With Auckland Reactor set to make his first North American pari-mutuel start this week, the question needs to be asked what kind of horse will he be? Will he be the second coming of Cardigan Bay or will he be another San Simeon? The anwer is probably neither. I truly expect Auckland Reactor to get his share of wins, but the fact is he is not going to be the vanquisher of North America's FFAllers.
Make no mistake, Auckland Reactor is a very, very good horse, but not a great horse. For sure he is one of the best horses in Australasia but when he has raced in Australia in some of the marquee events, he had was defeated by horses like Karloo Mick and Monkey King at the mile distance. He can be beat. My guess and hope is that the top of the FFA class will be taking turns beating each other this year and Auckland Reactor will get his share of victories along with them.
It is important to remember why Auckland Reactor has come to our shores. It's all about breeding. He is on a showcase tour this year to impress breeders with his ability and speed before he retires at the end of this season and stands stud in North America. The hope is he becomes the first pacer who breaks the 1:46 barrier. If he breaks the all-time mark and gets his share of victories, his syndicate group will be more than satisfied.
Here is hoping the Reactor lives up to the hype. Hopefully, Auckland Reactor can be a story which we can market to the media this year and attract interest to our FFA pacing division.
Here are my selections for Auckland Reactor's debut.Reactor's North American pari-mutuel debut.
Meadowlands 10th Pace - $32,000; Invitational
1 - Corky Baran (10-1) - Drops out of the graduate but may still find himself overmatched.
2 - Pilgrims Toner (3-1) - Reality has begun to set in for this pacer. Expect him to be caught in the stretch.
3 - Auckland Reactor N (5-2) - Finds a relatively weak field for his debut. Look for him to ride behind Pilgrims Toner to the stretch.
4 - Blatantly Good (4-1) - Nice start at Chester. Expect him to be second best.
5 - Real Joke (6-1) - Filling out the field. Outclassed.
6 - Share The Delight (5-1) - If he stays flat he could be an upset possibility.
7 - Vintage Master (8-1) - Making seasonal debut. Not tonight.
As discussed previously, Friday night presents the elimnations for the Molson Pace at Western Fair Raceway. Here are my selections for the three eliminations.
Western Fair 8th Pace - $20,000; Molson Pace Elims - FFA
1 - Legal Litigator (2-1) - Draws the rail and shows he can win on the smaller oval. Only knock is three week lay-off.
2 - Stonebridge Terror (10-1) - Has shown little since his return to the racing wars. Can't see.
3 - Primary Purpose (7-1) - British Columbia import picked up minor spoils in last at Woodbine. Don't see here.
4 - Southwind Lynx (9-2) - Winner of Meadowlands Invitational two weeks ago shows his ability on the half. The horse to beat.
5 - Anderlecht (6-1) - Won return against cheaper. May be the best of the rest.
6 - Keep It Real (7-5) - Reeled off three straight at YR including most recent in Open Handicap. However, meeting tougher., May complete the Supers.
7 - Bay of Sharks (20--1) - Shown good lines in Breeders Crown but appears the half mile oval is not his game. Couple this with bad post; pass.
Western Fair 9th Pace - $20,000; Molson Pace Elims - FFA
1 - Blueridge Western (6-1) - Shown improvement in last two starts but likely overmatched despite the rail position.
2 - Lucky Man (12-1) - Don't see. Pass.
3 - Panmunjom (10-1) - Winner of last has not been able to defeat Bigtime Ball. Minor spoils at best.
4 - Won The West (8-5) - Class of the race, but must handle Bigtime Ball.
5 - Carnivore (12-1) - Recent has been poor but has had success over this oval.
6 - Bigtime Ball (7-5) - Doesn't draw as good as WTW but you can't ignore his three straight wins in Wdb Invitational. Horse to beat, but will go off low odds.
7 - Mr Wiggles (8-1) - Good horse; horrible post. Share at best.
8 - Anniesweterncard (5-1) - Tough field and tough post means pass here.
Western Fair 10th Pace - $20,000; Molson Pace Elims - FFA
1 - Chasin Racin (7-1) - Can land share from the rail.
2 - Foiled Again (3-5) - Horse is a monster over the half mile oval but note horse has missed three weeks.
3 - Wholly Louy (4-1) - Failed in Levy consolation and three weeks off. Not a good sign.
4 - Hypnotic Blue Chip (10-1) - No chance in last. Been racing well and tight. Looking for an upset.
5 - Go Go Solano (9-2) - Been freshened and read to go. Can land share.
6 - Pangiorno (15-1) - Missed three weeks but not totally out of it.
7 - River Shark (10-1) - Wiped out of last but draws poorly. Pass.