By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — Friday, January 21, 2022
1 DARKRSHADEOFPALE N – She’s been pace and trip compromised in last few, so don’t be too hard on her. But tonight’s problem is the strength of this field. These are much tougher foes. Loses Scotty Z. Needs to get lucky.
2 BEACH BOUTIQUE – Fought tenaciously to hold on for the big upset last week! She did have a few things go her way, since speed horses had an edge. Like #1, this is a big bump up tonight. I don’t see her having the lead this week.
3 ITTY BITTY – I’ll give her some credit. I didn’t think she would handle that class hike last week, but she did race well. Nobody was catching #6 that night, and it will probably be the same again. Chases, but won’t catch. Hits ticket.
4 SHELLIE DE VIE – It’s been a while since we saw Shellie here. Been bouncing up and down the class ladder out of town. This is no easy spot either! But, she knows the track well. Can be versatile. Likes to hit ticket. Don’t be shocked.
5 MAJOR BATTLE – Where’s she been for more than a month? No matter what, it can’t be a good thing. I guess I just want to watch one here? I don’t see her trying to gun inside of #6. Will just have to hope for a good trip in the flow.
6 LA BELLA VITA N – Made it look pretty easy last week and Scotty was just a passenger. After that good finish in debut, she just flaunted speed and class. I think we’re looking at same thing tonight, with threats stuck outside of her.
7 SHE’S NUN BETTOR N – Ordinarily, this would be good spot for her, even from this post. But, it’s not! Yes, she mowed down that weaker bunch a few weeks ago. This will be much harder. Will need to get luckier in trip department too!
8 NOTORIOUS PINK – I really don’t know what to do with her tonight. Got a couple of weeks off and came back with okay qualifier. Her only way to win in here is to blast and deal with #6 early. I just don’t know if that’s going to happen.
Joe Bongiorno 3 over 2 Scott Zeron 6 over 1
Yannick Gingras 7 over 4 Corey Callahan 8 over 5
Top Contenders 6-4-8-3
1 ROSE ABOVE IT – Invades from Canada and into a new barn! This barn did have some success here the past few weekends, so keep that in mind. Will have to step up his game a little to deal with Birdman, but you never know.
2 M AND MMS – Engblom filly just turned three, so she may be at slight disadvantage for now. Owner Toscani bought the sale topper on Monday and has sent this lass south. A fresh look. Let’s watch one to see if she’s a fit.
3 DONATELLO HANOVER – Almost paid $60 with a sterling second start down at Dover. Fact she he shows up here tells me they think he’ll like the big track better. Might have to get a better start to stay close. I’ll be watching for that.
4 CHASE A CHECK – The hopples came off last time and it didn’t produce a better result. So, let’s keep him on the longshot list until we see some improvement.
5 LADY RESORT AS – The last few here really weren’t bad. Stepped things up a bit and kept up better. Will eventually have to find a bigger finish, but that could be coming. I like to see good, steady improvement.
6 MNEMONIC – I guess if you want to take a shot against the big fave, this is an option. Probably needed that last go over at Yonkers, after the scratches. She’s a nine-time winner! Can’t forget that. Needs more, but should go well here.
7 BIRDMAN – Controlled things exactly as planned last week. That didn’t surprise me. Gets one more crack in this class, because he hasn’t earned too much money yet. I think we all know what gameplan is. Can anybody catch?
8 WILLAS WIN – Not in a very good spot way out here. Barn did surprise us with one last week, so I’ll keep that in mind. But, I don’t see Willa sweeping by Birdman any time soon.
9 DUANE’S COOKIE – Looks like he’s been a work in progress for the Harmon barn. Will need a little more “education” from this terrible post. Let’s see if he just stays trotting tonight.
Corey Callahan 1 over 4 Steve Smith 5 over 3
Yannick Gingras 7 over 2
Top Contenders 7-1-3-6