12/28/2016 4:37PM

Meadowlands: Friday 12/30 Analysis

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Race 1 - $30,000 Guaranteed Pick Five Pool

Race 3 - $25,000 Guaranteed Pick Four Pool

Race 7 - $50,000 Guaranteed Pick Four Pool

MEET STATS: 61 - 209 / $300.00 (-$118.00)

BEST BETS: 7 - 17 / $19.00 (-$15.00)

Best Bet: OPULENT YANKEE (4th)

Spot Play: THAT WOMAN HANOVER (10th)

Race 1

(5) POWER AND FAITH has arguably been facing better foes at Philly than most of these in recent weeks. He returns to The Meadowlands now where he put in a couple of decent efforts in September. (2) STORMONT ESQUIRE was just OK on the Saratoga circuit for a couple of starts but did win as a 2-year-old on the big track at Mohawk. (4) COUGHLIN was disappointing as the favorite last time but might be worth a second look in this dull field. (3) MOOSE MADNESS closed well and kept to his business with trotting hobbles added.

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Race 2

There really isn’t much to like in this field and spreading may be a smart option in your pick five. That said, I’m going to roll the dice with (3) CODIAS ON THE MOVE. After missing his entire 2YO season and having been on the bench for over a year following a three-start 2015 campaign, he returns in a new barn with Lasix added and a catch-driver. I’m taking a shot in the dark here. (4) VIP BI IT seems likely to take a ton of tote action on the driver change to Brett Miller, but he simply wasn’t very good in his qualifiers. (9) VIRGIL CAINE swung wide and broke in his Meadowlands debut after missing more than two months of action; driver change tonight. (10) CURLEY’S VICTOR has two wins this year. The rest of the field has three combined.

Race 3

(3) WINDSONG LINDSEY now has a couple of qualifiers and a start under her belt after taking eight months off. Sportswriter filly has some ability and should be ready to pick up her game now. (8) GYPSY BELLEVUE was stuck in post 10 while facing older foes in her first try with Lasix added last week. There is room for improvement against her peers. (7) BIG BAD BEACH is off consecutive victories and must be used on most tickets. (5) FLASH’S FOOL ships in sharp from Rosecroft and merits a look on the track.

Race 4

(6) OPULENT YANKEE faded badly in his last start on a night where early speed types weren’t doing particularly well. He has no excuses in this spot. (2) SHEER FLEX put in a decent effort but couldn’t handle the class jump last time. While he stays at the higher level, he should be in line for a close-up trip this week. (5) HYWAY MARCUS shows an early break in four of his last five trips to the track. He can fly in the stretch but comes with huge risk. (1) YOU ROCK MY WORLD finished just behind the former in a recent qualifier. When on his game, he can go with this group.

Race 5

(1) NOT BEFORE EIGHT was sluggish a good portion of the mile and simply kept grinding away late to get second last time. Dropping again this week, I’d really like to see her score down hard and be forwardly placed. (7) JOYFUL GAME won at a higher level two starts back and now drops in for a $12,500 claiming tag. I have to think she’ll be ready to roll since the possibility of her getting claimed seems reasonable. (10) CANDY STYX N has enough speed to overcome the outside draw but I’ll probably use her underneath. (5) LOOKOUT STOKK ZONE gets a major driver change and has some early speed in her arsenal; likely will be overbet.

Race 6

(4) WINDSUN GLORY destroyed better in her last start, though that was four weeks ago. She has a nice post advantage on her main foes and will get my weak vote of confidence. (8) INITTOWINAFORTUNE has early speed and class; very dangerous. (9) DELIGHTFUL DRAGON finds a field with a fair amount of early zip and might be able to roll for a big piece late.

Race 7

(2) BUDDY HALLY has been racing consistently week after week and finds a field with ample early speed to set him up. (4) DANISH DURANGO has a couple of starts under his belt after taking four months off. Given a smooth trip I can see him pulling off an upset. (7) I C CAVIAR has been racing well for some time. (9) KELSEY’S KEEPSAKE picked up a confidence-building win at The Meadows and does have some class.

Race 8

(2) IDEAL NUGGETS has been in against better foes of late and should have every opportunity to pick up a win tonight. (10) BETTER SAID drops out of the same race as the top choice and actually finished much better; post 10 hurts. (8) CLEAR VIEW HANOVER is capable of darting to the front and not looking back. (4) KAMWOOD LAUGHTER is sharp enough to consider, at least underneath.

Race 9

(2) MYSTIC FLOWER was being loose-lined and jumped in his debut for this barn at Yonkers on an off track last time. I’m taking a flyer on this horse with the expectation of possible equipment changes and hopefully a decent price. (3) MIDFIELD MAGIC raced decently from the back two weeks ago; draws better this time. (8) ONDA DI MARE has a chance here if Campbell fires off the gate. (1) IT REALLY MATTERS can’t be as bad as his recent lines would indicate.

Race 10

(5) THAT WOMAN HANOVER finds a field without too much early speed and might finally get away with the rated half she needs to go down the road. (1) ROYAL KNOCKOUT has some good efforts to her credit at this NW8500 condition and should still offer decent value. (10) FANTICIPATION owns some good miles here. Her chances will come down to what kind of trip John Campbell can work out.

Race 11

(2) METATRON has made three starts for this barn without much luck. His two Meadowlands starts have been from outside posts and everything went wrong in his one trip at Yonkers. Let’s give him one more start tonight to show what he can do. (9) GUESS WHOS BACK was a colt with stakes potential that hasn’t been seen in 18 months. Muscles Yankee-sired 4-year-old qualified back nicely and will win if he brings something close to his best game. (4) BATTLE MAGE went down the road in this class last time. (5) BIG EXPENSE has been racing well; using underneath.

Race 12

(1) IAM BONASERA is a classy veteran that double-drops in claiming price tonight; respect. (5) FRATERNITY has missed a few weeks and moves out of a high percentage barn. That said, he has produced 10 wins on the year and a solid Meadowlands mark. (9) SHADOW’S IMAGE only needs a smooth journey from post nine to menace. (2) MAGIC TRICKS is off a scratched-sick line but does enter a barn having a good meet.

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