By Dave Brower, Meadowlands handicapper — January 9, 2021 — Early Double Analysis —
1 DUDDIE’S LOR – No, I don’t know what happened last week. It was just a dull effort, and a total opposite of what we saw in the qualifiers. Since he’s right back in the box, I’ll assume he’s okay. Should bounce back with better mile. Trainer: He’s a wonderful horse that came from Brett’s (Pelling) to rehab at my facility. He had multiple soft-tissue injuries. I have been handling him with kid gloves, not being able to train him much. We have to race him into shape, praying he stays sound. He swims, goes on treadmill. Last trip wasn’t perfect. He needs foundation miles, no pressure.
2 NOTAWORD N – MIA for several weeks, as many horses just couldn’t get in. The fog race wasn’t bad. I feel eventually he’ll turn into a useful horse. Gets a nice inside post to stick close to the action for Simon. May be usable at price.
3 ENERGYZONE HANOVER – Finally gets a little break from the post gods, and surely needs it. Still a longshot.
4 PREMIER ROCKSTAR – Bounces back from Philly where he picked it up a bit. Let’s see if that continues here.
5 MY PAL JOE – Took advantage of the poor effort of #1 last week by dominating on front end. It was a superb, career-best effort for Joe. Alek has him heading in the right direction and he is now the one to beat. Offers plenty of speed.
6 THE CANDYMAN CAN – I’ll stick to my guns and just call him a “chaser.” That means he will follow you all day, but probably never pass. Have to include him on any gimmick tickets, but only in the underneath spots.
7 FANTASTIC VOYAGE – Basically just toured the oval in his first go here. No problem. Tonight’s issue is another outside post, with all the power inside. That’s not going to help. May need another one here anyway. I’m willing to wait.
8 ALWAYS AND AGAIN – Did everything right two weeks ago, but just ran into a better horse with a better trip. I’m anxious to see if we gets the same early speed again, to give #1,5 a little tussle. Could end up with a very nice trip.
9 FLYINGEVENBETTOR N – It’s really hard to knock this guy, but due to the post, I will probably prefer others. This is going to be a very tough spot to overcome and I suggest you get a good price if you think he can do it.
10 PRICE HANOVER – Off the layoff here, plus a post 10 start. That easily adds up to a pass for now.
Dexter Dunn 1 over 6
Simon Allard 9 over 4
Top Contenders 1-5-8-2
1 DEERFIELD BEACH – That was a real tough beat if you had him at Freehold last week. Did all the work and just missed. Ended up winning only two times all of last year. Back up the Turnpike and in against tougher. Medium longshot.
2 SO SO DE VIE – That just wasn’t his trip last time, so let’s not be too hard on him. He was actually the slight betting favorite, and might end up that way again. The inside post keeps him close. G Nap back on, so watch out!
3 KEYSTONE HONOR – Needed one more inch of track and he might have won last week. Flew home once free of traffic. Not sure what the price will be tonight, but it won’t be 16-1 again. Still needs to stay out of trouble.
4 WESTERN REDHOT – Besim has this guy in great form right now! Another victim of a tough, grinding trip. But, the better post appears and he gets a switch to Dexter. That all adds up to live play tonight! Don’t be afraid to use.
5 TOM’S AROCKIN – Tom is a one-way closer, so he’s hard to rely upon. Things need to go just his way to have an upset chance. This post is perfect for him, though. And, there’s a good chance of hot pace in here. That would help.
6 HAYMITCH – He was just okay last week. Leads me to believe he needed that race after missing a start sick. He is also best as a one-run customer and he’s drawn outside some of the closers. Also hoping for a hot and heavy pace battle.
7 REGGIANO – New to the Sodano barn, and Justin put two qualifiers into him. To my eyes, the first one was better than the second one, so that worries me. Might not be quite primed and ready for a big mile yet. I’ll wait. Trainer: Tough, classy veteran. Took it really easy with him off the shelf. Used the Q’s as workouts. May still need a start.
8 POKERFACE BLUECHIP – Slow starter. Tough post. Looking like a longshot to me. I’ll just pass for now.
9 RUFO – Held on down at The Hold, but it’s going to be a brand new ballgame here. I’d be surprised if he repeated.
10 LET’S FOAL AROUND – Moves from a good inside post to the worst one here. That likely seals his fate for tonight.
George Napolitano, Jr. 2 over 5,9
Top Contenders 2-4-6-1