By Dave Brower —
|Race 1 Review – Saturday, February 22, 2020|
1 P ZONKA – One of the possibilities in this absolutely wide-open race. It wouldn’t take much improvement to step forward and show some speed in here. He was good here two back. That type of mile would put him right there.
2 TEST RIDE – Didn’t really have any excuses in his first mile track try. Sometimes horses do improve with a start under their belt Couldn’t have found an easier spot in this series, so it’s time to put up or shut up. Good post. Speed.
3 OUR ART AND HEAVEN – Not really sure what to make of this guy right now. The speed and stops of late just don’t look that strong. However, this is major post relief and Dexter is still in the seat. Change of tactics tonight? Trainer: Trained great and I hope I figured him out this week.
4 IOWA NEIGHTIVE – Gets the extremely tepid vote as morning line fave, but anybody could end up favored in here. Yannick aboard, so the bettors will gravitate to that. No pop last time, but good before that. Good luck guessing.
5 MARCUS SEELSTER – He’s been stuck in some real tough NW2 races, so maybe we should take an extra look here? This has to be considered a drop and it’s time he stepped up his game. A decent longshot chance.
6 SPORTS VISION – Not easy to get a handle on his current form. Did a lot of the dirty work last week, setting things up for Tailgunner. Looks like he does pack at least one move. Vinny G will have to time it just right to upset.
7 SERGEANT DALLY – Rounded into form quite nicely down at The Hold! But, doing it there, and doing it here are two different things. There are no killers in here, but he’s stuck outside. Will need the right kind of flow and one big kick.
8 DRAMATIC POINT – Looks like he was sold privately to Team Silva. I’ve always had my eye on this horse. Still in the midst of a comeback, but this barn has turned things around before. Don’t be shocked with a sudden good effort.
9 VICTORYDAZE WILWIN – Yes, he finally kicked in with a better effort last week, but he’s not exactly “rewarded” with this post or assignment. If anything, the price might be shorter too! That’s not for me.
10 DOGFIGHT – Yes, that was a real mess two weeks ago and thankfully, nobody got hurt. Slammed with post 10. Pass.
DRIVER CHOICES: Andy Miller 2 over 1 Pat Berry 5 over 7
|Top Contenders 8-5-3-2|
|Race 2 Review – Saturday, February 22, 2020|
1 BORN OF FIRE – Eases his way back down to the bottom level, so it’s time to take a look at him again. Was way overbet two back and raced well. That’s the kind of effort we’ll probably see tonight. Will it be enough?
2 CHEYENNE SEEBER – Going to keep him on the longshot list for now. Not enough stamina last week.
3 ROCK THREE TIMES – He’s also dropping back to the proper spot. He’s failed several times at this level, though. Can’t get too excited about his chances, until we see a bigger kick. I have to see it first.
4 PERSIST BLUE CHIP – How tough was that field at Yonkers? This guy had the rail and was 45-1. Raced like it too! Will he be any better here on the big track? Hoping that was the plan all along. But, I do need to see one first. Trainer: Through in a clunker last time at Yonkers. He’s a little bit erratic. Changed a couple of things, including his training routine. So, we will see how the race pans out.
5 CAPTAIN MULZAC – Got pounded at the windows last week and he sure was live! That was a tough beat if you took that short price, but oh well! You’ll get another chance at low odds. No doubt the one to beat, even without DD.
6 GOOD DAY MATE – Finds his way back up the NJ Turnpike. Wasn’t all that great when seen on Feb. 8, but he was a big longshot that night. Looking at something similar here, with another outer post. Would need a dream trip.
7 ONE TOUGH NUT – The only one in for the $10K tag. He’s just not ready for this year, so we can safely pass.
8 LYON’S IMAGE – Barn’s other starter looks to have a better chance. He’s got speed and that should put him in play. I don’t think I want to see him on the lead, but a stalking trip would be great. He can hit the ticket.
9 JUMPING JAKE – It’s been a while since he saw Jake here. Keep in mind that he has won here before too! Wasn’t DD’s choice, but I expected that. Bigger problem is the bad post blues! Needs a better starting spot.
10 ROUGH ODDS – The horse with the crazy headgear! He’s on Lasix now too! Had a pretty good qualifier here last week, so he should be ready now. I’m not in love with the post, but he’s overcome that before. Tough to leave out.
DRIVER CHOICES: Vinny Ginsburg 8 over 2 Dexter Dunn 10 over 5
|Top Contenders 5-8-10-1|
Dave Brower, Meadowlands handicapper, TV analyst and author, is a HRI Harness contributor