02/17/2012 11:58AM

Meadowlands Analysis: Saturday 2/18/12


MEET STATS: 54 - 193 / $471.60

Best Bet: GRAMS LEGACY (2nd)  Spot Play: MCSOCKS (3rd)

Race 1

This looks like a race where one of these could steal the race on the engine. (5) NF INDEPENDENCE has shown speed in the past and might be able to surprise. (3) IRISH ELITIST took a clear step forward last week. (4) MEGA HALL seems to be getting a bit better. Dave Miller joins the team, too.

Race 2

(7) GRAMS LEGACY is the one that got away. He has the breeding of a champion and the ability to go fast, but has never put it all together. He won’t find an easier spot than this race. (4) BETTORS GLASS doesn’t look great on paper but did kick home nicely in his recent qualifier. Perhaps Tim Tetrick, who chose this guy, can wake him up. (5) WISHER was allowed to do his own thing on the engine in that last qualifier. I expect he’ll be tighter off that race.

Race 3

(6) MCSOCKS comes off a dull-looking line. But if you saw the race, he was trapped behind a wall of horses and kept pace nicely while never clear. That was his first race in nearly five months! I can see him perking up at a nice price. (2) ANDY BARAN was facing better at Yonkers. Bettor Design won here on a similar drop-in-claiming-tag angle. (3) CAMBASSADOR bumps up off the claim. He has been very sharp lately. (9) REGIL TIGER adds Lasix and keeps Tetrick.

Race 4

(6) SOUTHERN SPORT freefalls in class upon return from a few months on the bench. His :25 4/5 final quarter in that qualifier says he is ready. (5) GLASS PACK double-drops for a hot barn. (8) RUTHLESS ACE returns to the Meadowlands at a reduced level; use. (9) MCCLELLAND has been off his game, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get a piece at a nice price.

Race 5

My top selections is a reflection of my desire to pick against the favorite rather than a true liking of (4) ROCKEM, who did show some improvement last week in his second start back from a layoff. If he is ready for a big effort, he could win. (8) WESTWARDHO HANOVER looks like a 3-5 shot. He had an awful trip last week and still won. Perhaps that effort took something out of him? (3) CAMAES FELLOW has been chasing the former lately.

Race 6

(4) BIG LEAGUE was fourth over in an impossible spot and rallied home nicely. Interesting that John Campbell had choices in this series and ends up here over likely favorite Take A Walk. (7) IM THE PIED PIPER has only two career starts and displayed improvement from the first to the second. A giant step forward seems within his reach. (5) TAKE A WALK posted a big mile last time but was steppy in his previous effort. I can’t back him with confidence as the favorite. (2) SOCIAL NETWORK is another who was a different horse from leg one to leg two. She has ability and will offer a fair price.

Race 7

(1) STRAND HANOVER went a big mile here in his latest attempt. He is good enough to handle the class jump. (9) KEEP GOING drops down and in for a tag. As long as he isn’t bet down heavily, I’d consider him on top. (7) GET IT NOW steps up in fine form. (4) STRANGE HANOVER missed five weeks before his last start and chased in a very slow half that night. He could show more now.

Race 8

(1) WESTERN POSSE came back from a layoff at a higher claiming tag and was immediately bumped up the ladder again this week. I’m expecting aggressive handling and a nice effort. (4) MASTER STROKE dropped for the third straight week and finally showed some life; dangerous. (5) ARTIC BLUE comes off a pair of seconds.

Race 9

(5) NEW RELEASE drops back down to the level of the claim and his last win. (3) NOBLE FALCON also drops back down to the condition where he won his last race. (7) BET ON ROULETTE is in the same boat as #3; drops to the level of last win.

Race 10

(2) ITRUSTYOU goes for his 13th consecutive win on Saturday. This is a tough race and usually I would try to beat the favorite in this spot, but when you consider he comes with a partner (Risk Management) who could also win, I’ll take the short price. (3) BETTORS REWARD closed in nicely in each of his preliminary legs. If Campbell can set him up second-over, or the pace is fast, watch out! (7) SPECIAL T ROCKS has been a model of consistency and proven gutsy. (1A) FEARLESS DIABLO raced well in both legs; post nine hurts.

Race 11

(9) FITZ’S Z TAM changed barns coming off the bench and raced very well with a strong final quarter. If Miller can get him involved from the outside post, he’ll have a big shot. (3) WARNING ZONE has been in fine form; impossible to ignore. (1) MELVYN is capable of winning this; can’t toss. (4) HICKORY HORACE surprised with a nice rally last time.

Race 12

(7) BONGO had no shot from an outside post, against better, and returning from a layoff. This is a winnable spot. (5) RESTLESS YANKEE is better than his latest effort; second start off bench. (1) THE ADMIRAL raced well last time.

Race 13

(1) CESSNA FLIGHT finds an easy spot for Burke/Gingras; narrow call. (6) RATHBONE N is clearly going well now. (3) GRITTY MILIE BOY ships in from Yonkers and finds a soft spot. (8) MYSOONTOBE is capable when right.