Metro Pace night full-card analysis and "Drive On Bets"

Metro Pace night full-card analysis and "Drive On Bets"

Mohawk Racetrack hosts one of the biggest nights on the summer harness racing calendar tonight headlined by the $700,000 Metro Pace. We analyze all the action for you right here on the Drive On blog and hope to put you onto a few good priced winners along the way.


Here is our full-card analysis followed by the “Drive On bets” segment:


1 -- Pace, purse $12,500 (DD, EX, P3, TR) NW $5,000 LAST 5 STARTS OR NW $12,000 LAST 10 STARTS.

We hate to kick off the proceedings with chalk, but, the #1 Monte Christo looks solid in here,  following a strong 2nd last week to easy winner Bestofbest Hanover. Campbell also returns for a second drive. The #9 Web Cam is the only horse in the race dropping in class and merits a close look exiting a highly-rated dash. #2 Justalittleluck was closing swiftly for Davis Jr. last week in the same race Monte Christo raced in. Also figures highly if he can get away better from the gate.


2 -- Trot, purse $121,737 (EX, P3, TR) SIMCOE STAKES - 3 YEAR OLDS.

Three horses in this race that have been racing in the highest classes - #1 Lindy’s Tru Grit, #2 High Bridge and #8 El Rocket – figure to take the bulk of the wagering support. That being said, there are a couple in here capable of upsetting all three, especially if they engage in some battling in the middle of the race. We like the impeccably-bred #4 Body Balance to turn the trick making his 2ndstart in the Brad Maxwell barn. He has shown he can fire home quickly and figures to be mowing ‘em down in the lane. The other potential upsetter is #6 Team Six who closed well from an impossible spot in the Zweig at Vernon and if he can duplicate anything close to the 26.4 last ¼ he fired off should be right there on the wire. #2 High Bridge has obvious talent as he did make the Hambletonian Final, but the break of stride in his most recent race is a bit disconcerting.


3 -- Pace, purse $30,000 (EX, P3, TR) METRO - CONSOLATION - 2 YEAR OLDS.

We believe there is an excellent wagering opportunity here as the #2 Here Comes William comes into this tilt off two poor placings in The Nassagaweya and Metro elim but we think he had valid excuses in both and offers tremendous value as the public will likely be overlook him. In both of those events the Dragon Again colt was way too far back to mount any serious challenge and while his penultimate start was one of the worst of his career he bounced back in The Metro elim with a 27.1 last ¼ the only problem being most of the horses in front of him were pacing just as fast at that point and he was spun widest losing ground. We have a strong feeling that new pilot Pierce will use the inside post to get away closer and that may be all this horse needs. The horse to beat in here is the #^ Somewhere In LA who holds a strong hand because he is likely the quickest leaver in a filed devoid of early speed. He too has a big shot at a much shorter price than Here Comes William. #7 Some Major Beach moved early as expected last week but was repelled by Arthur Blue Chip. Expect Tetrick to put this colt into the race early.


4 -- Pace, purse $34,000 (EX, P3, TR, Y4) PREFERRED.

This might be one of the best Preferred classes you’ll ever see. Let’s see…#7 Sunshine Beach returns home after knocking off the mighty Captain Treacherous in The Battle Of Brandywine. #5 Camaes Fellow returns to action following a stellar 148.0 Preferred win last month. #2 Speed Again steps into this class fresh off a 148.1 demolition of NW16500L5 foes two weeks ago. All that considered, I am shooting for a monster upset from the best-named horse in the sport #4 Piston Broke. This 4YO Shark Gesture gelding has been in top shape since early July and had no luck fishing out cover last week which resulted in a long first-over grind that set the race up for #6 Upfront Hoosierboy. We’re thinking Tetrick might get this guy a golden covered trip and convert at big odds. We will be using all of 2,4,5 and 7 in the early pick 4.


5 -- Pace, purse $451,000 (EX, P3, SU, TR) SHES A GREAT LADY - FINAL - 2 YEAR OLD FILLIES.

This race shapes up as a Battle Royale between the two elim winners, #2 Precocious Beauty (who has really lived up to her name thus far) and #3 Beach Gal. If we had to split hairs, we would give an ever so slight edge to Beach Gal solely based on last week’s tour-de-force in which she blew her foes off the racetrack with a 26.1 last ¼ at a wildly overlaid price of 17/1 (yes, we ca$hed). That being said, Precocious Beauty is the more tactical of the duo *and if given any breathers will be tough to overhaul. We prefer to use both in the early Pick 4 confident of moving on. The #1 Rockingcam Park lost all hope at the start last week with an early miscue and is worth inclusion in exotics wagers as she could bounce back with a more typical contending effort.


6 -- Pace, purse $16,000 (EX, P3, SU, TR) NW $8,000 LAST 5 STARTS OR NW $20,000 LAST 10 STARTS.

Two horses mainly interest us in here mainly because they were both live last week but compromised by a slow first half which resulted in an impossible task to win for both. #3 Emerald Lexus may be the best bet in this heat, especially if he goes anywhere near the 7/1 morning line at post time. When the top two sprinted away from the field off a pedestrian 28.4 second ¼ this one fired home best of the others, circling horses in 27.1 coming home. Zeron excels with these types given an acceptable trip. #5 Im Feelin Good was in a similar situation stuck on the rail while the top two sprinted away but still finished well for Davis Jr. Two others we are using in the early pick 4 are #3 Winning Dream who faced better in streaking Aslan and a rounding-into-form Bettor Again. He too is a big threat in here. The #9 Mach It Big is also worth inclusion returning home after venturing east for the Gold Cup And Saucer in PEI.


7 -- Pace, purse $683,000 (EX, P3, SU, TR) METRO - FINAL - 2 YEAR OLDS.

Here it is. The biggest race on the 2YO summer stakes calendar, The Metro. One of the elim winners, #4 Arthur Blue Chip is already a scratch. This is a VERY contentious field and the outcome will likely come down to trip and tactics. We are using three horses to close out the pick 4 hopeful that the longshot of the three #5 Tellitlikeitis can get the job done at a big price. Last week he lacked racing room late yet still fired home in 26.3 – by far his best final ¼ to date. We are thinking Pierce may work out a similar pocket trip as he did with 20/1 bomb Simply Business in the 2011 edition of The Metro and get up in the shadow of the wire. #2 Lets Drink On It also has tactical speed and last week showed grit and heart digging in late to hold off #1 BoomBoom Ballykeel. #3 Western Vintage, a $7,000 yearling and likely post-time favorite is hard to toss, but, was the recipient of an extremely easy trip last time as he strolled through a 29.1 third quarter which meant lights out for his overly patient opponents.

EARLY PICK 4 TICKET: 2457/23/2359/235 = $48 for a $1 base ticket or $9.60 for a 20-cent base ticket


8 -- Pace, purse $24,000 (EX, P3, SU, TR, P4) NW 4 RACES OR $135,000 LIFETIME. AE: NW OF A RACE IN 2013.

It looks like the morning line maker got this race right as the three mian contenders are ranked highest. Not ideal to kick off a pick 4, but those are the only three we like in here starting with #3 Frankies Dragon who drops out of a VERY contentious dash that had much better horses yet he only lost by less than 3 lengths while capping off a 149.4 mile with a 26.3 kicker. Might be a good single if you want to lean that way. We will be using two others, #2 Astor, who got hopelessly buried last week when several horses got hung out the route including the winner, Shelby’s Cobra, and #5 Apprentice Hanover who was last seen here competing in the North America Cup Final. This task is obviously easier but he may be a bit rusty.


9 -- Trot, purse $121,737 (EX, P3, SU, TR) SIMCOE STAKES - 3 YEAR OLDS.

#7 Your So Vain is a standout in here. He took three weks off following The Hambo and had the perfect tightener over this oval last Friday firing home in 26.4 while getting a feel for the track. There is certainly enough pace in here to set up his kick and we expect to see SZ go sailing by with this guy early in the lane. #4 Toocool Forschool was hard used to make front last time and paid the price. He offers some exotics value. #2 Deadliest Catch brings a speedy Pocono win to Mohawk with him, but we know Pocono is like a speedway these days. He should get a minor slice, however.


10 -- Pace, purse $651,000 (EX, P3, SU, TR) CANADIAN PACING DERBY - FINAL - 3 YEAR OLDS& OLDER.

This may turn out to be the best race of the night. Although we will be going 3-deep on our main pick 4 ticket, we will likely single #3 A Rocknroll Dance on another. He has been nothing short bof spectacular his past two starts and if you watch the replay closely from last week, Tetrick didn’t appear to be overly worried by onrushing #4 Clear Vision late. The latter, who sizzled a 25 flat final ¼ in the elim will be used but also is likely to be overbet. One thing you should ask yourself is: “If a horse closing in 25 flat but doesn’t WIN, what does he need to happen to get the job done?” In his defence, there was NO movement in that race as it was reduced to a 5-horse field due to scratches and all 5 were in the Final regardless. Tough call but ARNR Dance’s tactical speed gives him the edge. #2 Bolt The Duer looked very strong last week and he too is a must-use in the late pick 4.


11 -- Pace, purse $20,000 (EX, LD, SU, TR) NW $14,000 LAST 5 STARTS OR NW $28,000 LAST 10 STARTS

#6 Sparky Mark came home in a remarkable 52.2 last week and was actually in front about three strides past the wire. Expect a MUCH more aggressive drive tonight with the class drop. #5 Bettor Again, a horse loaded with class raced huge last week first-over and made surging Aslan work every step for a perfect-trip win. He is a must-use in the pick 4. #1 Bestofbest Hanover won as easily as a horse could last week and showed he is returning to his best form. #4 Alexie Mattosie could trip out with his tactical speed and could sit the pocket behind Sparky Mark. Using all four of these in the pick 4.

Late Pick 4 tickets: 235/7/345/1456 = $36 for $1 or $7.20 for 20 cents and 3/7/345/1456 = $12 or $2.40 and 235/7/3/1456 = $12 for $1 or $2.40 for 20 cents


12 -- Pace, purse $18,000 (EX, SU, TR) 4 YEAR OLDS & YOUNGER, NW 2 RACES OR $60,000 LIFETIME

#2 Ellis Park, winless this year, was obviously live last week but too far back early. His 25.3 final ¼ off a 20-day break sets him up perfectly for a more aggressive effort and an upset of likely chalk #4 Rockin Wizard who was an easy winner in the same race last week. This looks like a solid exacta box to end the proceedings. If triactors and supers are your thing, also consider #1 Nickel Bag, #5 RockNRoll Harmony #6 Genesee and #10 Urbanite Hanover underneath the top 2.


DRIVEON BETS: Current Balance $4644.50

Starting Balance $2000 = + $2644.50


Tonight’s wagers:

Race 1: $2 Pick 3: 129/46/26 ($24) and 129/46/2 ($12), $10 exactas 1/29 ($20) $5 exactas 29/1

($10) $5 tri 1/29/29 and 29/1/29 ($20) = total $86

` Race 2: $3 Pick 3: 46/26/2457 ($48) and $2 Pick 3: 46/2/2457 ($16) $10 exacta box 4-6 ($20) = $84

Race 3: $20 exacta box 2-6 ($40) and $60 win 2 = $100

Race 4: $2 Pick 4: 2457/23/2359/235 = $192 and $2 pick 4: 2457/23/23/235 = $96 = $188 total

Race 6: $5 pick 3: 2359/235/3 = $60

Race 7: $10 exacta box 235 ($60) $5 tri box 234 ($30) $40 win 5 = total $130

Race 8: $5 pick 4 235/7/345/1456 = $180 and $10 Pick 4: 3/7/3/1456 ($40) = $220 total

Race 12: $10 tri 24/24/15610 ($80) and $2 Super 24/24/15610/15610 ($48) and $3 Super

24/15610/24/15610 ($72) = $200 total

Total wagered: $1,068 Current Balance: $3576.50 = +1576.50


Good Luck everyone!

Meet Garnet Barnsdale


I am an Honours Graduate from Humber College School of Journalism and a lifelong race fan and handicapper who has been watching and wagering on harness racing for more than 30 years. I was a staff writer for The Standardbred magazine in the late '80s. I will attempt to provide both beginners and veterans with valuable information and handicapping tips and advice on the top events from all major harness circuits.

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