Race Reviews

  • Week Of 7/27 - 8/2
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Track Handicapper Darin Zocali's Bio
Darin Z  RACE REVIEWS by Darin Zoccali A thoroughbred and standardbred racing announcer and analyst, Darin works for several racetracks including the Meadowlands, Parx Racing at Philadelphia Park and Tioga Downs.  He is also a regular fill in on Sirius XM Radio's Down The Stretch broadcast.  He is a graduate of St John's University (class of 2005) and is one of the youngest announcers/broadcasters in the racing business.

Race Reviews For Saturday, August 02, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 HANDOVER BELLE It may be fate that she won her first pari-mutuel race at The Meadowlands two years ago today. Five career wins at The Meadowlands. Made an uncharacteristic break in Round 2 after a perfect trip in Round 1. The right fractions/trip can set her up.
2 ROCKIN WITH DEWEY Has earned nearly $300k the hard way, never winning more than a late closer at Woodbine. She has been OK in the opening two rounds of the series, but will need to step up to win this. That said, she seldom puts forth a bad effort.
3 CLASSIC MARTINE This mare likes to win. She is the leading money-earning trotting mare so far this season and has won six of her last eight starts. She was blocked in The Miss Versatility but had no such trouble in Round 2 here, wearing down Queen Bee. Formidable.
4 MISTERY WOMAN Won four of her first six career starts, but is just 2 for 18 since. One of those wins was a Hambletonian Oaks elimination last year, which is her lone Meadowlands wins thus far in her career. Given her form, nothing less than a perfect trip will do.
5 NF HAPPENSTANCE Prior to winning in March of this year, she went 11 months between victories. Ironically, won her career debut in her only two year old start over Classic Martine. Won a C-2 Trot here in April. In career form, but I doubt it’s good enough to win this.
6 MA CHERE HALL Of her eight losses in 2013, six came at the hands of Bee A Magician. She was the third richest three year old filly trotter last year. This season has been a different story as she hasn’t come back nearly as good. Needs to step up her game.
7 BEE A MAGICIAN Last year’s Horse of the Year has just one win in 2014. It was a world record mile. She has never been worse than second in her career at The Meadowlands. Will need to turn the tables on Classic Martine today. Interesting chess match awaits.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-9-3
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKIN AMADEUS The 2012 Breeders Crown winner has not gotten back to his best form yet. It appeared that he was ready to get on track with an impressive win at Pocono, but things still haven’t panned out. Burnt a lot of cash last time. Needs breakthrough effort.
2 MALAK USWAAD N Winless in 19 starts this year, which does not bode well for his chances in this salty group. Beaten by a horse at Harrington that has won 12 of 23 starts this year, but all have come in Delaware. Still believe he is a cut below these.
3 DOVUTO HANOVER Defeated Hillbilly Hanover by a nose last time who he encounters again today while simultaneously stepping up in class. Has rebounded from a disappointing three year old season. Was at his peak earlier this year. Looms an exotics contender.
4 COBALT MAN Sat the pocket last time and was angled with room in the stretch but his pace was just even. Will need to be much better.
5 HILLBILLY HANOVER Nearly took them all the way on the lead last time but was worn down by a grinding Dovuto Hanover. Lone win this year came at the nw12000 level at Yonkers. Respect his current form, but believe he is a cut below the major players.
6 WAKE UP PETER Tackled the best of his generation last time and was good. He sat the pocket early and was shuffled a bit when Sweet Lou made his brush to the lead. He angled with pace and finished right on The Captain’s helmet. He was loaded late. Top pick now.
7 HESTON BLUE CHIP The one-time divisional champion and Breeders Crown winner hasn’t been as good as he was at age three. Just nipped by half-mile specialist Sapphire City last time. He has been pretty good lately and can earn a share of this.
8 ALLSTAR LEGEND Has no chance from post 7 at Yonkers last time and he was no match for Wake Up Peter and Odds On Equuleus two starts back. I am a little concerned that The Franklin may have soured him. That said, I envision Gingras blasting here. Pace factor.
9 ODDS ON EQUULEUS He dusted this level in his most recent start with a visually impressive burst of speed in the stretch. He has been really good lately. The concern is the outside post and his lack of early speed. Price will be short, too. Still a top contender.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL HELEN Filly had a solid campaign last year but she has been winless so far this season. Winner of her last mile was 6th in a $20k claimer in her previous start, which makes me question the strength of that last field she faced. Tricky read here.
2 ACT NOW She is clearly the class of the field. NJSS champion looked like a winner mid-stretch in both the Mistletoe Shalee elimination and final. But, she has a tendency to pull herself up in the lane. She has every right to win this race, but I don’t want to take a short price.
3 GETTINGREADYTOROLL This filly flashed her relentless turn of foot defeating older mares last time. Worth noting, she was only 7/2 in the Shalee elimination, where she unfortunately broke. Major talent but comes with the risk of going off-stride. Another short price.
4 MY LADY DAY She dropped in class last time and made an easy lead while sent off as the 6/5 chalk. But, she came up empty in the stretch. Perhaps a change in tactics are in store for today, but she is a hard sell of her last mile.
5 SURFSIDE SEXY She has been racing OK for the most part at Pocono. Her lone win here this year came in a C-2 event in April. She was 6th in both NJ Sire Stake divisions that she raced in. Pierce chose her, but I am looking elsewhere for the winner.
6 CUT A DEAL Filly went a tough trip last time at 15-1 and hung in nicely in the stretch. That said, her lone win this year came in a non-winners of two even at Yonkers in just 1:59.2. She seems to be in better form now, but still looks like a longshot.
7 BLIXTRA She was 6th in the NJ Sire Stake Final against Act Now. Chased Rockingcam Park around the track last time whom she meets up with again here. Filly clearly has some ability and fits with these NJ-sired fillies.
8 HIGHLAND ROCKSTAR Just 1 for 17 in her career and her recent form is lacking. She was no match for a couple of these two starts back.
9 ROCKINGCAM PARK An even effort behind the likely favorite here last time. She was a sharp winner two starts back. She has a bit of speed and will need to use it from this wide draw. Exits a very fast race and looms as a contender.
10 KATE CAN’T WAIT She has won nearly half her starts this year and has the speed to overcome this wide draw. Her race two starts back showed that she fits with several of the major contenders here. Inclined to use in exotics.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 DOO WOP HANOVER By far, the most accomplished of these this year. The New Jersey Sire Stakes Champion raced very well in his Meadowlands Pace elimination. He had no chance in the Final and has been freshened up for this. Looms the one to beat.
2 WESTERN VINTAGE His three year old season has been a disappointment as he hasn’t raced back to his two year old form. Perhaps that last qualifier is an indication he is ready to step up. Gingras removed from the drive and goes to Doo Wop. Could be ready for better.
3 ROCKEYED OPTIMIST The good news, he added Lasix and won. The bad news, he was all out to catch an 80-1 shot. In very tough now.
4 BUSHWACKER Things didn’t work out in The Adios Final, but he raced quite well in the elimination. Interesting to see Miller get the call now. He raced well in a three year old open here on Pace night. Looms a legitimate threat to the favorite. My top selection.
5 SWEET ROCK Purchased for $63,000 at the sale on Sunday and moves to the Givens barn. Will need to pace in 1:49 here. Longshot.
6 DANCIN HILL Broke through with a win before taking four weeks off. Qualified behind a champion, but he will still need to improve here.
7 ROCK OUT Owns a win over the colt to his inside and will likely offer a better price. Faced older condition horses last time and some of his Meadowlands efforts are quite respectable. The move to Tetrick from his previous Meadowlands drivers is interesting.
8 CARD SHOCK Beaten by Sweet Rock when last seen here and that foe is a longshot in this spot. Needs to improve off last to contend.
9 BEAT THE DRUM Not a bad effort in the Adios, granted he was perfectly positioned second over. This field is not nearly as tough, so he has a right to improve. My only concern is the draw as he is not the fastest off the gate. Still, using in exotics.
10 ROCKNROLL REALITY He is in excellent form coming into the toughest race of his career. He is still just 2 for 20 and will need a trip.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 GOLDEN RECEIVER The rail is a tough spot for him as he really has to push off the gate to protect position. He should ensure a fast pace, but clearly will need to get back to his absolute best if he is to win this race.
2 STATE TREASURER He is really good right now. Even his effort in The William Haughton was solid. I am a little concerned that given the way the race may set up, he might be first over. I think he is better than he has ever been and is a contender here.
3 THINKING OUT LOUD Made a blitz to the tune of a 26 second third panel while gunning first over against Sweet Lou. This horse is deceptively sharp right now and if he ever gets a trip, he is going to be right there. Last year’s winner is my pick to repeat.
4 SUNFIRE BLUE CHIP One of just two four year olds in the field and he has really struggled this year. In a very tough spot. Longshot.
5 FOILED AGAIN Traditionally, this is the time of year when he struggles a bit. He just isn’t going to pace in 1:47 or under. He has a great draw and if he can follow a live outer flow, I can see him earning a minor award this time.
6 BETTOR’S EDGE This gelding is so good right now and he gets no respect. Hasn’t been less than 5-1 in any of his last 6 starts and they have all been good ones. He has to be firing off the gate and should end up in the pocket behind Sweet Lou. Interesting contender.
7 SWEET LOU He has been unstoppable over the past couple of months, including a big win here on Meadowlands Pace night. His stablemate to his inside is likely to be firing, so it will be interesting to see what Pierce will do early. Obviously, he is the one to beat.
8 CAPTAINTREACHEROUS Paced a back half-mile in 52 seconds flat last time, which borders on the absurd. That said, the post position gods didn’t do him any favors as I just don’t see him chasing down Sweet Lou. Expect him to rally for a share, but siding with others on top.
9 CLEAR VISION Battle of Lake Erie winner typically does his best work on the smaller tracks. Tough draw and tough task today. Longshot.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 LILU HANOVER Half-sister to Luckycharm Hanover ($430k). Stayed trotting in her elimination to earn this spot. Still needs more to win.
2 ONDA DI MARE Comes from a family of solid trotters, although the mare earned just $16k. Did well to make the final and her All Stars win was a good one over Sarcy who she meets here again. That said, she will need to improve several lengths to beat Mission Brief.
3 LOCK DOWN LINDY Comes from a great family as her dam is a kin to Majestic Son ($1.7 Million). $40,000 Lexington purchase is professional beyond her years and sports an awesome turn of foot. The only question is whether or not she is fast enough to beat the chalk.
4 SARCY Her dam earned $733k. Her first start was a good one and notice how much money she took early on. Since then though, her form has gone in the wrong direction. Appears to be not as precocious as the major contenders here.
5 MISSION BRIEF The $150,000 Lexington yearling appears to be worth every penny and more. While her dam was a nice horse and Breeders Crown winner, this filly is freakishly fast. If she minds her manners, it would take a monster mile from someone to beat her.
6 GATKA HANOVER Half-sister to Heaven’s Door who races in the Hambletonian Oaks today. She got lonely on the lead and appeared to pull herself up a bit in the stretch. But then she accelerated again when called upon. Want to see what she can do off a helmet today.
7 LOVE ME MADLY From the family of Angelette Hanover ($317k). She is a filly that has been progressing nicely. She showed that she can kick home nicely in her elimination. The $65,000 Harrisburg yearling adds value to the exotics and is a must-use.
8 LIVINTHEFASTLANE She was left with too much to do in her elimination, but did well to qualify for the final. $80,000 Harrisburg yearling showed talent at The Meadows. Sears has been on record that he likes her. She will get in the race sooner today.
9 JOLENE JOLENE From the family of Tall Cotton ($563k). She has now shown in both her starts that she can close willingly and likes to pass horses. The post is the biggest concern as just how many horses will she gave to go by? Still using in my exotic wagers.
10 WORDIE HANOVER $95,000 Lexington yearling has been OK so far. That said, she catches the worst of the draw and will need to improve.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-1-8
H Horse Comment
1 CENTURION ATM Is a brother to multiple six-figure earners. He went a big first over trip in the elimination and powered away impressively. Svanstedt was very high on him calling him “his best chance to win,” last weekend. Legitimate win contender.
2 CANEPA HANOVER The brother to Glidemaster has a bit of his sibling in him. He is progressing nicely, but is he ready to trot in 1:54 or less? Worth noting that Gingras is back in the sulky again. Not as high on him as I am on the colt to his inside. Still a player.
3 CRUZADO DELA NOCHE The $28,000 Harrisburg yearling is moving in the right direction. But, he will need even more to win this race.
4 HONOR AND SERVE His dam was a marvelous two year old, earning nearly $1 Million. The $75,000 Harrisburg yearling earned a bye into the Final based on earnings, but he hasn’t gone fast enough yet to win this. I am skeptical of his winning Sire Stakes division.
5 GUESS WHOS BACK This colt has an electric turn of foot and draws perfectly for this Final. He blew past the field to win the sire stakes championship in his last start. Sears is very high on this horse. Looms as the one to beat and the price will reflect that.
6 SS POSEIDON First foal out of the dam who never raced. Loomed up, but couldn’t capitalize last time. Will need to step things up now.
7 UNCLE LASSE The full-brother to Shake It Cerry who is one of the favorites in The Hambletonian Oaks today. I really liked his elimination as he rallied professionally. I also like that Pierce was called upon for this drive. Offers interesting value in this race.
8 GIFTED WAY From the family of Hambletonian winner Continental Victory. His elimination was sneaky good as he waited for the stretch to find racing room and kicked home willingly when he did. Zeron has to keep him closer, but he is an interesting player that you should use.
9 SPECIAL ACTION Comes from the family of Glidemaster, so is a relative to Canepa Hanover. Saved ground with no real pop last time.
10 AMICUS From the family of Southwind Allaire ($733k). Showed good speed in the elimination, but he could not carry it. Tough task here.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 AMPED UP HANOVER Looms as the one to beat here. His last three starts really stand out amongst the group. He has also faced the best of his generation several times this year. The price won’t be very good, but he is going to be very tough.
2 SOUTHWIND POSEIDON If you can forgive the break from last week, you can make a case for him. He raced well in The Reynolds, while simultaneously finishing 6 lengths behind Amped Up in that spot. Previous efforts were solid. Exotics factor.
3 TOSS CARTWRIGHT Yet to win this year and only shows a pair of runner-up efforts in nw4 company to prep for this. Not sold on chances.
4 STRETCH CUNNINGHAM He has some upside as Schnittker turns the lines over to Tetrick for the first time. He clearly has some speed, but the question is will he carry it the entire mile? At 6-1 or better, that is a risk worth taking in this group.
5 DEJATIERO Brother to Dejarmbro has not been bad at all and he figures to force the issue early. With him, it really is just a question of whether or not he is good enough. He will need to improve a bit, but is not without a chance here.
6 MARATHON MAN He is my top selection. Caught a bit of a shuffle and appeared to have trot left in the stretch behind Hambletonian contender Doncango. He shows some races in Pennsylvania that point to him as a key player in this field. Value should be there.
7 PAPARAZZI Winless in 10 starts thus far and he hasn’t been able to win in maiden company, beaten 10 lengths last time. Longshot now.
8 SILVERHILL VOLO He was better last time, finishing third to Hambletonian contender Royal Ice in a fast mile. Still am skeptical of him.
9 SCACCO MATTO I have a hard time trusting him to stay trotting. They put the hobbles on and it kept him flat. Price will be big again.
10 HOME FRONT Finished behind Scacco Matto two starts back and then broke in The Reynolds. Not sold on his chances from this draw.
11 ANOTHER TRANSCRIPT I think the post really compromises him as he is a slow starter to begin with. He is exiting some solid races and he did show some late interest last time. That said, I think he is going to be left with too much to do today.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-11-10-12
H Horse Comment
1 SUMATRA Dexter Cup winner was under consideration for The Hambletonian. His last two starts have not been up to par though. That said, he moves down a notch in this spot and should bounce back with a better effort today.
2 LUKAS HALL Has now broken stride in two consecutive starts. He has ability, but just appears too risky a play at this time. Longshot.
3 WELL BUILT Colt just has not developed as the year as progressed. Granted, he has been facing monsters all year. Perhaps the move down in class can wake him up. There is some ability here and the class drop does make things interesting.
4 HILLUSTRIOUS He went from probably to doubtful as a Hambletonian starter rather quickly after his last two starts. In his last race, he began to pull himself up on the backstretch before going off-stride. Tough for me to play him after seeing that.
5 OUTBURST Exiting a race against older horses. His previous two starts were strong, especially his All Star win. Note, he was a precocious two year old, winning five times. Perfect draw for him and Pierce should work out a trip. One of the main contenders.
6 KING CITY Worked his way down to a maiden race at Pocono and it returned dividends. He has been in good form. Zeron now on board.
7 DD’S HITMAN Qualified behind the Hambletonian favorite, so don’t mind the margin. Concern is back to back breaks. Must stay trotting.
8 AUSPICIOUS HANOVER He may go overlooked here. He was a nice two year old for Norris and note he has a grand circuit win to his credit as well. Was favored over Marathon Man two starts back. When he hasn’t faced ‘Patrick or Nuncio, he has been good. Including.
9 DONY ANDREAS He has tailed off since trying stakes company in his last three starts. Will need to use his speed from here. Pace factor.
10 WHEELSANDTHELEGMAN This horse has only lost once and it was a good effort behind Nuncio. Defeated Il Sogno Dream last time who is in The Hambletonian. The concern is the post, but he clearly has speed. The price should be right and is worth using.
11 SKATES N PLATES Defeated JJ Alex last time who is in The Hambletonian. He is another that has raced well when avoiding the best of his generation. Palone got along well with him last time. There are some things to like with him.
12 LIGHTNING FORCE If he shows up with his best and finds a way through this bulky field from the second tier he can win this race. But, those are two very large if’s. The price should be right and you can’t let him knock you out of the pick 4 or pick 5.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 11-2-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 SOUTHWIND PEPINO The angle here is simple. The trainer, who has driven him all year turns the lines over to the greatest driver of all time and that is going to attract a lot of attention. He is coming off a fast mile at Scioto as well. Expecting a big effort here.
2 SWEET JUSTICE He went a very tough first over in The Cashman and raced really well behind Sebastian K. He is back to his best form and is just a cut below the best Free For All trotters right now. But that is what this race is and he is a win contender.
3 D’ORSAY She won the Ima Lula on Hambletonian Day last year. Can lightning strike twice? Her effort against Not Afraid was awesome last time as she just refused to give in. Mare is really good right now and she can beat the boys today.
4 SLIP INTO GLIDE I have to wonder if the Preferred trotters in Canada have been a bit exposed by his two Meadowlands performances. He would need to step up his game with a better effort to defeat this group which is tougher than what he faced last time.
5 QUICK DEAL His speed always makes him dangerous as he can jump up with a huge mile without warning anytime. He can also go off-stride without warning anytime and that is the risk with him. Expect him to be prominent early, unsure about late.
6 NATURAL HERBIE His race lines are good as if you watch the replay of his last win, it is visually impressive. That said, are the Midwest open trotters really as good as the trotters here? I need to see it to believe it at this time.
7 WORLD CUP Drop and pop winner when last seen here, but then he was defeated in a lower level at Pocono. That doesn’t bode well.
8 WISHING STONE He has been facing the best trotters in his last three starts. He was giving ground on seasoning as well as his spring was spent in the breeding shed. I have a feeling Gingras is going to try to go right down the road here. Very interesting.
9 MASTER OF LAW This horse is exceptionally fast and he is starting to put it all together. The post is the only concern as he is typically one to look for a trip. But if he is contention turning for home, he is going to be flying past horses late. No value though.
10 DEWYCOLORINTHELINE He out-raced his odds last time and the presence of Brennan is interesting. The post is a tough sell for me.
11 CORAGGIOSO He was taken back to last and made one late move last week. I have to think Sears follows the inside horse and gets in good position early and works his way into the outer flow. I think he will work out a good trip and could prove very dangerous.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-4-9
H Horse Comment
1 SEBASTIAN K Back to his winning ways last time. It’s known that he doesn’t like moisture in the track which he may get today, so that could be an interesting factor. They are going to come after him today and he will need to be at his best once again. Still, the one to beat.
2 YOUR SO VAIN Took a shot going first over into a world record pace and got a bit steppy. That said, he still trotted 1:50.4. Very talented horse gets a new pilot this time which is interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if he found his way onto the ticket.
3 ARCH MADNESS On paper his elimination looks sneaky. But in reality, he was all-out to be 5th and make the final. Not sold on him today.
4 ARCHANGEL Trotted the fastest mile in Meadowlands history in his elimination. He may have to do that again to win this race. His speed makes for an interesting chess match with Sebastian down the back stretch. If he’s committed to the lead, they’ll have him to catch.
5 UNCLE PETER I think a lot of people are going to like him off his elimination. Second start back on this side of the Atlantic and improvement will be expected. But, I honestly don’t think he is as good as some of these and expect a minor award to be his ceiling.
6 APPOMATTOX He passed a few horses to make the final. That said, he just isn’t as good as these and is the longshot of the field.
7 MISTER HERBIE His elimination effort was actually really good as he got caught in traffic in the stretch and still out-kicked everyone other than the winner when he shook free between horses. He could be following Uncle Peter into the stretch. Interesting.
8 INTIMIDATE He was rolling late with that patented late kick last week. The only question here is can Pierce keep him close enough? If he finds his way within three lengths turning for home, I think he passes them all. I don’t want to see him blast off the gate though. My pick.
9 MARKET SHARE I was set to pick him today off his last two efforts which he showed that great turn of foot in. Then he drew post 9 and outside Intimidate. He doesn’t blast off the gate and I can’t see him out-kicking Intimidate if both are off cover. A minor award now.
10 SEVRUGA Brennan holds the pace scenario in his hands. This horse can leave and 1,000 MPH. Does he utilize that speed while potentially sacrificing any chance to pick up a check? If he does, things are going to get western early.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 DESIGNED TO BE Will get the jump on Shake It Cerry today which could make all the difference. She has been really good in her last pair, but was compromised by her trip in both races. At the same time you are taking a short price here. But, she is the most likely winner.
2 CEE BEE YES One of the better two year olds we saw last year. But, things have not panned out this year. She did show a bit more kick in the Oaks prep, but she is a tough sell for anything more than a minor award at this point.
3 VANITY MATTERS I have heard from a couple of people that they like this filly. Her race two back was really good, but the field was rather soft, so she did what she was supposed to. She never really had a chance to trot much last time. Price for bottom of exotics.
4 HARLEY MOMMA Out of all the fillies that raced in the prep, she impressed me the most. Rallied boldly from fourth over and narrowly missed 3rd. I thought she showed a serious turn of foot This filly is incredibly sneaky and will be a price. My pick to pull off the upset!
5 TAKE THE MONEY Her speed will put her in play from the word go. Respect any filly that wins 7 of 12 races and finishes in the exacts in 11 of those efforts. She is fast both at the start and at the finish and given her nose loss to ‘Harley earlier, I like this filly as well.
6 TWEET ME I expect similar tactics with her again today. Take back, save ground and hope to sneak in for share. Not sold on chances here.
7 LIFETIME PURSUIT She had a perfect trip last time, although she was trying to rally into a slow pace. She should get more honest fractions here. That said, Harley Momma was at her throat at the wire last time and will be a better price. Still, she is a win contender.
8 HEAVEN’S DOOR Her form remains incredibly solid for Svanstedt. She has the speed to get herself in good position. My concern was that she couldn’t keep up with Shake It Cerry when she accelerated on the turn last time. While she is a contender, I am using her underneath.
9 COOLER SCHOONER Campbell back in the bike after Miller guided her in that qualifier. Her early speed always makes her dangerous but she just hasn’t been the same filly this year as we saw at times last year. Needs to come up with her best here.
10 NITRO NITTANY She was going to be one of the longshots regardless of post. But this doesn’t help. Needs the race of her life to contend.
11 SHAKE IT CERRY There is nothing to knock about this filly. Super sharp and a win contender. That said, I am never a fan of horses that show nothing but being on the lead that then draw the second tier. Will have to pass horses this time. I don’t want a short price now.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 10-5-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 RESOLVE Connections are very high on this horse. He raced great in The Reynolds, but he was never going by Nuncio there. Any other year, I would call him a sneaky contender. But he needs to improve several lengths to defeat the best of these. Maybe a minor award.
2 JJ ALEX He has not been less than 11-1 in any of his last 3 starts here and 2 of those were in nw2 company. Would be a monstrous upset.
3 DONCANGO Making his second race back off the layoff, so he is a candidate to improve. Although this barn is known to have them ready to fire off the bench. I would never suggest ignoring this stable, but I just don’t think he is fast enough at this point in time.
4 DATSYUK In his last four starts he has faced each of the three favorites and has not been able to defeat any of them. While this is a very nice horse, I have no reason to predict he can suddenly jump up and beat all three of them here. Bottom of exotics again.
5 NUNCIO He is a very good and professional race horse. Also, he is the only horse to every beat Father Patrick. Granted, that was over one year ago. Interestingly, he has never missed the exacta in his career and the way the race sets up, I think he is second best again.
6 ROYAL ICE Enters this off a blowout win where he trotted an incredibly fast mile. Connections saw enough there to enter him in this spot. Is he a talented colt that things are all coming together for at the right time? Possibly. The price will be right for believers.
7 TRIXTON Very little not to like about this horse. At times, he looks like a machine on the racetrack. While Father Patrick is fast, this colt is powerful. Curious to see what Takter’s tactics will be. Most likely to hit the board, but has a chance to win if things shake right.
8 IL SOGNO DREAM A very nice horse to say the least. But, he was defeated last time by a horse entered in The Ackerman. Longshot here.
9 HARPER BLUE CHIP Had he drawn better, I would have given him a better chance. Really respect this horse and think he has a bright future. Sears has to send hard with ‘Patrick just to his outside. I think that makes things tough. He was just born in the wrong year.
10 FATHER PATRICK Has now won 15 consecutive races and has only lost once. He has done nothing to suggest he has any intention of slowing down. Regardless of the post, he is strictly the horse to beat. Gingras is hungry for his first Hambo. The only way he loses this race is if he is a victim of bad luck, which can happen from post 10. But I suspect he takes his well-deserved place in history today.
11 DON DORADO I never hold a loss in a condition race to older horses against anyone. He has raced well against the best of his generation. But he is another that would need the race of his life and everything to go wrong for all three of Takter’s trotters to win this race.
14 Fourteenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKLAMATION Off a month layoff, she paced to a lifetime mark and won impressively against this same group on Pace night. Now she draws inside. She is best off a helmet and if Gingras works out that trip again, she will be a major threat to win.
2 DROP THE BALL This mare has clearly gotten back to her best. She was excellent in the elimination. But with 10 mares covered by just 3 ½ lengths, it shows how wide open this division is. Along with Rocklamation, she is a logical winner, but the value won’t be there.
3 JERSEYLICIOUS This mare has just missed in back to back races and could be the one to benefit from tracking Rocklamation this time. If Miller gets her in a live outer flow and she turns for home kicking off cover, she will be very dangerous. My top selection.
4 SHEBESTINGIN Made an aggressive move to the lead last week but just got tired. She needs a trip against these mares in order to do her best and this post may allow for that. That said, I don’t think she can out-kick the mare to her inside right now. Using in exotics.
5 ANNDROVETTE Took back to last and stayed there from post 10. Fortunate to draw a better starting slot now, but interestingly enough, she has never done her best work at The Meadowlands with only one lifetime win and has tailed off since the Roses Are Red.
6 CHARISMA HANOVER She added Lasix last time and it appears to have made a real difference. The trick is, there is some serious horsepower to her inside and I don’t know if she can rally past them all. I will be using underneath at a price though.
7 SOMWHEROVRARAINBOW She was so good earlier in the year. But I have a concern. Since she has added Lasix she has shown less kick in the final stages of her races. That is something we normally don’t see. I am going to play against her in this spot off that angle.
8 SHELLISCAPE When she is at her best, she can roll with the best of these as proven by last year’s Breeders Crown. That said, she hasn’t gotten back to that form yet in 2014 and I would be surprised if she jumped up and won this race from here.
9 MATTIE TERROR GIRL The way this mare has gotten better and better has been quite a story. But I just don’t see how she can win this race from here. She will get away 9th and have to pass all the best mares in the world. Needs a lifetime best and some help to win.
10 AUNT CAROLINE Paced home willingly last time and will continue to improve. Today the post prohibits her from winning. Longshot here.
15 Fifteenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-4-2
H Horse Comment
1 NATIONAL DEBT Lone three year old in the field faces a stiff group of older horses here. Getting better, but he is in tough here. Tricky.
2 IAM BONASERA Favored last time against a strong group. Couldn’t keep up with Dovuto on the turn. He has a right to improve here.
3 PAPA RAY He was unable to defeat C-1 company when last seen here. This is clearly tougher and I would be surprised if he won this.
4 ULTIMATE BEACHBOY He has been facing better than this recently and not racing badly. The class drop should help. Key contender.
5 DRAGON LORE Defeated B-2 company earlier in the year. Tailed off in his last pair, but he can bounce back a bit in this spot. Maybe.
6 WORD POWER Burnt a lot of cash on this day last year in the NJ Classic. When he gets away from the best he is tough, like this spot.
7 URGENT ACTION He looks like wise-guy horse here. Needed that first start back and now goes from Ginsburg to Tetrick. Key angles.
8 ALEXA’S JACKPOT Has not raced in three months and although his qualifiers are decent, he looks like he will need more to win this.
9 VOICE OF TRUTH Callahan’s choice of four in here. He has raced well against similar levels. Will need to use some speed from here.
10 ONTARIO SUCCESS Sharpening up again, but catches a very salty field and caught the worst of the draw. Needs a huge mile to win.