By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — December 31, 2021
1 STREAK THE LAWN – She’s awfully sharp right now for Team Kimelman. Not many get beat at the bottom class level, then hike up and win! She did at 11-1! This is an even tougher test, but the pole post will keep her close. A threat.
2 GOTTALOVEMYSHADOW – Has bounced through a few different barns lately. Now going for Willy Hernandez again. She’s tough to handicap most time, because of the inconsistency. This might be too tough a spot for now.
3 CHECKERED PAST – Over from Yonkers and taking what looks like a little drop. Yes, it’s hard to trust the Yonkers invaders all the time, but if the price is right, you might want to include this lass on your ticket. Will be stalking.
4 MILADY DENVER A – Gets “lucky” to scratch into this race, but I still think it’s too tough for her. Not my type.
5 GREENHILL HANOVER – Dropped in class for her last effort and got bet pretty hard. Didn’t race like it, though! I would have a tough time making a strong case for success here. Will need to get luckier.
6 CAPSAICINN – Woke up a little last time down at Philly. But, her efforts here just haven’t been that great. Not sure if it’s the longer stretch or whatever, but it’s not good. I’m going to let her beat me, IF she can.
7 ANYTIME N – Very interesting newcomer! Down from the Spa, along with #8. Got a few week freshening, which usually helps. Blew their doors off in the comebacker. You got 5-1 too! Not sure what price will be here. Has to prove it at M1.
8 THE FUN MARSHALL – Had she drawn a better post, I could probably make a stronger case. She’s not a speed horse, so looks to be at mercy of both pace and trip. Not sure that’s going to work out in her favor. I guess we’ll find out.
9 BEACH BOUTIQUE – Up from Rosecroft for a big track try. She does have speed, but does she have the stamina? That is the question. I see her mark this year came on big track at Hoosier. Good spot for Luke H to take a shot.
10 JUXTA COWGIRL – Moves from pole to post 10 and that always makes things so much tougher. I didn’t think she could possibly lose that last one, but somehow #1 got by her late. Seeks revenge tonight, but may not get it.
Scott Zeron 10 over 1,5
Marcus Miller 8 over 2
Top Contenders 7-1-10-9
1 KINGOFTHEJUNGLE – Boy was he good last time! Really gutted one out late stages, despite a difficult, grinding trip. Means he’s back to top form, and yes, he can win again. Just has to stay out of trouble from the rail. One to fear?
2 CECIL CASANOVA – He’s razor sharp too! So, the horses to beat will start from the inside posts. Always makes things a little more interesting. Mark S knows his horse can grind and keep going. Seems destined for that kind of trip.
3 GALACTIC GALLEON N – He’s always “hanging around” near the finish, but another that just can’t seem to find a way to win. With that said, I’ll use underneath in gimmicks, but not on top. Good luck!
4 ELYSIUM SEELSTER – The lone mare has performed admirably in the series past few months. She’s had some good trips, and some tough ones. This post presents a very interesting choice for Joe Lee. Mare can blast. The faves don’t?
5 FATHER SARDUCCI – Been burning some betting money lately. I guess the fans are just chasing him? This midpack post usually puts him in a good spot. Will hope the inside favorites battle it out. He could come pouncing.
6 FERDINAND A – What a nice steer by Mr. Slendorn to really upset the applecart a few weeks ago! IF he could do that again, that would spice up the Pk5! Horse always fires out strongly and he could end up with another trip. Maybe.
7 JERRYTONE – John C did everything but pick him up and carry him home last time. I guess horse just doesn’t want to cut a mile on the lead anymore. Moves out to tougher post here, with plenty of other speeds. He’ll have to rally now.
8 ROCKABILLY CHARM – Set a pretty fast pace on the engine for the Judge last time. Got a little tired near the end. Nikki D back in the seat tonight, but facing a tough decision at start. I’m not really sure how this one’s going to go.
9 R MADDY BLUE CHIP – We know he’s got speed too! But, that bit of versatility helps in a wide-open spot like this. I hate the post, and potential for bad trip. Not sure I can make a strong case for success.
10 MIDNIGHT LIGHTNING – Likely to get away last tonight and I just don’t see that working out. Pass.
Johnathan Ahle 3 over 10
Top Contenders 2-4-1-6