By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis —
1 PENNEY’S SPIRIT – One of two in for the barn and they both look like longshots. Recent form up at Monti has been okay, but not great. That’s usually not enough to get it done here at Club Med. We’ll find out.
2 TAKEITTOTHEFACE – He seems due for some sort of wakeup call. The post relief alone might make that happen. There is one decent move in this tank, but timing and trip are always critical. Demand fair price if you fancy in here.
3 HAYMITCH – Mitch hasn’t won in a while, so that’s an issue. Recent form at all tracks has been less than ideal. I guess I would have a hard time making a strong case for success. Will just have to surprise me.
4 SHECOULDBEGOOD N – Team Harmon has a pair in here too! This mare has been racing lights out up in NY. Can she translate that speed and form to the mile track? That was excellent try vs. #7 last time. That would be good enough.
5 CHIEF OF STAFF – Keep in mind this horse did win a race here earlier this year. I always consider that. He seems like a one-move closer, but these races can have some mayhem at times. That would aid the cause. Not totally out of it.
6 SCRAPPIN GOLD – Have to like his chances in here, IF you just toss the Monti race. Every start here was a quality one and he’s got the important speed to go along with a daylight race. Will he end up the favorite over #8? Maybe.
7 THNDRFROMTHETHRON N – I saw the win up at Tioga and that was good, strong finish. The follow-up, not so much, but I guess he was just buried in there anyway. It’s ALL about the pace and trip for this guy. The post won’t help.
8 FERDINAND A – I’ve enjoyed watching this fella perform all season. His good, reliable speed has put him in solid spots to have a chance to win. Plus, he wants to fight you late. There is something to be said about that. Tough post again.
9 PICTONIAN THUNDER – I don’t really like this spot for this one. Was no factor in that one try here. I’ll just pass.
Rob Harmon 4 over 9
Top Contenders 8-6-4-7
1 KING OF THE NORTH – Was good enough to make the Hambo final, but just had a bad day. Whatever they tried just didn’t work. I guess I’m more concerned with Pocono follow-up where he had tough trip and stopped. Bounce back?
2 SECRET BRO – Been racing okay over in NY, but I do wonder if he’s just a small-track specialist? That one try here was just okay, albeit it in spot where he was overmatched. Likely to just tag along here and see what he can pick up.
3 NYLANDER – Has always hinted at major ability, but always seems to not put it all together. That was solid confidence booster down at Philly, but this is a major league step up. This is pretty salty group for this level. Your call, folks?
4 BALENCIAGA – He’s also always been on the cusp of a signature-type win. Gets a much-needed inner post, which will give T Mac options. I give him a square chance in here, if he can show up with some of that speed. Likes to go!
5 SOUTHWIND FROST – Somebody in here has to be the longshot and this is it. I’d be surprised if he won.
6 HAMMER TIME – The Hammer has paid nice dividends since the Burke Brigade purchase. And, he looked good doing it! Maybe he finally ran up the class ladder too high in last? Maybe. This is excellent spot to regain top form.
7 DOUBLE ACCOUNT – Intriguing prospect here. But, I will admit, I’m not in love with this post, or potential pace scenario. His best is good enough to win, but he’s also made breaks in two of last three. What’s up with that?
Mark MacDonald 1 over 4
Top Contenders 4-6-7-1