View Full Version : Meadowlands "Survivor": Fri., Feb. 16

02-15-2018, 03:43 PM
Race One:

2 BOLD FRESH won his last. This gelding again draws “inside”. A plus. He could be “sitting the trip”. His pilot is the former amateur driver-of-the- year; he’s the concrete-pourer from Auburn, ME, Todd Whitney. If Whitney can find a comfortable tuck, he can then mount a late-closing surge. Yet, there are others: 5 Consistent, but must find a tuck without undue exertion; 9 Must overcome outside post, tall order; 7 If Annie Stoebe leaves; 3 Longshot try. Qualifier was nuthin to write home about, but he has faced better.

Race Two:

5 LDEES MIA. Make no mistake! If this 3-year old filly stays flat, she can win. This filly’s part-owner, trainer and driver, Jeff Gregory, is one of the best handlers of trotters in all of harness racing. If anyone can bring this trotter home first, it’ll be Jeff Gregory. That was a solid effort in this filly’s qualifier. Again, as with any young trotter, the key is staying on gait. Others: 9 Almost by default. If she stays on the trot, she’s most definitely a factor in this nondescript field. 10 The post is a burden; yet with the anticipated “breakers” (some may not make it to the gate), that outside impediment is not as daunting as it would appear. 8 Must stay flat. Caught money in last only to break stride and end up in Hasbrouck Heights.

Race Three:

4 SHAREN HANOVER moves further “inside”. She has an “early turn of foot”. Wasn’t that some blistering first panel in her last! That effort should tighten this lass up, considerably. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marcus Miller has this 4-year old “on the engine”. She should be able to get there without the too much exertion. Yes, she’s also dropping… I believe to a level at which she can be most competitive. If this distaff pacer does make it to the front, it’ll then be up to Miller to ration out this mare’s speed. Others: 5 This mare is also dropping. She also gets a better starting post. If Team-Buter has this mare as ready as I think she is, I believe she’s “a player”. Oh, I can’t seem get out of my mind that 1:51:2 that this mare turned in at Pocono as both a 4- and 5-year old. Anything resembling those efforts… 8 With that last race under her belt, this mare is capable of surprising. “The Wolverine,” Eric Carlson, will have this lady coming “from off the tailgate”.

Race Four:

4 EXPLOSIVE VICTORY is my medium-longshot try in this wide-open trot. This Explosive Matter-bred mare ships in from Yonkers where her performances could be labeled: mediocre. Yet, in this company on the “Big mile,” she’s capable of springing the upset; she’s most capable of launching a closing bid. A Nap is in the bike. I believe, at her best, she can win. Others: 3 is rounding into form; may go “chalk”; 8 could be “the sleeper”. This gelding can close. If the front-speed ties up, this fella can pick up the pieces. 6 looks like he’s rounding into form off his third-place finish in an amateur race.

Race Five:

3 BILLIE BLUE is my longshot bid. Alright, alright…I hear ya. Before you say: “abuelo loco”-- hear me out. One of my handicapping “keys” is when there’s a driver-switch from the trainer to a regular driver (Ecco. Behold: “A-Nap”). Question: Is “the switch” gonna be enough? Yes, I know, this 4-year mare finished out on the Paterson Plank Rd. in her last. Yes, she’s also missed a week – that’s a concern. But, I’m lookin’ for value: “do-re-mi,” “lettuce,” dinero, etc.; you get the picture. Thus, I’ve landed on this gal. This choice is not for the weak-kneed or faint o’ heart. Yet, “no guts, no glory”. To paraphrase Alfred Lord Tennyson: “Tis better to have picked and lost, than not to have picked at all.” Others: 5 Talk about a “Survivor” name-hunch; takes class-drop. Disappointed in last after leading to top o’ stretch. Ration, ration, ration… 1 is stepping up, but in his current sharp form can’t be ignored. 2 Seems to be heading in “the wrong direction”; yet, but hark, a “wake-up call”? It would not be a surprise. Roy Marohn returns for trainer Mark Ford.

Race Six:

4 LOTS OF LOVIN is dropping into a position where he can prevail. The Michigan native, Tyler Buter, reprises the drive. A week off… That has me asking: Why? Yet, if all goes According to Hoyle, this Somebeachsomewhere-bred should find himself visiting the winner’s circle. Frankly, I’d like to see this 4-year old leave. This gelding has the kind of front-speed to get to the top. If so, I see no reason why this gelding can’t prevail. Others: 5 this gelding caught a sloppy track (not his surface?). Yet, there’s enough back-class, if ready, to make “some noise”. 2 I’m not sure what to make of this Mach Three-bred. I’m shaking my head as I type these notes. Gets post relief. Has a degree of back-class. It would be a surprise, then again… 1 He would be a shock; yet, in a lower-tier race of this caliber I can’t rule anything out. The “break” in his last was on a sloppy track from a tough post. This gelding now moves “inside”.

Race Seven:

6 MONTALBANO BI has to hope that the early speed in front of him ties up and that he goes “zoomin’ on by”. That very scenario could play out. Yet, I can only surmise (that’s what makes handicapping so intriguing). If all goes according to plan, this Donato Hanover-bred is “a player”. You can add to the equation the class drop. “The Mighty Mite,” Jim Marohn, Jr., handles “the lines”. “Timing…a tic a tic a tic a…” is all important (isn’t it always). Patti Harmon is this gelding’s conditioner. Last time at this level…”Bada bing, Bada boom!” Others: 3 fits here; finished third in last, has faced better; 4 Yannick is back aboard and could make some noise. I find it hard to leave this guy off my ticket; 5 This “old guy” from “Prince Edward Island is Heaven to Me” has taken recent
serious class drops. If he can work out the trip?

Race Eight:

1 PIERCEWAVE HANOVER draws the rail; that’s always my first look as I scan down the past performances. What I see, I like. That was a solid effort in his last. Now, with this inside post, there are options. I wouldn’t mind seeing this Donato Hanover-bred maneuvered into a stalking position; he could then pounce in the stretch. Brett Miller’s in the sulky for trainer Gary Levine. Others: 6 steps up a bit after winning his last in 11000 company. “The Wolverine,” Eric Carlson, reprises the drive. 5 This Mr Cantab-bred also won his last, albeit against somewhat weaker. If he can duck-in somewhere, mid-pack, he can become a stretch-run candidate. 3 This gelding was a closing second against somewhat better in his last at 29-1. He has the kind of starting post to work out a trip.

Race Nine:

10 WORKANDPLAYHARD now draws “outside”. Yet, despite that difficult starting post, I believe this gelding has the kind of front-speed to put himself “on the engine”. The question remains: How much energy will be expended to gain the top spot? If reasonable, it’ll be up to Jimmy Marohn, Jr. to ration out this gelding’s speed. The first panel’s time and effort will tell us a lot. The most capable conditioner, Bob Lounsbury, trains this Western Terror-bred. Others: 4 did not run his race in the slop. On a fast track, this gelding is very much a factor; 5 is dropping; that could work wonders. He certainly fits here. 9 is taking a precipitous drop. Horses taking that kind of a drop are usually dangerous.

Race Ten:

4 WORTH THE MONEY AS is my longshot try. Will need the trip. “Live cover” would appear to be a must. If everything goes according to plan, this gelding could surprise. This is a value play based on what I hope will develop. A-Nap for Cozette McAvoy. Others: 5 is dropping down into a position where he should contend. 6 Another “dropper” who has to figure out a trip. Seems to have been in “No Man’s Land” in recent tries. 3 turned in a solid effort in his last. With right trip, his number lands on the tote.

02-16-2018, 07:25 PM
Race 13: 20-cent, Super Hi-5

1, 5 /1, 4, 5, 9 /1, 2, 4, 5, 9 /2, 4, 5, 9 /2, 3, 4, 7, 9


Good Luck!