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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — Hambletonian Day, 2022

Race 1

1             TOWN GOSSIP – Two in for Team B and this is the one stepping up and losing Joe. Will be hoping for a rail ride and just to keep up on the Hambo day opener! I would be surprised if he jumped up and beat these.

2             MY PAL JOE – Joe showed up with a miraculous comebacker two weeks ago, and then just wasn’t as sharp in the follow-up. Did he bounce a little? Maybe. But, like a few of these he’s stepping back up the class ladder here. Tim T on.

3             LETS ROLL – Finds his way back for a Hambo Day roll and boy is he in a tough spot! Has to be considered a longshot.

4             VIRGO – Really don’t know what to make of this guy. Dylan D doesn’t usually bring one just to enjoy the Hambo Day experience. Horse is a little unproven against the likes of these. I guess I would want a huge price to think about it.

5             BILLY CLYDE – How long can he stay razor sharp? That is the question. He’s been cranking out 47 and 48 miles like it’s his job! And, there is no place better than the Hambo Day opener for a speed horse. Should intimidate some of them.

6             ROCKIN ON VENUS – Got stuffed in two back against these. And then, the outside post and a lot of leavers contributed to his downfall. I really don’t expect him to leave into the teeth of #5. Won’t be any easier, folks.

7             BETTORS DONTTELL – He is the key to the race! And don’t try to convince me that he’s just grabbing up and taking back. Perhaps the biggest threat to Billy, but he will have to earn it, that’s for sure! Get a fair price if you like.

8             SPEEDY DOMINIC A – Here’s the other Team Bongiorno horse and this post will be no friend to him. I don’t know what Joe’s plan is, but IF he blasts 100%, it will be a LONG road to the top in a daylight race. Good luck with that.

9             SOUTH BEACH STAR – Loved him two weeks, but just HATE this spot. I think we might have to pass for now.

DRIVER CHOICES: Tim Tetrick 2 over 3 Joe Bongiorno 8 over 1

Top Contenders  2-5-7-4

Race 2

1             INTHESKYROCKET A – Barn gets a few in and they’re done nice and early, right? This mare got lucky once over at Yonkers, but I’d be really surprised if she beat a group like this. Maybe I’m wrong?

2             CHASE LOUNGE – I think she was also eligible one for one of the stakes today. So, why not try this spot? She’s a pure speed horse, on a pure speed, daylight day. I would never talk you off in a situation like this. Nice price too!

3             SLY ELEANOR N – The Burke Brigade have two in and the other one appears to have the better chance. I wouldn’t exactly call Eleanor a mile track specialist, so she seems up against it today. Your call, though?

4             MAJORCA N – So far, since arriving, this mare has been impressive. She handles all size track, all kinds of trips. She’s just a good horse. IF she were to get a win on Hambo Day, that would be a signature kind of win. Corey will put in play.

5             WATCH ME NOW N – Maybe just a notch overmatched at the very top stakes level? Maybe. So, this is a slightly cozier spot, but she will need a new driver today, and look who it is? Qualifier was strong. She will be primed, ready for this.

6             DRAMA ACT – This is a real nice test for her too! Back from Pocono where she dominated twice. That last one in sub 1:50 really sticks out. How fast can she go here? I guess we’ll get our answer today. The post might make a bit tough.

7             KEEP ROCKIN A – Last time she raced here it was excellent try. But, she faces a very different pace scenario today. I can’t tell you she’s blasting. And I can’t tell you she’s rallying. That will be up to A Mac. Very tough call.

DRIVER CHOICES: Yannick Gingras 6 over 5

Top Contenders  4-7-6-5

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