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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Dave Brower

Race 1 Review Friday, February 21, 2020

1   DRAIN DADDY – 12YO warhorse finds his way to the big track for Team Sowers. He’s been doing okay work up at Monti, but it’s usually a brand new ballgame here. Let’s see if he can handle it. Medium longshot for now.

2   MAKE IT BIG – Juan’s been having trouble turning this guy around, so he opts to hop into the sulky seat himself tonight. The inside post should keep them close enough, but horse will have to find a bigger gear here. Not sure.

3   PARKLANE JET – Dexter sure gave this guy every chance last time, sailing along at a good clip. That pace was probably just too much. The Judge may opt for a different strategy here and it could easily work. Hopes #9 gets tested.

4   MAY I CRUISE WEST – Retains his usual longshot status for these events. Would have to step up a lot to win.

5   SCIROCCO MISTYSAID – This is the “wild card” in here! Silva’s won a few of these GSY’s driving and this would be no shocker. Horse has faced better along the way. Seems versatile. But, that scratch does worry me a little.

6   STEUBEN MAGIC RIDE – The other Team Sowers horse is on the comeback trail off a layoff. Not quite sure he’s ready for this just yet. Will have to prove me wrong for the surprising upset.

7   MAJOR ESCAPE – This barn’s got two in. Last couple times we saw this one here, he wasn’t much of a factor. Gets tough post and difficult pace scenario Not sure I can hop on board just yet.

8   HOWMACSBLACKJACK – Could be the “key” to the race, folks! Why? His speed! That threatens Preppy when they spring the gate and could make things tough for the favorite. I don’t see Bob D taking back in a spot like this.

9   PREPPY ART – The amazing gelding showed his true guts again last week, digging in and holding on. Nick takes another turn, with the claim and the only knock here is the post. These races tend to be a little wild. Joe Lee is usually up to the task. Trainer: Back for third time in this barn. Finds a soft spot. Looking for that win and extra claim money.

Top Contenders  3-5-9-8
Race 2 ReviewFriday, February 21, 2020

1   ROMANA S – Debuts tonight for Team Buter off a fair qualifier. I’ll take the wait-and-see approach for now.

2   CANALI – Looks like a “work in progress” for Camp Engblom. No worries! He’s got a nice pedigree, so there’s plenty of time. Couldn’t handle #7 in the qualifier, but that rival won right back! They both look pretty good to me.

3   MARTY’S BARN PARTY – Marty’s been off a little too long for my taste, so he can’t possibly be ready for this.

4   AP HALL OF TRIX – Been off since early October, so that’s an issue. Was making breaks back then, and again in his first qualifier. Will he need the big track? The answer might be yes, but he still has to prove he’s fast enough.

5   I GOT THE LOOKS – This was Marcus’ choice over 6,9. That’s a decent-looking qualifier over at Pocono, so he could be sitting on a big mile. Was facing some decent stock in that series up north. I’d like to watch one, but dangerous.

6   BATTLE BORN AS – New barn in play here, after a couple of short-priced wins down south. Not bad! With Marcus opting off, Dexter gets the call! That’s always a sign of positive intent. Let’s see if he can go a little faster.

7   TUVALU – Hasn’t lost yet! Always have to factor that in. Was very good when she qualified here and then opted to go to Dover and romp. I like that she seems rateable. Plus, she’s a 4YO tackling lot of 3YO’s. Makes a difference. Trainer: Single in your double, Pk5, Pk3 and wait at the window to collect.

8   ZOE F – Barn has two in tonight, and they’ve both missed time. Not good! So many sick horses around and it usually runs through the barn. Gave it up as the favorite when last seen. How’s she going to overcome this post vs. #2,6,7?

9   CORSAIR – Another off a layoff with a fair qualifier someplace else. I’m going to pass, mostly due to the post.

10 DEW CAN DEW – She’s proven a little more rateable over past two starts. But, she also lacked any serious kick last week. Gets slammed with another bad post. Will need a little more luck, and a lot better punch.

DRIVER CHOICES: Marcus Miller 5 over 3,6,9

Top Contenders  7-2-5-6

Dave Brower, Meadowlands handicapper, TV analyst and author, is an HRI Harness contributor

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