By Dave Brower, Meadowlands Handicapper — Early Double Analysis — Saturday, January 16, 2021 —
1 GODSPELL HALL – Dropped and popped with a pretty powerful finish last week. Maybe this guy is finally coming into his own and living up to that pedigree. Transitions to different non-winners level here, but can probably handle it.
2 MCMATTERS – It’s not often you see a 4-1 favorite in a Med race, but that was the case last week. Had to grind it out first over, setting #1 up with the trip. Needs an easier journey to reverse that decision. That can happen.
3 SWAN IN MOTION – He’d been a little unlucky here until last week. Finally put it all together and roared home like a good horse. He’s definitely facing better tonight, so another step up will be needed. The Lasix definitely helping.
4 IT AINT THE WHISKY – One of four horses in here entering off a win. But, I’d be hard pressed to expect this guy to handle the six-level class hike. That’s just too much. Also loses Dexter, as expected.
5 FOCUS POCUS – I love the way this guy looks out on the track, and he’s been improving with each and every start. Barn gave him a few weeks off and he comes back in super-tough spot. Will also need to step up his game to win.
6 NO TIME TO PLAY – Really racing well right now, with that strong early speed. But, he’s been unable to add the knockout stretch punch to win lately. I don’t see him passing the likes of #1,3,7 here. Picks up another check?
7 SOME CHAPTER – The streak came to an end with that loss last week, but the effort was still solid. Just let Joey get away from him. No disgrace there. The outer post could be a good test for him again. Still the one to beat with DD.
8 GRACEFUL WINNER – Barn didn’t get much love from the post gods in this one. This mare had been very competitive up until that last mistake. Hate to see that. Not really sure what the plan will be from this starting slot.
9 I GOT THE LOOKS – Recently added Lasix and it’s probably helping, but isn’t he just buried against a field like this? That, plus the post, make him a pass tonight.
Dexter Dunn 7 over 4,8
Top Contenders 7-1-5-3
1 POGEY BEACH – The Burke Brigade felt the need to give this guy a couple months off. Okay. The comeback qualifier was okay and he ends up in for a tag here in the MLK race. The pricetag part worries me. Is he ready?
2 DUCKIES DYNASTY – Duckie’s got a shot in here for King Solomon, who won this two years ago. He will have to stay pacing, however, so that’s pilot’s main job. The inner post may aid that cause. Only needs the right kind of trip.
3 CANDELL – The only horse in here coming off a win! And it was for this pricetag. Didn’t really threaten last time we saw him here, but he’s gotten good since. I like the post. I like the potential for hot pace. Tharps will get him a trip too!
4 SOSSY’S KING KONG – Seems a little up against it, class-wise vs. these. I would be surprised if he upset them.
5 MASTER CONRAD – Invades from Ohio and moves into a new barn. Technically, he was facing better out there, and was rolling nicely until that last tough trip from second tier. No such worries in here. Deshawn can steer. Watch out!
6 CRUZING HILL – Sheridan has “hit the ticket” (Fin 3rd) last two years, so that’s not bad! He’ll be on a big price here, so let’s see if he can keep the streak going. I wish him luck. Horse hoping to bounce back after a disaster.
7 PARKLANE JET – Bouncing back and forth between here and Yonkers. He’s been a little inconsistent, so that’s an issue for me. It’s an outer post again. His top effort will get him close, so it’s up to Denson to motivate the gelding.
8 ACTING OUT – Part two of Team Tharps here! The recent claim was used a little too hard early in that last one, so I do wonder what the plan will be from this post? Horse seems to pack one reliable move. Timing and trip will be critical.
9 LET’S FOAL AROUND – Chad W finished second the last two years! He’s also on a big price tonight, so can he keep the streak going? That start last week was better than it looks. My problem tonight is the same post! Not easy.
10 RUFO – Montrell won this last year and he’s probably the most seasoned driver of the crew. So, how does he overcome post 10? That, I don’t know. Horse has been a victim of the bad post blues lately. Will need to get a little lucky!
DRIVER CHOICES: None
Top Contenders 3-5-7-2