At the Meadowlands, Saturday evening brings us the $600,000 Meadowlands Pace for 3yo colts where we will see if Thinking Out Loud is able to pull off the North America Cup - Meadowlands Pace Daily Double; perhaps the last horse able to make this attempt if things don't go well in Ontario. While the Meadowlands Pace may no longer be a $1 million race, it still is an important race to win. The Meadowlands Pace may be perhaps the most competitive one in years as you can make an argument for virtually any horse in the race. There is no horse in the Pace which I would take at less than 2-1.
While the Meadowlands Pace may have lost a little luster with the purse cut, it promises to be a great night of racing with two divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, and the Del Miller Memorial, plus the region's $50,000 Invitational Pace. With many of the Hambletonian horses making their last start before the eliminations two weeks out, it may be a case of separating the contenders from the pretenders. In the first division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial (2nd Race), Uncle Peter figures to get a lot of support despite jumping off in the Beal Final at Pocono Downs. Challenging Uncle Peter is Banker Volo, though if looking for better value, you may wish to look elsewhere.
In the second division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial (9th Race), attention will be on the horse not eligible for the Hambletonian, Googoo Gaagaa who made a couple of unfortunate breaks in the Yonkers Trot, supposedly because the horse was unable to handle the track at a certain sport of the field. That may be the case, but at 6-5, there is no way I can select him. I'll be backing Possesss The Will who will be making his second start of the year, but as long as he stays at 3-1 or higher as with only one start under him this year, his connections realize the real prize starts in two weeks from now.
As for the Mistletoe Shalee (5th), it looks like it is all American Jewel though at odds-on, it will be hard to support him. I'd use him in an exacta key pass on the race unless I can find value in a longshot. In the Del Miller Memorial Trot (12th), Check Me Out will be trying to make a case to take on the boys in the Hambletonian instead of competing in the Hambletonian Oaks, but it won't be a cake walk as Win Missy B is a valid contender who may try to take it to Check Me Out in the stretch..
Meadowlands Pace night has some guaranteed pools to consider when planning your wagering. These are: $20,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool (Races 1-5); $50,000 guaranteed Early Pick 4 (Races 6-9); $100,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 (Races 10-13); $20,000 guaranteed Super High Five.
As a reminder, the Meadowlands Pace card is part of HANA Harness' The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping challenge. You will find those handicappers' selections here on Saturday morning.
Here is my early analysis of the Saturday evening card:
1st Pace - $12,000; 3yos Non-winners of 2 ext pm Races or $16,000 Lifetime (Post Time 6:35pm)
1 - Savanah Splendor (Palone, 5-1) - Big track can only help.
2 - Hot Art (Callahan, 3-1) - Move inside is a benefit. May be the difference needed.
3 - Evergreen Power (Tetrick, 9-2) - Makes first start back off layoff. Factor if ready.
4 - Doc Telladay (A Miller, 7-2) - Must show he has been straightened out. Not out of it.
5 - Mr Pompo (Pierce, 8-1) - No chance in debut. Qualifier somewhat disappointing.
6 - Tellevise (Smith, 10-1) - Meets easier; may not be enough.
7 - Crocodile Rock (MacDonald, 12-1) - Hasn't shown much. Pass.
8 - Vavoomster (Gingras, 15-1) - Appears overmatched. Pass
9 - Capitol Trip (D Miller, 20-1) - Post appears to be of no help.
10 - Eight Ten Eom (Sears, 12-1) - Field appers devoid of early speed. Must get away smartly.
2nd Trot - $150,500; Stanley Dancer Memorial - 3yo Open (1st Division)
1 - Vic Smith (A Miller, 7-2) - A factor if minds his manners.
2 - Uncle Peter (Pierce, 9-5) - Would be the 3yo people were talking about if not for costly miscue on 6-23. The one to beat.
3 - From Above (Sears, 12-1) - Has not been able to show that AM look in the evening. Pass.
4 - Appomattox (Tetrick, 8-1) - Expecting better effort today.
5 - Dandover (Palone, 15-1) - Appears not up to this caliber.
6 - Big Chocolate (D Miller, 5-1) - Unreliable sort. Tab for later.
7 - Banker Volo (Morrill, 5-2) - Tested for class here. Logical challenger to the favorite.
3rd Pace - $15,000; Non-winners $10,000 Last 5 Starts
1 - Takeshigemichi (Palone, 20-1) - Just don't see him here.
2 - Intheblinkofaneye (Waples, 9-2) - Steps up off win in :26.4. Worth a look here.
3 - Brave Alex Semalu (Pierce, 5-2) - Appears to have found a soft spot.
4 - Home Again Dragon (McDonald, 12-1) - Out of state efforts better than they look. A contender.
5 - Sniper Seelster (Tetrick, 12-1) - Hasn't been impressive at this level.
6 - Rileys Luck (Gingras, 15-1) - Don't see him here.
7 - Lawgiver Hanover (Morrill, 6-1) - Tries luck against older. Pass here.
8 - Rescue Plan (Sears, 8-1) - Wilted at end off of fast fractions. Worth a look here.
9 - Gaelic Thunder (Callahan, 10-1) - Will need a trip to be a factor.
10 - Western Trademark (A Miller, 3-1) - Drop may not offset post position.
4th Pace - $100,000; Meadowlands Pace Consolation - 3yo Open
1 - Bettor's Edge (Tetrick, 5-1) -May factor better without the marquee players.
2 - Hurrikane Kingcole (Gingras, 9-5) - Appears able to dominate this one.
3 - Mel Mara (Morrill, 2-1) - Picks up pieces here.
4 - Hillbilly Hanover (Pierce, 12-1) - Lands a share.
5 - I Fought Dalaw (D Miller, 4-1) - Likely the one who goes home without a check.
6 - Shakerattlenrock (Sears, 12-1) - Finds himself in a class he may belong to. Still setting his level.
5th Pace - $190,850; Mistletoe Shalee Final - 3yo Fillies
1 - Angel Scent (D Miller, 9-2) - Yet to show she belongs with these.
2 - Major Look (A Miller, 10-1) - No chance in last. Worth a look (pardon the pun) here.
3 - Shelliscape (Waples, 20-1) - At these odds may be worth a shot.
4 - Notreadytobenice (Morrill, 20-1) - Can't recommend.
5 - Bettor B Lucky (Gingras, 12-1) - Must convince me she belongs here.
6 - Kiss Dont Bite (Sears, 8-1) - Can handle state breds, but what about open company?
7 - American Jewel (Tetrick, 7-5) - The logical favorite. Offers no value, but who do you go to instead?
8 - Pirouette Hanover (Pierce, 4-1) - Draws outside the fave; makes things harder.
9 - Blackjack Princess (MacDonald, 15-1) - A factor despite poor draw.
10 - Destiny's Chance (Palone, 20-1) - Figures to be a long night.
6th Pace - $50,000; Invitational
1 - Razzle Dazzle (Sears, 3-1) - Looks to pick up the pieces.
2 - Meirs Hanover (D Miller, 4-1) - Won this class last week. Must respect.
3 - A J Corbelli (Waples, 15-1) - Just don't see him
4 - Golden Receiver (Morrill, 7-2) - Has improved of late. Look for value.
5 - Blatantly Good (A Miller, 10-1) - Latest millionaire must show belongs here.
6 - We Will See (Pierce, 2-1) - The one to beat. Freshened.
7 - Hypnotic Blue Chip (Tetrick, 8-1) - Appears to have lost a step.
7th Pace - $15,000; Non-winners $10,000 Last 5 Starts
1 - Stopwatch N (Callahan, 12-1) - Perhaps last was a sign of a turn around. Veteran has chance to land share.
2 - Mega Lightning (MacDonald, 7-2) - Still looking to turn it around. Minor spoils at best.
3 - Bolero Andrew (Palone, 9-2) - Has been consistent of late. May be a superfecta possibility.
4 - Mcelodian (D Miller, 6-1) - Not yet convinced he belongs here.
5 - Morality (Gingras, 15-1) - Plenty of question marks.
6 - Social Network (A Miller, 10-1) - Just don't see.
7 - Prince Sharka (Sears, 3-1) - A factor in the exotics.
8 - Attack Modes Billy (Pierce, 20-1) - Don't see this one being there.
9 - Pacinello (Plano, 8-1) - Ships in and looks formidable.
10 - Keep Going (Kelley, 20-1) - Trying to find his class. Will wait till he finds his level.
8th Pace - $12,500; Non-winners $6,500 Last 5 Starts
1 - Kaufman Hanover (Gingras, 9-2) - Lands share from the rail.
2 - Four Starz Louie (Waples, 15-1) - Seems to be overmatched.
3 - Southwestern Dream (Morrill, 3-1) - Logical choice here.
4 - Lettherockbegin (D Miller, 15-1) - Eligible for share with trip.
5 - Jin Dandy (Palone, 12-1) - Must get involved earlier.
6 - Blue Claw (MacDonald, 10-1) - Wait for inside post.
7 - T M Top Gun (Abbatiello, 20-1) - Not likely.
8 - Art For Arts Sake (Tetrick, 6-1) - Coming around. Tab for later.
9 - Windfall Blue Chip (Sears, 7-2) - Consistent sort shows decent miles from the outer posts.
10 - Veal Marsala (Pierce, 8-1) - Veteran has been having problems of late.
9th Trot - $153,000; Stanley Dancer Memorial - 3yo Open (2nd Division)
1 - Gym Tan Laundry (Pierce, 15-1) - A bit of a reach but worth it at a price.
2 - Guccio (Takter, 10-1) - Needs a trip.
3 - Money On My Mind (A Miller, 8-1) - Must include in exotics.
4 - Epic Tale (D Miller, 20-1) - A tough spot. Pass.
5 - Possess The Will (Tetrick, 3-1) - May be short, but worth a stab.
6 - Little Brown Fox (Gingras, 9-2) - Seems to have tailed off.
7 - Googoo Gaagaa (Callahan, 6-5) - Could he land in a weaker field? Obvious choice but not at these odds.
8 - One In A Million (Sears, 12-1) - Lands share with best effort.
10th Pace - $14,000; 3-4yos Non-winners 3 ext pm Races or $40,000 Lifetime
1 - Screen The Call (A Miller, 4-1) - Just missed in last. Tough to beat from rail.
2 - Its Outta Here (Pierce, 15-1) - Would be wrong to just toss out without a closer look.
3 - Rockweiller (Gingras, 5-1) - Failed in last. Don't see.
4 - Brent Montana (Palone, 3-1) -Appears to be one of the top choices here.
5 - Major Bombay (Sears, 5-2) - Hasn't done well against open company.
6 - Michael's Dream (Morrill, 20-1) - Can't recommend.
7 - Relentless Dreamer (Waples, 12-1) - Will be tough to get into position early.
8 - Bear King (Tetrick, 15-1) - Pass here.
9 - Shamderock (Plano, 12-1) - Post seems to be a hindrance.
10 - Bestjetyet (D Miller, 8-1) - Tab for later.
11th Pace - $600,000; Meadowlands Pace Final - 3yo Open
1 - A Rocknroll Dance (Gingras, 4-1) - Just missed in last. Will be making a charge.
2 - Pet Rock (Sears, 12-1) - Should improve showing.
3 - Heston Blue Chip (Tetrick, 7-2) - Who knows where his bottom is?
4 - Sweet Lou (Palone, 5-2) - One to beat.
5 - Bolt The Duer (MacDonald, 6-1) - Shows he belongs with these.
6 - Simply Business (Pierce, 15-1) - A tough spot to score in debut.
7 - Thinking Out Loud (Waples, 5-1) - Has race under belt. Will be tough.
8 - State Treasurer (D Miller, 20-1) - Should improve with race under belt.
9 - Time To Roll (A Miller, 12-1) - Quit in stretch last.
10 - Allstar Legend (Morrill, 20-1) - Post hurts chances.
AE1- Mel Mara (Morrill, NL) - Needs to be able to get the lead if he draws in.
AE2- Hurrikane Kingcole (Gingras, NL) - Likely to be coming from the back if he draws in.
12th Trot - $245,500; Del Miller Memorial Trot - 3yo Fillies
1 - Personal Style (D Miller, 12-1) - Draws the best and may land share.
2 - On The Bright Side (Palone, 5-1) - Has raced well against state breds.
3 - She's All In (Plano, 20-1) - Steps up while on two race win streak. Must show me she belongs.
4 - Sterling Volo (A Miller, 15-1) - Appears to be outclassed.
5 - Win Missy B (Sears, 3-1) - Will try to take it to the fave in the stretch. Will she?
6 - Check Me Out (Tetrick, 6-5) - The fave will need to stave off #5. Likely will.
7 - Superstar Hanover (Pierce, 8-1) - Thrives against state breds.
8 - Lady Andi (Gingras, 10-1) - Minor spoils.
9 - Quarantine S (Callahan, 20-1) - Appears to be over her head.
#3 - She's All In - Scratched from 7-12 VD7/8 - 2nd race ($5,000 FMNW5LTCD)
13th Pace - $12,000; Claiming Handicap $15,000-$20,000
1 - Da Vision Of Art (D Miller, 6-1) - Likely pylon drive. Can't get trapped.
2 - Art's Jimmy Ray (Pierce, 9-2) - Steps up again. Legitimate chance.
3 - Most Happy Keene (Palone, 20-1) - WIll be hard pressed to compete.
4 - Cullens Blue Jean (Callahan, 10-1) - Will need trip to land share.
5 - Storming Rustler (Gingras, 8-1) - Inconsistent sort. Which one shows up today?
6 - Myra's Hiho (Sears, 3-1) - Flattened out late. Needs to step up.
7 - Frog Juice (MacDonald, 20-1) - Post relief not enough.
8 - Tyree (A Miller, 12-1) - Forced wide in last. Threatens with a good trip.
9 - Cooperstown Kind (Abbatiello, 15-1) - Post appears to be a cha
10 - Too Much Pepper (Tetrick, 7-2) - Hurt badly by post.. Still may land share.