For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Big Jim Impresses; Plainridge Racecourse Preview

Big Jim kicked off his sophomore racing season yesterday at the Meadowlands and to say he was impressive, would be downplaying his performance as he won in 1:51.4 easing up as he approached the finish line.  If not for easing up he would have won by three or four lengths; this his first start of the year and a month since he qualified.  The race replay is available via Harness Racing Update, a new feature of HRU.  If he stays healthy, it could be a championship year.

I want to share with you the In the Sulky interview with Larry Lederman of Freehold Raceway.  Considering what he is going through, he is an inspiration.  Enjoy it.

To commemorate the reduction of Plainridge's takeout to 15% for all bets, I have handicapped the Monday afternoon card.  First race is at 4:00PM.  Plainridge Racecourse is a non-racino track so most of the horsemen are local meaning the horses race exclusively at Plainridge which means since their meet only began last week, many of these horses are making their first or second start of the year.  Some of the horses will have had one or two starts at tracks in upstate New York or Maine and some of the horses may have shipped in from Freehold whose spring meet has concluded.

Admittedly, you may have a problem finding an ADW which takes Plainridge's signal since they now chart 8% for the signal to non-racing entities but at a 1% fee for racetracks, your local racetrack maybe simulcasting their races. 

As for the caliber of Plainridge, admittedly it is not one of the higher classes tracks around with a bottom claiming class of $1,500.  If we had to grade them as an A, B, or C track; it would likely be a C track.  Every race features Exacta, Trifecata and Superfecta wagesrs with a 15% takeout at a one dollar minimum (though some tracks and ADWs may require a higher minimum.  Daily Double wagering is offered on the first two and last two races of the program (also 15%) and a Pick 3s are offered starting with race 3 and race 10.  A Pick 4 is offered starting with race 6.  As with the other wagers, there is a 15% rake.
Anyway, here is my review of the races:

Plainridge Racecourse, Monday, May 23; First Post 4:00pm.
1st Pace - $2,000; Conditioned Claiming $2,500 NW1000L5
5 - Dragon Power (Watson, 7-2) - Sharp trip in last; threat
3 - LA Suvera (O'Dea, 3-1) - Just missed in local debut; drops
2 - Pacific Raider (Eaton, 5-1) - First start after two qualifiers.  Should land in money.
7 - So Hot (Anderson, 6-1) - Needs fast pace up front to finish higher.

2nd Pace = $2,500; Conditioned Claiming $2,500 NW1000L5
2 - Burrell A (Eaton, 2-1) - Wired field in seasonal debut.  One to beat despite minor class hike.
3 - Shady Bettor (Dinning, 5-1) - Fell flat in seasonal debut at Buffalo but makes big drop.
5 - Hi Speed Delivery (Hogan, 4-1) - Drops down looking for proper level.
4 - Rare Glory (Kakaley, 3-1) - Nice Qua after disappointing attempt at Freehold.  Meets easier.

3rd Pace -  $2,000; Non-winners of $1,000 Last 5
3 - Beauclaire Bono (Hogan, 2-1) - Steps down after decent effort.
6 - Famed Artist (Eaton, 6-1) -  Folded late and drops; consider.
7 - Deuces N Eights (Watson, 3-1) - Coming a long late against better.
2 - LB Speedn (Kakaley, 5-1) - Plunges in class.  May land share.

4th Pace - $3,000; 5yo and Under - W13PMLT
4 - RD Arty (Eaton, 6-1) - Ships in looking for a field to defeat.
2 - Kiss My Cruiser (Hogan, 3-1) - Seems to be coming into into her own.  Looks to repeat.
6 - Best Class ((O'Dea, 5-1) - Not as good a chance from here.
9 - Cyst To Sister ( Kakaley, 10-1) -  Steps up off win.  Draws the worst of it,

5th Pace - $2,000 -NW1000L5
4  - Billy Madison (O'Deal 6-1) - Shipper drops down and gets good post.  Adds lasix figures)/
3 -   GB's Li'l Misfit (Eaton, 3-1) - Decent effort despite being impeded.  Live one.
2 - CS TA (Bonet, 12-1) - Makes seasonal debut,  Had success here last year.
1 - Softshoe Hanover (Sumner, 7-2) - No shot in local debut.  Lands share with trip.

6th Pace - $4,000 - NW2000L5
6 - Bella's Bombshell (3-1) - Good tightener, the horse to beat.
3 - Mordecai (Eaton, 4-1) - Likes the larger oval.  Threat to top choice.
8 - Winslow Chill (Abdelnour, 10-1) - Perhaps the best horse in race but draws the worst of it.
4 - Chevie Dooley (O'Dea, 8-1) - Faltered late, but should be tighter.

7th Pace - $2.000; 5 year olds and under - NW1PMLT 
2 - AR Special ((Kakely, 7-2) - Just missed in debut; logical choice.
1 - Rushing Hero (Sumner, 3-1) - Finished 3rd from eight hold.  Draws rale in second start. 
5- Occupant (Eaton, 4-1) - Been roughed up; should improve with an easier trip.
7 - Bet Sheasa Manny  (O'Dea, 10-1) - Led half way in first start.  Should be tighter.

8th Pace - $3,000; NW1500L5
6 - Do You Really (Dinning, 3-1) - Finished 2nd is seasonal debut; expect improvement.
8 - Priceless Art (Martellotta, 10-1) - Just missed in Amateur event.  Draws poorly but may be able to improve.
5 - Township Aarpon (Scott, 7-2) - Just missed in seasonal debut.  Look for improvement.
1 - Kilkerran Union (Sumner, 6-1) - May get involved from the rail for Superfectas.

9th Pace - $2,000; NW1000L5
4 - Dreamy (Kakaley, 2-1) - Finished third in last.  Seems to be the one to beat.
2 - Celebrity Zelda (Hardy, 3-1) - Drops and moves inside. Threat with easier trip.
1 - GH Shady Lady (Quinn, 4-1) - Drops off decent seasonal debut.  May better rating.
7 - Ball Queen (Watson, 6-1) - Drops of lackluster event.  May manage to squeeze in Superfecta.

10th Pace - $3,000; NW1500L5
5 - Jenna's World (Lewis, 5-1) - Looks to repeat in a competitive field.
4 - Picking Up Chicks (Eaton, 3-1) - Toss last.  Was competitive against15K claimers at the Spa.
2 - Up Front Denise (Kakaley, 7-2) - Just missed and drops down.  Logical contender.
1 0 Names Fame (Watson, 6-1) - Hard to gauge YR shipped, looking for first win.  May improve rating.

11th Pace - $4,000; NW2000L5
5 - Lyfslykaboxachoclt  (O'dea, 6-1) - Chicago shipper seems to have a class advantage here.  At these odds worth a stab.
2 - Uprising (Eaton, 8-1) - Fair qualifier and may be worth a try at first asking.
3 - Bull Moose (Kakaley, 7-2) - Won first start at Plainridge.  Was disappointing in bottom classes at Fhld.  Maybe picks up third.
7 - Faiths Tattler (Martellotta, 4-1) - Best of rest.

12th Pace - $5,000; NW4000L5 (#1 and #4 uncoupled entry)
1 - Pembroke Deluxe (Hardy, 6-1) - Wired slightly easier from post seven in last.  One to beat.
2 - Gray Bomber (Nason, 3-1) - Steps up off victory; anticipate good effort.
6 - Iris Elitist (Sumner, 7-2) - Another one that steps up off victory.  May complete Trifecta.
8 - On His Way (O'Dea, 5-1) - Third in last but draws the worst of it.

13th Pace - $3,000; NW1500L5
2 - Lucielle Hall (Therren, 4-1) - Only horse that has a legitimate shot here.
4 - Hey Just Call Me (Hardy, 5-1) - Move inside should allow horse to improve.
7 - JB Ingot (Kakaley, 7-2) - A distant third in first start back.  Potential to improve is there despite post.
5 - Shuffle's Bliss (Eaton, 6-1) - May improve off first start.

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