By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — Friday, February 4
1 BETCHA BABY – A fresh face to Club Med for Team Auciello. Mare’s form up north is spotty, so I’m not ready to hop right on board. But, they did list Yannick, which is a sign of positive intent. Maybe we watch the board?
2 PACIFIC DELIGHT – Didn’t make much of an impact in that first go around here. Let’s keep her on longshot list.
3 HUNTING FOR ANSWRS – That was a “just okay” debut here a few weeks ago. When roused, she didn’t have all that much pop. So, some improvement will be needed. It can come, but price doesn’t figure to be very big. Your call? Trainer: She’s a green filly. I wish she was racing against other green fillies, but those classes aren’t filling. She has ability, but has to do some catch-up learning.
4 PAPPY ROCKS – Seems just about due to launch a big one. This was an 11-time winner last year, so you know the heart is there. Had a few starts to get used to Club Med again. Drew decent post. I can make a positive case tonight.
5 CLASSICA – That was a pretty decent bounce back effort after the sick scratch. Still with a little something to prove on the big track, but I’d be willing to toss her onto the ticket. At the right price! No undervalued odds, please.
6 BYTHEWAY HANOVER – Really don’t know what to do with this one tonight. Been all over the east coast tracks lately. That’s a lot of miles! Been competitive, but not sure how those NW2 races stack up at this level. Should be a drop?
7 BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT – Will probably need a few more to race herself back into shape. I’m willing to wait.
8 KAITLYN N – Huge question mark here. There once was a time she would have been 1-9 in a race like this. But, that seems like a long time ago. Got a little more time off. Let’s see if that does the trick. Very hard to rely on right now.
9 LITTLE SANDY TOES – Drew a bad post last week when we canceled and guess what? It’s another poor draw! The mare is sharp right now too, so it hurts. Mark Mac will take a good, aggressive shot. She is probably the one to beat.
10 FLASH A SMILE – I’m not in love with this spot, or post for her. Needs to show us a little more at M1. I’ll pass.
Yannick Gingras 1 over 6,8 Scott Zeron 3 over 4,7
Top Contenders 9-4-5-3
1 WATCHMENEIGHNEIGH – Has endured some pretty tough trips lately, so he does seem due for a better break. Maybe the pole position can provide that? Maybe. I’m still not a fan, so will let him beat me, if he can.
2 MASTER CONRAD – I kind of feel that he’s due for a good one too! It’s hard to count on these one-move closers, but he’s hinting at a return to form. This post should keep him close. The right kind of pace and trip give a square chance.
3 FATHER SARDUCCI – After a couple of tough trips on the lead, he ended up in a shuffle in the MLK race. So, we can’t hold that against the good Father. James S has been putting everything in play. I give him big chance with speed.
4 CHEYENNE REIJANE – Showed back up here two weeks ago and turned in a fair effort. Passed a few of the tired ones late. Should benefit from that, and there could be more in the tank here. Not totally out of it, and at a price!
5 BUNGALOW BILL N – Yes, I know his overall record shows only one win in last year. But, the 11YO veteran is in sneaky good form. That was rough trip last time, but he didn’t exactly stop. I’m not putting on top, but usable underneath.
6 EXTRADITE N – Flashed plenty of speed in that one try here. Just okay down at Freehold for Joe. He’s back in bike again. Not sure the what the place is, because this race has no clear scenario. Has to play it by ear and adapt.
7 OUTRAGEOUS STORY – Gets a slightly better post than he would have had last Friday. Horse hasn’t been all that consistent yet, so he’s not my top play. I need to see him string together some better efforts. Not yet for me.
8 SETTLEMOIR – Moves from pole out to post eight and that will make him a pass for now. No my type either.
9 HES GONE BADDER – Gets the tepid call as morning line favorite, even from this post. It’s a very wide-open race and his form looks a lot better than most of these. It will be Tony’s job to get him into the game in time. Never easy.
10 MV OK PALACIO BR – Also had a better post for last week when we canceled. And poor Lauren Harmon shipped all the way here for nothing. Oh well. Hopefully, we can get her back here another time. Post 10. Coming from last.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 3-2-9-5