Spot Play Hot Plays for Columbus Day at Batavia

Trotting Monday at America’s oldest lighted harness track. (Photo: Sharon Cantillon)

By Kevin Oklobzija

It’s the final Monday card of the meet, with a Columbus Day first-race post time of 1:15 p.m.

The early Pick 5 has a guaranteed pool of $1,500 but if you’re going to get rewarded, you’ll need to find a double-digit horse or two, because it appears to be a chalk-filled sequence.

The unknown: with better than an inch of rain in the forecast for overnight Sunday into Monday, will closers have an advantage?

Race 4

No. 4 Doing Some Damage (10-1 morning line). This might be the only race in the Pick 5 to try to wake one up, and I’m willing to take a shot here off the claim by J.D. Perrin. Plus, if the inside three horses battle to see who gets away third, then his chances get even better. Keying him in exacta boxes with a few in here could be profitable.

Race 6

No. 3 Madd Hoss Jackson (5/2 morning line). Was off four weeks and drew post 8 for his race on Sept. 30, and yet he still raced absolutely huge in his debut for the Stalbaum/Asher barn. Unleashed an early¬†three-wide charge coming to the half and made the lead, but eventually tired in the lane. He’ll be even-money or less, but any repeat of that performance assures victory.

Race 11

No. 4 Electric Chapel N (3-1 morning line). This guy was pacing 1:53-and-change miles two years ago at Yonkers. He obviously had issues this spring, with big gaps in his lines through April and May, and horrible performances when he did race. Trainer Don Niles is pretty good with reclamation projects, though. Yes, there were only three horses in the qualifier on Sept. 30, but look who just inched past Electric Chapel nearing the wire: Teo Enteo N. That Stalbaum pacer was in Saturday night’s invitational, where he used a powerful three-wide move to take the lead into the lane before Foiled Again roared by.

Recapping the weekend SPHPs

Friday

Race 1 Cam Engine (went off at 7-1). Fourth. Hung out to dry after he couldn’t make the lead on a first-over brush. Still held for fourth.

Race 4 Red Roll (22-1). Third. Ended up with dream second-over cover but wasn’t as good as the top two.

Race 6 The Rockinator (3/5). Winner. A fairly easy first-over winner but paid only $3.40

Race 9 Stargazing Cruiser (3-1). Second. Closing from the outside post proved to be too much as Gimme the Pacifics went wire-to-wire for the win.

Saturday

Race 1 Listowel (8/5). Winner. Let No. 6 Brett McFavreless gain the top and then made a backside brush to the front. They went around the track that way, with Listowel holding on by the slimmest of noses. Paid $5.20.

Race 8 Rebel Soldier. Scratched.

Race 11 Serious George. Second. Chelseas Chance got away on the front end and Serious George never got rolling until late, in part because there was no early outer flow, in part because two horses went off stride.

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