By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — July 8, 2022
1 PURPLE LORD – Dropped some decent time in his second start, and Big M debut. That’s good experience. This barn’s youngsters tend to get better with more racing. A nice price use from the inside post. Sits and saves ground.
2 CELEBRITY BAMBINO – Didn’t really have much chance to catch #7 after that well-rated pace last time. But, don’t hold it against him. He kept up. Yannick didn’t really get after him, because he was trotting all he could go. More coming.
3 DIRE STRAIGHTS – Did nothing wrong in his debut, digging in to win by a hard-earned nose. Now, he’s facing a few other killers in here, in #2,7. Will need very best again. At least he can try it from another good inner post.
4 GATES HANOVER – A touch of a late start here, but let’s give credit where due. He dropped serious time, showing up with just one baby race. That shows talent! I don’t know how much more is in the tank, but it should be better.
5 MIKE DEL – Will keep Mike on the longshot list for now. At least he picked up a check in round one. Not bad.
6 PESO HANOVER – Didn’t really make much of an impact in first go around here. That happens sometimes. It usually takes a race or two to get used to Big M speeds. So, I will be looking for a bit more. Not enough to win, though.
7 UPSTAGED – Paid a pretty healthy price in round one, probably due to the outside post, and reputation that #2 showed up with. Now, the cat’s out of the bag! Real horse here, folks! In top hands. Another rough post. Still good!
8 ARI FERRARI J – Took a lot of the betting action in his debut and miscued early. Not exactly what we’re looking for. So, look for any changes that Tony A might make. I’m not in love with the post tonight. Dexter may have to be careful.
9 SMOOTH LANDING – Didn’t show me enough on debut. Now slammed by post nine. Not going to work.
10 DAHLQUIST HANOVER – Where’s he going from post 10? Like his stablemate, was just okay in Big M debut.
DRIVER CHOICES: Dexter Dunn 8 over 5
Top Contenders 2-3-7-1
1 MARVELOUSTRIX – For the most part, this is an impossible race to handicap. Nobody really looks any good on paper. So, maybe it’s finally time for Trix to jump up and win one. I know she hasn’t been great. Turnaround time?
2 SKYWAY TINACIOUS – Got bet off the board in first start for her new barn. Didn’t really show much. But, sometimes it takes a race to get used to a horse. Make some changes. Switches venues, which is a positive sign. Steps up here?
3 MEANTTOBE DE VIE – Team Beyer seem to be working on that breaking problem. Have they finally solved it? But, that last qualifier was VERY slow. Can the gelding trot in 55 or so? That is a good question. I don’t have the answer.
4 QUICK DEAL – 14YO warhorse here. Actually got claimed a while back, for owner Joe P to race in club events. That hasn’t worked out just yet. I don’t know what to tell you tonight. Anything could happen. Bounce back, or break?
5 CRAZY ABOUT PAT – Maintains his spot on the longshot list. He’s just not good enough to win here. Pass.
6 J-S JASPER – Offered up an encouraging Big M debut. When you race well in first go around here, it catches my eye. I see who’s driving, and barn’s been doing okay here this year. No reason not to like in a field like this.
7 FIX-IT-UP – I guess if you want to take a swing against #6, this is your next best option. No, I’m not in love with the post, but his comeback qualifier suggests that he enjoyed his little vacation. Sometimes, that helps a lot.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 6-2-7-1