By Dave Brower, Meadowlands handicapper — Early Double Analysis, Friday July 3:
1 WALKS OF LIFE – Pretty impressive comebacker, off a decent-size layoff too! Gets the intimidating pole post, and a top pilot in Joe Lee. We’re looking at a very short price here, so good luck if you’re trying to beat him. If he rates, he steals!
2 HIGHVIEW CONALL N – Will definitely benefit from that tightener here a few weeks ago. That’s faster than he can normally pace. I like the potential for smooth, inside trip. I would not be too quick to toss him out with Rob H.
3 TAKE IT BACK TERRY – Had a couple of tries over at Pocono and neither one looks all that great. I see the outside posts, but still. Melissa steered the gelding down at Gaitway and will get another chance. Horse must find more speed.
4 STEUBEN MAGIC RIDE – Somehow held on in that five-horse non-bettor here last week. One more step and he was caught. Set a pretty strong pace in the daylight, but Dave made it pay off! Will NOT be setting the pace tonight.
5 IOWA NEIGHTIVE – Just forget about his comebacker in that impossible spot last week. He actually had a touch of pace finishing. TJ gets the call from the ideal midpack post. Only needs somebody to soften up #1. That can happen.
6 FRANKANDJOANNE – Gapped for the most part, in that race won by #4. That didn’t impress me. Overall, he is capable of a big effort at times. Switches to Roy M tonight and he usually likes to gun out. Could be long night vs. #1.
7 SAPPHIRE CITY – Joe P invades from the south to drive a pacer tonight. He usually sticks to trotters. Here’s another one with a ton of speed, but stuck outside vs. the likes of other speeds. This isn’t going to be easy. Needs a trip.
8 ALBERT A’ SCOOTIN – Aimed a little high in his return, but did not race all that well. Will need big turnaround.
9 IN THE HUDDLE – Was doing decent work up at the Spa before the shut-down. Ships down for a big track try and finds himself stuck in extremely difficult spot from tough post. I just don’t see it tonight, but will be watching closely.
10 CHEYENNE RYAN LEE – Just doesn’t look all that sharp right now, so we can leave him out from post 10.
DRIVER CHOICES: Roy Marohn 6 over 8
Top Contenders 5-1-2-7
1 TOCCOA FALLS – Was really good in leg one, with multiple moves. Not quite as strong last week in round two, so that worries me. The pole post is interesting spot. Have to believe Tim will want to “protect” position early vs. #6.
2 AP HALL OF TRIX – After the miscue in his comebacker, the gelding has bounced back better in stakes action, picking up two straight checks. I’m sure Dave Hoover would sign up for that right now! Earn some of the $121K. Yes!
3 ST MARTINS – Hasn’t proven he can stay on stride yet, so he is the definitely longshot of the bunch. Pass.
4 BARLEY – Has made a mint in these state-bred races so far! And that’s a good thing! Dave M sent him out of there twice, so there’s no reason to think he won’t try that again. No match for #6 last week, but anything can happen.
5 JULA TRIX TREASURE – Made a fairly good move last week, right into the teeth of the well-rated favorite. Those types of moves usually don’t work. He’s in a bad spot here, sandwiched between all the speed. Not sure what strategy will be.
6 PLAY TRIX ON ME – Paid $2.80 last week in leg two and the price is likely to be even shorter tonight. Last week’s effort proved the post doesn’t matter. I loved to see that controlling speed. Who will challenge? Probably no one.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 6-1-4-2