By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — February 19, 2022
2 COOL MAN BLUES – You just never know what you’re going to get from the Blues Man. He can show speed, or rate off the pace. It sure seems like the latter is his preferred method. So, from this post, let’s expect the take back, sit and wait.
1 SOUTHPORT BEACH – Sent east by the powerful Morgan stable, and with a tag on! That tells me one thing. They’re looking to sell. I don’t think horse has any big track experience, so this will be good test for him. Enters off a win.
3 ALLGONOWHOA – Hasn’t done a whole lot in a while, so that’s a problem. Finally gets a little break from the post gods, so that makes him eligible for a bit of a wakeup call. Don’t be shocked if he races a lot better tonight.
4 THNDRFROMTHETHRON N – At least he’s picked up checks in three of last four. That’s probably a good thing, because he’s a longshot every time. I’m not saying he can win this, but he could round out a tri or something.
5 MANHATTAN BEACH – Yannick put him in a good spot again last week, on the big hike up to this level. Came up a tad shy late, but it would be dangerous to ignore a classy horse in spot like this. We’re going to see the speed again.
6 JUST N ACE – Burning a little betting money lately. Durable sort had no chance, coming from too far back last time. Not sure what the gameplan will be tonight, but I’ll probably be using underneath, but not on top. Your call?
7 WINNING LINC – Fresh claim here, and I always thought Linc did his best work for this barn. That’s why they reached in. Wasn’t really sure why he was so well bet last time, but the effort wasn’t good. Total turnaround needed. Maybe.
8 VERGEOFGREATNESS – Hinted at something more with an improved effort last time. But, poor horse isn’t exactly “rewarded” with the move back outside. Will need a few things to go his way. Can’t ever guarantee that.
Yannick Gingras 5 over 1
Joe Bongiorno 7 over 8
Top Contenders 7-3-1-5
1 WHATA TWIST – Quietly racing okay of late, picking up some checks. And Troy B is quietly turning in some quality steers. They get the rail here, and plot for a nice stalking trip. Not totally out of the question, at a big price.
2 S MCKEE – Picked up a check last time, in for the bottom pricetag. And that came from an outside post. Does have some good history here, so consider that. The better start slot should keep him close. Likes to launch late move.
3 ITS JUST TOO MUCH – MIA for too long, folks. Barn brought a few up the Turnpike this weekend, and they all look the same. It’s tough to make a strong case for a horse that hasn’t raced in more than a month.
4 ALWAYS A FORCE – Barn’s got two in, and they’re both medium longshots. But, not without a chance! This one doesn’t win too often, but shocks us every once in a while. Third start back. Flashed better speed last. Maybe.
5 WATCHMENEIGHNEIGH – Got roughed up in a difficult pace battle last week, so don’t hold that against him. I actually thought it was one of his better tries! So, do I finally give up and toss him onto the ticket? Yes!! Sorry about that.
6 ROCKIN PANDA – No, I don’t know what happened in those last two, but I sure didn’t like seeing it. I have to pass now, until I see a better effort. If he beats me, so be it.
7 CRUNCH – Making just second start for new barn. Sometimes it takes a race or two. Won only once all of last year, so I’m skeptical, but he does have a chance in here. Those may have been better foes he was facing at Dover.
8 OCEAN RIDGE N – The obvious “wild card” in here. Will probably crush this field or have something go wrong. Note he was a 13-time winner down, banking almost $150K. That’s a lot. If ANY of that back class shows up, this one’s over.
9 SVENGALI – Got away ninth from post two last out. What’s going to happen from the nine-hole? Not good.
10 FINAL JUSTICE – Yannick put him into the flow upon return last week, but gelding lacked much punch. I don’t see what the plan is from post 10. It’s probably not going to work out too well.
Yannick Gingras 2 over 10
Todd McCarthy 7 over 4
Top Contenders 8-5-1-2