View Full Version : Freehold: Friday, November 10

11-09-2017, 07:54 PM
Ordinarily, I’d be handicapping my favorite NYRA thoroughbred track. In this case, Aqueduct. Yet, I have a strong belief that Aqueduct will cancel tomorrow. Wind gusts are predicted to be in the 40 mph range. The wind-chill will likely be below freezing. Just too dangerous. Thus, I’m going to make my horse-racing predictions for Freehold Raceway.

NB: With the winds sweeping down Rte. #9 from the northwest (bundle up, boys), I believe the gusty winds will be in the drivers’ faces down the front-straight and at their backs on the backstretch. Thus, it may become quite difficult to mount a closing stretch drive. Therefore, I’m looking for horses who can get early position.

Race One:

My choice here is the “rail horse,” 1 THE SECOND STAR. This Artistic Fella-bred bay filly has been racing against some pretty tough customers, both recently at The Meadowlands, and earlier at “Philly”. This 3 year-old is making her first foray on Freehold Raceway’s tight-turned oval. I believe if this filly can adequately handle the turns, she should prevail. Chris Scicluna mans “the lines”. He’ll need to get this gal out and going when the wings retract. If all goes well, she should go gate-to-wire.

Race Two:

5 TROTTIN TROY gets my nod in the second half of the early double. This aged trotting gelding has an early turn of foot. I look for this Chip Chip Hooray Ohio-bred to be out and going off the gate. Vinny Ginsburg is in the bike for the most capable trainer, Tom Angerame. If this 13-year old gelding can make the top without too much exertion, he should, as the late Howard Cosell would say, “…go all the way!”

Race Three:

5 NOTEBOOKANDTABLET gets my nod in this short-field, 6-horse race. In the past, this 4-year old Mach Three-bred mare has demonstrated a solid early foot. She’s most capable of being put “on the engine” by her driver, one of Freehold Raceway’s finest, Joe Bongiorno. The most capable Nick Surick is this mare’s conditioner. If this Ontario-bred can make the lead without too much effort (there’s speed inside of her), it should be, as the saying goes, “Katy, bar the door” for the rest of the field.

Race Four:

5 TROT COMMANDER is my pick. This 4-year old bay gelding has returned to Freehold after two tries down in “Philly” (he finished 2nd and 4th, respectively). This Cantab Hall-bred does step up in company from his previous efforts at Freehold. Yet, he certainly capable of garnering the win. The New Jersey-native, Joe Bongiorno (it’s hard to believe he’s still in his early 20s), is in the bike. Dawn Anderson both owns and trains this Revenue S-bred gelding. Here’s another horse who combines an early turn of foot with a most capable reinsman.

Race Five:

Back on the trot and it’s the Altamont, IL native (east of St. Louis) who’s in the sulky, Kyle Husted, guiding my pick, 1 BIG EXPENSE. This Lucky Chucky-bred 5-year old bay gelding finished 4th – yet less than one length off the winner – in preferred handicap company. This Wall Street Banker-bred gelding has been the model of consistency in his last few starts, at least when it comes to times, 1:58 and a tick. A repeat of that time should be good enough to get this gelding into the winner’s circle.

Race Six:

2 DONATO’S ARTIST gets my call here as the standardbreds return to the pace. This 3-year old Artiscape-bred bay filly turned in a solid effort in her last (she had been on the shelf for several weeks). Any improvement off that recent effort and she’ll be gracing the winner’s circle. Chris Scicluna has the call for trainer Laurie Molnar.

Race Seven:

4 MASSIVE TALENT just missed in his last in preferred handicap company. This Ontario-bred bay gelding now catches a field he should handle. Look for this Muscle Mass-bred to be out and going as the wings retract. The reinsman is the talented Eric Abbatiello. I’m old enough to remember his father, Carmine, “The Fearless One”. At the time I was teaching on Long Island but made frequent visits to both Roosevelt and Yonkers.

Race Eight:

I’m gonna try to beat the presumed chalk with the “rail horse,” 1 FULL EXPLOSION. An improved starting post off his last try gives this 8-year old bay mare a solid chance of winning this race. The Mainer, Steve Smith, will need to get this mare off the gate quickly to put her in a good striking position to mount a charge at the top of the stretch. Mike Posner trains this Maine-bred mare.

Race Nine:

I believe 3 NOTAGAIN (yes, it’s Steve Smith, again) who I believe has a solid shot of winning the first half of the late double. “Smitty” will have to break alertly with this 4-year old Dragon Again-bred brown gelding so that he’ll be in a perfect position to come charging home in the stretch. Paul Roy trains this Real Artist-bred. Richard Mannon of Flemington, NJ (remember the courthouse in Flemington; the site of the Lindbergh trial) is the owner.

Race Ten:

2 ISE THE BY BOY gets my nod in the finale off his win in this company in his last. This Ontario-bred 10-year old made an impressive back-side move to sweep the field; he stopped the teletimer in 1:57.4. Anything resembling his impressive last-race win and it should be a repeat visit to the winner’s circle for this Mach Three-bred gelding. Vinny Ginsburg reprises the drive for trainer Chris Marino.