View Full Version : Meadowlands "Survivor": Friday, Feb. 2

02-01-2018, 09:08 AM
My Meadowlands "Survivor 10" picks for Friday evening, February 2.

But first, a bit of tongue-in-cheek whimsy:

To be hummed to the J.G. Wentworth commercial:

I Get a Teacher’s Pension, But I Need Cash Now;
I Play "The Survivor's" One Through Ten - That’s How.

I Get a Monthly Annuity, But I Need Cash Now;
I Play "The Survivor's" One Through Ten - That's How.

"The Big M’s" Paid-Out Millions; They Can Pay You Too;
20 Cents Is All You Need; Dreams Do Come True.

"It's Your Money; Bet It As You Choose".

Race One:

4 DRAMA FREE. Rob Harmon drives and Patti Harmon trains this Deweycheatumnhowe-bred gelding who may find himself “on the engine”. This gelding does get post-position relief. Harmon should be gunning this 7-year old out for the lead. If he can make it to the top, it will then be up to Harmon to ration out this gelding’s speed. With a perfectly-rated trip this Yankee Pride-bred can prevail.

9 JUSTICE JET. This Bob Davis-owned and trained gelding will have to overcome his extreme outside post. Yet, that is far from impossible. Make no mistake…this gelding has faced much better at tight-turned Yonkers Raceway. He now gets a racetrack-reprieve as he’ll be trotting on the wide-turned “Big M” oval. I believe the change of scenery will enhance this outside-runner’s chances of getting his picture taken.

5 URIEL. This Annie Stoebe-owned, trained and driven gelding has been quite competitive at this level (two recent third-place finishes). In this gelding’s current form, he cannot be overlooked. Yet, frankly, I’m not crazy about him missing a week.

6 LANDONFITZ. If this 8-year old Chip Chip Hooray-bred runs back to his Dec. 19th race – he finished 2nd in sharp 1:55.4 -- he’s “a player”. This gelding’s owner-driver, David Yarock, was in the bike that evening. Shawn Christner trains.

1 HERE COMES NUMBERS. This 10-year old has shown little in recent efforts in the Catskills, albeit that his starting posts have been an impediment. Yet, this Jennifer Lappe-owned, trained and driven gelding could surprise from the rail. This aged gelding did just that on Dec. 21 at “The Big M” with Lappe at the controls. It wouldn’t be a surprise.

Race Two:

3 IRON DOME. This 4-year old trotter is in very sharp form. The gelding was beaten 2nd-a head in last week’s opener by Misslarose. Anything resembling that stellar effort – he went off as the 3-to-5 “chalk” – will lead to a visit to the winner’s circle. The most capable Jim Marohn, Jr. drives for trainer Patti Harmon.

7 DERF HANOVER. This 4-year old gelding was very impressive in his last against slightly weaker. This Cantab Hall-bred took the lead on the backstretch and was never headed. This gelding, however, will need his best if he is to get his picture taken. I ask: “How good is he?” “The Orange Crush,” Andy Ray Miller, reprises the ride for trainer Jenn Bongiorno.

4 CR BLAZIN BEAUTY. This Crazed-bred black mare is my “surprise horse”. She definitely needed her last, her first pari-mutuel start after a two-month layoff. She turned in a solid effort in her first try back as an 8-1 shot. The mare finished 4th in the previously mentioned Misslarose-Iron Dome race. Billy “You Da” Mann reprises the ride for trainer Al Annunziata.

Race Three:

3 BRAGADOCIO. This 6-year old Donato Hanover-bred ran creditable race in this company after a 3-week layoff; it’s a race he needed. He should be sharper this evening. There appears to be room for improvement. A-Nap reprises the drive for the owner-trainer, Cumberland, RI’s Mike Eaton (I remember Mike when he was just starting out as a driver at Foxboro Raceway).

6 WONDER BUNS. This Victory Sam-bred has been trotting on Freehold’s half-mile tight-turned oval. His last race was impressive as he finished 3rd after starting from the outside 8-post. This gelding is most capable of running a 1:56 mile at “The Big M”. That would make him most competitive in this field. Brett Miller is in the sulky for trainer Stacey Van Huizen.

2 BOLD FRESH. This 9-year old Cantab Hall-bred gelding gets post- position relief off his last start from the 9-hole. This SJ’s Photo-bred took the field to the top of the stretch before running out of gas. A much better starting post makes this well-raced gelding more of a factor. Jim Marohn, Jr. picks up the drive for trainer Jamie Gerard. If there’s a “fly in the ointment,” this gelding has missed a week.

5 RUDDY RUSTY. This 8-year old SJ’s Caviar-bred was competitive in the early going of a similar race but faded to 5th. There is room for improvement. “Le Frelon Vert,” Monsieur Yannick Gingras, reprises the drive for trainer Bill Mullin. If this chestnut gelding can run back to last year’s 1:53.4 mark at Pompano, he would tower over this field.

Race Four:

6 SING ALONG. This 4-year old Rock N Roll Heaven-bred mare definitely fits. This Brett Pelling trainee looks like she’s got loads of talent. I believe she’ll be very competitive here. The only caveat: the one-week layoff. However, I still believe this brown mare can be a factor. Jim Marohn, Jr. is in the bike.
9 MONICA GALLAHER. It appears this mare will be sent to the front from her outside post by her chauffeur, Yannick Gingras. If this 4-year old Mach Three-bred mare can make the top, or a tuck somewhere up close without too much exertion, she will immediately become “a player”. If she does make the lead, it will then be up to Gingras to play: ration, ration, ration. Ron Burke trains. Another horse with a week off.

8 TOUCHMATIC. That was some qualifier this American Ideal-bred mare turned in, especially after a three-month “vacation”. My only question: Does she need an actual pari-mutuel race? I will say that that race she ran up at Monticello in mid-October was eye-catching. If she’s ready after the lengthy layoff? Marcus Miller for Nikolas Drennan.

4 MISS BLING. This mare has turned in a solid effort in her last in this company. The 5-year old will be driven by Jordan Derue. Brett Derue owns and trains. This I’m Gorgeous-bred mare gets post-position relief. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on or near the lead.

7 GUSSIE’S DRAGON. This Dragon Again-bred bay mare is listed as a 15-1 longshot. However, I believe – at her best – she’s a contender. If the speed up front falters and the race breaks down, this mare is most capable of “picking up the pieces”. Billy Dobson is in the bike for trainer Monica Krist.
Race Five:

Race Five:

2 MISSLAROSE. This mare went wire-to-wire against better in her last. It was a masterful rating job by Yannick Gingras (you only win by what you need to). Can this 4-year old mare repeat? I believe she has a solid chance. Gingras reprises for trainer Ron Burke.

1 CASINO CUTIE IT. Bill Mullin drives and trains this Muscles Yankee-bred trotter. The rail will be a good starting point for a possible winner’s circle trip. Yet, I must profess (there’s nothing personal) that I’m a little edgy about a horse’s chances when the trainer drives (I’d like to be proven wrong). This mare won from the rail the last time she drew it at Harrah’s Philadelphia in early December of last year.

9 GUESS WHO’S BACK. This Muscles Yankee-bred gelding has drawn the disadvantageous outside starting post; yet his running style allows him to make a wide-sweeping move that could see this gelding in contention in the stretch. Billy Dobson won last time in this company; he’s capable of repeating. Monica Krist trains.

Race Six:

1 UPFRONT BILLY. This gelding draws the rail and thus immediately becomes a contender. This 9-year old should be sitting in a good stalking position. Yannick Gingras draws the assignment for trainer Mark Ford.

6 ANOTHER CHAPTER. This 4-year old Chapter Seven-bred trotter won his last against slightly weaker, but that was 2-weeks ago. Brett Miller drives for trainer Jim Campbell.

Race Seven:

1 BETTORHAVEANOTHER. This 6-year old bay mare just missed against slightly better in her last. Any slight improvement… Yannick Gingras reprises for trainer Ron Burke.

9 OK HEAVENLY. This mare is definitely “a player”. She has faced better. This 6-year old Sportswriter-bred should be flying in the stretch. If she gets the right set up, she can win. Marcus Miller drives for Brett Pelling.

10 SAFE FROM TERROR. This mare will be flying out for the lead from her outside post. If she can overcome that 10-slot and make the lead without too much exertion, she becomes an instant factor. A lot will depend on that first-quarter split and how much that takes out of this horse. Jim Marohn, Jr. is the pilot for trainer Patti Harmon.

7 PHYLLIS JEAN. This Henry Clay-bred mare turned in a decent qualifier after a month-plus long vacation. If this mare is reasonably sharp, she can contend with these, then again, quite candidly, she may need “a tightener”. Yet, I’d hate to leave her out.

Race Eight:

6 CELEBRITY PEGASUS may well have needed that last race. She ran evenly. I expect improvement this evening. If “The Survivor” is still alive, then I believe this horse could separate “the wheat from the chaff” at a decent price. Jim Marohn, Jr is in the sulky for trainer Eric Ell.

7 ROCK OF CASHEL made a decent closing move in last week’s Opulent Yankee-won race. I believe that Majestic Son-bred moves up off that 4th place finish. Prior to her last “Big M” race, this horse faced 50k open handicap company at Yonkers. Eric Carlson for trainer Mark Harder.

8 THERE’SADEMONINME most definitely needed his last in this company. He narrowly missed; he finished 2nd-a nose. This Kadabra-bred does move further outside; that will make it tougher; yet I believe this “bridesmaid” gelding is sitting on a big race. “The Sorel Speedster,” Yannick Gingras reprises the ride for trainer Dylan Davis.

Race Nine:

9 CHEYENNE ROBIN. Yes, her outside starting post doesn’t help this Rocknroll Hanover-bred, but wasn’t that an impressive 2nd in her last after a nearly month-long layoff. If that place-dough finish was a harbinger of things to come, then this 6-year old mare should be first across the finish line. “The Orange Crush,” Andy Miller, reprises the drive for trainer Robert Siegelman.

6 SKIPPIN BY is another horse who needed a start. In her last, this Shadow Play-bred brown mare took the field to the top of the stretch from her tough #10 post; yet she simply starting running on fumes. With that race serving as a much needed tightener; this mare becomes a player. Her improved starting post also aids and abets her cause. Yannick Gingras is in the bike for trainer Ron Burke.

1 BLUSH HANOVER draws the rail. Weren’t those some nifty times that this Art Major-bred mare turned in at Dover Downs’ 5/8th oval. The rail draw enhances this mare’s chances. If she can work out a trip, she’s capable of springing the upset. Brett Miller drives for Linda Toscano.

Race Ten:

7 PARTY ON THE RIVER. Yannick. That’s significant (no knock on Roy; he did a good job). However, this Quebecois-born driver is one of the best in the sport of harness racing. He can move a horse up. I’ll give this Kadabra-bred gelding my tepid nod. I haven’t quite figured out this gelding, yet the potential does exist. I would definitely be “buying insurance” here. Mark Ford trains.

4 PILGRIMS TIDE could do nothing from his second-tier start (in those races, a lot depends on the early speed of the rail horse). This Muscle Massive-bred trotter languished outside in that one on a sloppy Yonkers track in one of those “Ol’ Hilltop” marathons. This bay gelding now returns to East Rutherford where “The Big M’s” wide-sweeping turns may be more to his liking. His running style seems to indicate a late-closing charge. If the speed breaks down, then this gelding could be one of the first to take advantage. Marcus Miller mans the reins for trainer John Kakaley.

6 LONG STORY SHORT gets back the services of his regular driver, Billy Dobson. That may do wonders. I’m not sure why this aged gelding threw in “a clunker” last week, but I’m willing to give him "a mulligan". This 13-year old is a most determined sort. On that alone you have to consider. Monica Krist trains.