By Madison Hatter, Meadowlands Handicapper — Saturday, January 14, 2023
1 OURRHYTHMNBLUES N – He hasn’t been seen since July, but he looked pretty good two back in a Q at Freehold and clocked a solid time through the fog in a Q here a few weeks ago. I’ll pass and watch one here off the long layoff.
2 CARBINE – Well, we all know how much back class he has, but I’ve been skeptical of him on top a lot in the past and I will be here too off a disappointing sixth place effort up at Mohawk against similar last time out at 1-2.
3 MACH LE MORE A – Well, he’s had a full three months off now, but he was pretty solid last time out at Saratoga when dropping out of the open. I’ll take a pass here tonight and watch one to see how his form matches up here.
4 ROCK STEADY RON – Good mile two back to grab second against an easier bunch, but wasn’t able to show a whole lot last time on the jump up this level despite getting the pocket early. Lots of back class, but I’ll look elsewhere here.
5 SOUTHWIND SANDOR – He’s taken a lot of money in recent starts and he was able to put together two pretty good miles in the last two starts. Draws well here, but is working his way back up the class ladder in this spot.
6 REIGNING DEO – Couldn’t really get involved last time out from an outside post against similar, but he has wicked late pace if he can be closer tonight as that :25.4 kicker here four starts back shows.
7 UNDRTHSOUTHRNSUN N – He was beaten less than a length against a tougher bunch two back here at the Meadowlands, but I didn’t love the way he finished off his last mile. I’ll use on the rebound chance tonight, though.
8 WHITECOOKIE – He won against similar three back over at Yonkers and we saw the kind of effort he can flaunt over this track last summer when he was sharp leading into Hambletonian week. I’ll take a chance using him on top tonight.
9 CATCH ME CONRAD – The support has been there for him since coming East and he clearly had the talent to be competitive here and he proved it with a win last time out. However, this is a double jump in class and a tough post.
10 ADRIANO HANOVER – Won well from off the pace against slightly easier company than this two back, but had a tough time from Post 10 last time out. Draws Post 10 again here and will be a the mercy of the pace up ahead.
George Brennan 6 Over 1 Andrew McCarthy 2 Over 5
Top Contenders: 8-7-2-5
Saturday Race 2
1 SOMIKI – He got shuffled back at three quarters last time out and came charging home to get the job done against similar claimers at 54-1. He did get a pretty good pace setup though and I don’t think I’m fully a believer here yet.
2 LINCOLN BOULEVARD – Won well last time out down at Freehold against a TM group and has gotten a few checks against similar claimers over at Yonkers. Winless in 2022, but already looking to make it 2-for-2 in 2023.
3 ILLINI DUKE – Can’t say I fully saw that mile out of him last time out, but clearly he proved that recent Freehold form is no fluke with the blowout win last week. Moves up in claiming price again, but he’s sharp right now and I’ll pick him.
4 SPORTS ADVISOR – He’s been facing pricier claimers over at Yonkers and hasn’t exactly shown a whole lot in recent times, but he did finish fourth in a mile over this track last time out. He’s missed a few weeks since, but draws well here.
5 FOX VALLEY CARLIN – Has been knocking on the door and has been very competitive against these type of claimers in the last few, but did make a break last time out as the 6-5 favorite. He will be looking to rebound in this spot.
6 LONE WOLF AMERICAN – I liked this one last week, but he got roughed up with the first over trip before tiring and finishing sixth. He can contend against these types though and will look to work out a cleaner trip tonight.
7 GOTAFOOLISHDESIRE – Raced well here last week on the ship over from Yonkers an finished fourth against similar while only being beat a half length. Draws well again tonight and will look to be in the mix here.
8 SNAP CALL – Won against bottom level TM types here two back and then couldn’t get involved against conditioned types last time from a tough post. Another outside post to work from hurts his chances quite a bit here.
9 BLUE OCEAN – I’ve liked him in the last few and I’ll toss him in underneath once more here, but he needs to find a trip that will work against these types. Leaving hasn’t worked lately and neither has taking back, so now what?
10 MIDNIGHT DAY – Form has remained consistent as he’s switched barns a few times lately, including after his most recent second place effort here last week. Tough post assignment on debut for the Harmon barn tonight, though.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders: 3-5-6-9