By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — March 12, 2021 Race 1 —
1 S MCKEE – Scotty Z had this guy in a very good spot last week, but gelding did lack that knockout kind of punch. Tonight, the rail should be a big plus, with the big power stuck way outside. Juan C does have a win. Lots to like.
2 MAY I CRUISE WEST – Yes, that’s four straight check-getting performances. So, that’s a very good thing. Same now?
3 I AM GOLDEN – It’s likely taking a while for this guy to race back into shape. This is now third start back off the short freshening and we need to see more before we could endorse. I will pass one more time.
4 FRANKANDJOANNE – Big confidence booster down at Freehold! On occasion here in the past, gelding has threatened to jump up and win one of these. He’s suddenly been showing more speed of late. So, expect Todd T to send.
5 GOTTA GO B B – Speedster has been bouncing up and down the class ladder lately, and with some success. Got a little tired on that cold, windy night last week. I can forgive that. Figures to take a shot. Will he a get a nice trip? That helps.
6 TASTE OF HISTORY – Gets a first taste of GSY action for owner/reiner Beltrami. He’s had very successful year in the sulky seat and this horse has appeared to round into better form. Not sure if I’d like speed, or rally, but has chance.
7 NA NA NA BAATMAN – These bad posts never help the cause. Off two straight claims, he goes out now for Bob H. Can leave, but likes to grind. Figures to be a part of this at some point. The right trip could get him home on top.
8 WESTERN REDHOT – Another hot property at the claim box lately. The Captain had him in a good spot last week, but he just didn’t have it come crunch time. I don’t like this post. Or, potential for a trip from off the pace. Won’t be easy.
9 ROCKINWITHTHEBEST – Joe Lee put a nice trip on Best and he also got outfinished by Preppy. They both get slammed with outside posts here and this guy usually doesn’t pack much speed. That will make task a LOT tougher.
10 PREPPY ART – Now, THAT was the ‘ol Preppy last week! Storming home down the center of the track. AND, on a night when it was tough to close that night. So extra points for that. But, it’s SO hard to repeat when you’re assigned pp10.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 1-4-6-10
1 LIZ’S CHAMP – I was watching her very closely last week. Yannick was very patient with her, but when they did shake free, she broke. That is not good. Therefore, I would now need to see a big bounce back, before I could endorse.
2 HE’S EXPLOSIVE – Also coming off a bit of a clunker, so I would have a tough time building a strong case. Pass.
3 SUMBIGBANK HANOVER – So far, most of the horses from this barn have needed a race or two. I felt that way after watching the qualifier here. So, let’s take a pass and see if we get a little more stamina in the tank.
4 COCKTAILS N DREAMS – Loomed boldly and looked like a winner about halfway home last week. But the cold, gusty headwinds may have stalled her a bit. Still, it was solid effort and she is now ready to win. Gets the post she needs too!
5 TEQUILA N ROSES – Mare is leased by the connections, and they march all the way up the NJ Turnpike for a big track try. Why not? She does seem to have a little ability. Wasn’t Mark Mac’s choice, but I expected that. Longshot chance.
6 VITANI AS – In races like this, sometimes the fresh faces are very dangerous. Hails from very good barn with project trotters like this. They listed Dex, but he’s at YR until later. That was a very nice confidence builder. They probably think she’s ready for this.
7 REAL MCCOY – That was a quietly improved effort in first go over the track. Most horses will improve with that experience under their belt. I don’t like that barn has three in here. This one got toughest post. Still has chance.
8 AP HALL OF TRIX – Turned in another one of his better efforts. So, that makes two in-a-row! Rare for him. But, tonight’s problem is the bad post. They really sting him. Andy will have to find way to get him into the race in time.
9 MANHATTANUP NO ICE – Finally, and I repeat, finally got lucky last week! I think we all knew it would happen eventually. Mark Mac put him in another good spot, and THIS time, he kicked home better. Will shoot out again.
Mark MacDonald 9 over 5
Top Contenders 3-6-7-9