By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — Saturday, September 18, 2021
1 A HOPEFUL PRAYER – One of two fillies trying to beat the boys. She’s having a pretty good year, with five wins already. Lots of stakes placings, so she has talent. This was supposed to be an easier spot, but it really isn’t. Tuf call.
2 WET MY WHISTLE – She’s been having some trouble negotiating the various stakes races lately. Plus, the post gods have not been kind. Like #1, she has plenty of talent, but this is no easy task vs. the boys. Needs a big one.
3 CARUSO – He finally stepped it up and put it all together with a pretty big mile two weeks ago. Yes, it was a soft field, so he was supposed to win. But, with him, you just want him to trot. Can easily build on that with confidence.
4 DEE’S RED DELICIOUS – Definitely had an improved start for his new barn in that sires stakes final. Don’t forget how good this horse was last year! He won the Valley Victory in an upset. Let’s see if he can find that form again.
5 SEVEN NATION ARMY – Looks like the longshot in here with no solid recent form. I’ll just watch one tonight.
6 ROBERT’S HANOVER – After the miscue in the Muscle Hill, they slapped the hopples on for a qualifier and that seemed to work. It was a big mile, and he kept up willingly late. Should have slight edge on the fillies. Tests #7.
7 SHADRACK HANOVER – He is the key to the race! Why? Because he’s a 4YO. I don’t know why its taken so long to get him back to the races, but both qualifiers were fine. This is good spot to start back. Usually, Burke has them ready.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 3-7-6-1
1 MAYFIELD DUKE – Owns just one lonely win from his 26 starts so far this year. That’s not good enough! Gets a nice, cozy post tonight, but will simply have to find more speed. Lately, he’s been just okay. Has to step it up with more.
2 PAR INTENDED – Barn’s got a couple of longshots in here, but one of them will probably pick up a check by default. I think Par tends to race better here, so maybe he will find some of that old speed again. Should keep up.
3 STIRLING ENSIGN – Not a whole lot going on here. He’s tailed off for now, and we have to wait for some signs of life again. Eventually, it will come, but probably not yet.
4 D GS SHALLWEDANCE – That was a pretty good effort, and a nicely-rated steer tow win last week. Made it two in a row too! So, it’s dangerous to ignore sharp horses. Let’s see if he’s in the same league with #7. Should be good battle.
5 FRANKIE ROCKS A – Looks like they took their shot with him last week when bet pretty good. Didn’t work out. So, be wary before you take underlay odds again. He’s just not reliable right now.
6 STORMONT CZAR A – I was a bit surprised when he got tired last week. Once he left the gate safely, I thought he had good chance. So, what do we do now? Good question. The price will still be good. But horse must go further at end.
7 FOX VALLEY NEMITZ – Yes, it stings if you bet on him last few! Sorry about that. But, you’ll definitely get another chance to recoup any losses. That was brutal trip last time, but I don’t see that coming now. Should get easier one.
8 IDEAL TYSON A – Moves from the pole to post seven and it’s not going to help tonight. Nemitz is blasting just inside, so I don’t know what the trip will be. That will be up to pilot and try to work something out. It is possible.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 4-7-8-6