By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — v Friday, September 9
1 KINGOFTHEJUNGLE – Finally finds a field and post that might suit him. Keep in mind he probably “needed” that last race, after missing a few weeks. Should benefit from the comebacker. Has the pole and plenty of versatile speed.
2 VASARI N – Not sure if we’ve seen this fella here before. I see all small track, so that makes him a bit questionable on the big oval. I do like the post relief, though! Can sit, save ground and try to get lucky late. Maybe.
3 HAYMITCH – Passed a couple of them last time, so that hints at a slight return to form. Do remember that Mitch has won here before. Somebody has to step up and win this race. Maybe Mitch at a price? You never know.
4 MAKE IT BIG – Set a pretty solid pace in his return to Club Med. Just got a little tired near the end. Different kind of trip could produce different kind of result. Not totally out of this one and will offer square price again.
5 SVENGALI – As previously said, he’s mostly impossible to try and handicap. Simply put, IF you think he’ll be good tonight, go ahead and bet. IF the price is low again, I will swing against and let him beat me, IF he can.
6 IN THE HUDDLE – Had a nice stalking spot last time and failed to make it pay off. Back to longshot status again.
7 GENTLEMENSATTITUDE – Raced better than a lot of these last few, so let’s take an extra look at that. No, I’m not in love with the outer post, but we can’t control that. Can Juan C gas pedal him out of the gate? I guess we’ll find out.
8 SUNSHINE’S FINEST – I suspected he would take some betting action last week and he did. Unfortunately, he did not make it pay off, after a classic Med shuffle. Will it get any better moving back to tough post? Probably not.
9 IT’S RIGGED – Goes second-time Lasix here, so there is reason to expect improvement. Really tough post, though.
10 MAGAZINE THEME – C’mon Freehold bettors! 3-5? Really? Went from awesome to empty with a switch to outer post. It’s the same thing up here. Good luck if you think he can overcome the start.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders: 1-7-8-4
1 PRETENDER – Racing really well right now and this plot becomes very interesting in a four-horse field. Colt has speed, and I expect A Mac to be using it wisely. He won’t want to let too many pass him early. Maybe just Temporal.
2 TEMPORAL HANOVER – Looks like a standout here and the very small field only makes things a bit easier. Brian can do whatever he wants and will get the respect when he moves. Will be extremely hard to beat, but at miniscule odds.
3 PERICULUM – What’s happened to him over past few starts? I don’t know, but it’s not good. He was rock-solid and razor sharp the first few months of the campaign. I now need to see a big bounce back before I could endorse.
4 KING OF THE NORTH – His stock has fallen a few points too! Brutal trip at Pocono. No good on Hambo Day with some shoes off. A just okay mile against the conditioned foes. I know it was prep for this. But, he will need more.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 2-1-4-3