By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper – Early Double Analysis – Saturday, December 18, 2021
1 EL JACKO N – That was a pretty impressive Big M debut, but they did lose the horse via claim. New barn puts a much higher pricetag on the 9YO tonight. Not sure he can handle it, but they made a good claim! Is he this good? Trainer: I tweeked some things and made a couple of changes. I think he can go with these.
2 KINNDER JACKSON – He’s been here before and I remember him doing well. Just missed in two straight for his latest barn. They’ve been kind of hot here lately, so keep that in mind. Packs versatile speed. Inside post. Lots to like.
3 PASSA-GRILLE BEACH – One of the price “droppers” in here that may have been a touch overmatched at that 75/100K level. Class drops can work wonders at times. Don’t be shocked if this guy jumps up with a big one tonight.
4 SOHO LEVIATHAN A – Maine connections reached in for $40K on this veteran over at Yonkers. Interesting purchase. Has raced here before, but I don’t remember if he was good or not. I guess we’ll find out tonight. Let’s watch one.
5 MR DS ROCK – Have to think he’s got a big chance in here! Dexter on. Worked his way right up the ladder over at Yonkers and this looks like the right level for him here. Also versatile enough to do it either way. Consider that. Trainer: Been improving every week since joining the team. Ran out of track on Monday. Expect a good effort!
6 ALWAYS AND AGAIN – Improved a little in second start for the new barn. His last try here wasn’t great, but he does have prior success here. Moves to an outer post, which never helps. Let’s see what the gameplan is? I’m not sure.
7 QUALITY BUD – The Bud moves from pole to post seven, and takes a BIG hike up! I’m not a fan of that. I’ll pass.
8 LIFEONTHEBEACH A – Another one losing some inside post help. Seemed a hair outclassed in the higher-priced claimer. Will he send on out of there? That is the key to the early pace battle. Don’t be shocked if he does.
Yannick Gingras 2 over 8
Dexter Dunn 6 over 5
Top Contenders 2-5-6-1
1 SPINNAKER HANOVER – Sports two straight strong efforts here for owner/driver! Not bad! He’ll get another crack at Jonny and we’ll see if he can make a race of it. So far, I’ve been impressed by both geldings. This one’s a 3YO too!
2 I DUNNO – Took a ton of betting action last week and I really don’t know why. He wasn’t as sharp down the stretch in second leg, so he’ll need to find more to get any closer. At least he drew key inside post to sit up close. Check maybe?
3 SNOOPY SNOOP – Did a fairly good job of “keeping up” behind the top ones in here. Will try to do the same tonight.
4 ICEY SHADOW – Hung a little in that first leg, but bounced back a lot better with the good kick for second behind Jonny last week. The change of tactics might have made the difference. Expect JB to be aggressive and send again.
5 HURRIKANE JONNYBOY – Couldn’t possibly have been more impressive in both wins. Plus, he did it once from off the pace, and then on the lead. That’s professionalism. Andy Miller fits very nicely and will adapt to any situation. Best!
6 GOTAFOOLISHDESIRE – That was a really tough beat if you had him last week! Nice price too! Missed leg one, but still qualifies for the final. Tonight’s problem is this post. I don’t see him leaving. Would hope to follow Jonny? Tough call.
7 YARM – Somebody in here has to be the longshot. It’s probably this guy, with the outside post. Have to pass.
8 KEYSTONE CATALYST – Probably the key to the early pace battle. He left the gate strongly in last two, and I don’t see Luke H just grabbing up going for $30K. He will have to finish better, but should improve with start here under belt.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 5-4-1-8