Based on the Meadowlands Pace eliminations and the Yonkers Trot results, it is going to be an interesting summer.
We can put the debate about not being to nominate to the Hambletonian on ice for this year as the bridge jumpers are thanking Yonkers Raceway management for not offering place or show wagering on Googoo Gaagaa as the 1-5 favorite broke twice in the race and finished a well-beaten fourth in the Yonkers Trot which was won by Archangel in 1:54.1 (Stormin Normand and Market Share finished 2nd and 3rd respectively).
While Archangel's effort was helped by the favorite's misfortune, don't minimize his performance. Archangel is expected to compete in the Hambletonian eliminations on July 28.
It would be easy to blame it on the half mile track, but the son of Cam's Rocket didn't seem to have a problem with the first turn and had no problem racing at Ocean Downs last year. According to driver Corey Callahan, the problem was attributable to GooGoo being unable to get good footing in that particular portion of the track and we should expect to see him in the Stanley Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands next week, a race which usually is the final warm-up for those horses going in the Hambletonian. Regardless, I would be very surprised if we see Googoo Gaagaa in the Nat Ray.
As for the Meadowlands Pace final, it will be a great race. In the first elimination, I was very impressed with A Rocknroll Dance as he finished second to Sweet Lou in the first elimination with plenty left as he was trapped in the stretch. With a better trip, I think he would have turned the tables on the race winner (who won in 1:49.1).
In the second division, won by Heston Blue Chip in 1:49, the son of American Ideal was impressive, as were the second place horse Thinking Out Loud and third place finisher Pet Rock who ran into trouble in the stretch (both were given an impeded denotation on their line).
If I had to guess, my pick for the Meadowlands Pace final will be either either A Rocknroll Dance or Thinking Out Loud depending on how they draw in the final. One thing for sure, this will be a very competitive Meadowlands Pace final.