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Old 03-01-2018, 12:26 PM   #1
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Meadowlands "Survivor": Friday, March 2

The latest weather forecast for the metro NYC area is calling for rain, snow and gusty winds on Friday evening (the forecast seems to be changing by the minute). In any event, you’ll have to take weather conditions into consideration when you make your “Survivor” picks. Also, the winds should be howling down from the North. That would appear to mean the back-side will find the wind in the horses and drivers’ faces, while the home stretch should see the wind at their backs.

Remember: As they say in the “Survivor” reality show: “One costly mistake could haunt you the rest of your life!” How dramatic! Try not to get voted off...I mean "knocked out," early. "The Longer You Stay; The Longer You Play".

Race One:

1 NOBLE PRIZE finished 2nd a fortnight ago in a blizzard that reminded me of a picture I once saw of a polar bear eating marshmallows. This Kadabra-bred trotter appears “headed in the right direction”. Then, there’s Le Rentree du Monsieur Yannick Gingras, “Le Frelon Vert,” Sorel, Quebec, Canada. In addition, there’s also the “Two-for-the-price-of-One” factor. You also get the other half of the entry, 1A, JANDERSON, with Jim Pantaleano. You can add to the equation the training skills of Ron Burke of the Burke Racing Stable, LLC. This gelding could very well be “on the engine,” or at the very least, in an up-close stalking position. Others: 5, 6, 2, 3.

Race Two:

1/1A, OPULENT YANKEE/GURAL HANOVER. Another BOGO (“Buy One Get One Free”). Either of these two 7-year old geldings can get the job done. Although I should state that the 1A starts from post #7. Let’s work backwards. Wasn’t that some impressive qualifier Gural Hanover turned in after a one-month hiatus, It was like he never missed a beat. In reading Meadowlands oddsmaker, Dave Brower’s race reviews (which I always do), I sense this fella had a lot left in the tank. That should mean he’s capable of cutting a second or two off that qualifying time (weather permitting). Yannick Gingras is in the bike for trainer Ron Burke. Nuff Ced! The other half of the entry features Opulent Yankee. Consistency is the operative word. And, another plus. This gelding does get a degree of mid-pack post-position relief. “Le Grande Orange,” Andy Ray Miller, drives. Julie “The Saluki” (SIU), Miller, an outstanding amateur driver in her own right, Andy’s wife, is this gelding’s trainer. Others: 5, 2, 3, 6

Race Three:

4 PRESIDENTE ZETTE has been a consistent sort racing in this 10K trotting company. You won’t be getting anywhere the nearly 30-1 odds this horse paid off on over one month ago, but I’d settle for the M/L 2-1 or even 5/2. Hopefully, this 4-year old can find a mid-pack tuck from which to launch his closing bid. Tyler Buter handles the reins for Coatesville, PA’s (west of “Philly” heading into Amish country) Cozette McAvoy. Others: 2, 5, 3.

Race Four:

4 BRICKMAN gets my nod in the lower-level 7.5K claiming trot. I guess what catches my immediate attention is that this Art Major-bred gelding is sliding down the claiming ladder faster than the proverbial “greased pig”. Has he reached his optimal level? I believe has. It’s now or never! I ask: “What part will the expected inclement weather play?” I’m not sure. Yet, this fella has hit the tote in 8 out of 12 lifetime wet-track tries. Marcus Miller is in the bike for trainer Andrew Harris. Others: 5, 2, 3.

Race Five:

4 BIG BILL BREEZE is another “dropper” who not only gets class relief, but post position relief, as well. Pat Lachance, “Le Grand Rouge,” son of Hall-of-Fame driver Mike Lachance, drives and trains this 7-year old Super Bowl-bred gelding. I wouldn’t be surprised if Monsieur Lachance takes this gelding straight to the top. If so, it will be: “ration, ration, ration”. Others: 5, 1, 2, 6.

Race Six:

4 SUCH AN ANGEL turned in a solid recent qualifier. What a difference a week made. Voila! From a tele-timer stopping of 1:57 to 1:53.3. Yes, this Andover Hall-bred has been “on the shelf” -- as Billy Joel might have said -- “for the longest time”. Yet, make no mistake; if he’s ready, as he appears to be, he should be there. In the past, he’s raced against top-notch NYSS company. “The Orange Crush,” Andy Miller, is in the sulky. Others: 1, 2, 9, 3.

Race Seven:

9 MONICA GALLAGHER has been so sharp I find it hard not to put her on top, despite the outside post draw. This Mach Three-bred bay mare should once again be pushing hard to the top from her outside post. If all goes well, she should gain the lead as the field turns into the back-straight. This Ron Burke-trainee appears to like an “off” track. Yannick Gingras reprises the drive. Others: 8, 6, 3, 5

Race Eight:

6 MY CHERRY PIE gets my nod in this trot. Didn’t she look impressive in her last against somewhat weaker? This 4-year old Donato Hanover-bred was widening her lead in deep stretch. “The Wolverine,” Eric Olson, reprises the ride for “Svenska Flicka,” Jenny Melander. Oh, this mare appears to like a wet surface. All the better. Look for Olson to try to find a tuck as a prelude to his closing stretch brush. Others: 5, 4, 1, 3.

Race Nine:

1 IT REALLY MATTERS, a 7-year old Explosive Matter-bred brown gelding, gets some serious post-position relief for his owner-trainer, Mark Ford. This gelding’s reinsman, A. Nap is solid. The “pole” gives A Nap all kinds of options that he didn’t have, last time. I wouldn’t be surprised if Napolitano headed out for the lead. At the very least, he should find an up-front tuck as the field moves down the back-side. He should, if all goes according to Hoyle, be in a perfect striking position to pounce in the stretch. One note of caution: this gelding’s wet-track tries have not been stellar. If the track comes up sloppy, as I suspect it will, I would counsel “buying insurance”. Others: 5, 6, 9.

Race Ten:

3 ACES AND EIGHTS (Isn’t that “A Dead Man’s Hand? What “Wild Bill” Hickock was holding when he was murdered). This brown gelding gets my call in the finale race of “The Survivor” (If we get this far, I’ll be shocked). This gelding has been taking, at least recently, too many Arthur Murray “dance” classes. If he stays flat, he’s “a player”. If he doesn’t… This Jim Campbell trainee appears to like a sloppy track. He faced better at Yonkers in his last, only to break at the start. As stated, if he stays on gait, he can win. Another caveat emptor: Consider “buying insurance”. Others: 5, 7, 8.
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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