By Dave Brower, Meadowlands handicapper – Friday, December 11, 2020 —
1 ST JAMES GATE – Couldn’t possibly have been more impressive in his debut for the Burke Brigade. Takes the obligatory step up in class, but can probably handle it. Could be any kind and looks like a very nice purchase.
2 EXPLOSIVE RIDGE – IF you want to take a swing against the favorite, this is one of your options. He’s used to winning on drops like this, and gets a much-needed inside post. Third start back off the layoff and good speed coming.
3 BROADWAY BRUISER – Didn’t pay any dividends on the claim in first go, but took off the gate and never really entered the fray. Could be different tonight from the better post. The knock: he wasn’t Dexter’s choice. Tough call.
4 CASINO CUTIE IT – For most of the mile last week, I thought he was long gone! But, he did get a little tired late. Still, it was a good step back in the right direction. May end up with a “follow” trip now behind #1. That would give chance.
5 NATURAL KEMP – First few back here didn’t show much, so he retains longshot status. In need of a lot more.
6 IMPACTER – Took ALL the money in second local try and it was okay. Didn’t have any excuses, but still went forward. Dex sticks with him and will have to be aggressive again with the switch to outer post. Don’t take low odds now.
7 MASSTER BLUE – Been doing some good work down at The Hold, but it’s usually a brand new ballgame when they ship UP the Turnpike! This is no easy spot, and he’s stuck outside. I can’t make too strong of a case.
8 THE BIG MUSCLE – In for the tag here for The Mann with second start back. He’s still not ready. Watch for now.
9 CHIEF JUSTICE – Gave it pretty good tries in both swings at the lower level. He’s forced up in class now, and slammed with an outside post, and loss of Dexter. “Nuff said.
10 YUGE – Dave M put this gelding in play last week and it worked okay. Very tough spot here, since horse doesn’t usually blast. Could be a very long night if they take back to last.
Dexter Dunn 9 over 3,6
Top Contenders 1-4-3-2
1 CAPITAL T STORM – 2YO graduated nicely down at Philly, but he’s showing up here in a much tougher spot. I need to see a good one over the track before I could endorse. He’s running into a few talented older foes.
2 LIGHT BLUE MOVERS – Team Fusco slapped the hopples on Blue and he finally got the job done. There was basically no competition in there and this will be different. May try to get the jump on Legs, but it might not matter. Your call?
3 SCIROCCO PATRICK – Interesting newcomer for Mark Silva. It’s taken a while to get this “project horse” going and I don’t think they’re quite there just yet. I will watch one at night.
4 AMAZING RIGS – Second start for new barn and the first qualifier didn’t go too well. Have to pass off that.
5 GET LEGS – Very impressive comeback story here! Loved what I saw from this very-talented young trotter. He’s improving and learning with each start. Expect another strong mile, as he gets to stay in same class for a while.
6 ST MARTINS – Yannick put this fella in the right spot last week and horse just couldn’t go with those tougher trotters. BUT, he stayed trotting and flashed good speed! That’s what we’re looking for. Expect another full send.
7 FOCUS POCUS – Really liked him last time against #5 and it was clearly no match. Yes, the trip wasn’t easy, but it’s going to be the same here. He’s got zero early speed, so totally at mercy of pace and trip again. Use under?
8 AP HALL OF TRIX – Nope. He’s back to old bad habits. Impossible play in a spot like this, especially outside.
9 HECATE – Came to a stop in that unimpressive qualifier here. Definitely a “work in progress” for new barn. Trainer: First start at the Big M off a qualifier. Trained well and ready to compete.
10 CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD – Another going out for a new stable tonight. Those look like pretty slow races out at The Meadows, so I’ll take the wait-and-see approach. Post 10 never helps either.
Simon Allard 1 over 3
Top Contenders 5-6-7-2