By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis for Friday, January 8, 2021 —
1 CAVIART CATERINA – Certainly wasn’t bad in that Big M debut, and it was a race she had to need. Sometimes, horses do move forward with that acclimating mile under their belt. Let’s see if the pole position keeps her closer.
2 SOMTHNGABOUTMARY N – Finally gets a break from the post gods, and she sure needs it! Seems like a long time ago when she was racing well over at Pocono. I have to rate her a longshot, but wouldn’t be shocked with more.
3 FRANSCHOEK – Won only once last year, so that’s a knock. Turns out her best mile was here in that qualifier, so we know she can handle the track. Stablemate to Stellenbosch, who’s surprised us a few times. Can be used here.
4 PIRAEUS – She’s never been one of my favorites, but I will admit she cranks out a lot of checks. Therefore, I’d be willing to use underneath, but probably not on top. She’s in a good spot, from a decent post, and Dave M now aboard.
5 BREAK THE DEAL – 4YO hasn’t raced a lot. Just 14 lifetime starts. She definitely showed promise out in PA, and her first go here saw some traffic issues. I can make a case that she improves a lot tonight. T Mac is back too!
6 SPORTY JULIANA – She’s a little hard to gauge right now. Sports that one win, a sick scratch, a bad post, etc. This is probably a slight drop, so Joe B may change up the tactics here and show some more speed. In the mixed sale!
7 THATS INCREDIBLE – I don’t know what was going on here last week. She got caught in a shuffle and got jammed up. But, she’s had other problems as well. Corey sticks with her, but they move to much tougher post. Mixed feelings.
8 POSTMODERNISM – Here’s a 5YO that’s missed way too much time. I see the new barn and who’s driving, but this mare can’t possibly be primed and ready for this. She will have to prove me wrong, especially in this post.
9 AVAYA HANOVER – Gets the very slim call as morning line favorite, in a VERY tough race to handicap. It’s been quite some time since we saw a Kesmodel horse here. He’s a got a few in this weekend. This mare fits, with that speed.
10 PRAY THE ROSARY – Paid a nice price from the pole post at Yonkers. Will not be that lucky from post 10 here.
Corey Callahan 7 over 1
Top Contenders 5-3-9-6
1 HE’S EXPLOSIVE – Has missed more than a month of racing, so that’s a big issue. Will also need to prove he can handle the mile track. So, this is probably one that we want to watch. Just to answer a few questions.
2 R HERBIE BLUE CHIP – That really wasn’t a bad try a few weeks ago, first time on Lasix. Nobody was catching that impressive winner, and this bunch could be a touch softer. I can definitely take a positive view with Billy D back on.
3 SKATE TRIX – Definitely a “project horse” for Per E. Looks like he finally got him to the races and then he got sick. Return qualifier was just fair. I just don’t think he’s ready to trot a big mile yet. Let’s watch one here too! Trainer: Very green! But last qualifier was an improvement.
4 MANHATTANUP NO ICE – He’s had a bunch of chances here with no real success yet. Did stay trotting in that qualifier, but wasn’t exactly loaded. I need to see a good one at night, with no mistakes, before I could consider.
5 STONEBRIDGE SYDNEY – Here’s the fresh face to the group. Yannick not here this weekend, so Dave M gets the Burke Brigade drives. The big track starts up north aren’t exactly enticing, so be careful here. Also likely overbet.
6 MANOFMANYLUVS – Another that should benefit from a race over the track. He stayed trotting and came home okay. Any improvement off that puts him in the hunt, even from an outer post. Would like a smooth trip too!
7 THE GREAT PG – Those all look like “tow-along” trips from down at Philly. You usually have to show more trot than that to compete here. I need to see it first. If you’re playing gimmicks, maybe use in the underneath slots? He trots.
8 LIGHT BLUE MOVERS – Here’s the key to the race. Really had no excuse in that last try here, but that was against Get Legs. So, let’s not be too hard on him. Jogged against a weak bunch at Philly. Has the speed, with the hopples on.
9 DA BOOGIE MAN – Clearly looked short to me in that qualifier, crawling home. Probably not ready for this.
10 CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD – We’ve seen this barn perform miracles here before, and this would be another. It’s post 10. Was no real threat from this slot two back here. I’m not ready to hop on board yet.
Dave Miller 5 over 1
Dexter Dunn 10 over 9
Top Contenders 2-8-6-5