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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — Friday, January 29, 2021

Race 1   RATHER SWELL – Not exactly going great guns right now, plus he’s coming off a sick scratch. This is a field full of question marks, but he’s definitely one of them. I would have a tough time making a strong case tonight.

2   ALWAYS A FORCE – Seems sharp right now for his trainer. Lots of competitive efforts, both here and at Freehold. Scoots back up the NJ Turnpike tonight and drew a nice post. He looks a lot better than some of these.

3   SOSSY’S KING KONG – Moves to a new barn tonight, so that demands attention. In a race like this, you need some sort of angle to take a shot. Will Sossy step back up with a big effort? I wish I knew. We all just have to guess.

4   IMAGEOFAROCKER – Hasn’t paid any dividends on that claim yet. Goes back to A Mac tonight, from a slightly better post. Will need a wakeup call, but that’s not totally out of the question in field like this. Somebody has to wake up.

5   VICTORIAS MAVERICK – That looks like a horror trip in that last one down at Freehold. Won’t hold that against him. Dexter drove this one to a blowout win vs. lesser once, but he did opt off tonight. Has speed. Should use it.

6   FINAL JUSTICE – Just 1-34 over the past two seasons, so let’s just keep him on the longshot list. Not for me.

7   JUST WAVE GOODBYE – Also looking very much like a longshot. No recent effort stamps him as a major contender.

8   BET THE DRAGON – Can’t remember the last time they stuck the Dragon in a claimer. Very interesting! Unfortunately, the gelding hasn’t taken a forward step in any recent race. Would be hard to back looking at those lines.

9   WAR DADDY – I guess this is the one to beat, as Dexter’s choice. But, it’s still post nine, and a ship back to the big track. He may win, but it’s hard to take a short price on anything in here. Your call, folks? Will be gunning out. Trainer: Generally, a small-track specialist. Likes to make one move. A bit of an underachiever, but if Dexter can work out a trip, these are not above him.

10 BAYONET – Not a whole lot going on here, since he returned from Freehold. Now, it’s a post 10 start. Good luck!


Dexter Dunn 9 over 5,6

Top Contenders 2-3-9-4

Race 2

1   R HERBIE BLUE CHIP – That was no easy trip from the bad post into a well-meant foe. Now, he moves all the way back inside and his biggest foe starts alongside. Looks like the one to beat again with very trackable speed. Must use.

2   MANHATTANUP NO ICE – Have to admit, he’s getting better! That was excellent try against that Team Orange Crush foe last week. It looked like he’d stolen away. Will try to do the same thing against #1. How far will he go?

3   SV TYMAL’S IMAGE – Turned in an even effort in Big M debut last week. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great. Will have to take a step forward off that, but many horses do improve after one trip over the track. Drew better post. Your call?

4   MIZZY BRENDA K – The slowish start two weeks ago didn’t help. There was no way to make up ground with #1 cruising up front. I guess if there was ever a spot to show some more, this would be it. She has to go forward!

5   THE GREAT PG – Changed things up last time by flashing speed, but regressed into a late miscue. That’s not good. But, I did like to see the speed. Not sure he can try that again vs. the inside faves? Maybe? Must also trot the whole way.

6   DA BOOGIE MAN – Was okay two back, when put in good position. Got bet off the board last time and broke. Really not sure what to expect in this spot. Stuck outside the main foes. Probably just needs to get around there safely.

7   SCIROCCO PATRICK – Corey had some interesting things to say about this guy when interviewed last week. It didn’t sound overly positive, but he did say the horse was gaining confidence in his gait. I still need to see more.

8   SIR CROMWELL – Two checks from three go’s here so far. Not bad. Moves back out to much tougher post tonight. That won’t help the cause. T Mac knows him now, but might need a little magic to get any closer from out here.

9   LIGHT BLUE MOVERS – Got real lucky when he won a while back. Followed that up with okay effort, then a clunker at Yonkers. Probably belongs here on the big track. But, Scotty will have to send him a little to have any chance.

10 ROGER RABBIT – He’s been facing better, but this still looks like a rough spot out of post 10. Needs some speed.


Billy Dobson 1 over 6

Dexter Dunn 10 over 5,6

Top Contenders 1-2-8-4

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