Mohawk last summer and definitely fit in here. Any of the three are
capable of taking this dash – I will likely play whichever is longest odds
nearing the off.
Race 4 Pace-$20,000 NW $14,000mlast 5 or
$29,000 last 10
This race kicks off an extremely tough pick
4 segment. We will be using 4 horses in here hoping to get a price. The #1
Roethlissberger steps up off a sharp 151.1 score and is worth including at 15/1
m/l odds. #2 Astor came to the circuit
after chasing some very tough competition at Harrah’s Philly and exploded home
with a 52.4 back half in his first start on this circuit. No chance he goes
anywhere close to his 12/1 m/l odds. The #3 Anderlecht is a classy veteran
that drops in class and can be raced effectively from anywhere the driver
pleases. The #9 Twin B Impressive also drops for Moreau and raced in 149.1
(53.2 back half) last time vs. Dan Patch-bound Up The Credit. Must use.
Race 5 Trot-$12,500 NW $5,000 last 5 or
$10,000 last 10 starts
Once again we are using 4 horses on our
pick 4 ticket starting with the #1 Northern Spark who drops to the lowest class
and shows a win a class higher 6 back. Big shot. The #3 Duke of Donegal
returned to form finishing second when he dropped into this class last time and
merits inclusion. #6 Master Builder shows a win in claiming two back that, if
repeated, would make him tough to beat. #9 All Cantab has a sneaky good most
recent chartline including the fastest (27.3) last ¼. Likely a “go” for “The
Postman” Anthony MacDonald when the gates swing open.
Race 6 Pace-$25,000 3YO
There are some very speedy colts and
geldings in this tilt two of which competed unsuccessfully in the 2YO Breeders
Crown Pace Final last fall. We’ll use both of those on our ticket - #3 Captive
Audience and #7 Fool Me Once as well as the consistent Menary-trained Tarpon
Hanover who sizzled a 26.0 last ¼ in his season’s debut at Woodbine last
Race 7 Pace-$16,000 NW $8,000 Last 5 or NW
$21,000 Last 10
Another highly competitive dash that has us
using 4 horses in the Pick 4 finale, #1 That’s The Life has shown better recent
form and figures a good trip from the rail for Davis Jr. #2 The Ladies Man took
a mark of 151.0 at Mohawk last summer and figures to benefit from the inside
draw as well. #5 The Paninsula Hotel has two recent races that are good enough
win this handily if repeated. He is a bit of a win-shy type, however, #6 Rock
Me Amastreos is the value play in this race. He is taking a big class drop and
is in good enough form to take advantage. Look for MacDonell to put him in the
That makes our pick 4 ticket a bit pricey
but hopefully lucrative.
Here it is: 1239/1369/237/1256 – total $192
for $1 or $38.40 for 20-cents
Race 8 Pace-$12,500 NW $5,000 L5 or $10,000
This is an ultra-tough start to the late
Pick 4 and we’re hoping to get by using 3 horses. #8 Uncle Goodfellow is our
top pick and value play, He went a monster first-over trip in a claimer first
time on the circuit and is definitely worth a play at a price. The #9
Yanoyanomenow comes in from Maywood for Gillis/S. Zeron in excellent form. #4
Audrey’s Dream drops to a class he can handle.
Race 9 Pace-$16,000 NW $8,000 L5 or $21,000
#6 Mystician lays over this low-level
condition field and the $1.8 million earner looks like a solid P4 single. For
the bottom end of the Super we are using #3 Monte Christo, # 8 Bettor’s Reward,
#1 Im Feeling Good and #7 Top Gear
Race 10 Pace-$27,000 NW $30,000 Last 5 starts
#5 State Treasurer steps up off a powerful 149.1
win and will be tough to overhaul if he minds his manners. Others on our Pick 4
ticket here are #2 Mach Dreamer, #7 OK Commander and #8 Oddyseus Bluechip.
Pressing the #5 though.
Race 11 Pace $20,000 NW $14,000 L6 or
We finish off the late Pick 4 using what is
likely to be the four deepest closers in a filed laden with early speed. #1
Stonebridge On Ice, #3 Machal Jackson #4 Drain Daddy and #10 Ideal Race all
figure to back out of an early stampede for the top and we’re counting on one
of those 3 to swoop ‘em all late.
The late pick 4 ticket maps out like this:
489/6/2578/1349 = $48 for a $1 wager or $9.60 for 20 cents
Race 12 Pace-$12,500 NW $5,000 L5 or NW
$10,000 L 10 starts
We’re thinking Scott Zeron may just blast
right to the front with Gillis-trainee #10 Insane In Spain and lead this field
of underachievers on a merry futile chase. Others that figure include #2 Putnam
Attack (driven by Scott’s dad Rick), #8 Val America and #9 Leafs and Wings.
DRIVE ON BETS: Starting Balance: $2,000
Current Balance: $1,814
Tonight’s wagers: Race 1: $20 win #9, $20 Daily Double 9-7, $5 exacta
9/27 $5 tri 9/27/27 total = $60
Race 2: $20 exactas 7/28; $5 tri 7/28/28 = total $50
Race 4: $1 pick 4: 1239/1369/237/1256 = total $192
Race 8: $2 Pick 4: 489/6/5/1349, $1 Pick 4: 489/6/2578/1349 = total $72
Race 12: $40 win #10, $1 Super 10/2389/2389/2389 = $64
Total wagered: $438
Closing Balance: $1,374