By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — Friday, September 16, 2021 —
1 MCNULTY Z TAM – Overall, doing pretty good work lately, so I can’t fault that. The pole draw gives Matty Z a few more options and he might be able to save a little extra for late. That’s how these races are won most times.
2 KINGOFTHEJUNGLE – Been aiming a little bit high of late out of town. Gets into a pretty good spot back on the big track for Dave G. I like the post for him too! Can sit, stalk and try to pounce late. That is a possibility, IF horse ready. Driver: King and I are getting to know each other. Definitely pulled prematurely Sunday, and he hung in well off the scratch. Expect a better result this week.
3 MOONWARDS HANOVER – Been just fair in those 10K claimers down at Philly. I’m not sure that will be good enough to get it done vs. these. But, the Judge has been on a roll lately, and he’s having a career year in the sulky. Maybe.
4 PETAL TO THE METAL – I keep waiting for this veteran mare to break through and win one. It could easily be tonight. Just needs the right kind of pace, and a trouble-free journey. Not sure what price will be. I don’t want very low odds. Trainer: Petal is back to herself, closing well. The inside draw will definitely help this week.
5 BALI – Maintains longshot status, even with the improved post. Will just have to find a way to finish better. Not sure.
6 TAILGUNNER HANOVER – Adrienne told us that “Gunner” would have to race himself back into shape. One thing’s for sure, he remembered how to pace the stretch here! Stormed home from long way back. Same kind of trip coming.
7 SPARKLINLIKEITIS – We certainly didn’t learn much from her Big M debut. Would need total turnaround. Unlikely.
8 MAY I CRUISE WEST – The Cruise did not have an easy journey last time, but he did kick in nicely near the end. Unfortunately, he gets slammed with another bad post and they always hurt. Will hope for a little mayhem.
9 TAKEITTOTHEFACE – Goes first off the claim Dave Y and Stacy C. So, that gives her two in here. I’m not in love with the post, or the just-fair follow up off the win. Will need a bigger move than that to pay any dividends. Trainer: Seems to like racing from off the pace better. But, the nine hole might be a bit too far back. Hoping for some action early, so he can come rallying.
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 4-2-6-1
1 LILBITALEXIS – She’s been awesome so far! Except for that one miscue. We can forgive that. Barn remains on fire and she will be very hard to beat from the pole position. Will have to deal with #3,5, but I wouldn’t bet against right now.
2 PRETTY INTERESTING – Turned in a very good speed try last week. Just got nailed by the flying #5 at end. No disgrace there. I don’t see her setting the pace against this group, so timing of that one move will be critical. She can finish!
3 DESIGN FASHION – Hasn’t done anything wrong yet, so that’s always a great thing with a freshman filly. But, she is taking a little step up tonight. She hasn’t faced any fillies like #1 yet. A lot to prove, but very, very possible.
4 YANABA – They slapped the hopples on out in Kentucky and she still broke. Not good. I’ll take a pass here.
5 LA VIE EN BLANC – Once Dexter geared her up last week, that was some burst of speed! Impressive. Here’s hoping the hopples were the answer! She’s got some talent for sure. Now, she just needs to keep behaving and learn her job.
6 JEANNICA S – Still very much a “work-in-progress” for Team Melander. Eventually, they will get her there, but she will also need to learn how to behave. There is speed in the tank, that’s for sure! Mattias takes over again.
7 JUST BEE AWESOME – Steve Smith doesn’t get too many drives for this barn, but he sure took advantage of this one! And, it’s nice to see BP put him right back down. He’s earned it! Drew tough post. At mercy of pace and trip.
8 CASH INFUSION – Was good enough to make the sires stakes final, and got some money! From a very tough post. Gets slammed again by the gods, and has a little “catching up” to do, to earn some points. Will she send?
Todd McCarthy 1 over 5
Top Contenders 1-3-2-5