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Old 02-10-2018, 10:48 AM   #1
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Meadowlands "Survivor": Sat., Feb. 10

Race One:

7 IDEAL SHADOW. “Scratched LAME”. Those two words concern me. They hauntingly stare back at me like "a zit in the mirror." Frankly, I’m “on the horns of a dilemma”. I want very much to bet this American Ideal-bred gelding, but I’m not quite sure he’ll be at the top of his game. Yet, it must be emphatically stated that he has a good deal going for him: “The Captain,” Corey Callahan, is in the bike. Trainer Greg White (he conditioned a winner, last night). An early turn of foot that could – in a heartbeat -- easily put this gelding “on the engine”. You might add to the equation the fact that he should handle a wet-surfaced (rain expected) “Big M” oval. However, those two aforementioned words, my friends, are, potentially, the proverbial: “Fly in the ointment”. Others: 5, 6, 3.

Race Two:

1 THE FIRE WITHIN. “How do you spell relief?” P-O-S-T O-N-E. This Ontario-bred finally gets both post and class-relief. He should – if all goes according to plan (I’m not quite sure what the plans are) – sit a perfect “stalking” trip. All that appears necessary is for “The Orange Crush,” Andy Ray Miller, to maneuver this gelding into position. Mike Russo trains this Big Towner-bred. Others: 4, 10, 2.

Race Three:

6 ROLLING SEA. Prance or dance, “That is the question…” Last time, he “danced”. This time? Well, I can only hope that his last race was an aberration, an anomaly. Because if this 3-year old Roll With Joe-bred is on his game, he can most certainly win. “A Nap” reprises the drive for “The Scourge of the Catskills,” trainer Bob Lounsbury. I also believe that this gelding moves up on a likely wet track. Others: 8, 5, 10.

Race Four:

9 BAGGAGE CLAIM. This Artistic Fella-bred led at the top of the stretch in his last start only to run out of gas and finish 7th. Yet, I feel, at his best, this 5-year old gelding can "get the job done." This gelding should be on or near “the engine”. “Mighty Mite,” Jimmy Marohn, Jr., is in the sulky for trainer Patti Harmon. Oh, I might add that the last time this gelding raced on a sloppy track, he won, from post #9. Others: 7, 6, 3.

Race Five:

9 ROCKET J. This Rock N Roll Heaven-bred gelding has won two-straight. I see no reason why this 5-year old gelding can’t make it three-in-a-row. All that would appear necessary is a comfortable mid-pack tuck. From there, this gelding can bide his time before unleashing his torrid stretch drive. Anthony Napolitano is in the bike for trainer Nick Sodano. This Artsplace-bred should benefit from any moisture on the racetrack. Others: 1, 4, 6.

Race Six:

3 TOO DARN HOT. This Rocknroll Hanover-bred moves up on a predicted wet Meadowlands oval. There should be sufficient off-the-gate speed to give this 5-year old something “to shoot at”. His drop-back-and-come-charging-on style may be perfectly suited for the way this race shapes up. This gelding performed quite ably on Dover Downs’ 5/8th oval. The change of scenery on a larger oval may well do this gelding a world of good. Andy Miller draws the assignment for trainer Joe Hundertpfund, Jr. Others: 8, 7, 2.

Race Seven:

1 HUG THE WIND N. “You’ve gotta have heart..”: Damn Yankees. And that’s exactly what this New Zealand-bred showed last week. This Bettor’s Delight-bred Kiwi import was “dead game” in last week’s first pari-mutuel start (he finished 3rd, a head) in this company, only his second pari-mutuel try in this country. I believe he steps up off that effort. This 7-year old brown horse draws the rail. He has the services of Le Grande Orange (not be confused with “Rusty” Staub), the orange, white and black-silked reinsman, Andy Miller. “The Crocodile Man,” Ross Croghan, trains. Others: 2, 6, 7.

Race Eight:

9 MEETYOUATMIDNIGHT. Yes, I know… He went off at 62-1 last time, but conditions may be different this time. I’ve watched and wagered on harness races for just shy of 60 years; I can tell you that moisture on the racetrack can change everything. Yes, horses that run well on fast tracks can usually handle the wetness; yet those horses that prefer wet surfaces, move up, in some cases, considerably. Case in point. This gelding can, and likely will, be coming “off the tailgate”. “Zooming on by…” I’m not quite sure. But, at a price, I’ll take a shot. Brett Miller’s in the bike for trainer Jeff Weiner. Others: 2, 8, 3.

Race Nine:

1 LIVE ON. Just as water seeks its own level, this Four Starzz Shark-bred has found his (at least I believe he has). How the mighty have fallen... This 9-year old has been, of recent, doin’ “the racetrack limbo”: “How low can you go?” I mean this is now his second shot at this level. No price…but no excuses. All he needs is proper handling. And, as if he didn’t need any extra help: a likely wet track. This gelding appears to relish moisture on the racetrack. What is that Elvis Presley sang: “It’s Now or Never”. It’s the two “Vinnys”: Vincent Fusco, Jr. trains and Vinny Ginsburg drives. Other: 2, 5, 9.

Race Ten:

4 KINGS BARNS. This Western Terror-bred gelding is my longshot pick. He’s been campaigning off the Saw Mill River Parkway and may have been: “Lost In Yonkers,” but, alack and alas, he now returns to East Rutherford, where, in the past, he’s acquitted himself quite well, thank you. In fact, the last time he raced in this company at “The Big M,” he won! Andy Miller, “The Orange Crush,” will be in the bike for trainer Shawn Christner. Oh, this gelding moves up on a wet track. Others: 1, 5, 2, 10.
Walt (Teach)

"Walt, make a 'mental bet' and lose your mind." R.N.S.

"The important thing is what I think of myself."
"David and Lisa" (1962)

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