01/04/2017 7:19PM

Meadowlands: Friday 1/6 Analysis

Email

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: 70 - 231 / $339.00 (-$123.00)

BEST BETS: 9 - 19 / $26.40 (-$11.60)

Best Bet: KELLI RACHELLE (13th)

Spot Play: CC C HER BIBI (5th)

Race 1

(7) B YOYO finds a field with a fair amount of early zip and he should be able to set up shop behind likely favorite (5) MUSCLE DIAMOND and perhaps get up late. The latter has plenty of talent and won his comeback race after a lengthy absence. I fear he’ll be overbet in this spot. (4) OPULENT YANKEE and (6) CROSBYS CLAM BAKE are both coming off sharp scores and either could step up again.

[DRF HARNESS EYE: The digital edition of Harness Eye is now available for just $6! Monthly rates are as low as $2.67 per issue.]

Race 2

I was keyed up to bet (5) WINDSUN MISSION in her last start before the scratched-sick line. This is another blank field, so I’ll stick with her. (1) MAJESTIC SUNSET was pounded at the windows and responded with a nice effort; clearly capable. (4) BEND IN THE RIVER came back from consecutive breaks with a flat qualifying mile. (8) DONOMONI loomed a serious threat before blowing up last time.

Race 3

(6) HERE COMES SAM changed barns and added hobbles last time in a 12-plus length win. I see no reason why he can’t ride that momentum against this tougher class. (8) BATTLE MAGE seems to be in a race without much early speed and he has that ability in spades. (5) ALEXANDER HANOVER rallied nicely for second last time. (1) SHADY MCCOY seems to be a good fit in this spot, but with only one race since October and none in the last three weeks, I’m inclined to use him only underneath.

Race 4

(4) BUFF will probably be overbet and I’m not sure he is coming off the best winning effort ever, but I just can’t settle on any other horse that looks better. (9) KEYSTONE BLADE gets Andy Miller back in the bike and figures to improve. (2) BANDS ARISTON has plenty of form in his corner if he handles the big track. (8) UNDERCOVER BEAUTY has the ability to leave well and contend, but I’m not sure if her recent poor performances are due to bad posts or lack of form.

Race 5

(4) CC C HER BIBI faces a questionable field with much early speed. If DiBenedetto sends her hard off the gate, there is no reason she can’t pull off an upset. (5) ZUZU rallied nicely for second a week ago. (7) ROBOCALL HANOVER failed on the engine last time but deserves another shot.

Race 6

(1) HYWAY MARCUS was a sharp second behind a better horse last week. If he doesn’t break, which is always possible, he should be able to handle this crew. (2) FOX VALLEY STEFFEN has won two straight and three of four; clearly dangerous. (6) CLASSICAL ANNIE drops down and has speed but I just don’t trust her. (8) LAUDERDALE picks up Callahan and knows how to win here.

Race 7

(5) IDEAL NUGGETS paced the fastest mile of the night in victory back on December 30. Five-year-old has some class and might finally be ready to tap into her early career success. (8) TRUTH AND LIBERTY couldn’t possibly be any sharper and she does have some early speed if needed. (10) ICOMMANDMYSPIRIT took care of business as the favorite when last seen at this level two starts back; post is an issue. (1) CHANGE THE RULZ N raced well here on December 9 against lesser foes.

Race 8

(7) LONG STORY SHORT is a gritty grinding veteran in a field with enough early speed to set up his sustained rally. (6) I’M FABULOUS was racing well before the recent break; can compete here. (5) NEVER EVER CLEVER has missed four weeks of action but clearly fits with this group. (4) THE ONLY ONE has displayed big early speed and could get lucky if others are scared to engage him early.

Race 9

(2) CLEAR VIEW HANOVER is not going to be the only leaver in the race, but I’m hard pressed to find more than one other potential early speed player. So, with a pocket trip at worst in the offing, I’ll roll the dice on her rebounding. (6) INTOVIEW is one of the mares in this race that I can see gunning off the gate and she has won in this class in the past. (5) NOT BEFORE EIGHT finally got aggressive and took care of business. It will be harder for her to do that in this field. (4) BLUSH HANOVER has a chance if they somehow mix it up or she is sitting behind live cover.

Race 10

There are four of five mares in this race that may show early speed. With that in mind, I’ll roll the dice with (2) JOYFUL GAME, who shows a win over the track a few starts back and tends to race from off the pace. (3) GINGER TREE ALEXIS qualified in good order for new trainer Richard Johnson. We’ve seen him do well with these first-time horses. (5) SPORTSMUFFLER is plenty sharp and could leave and sit the pocket once again. (4) BETTER SAID went off as the favorite against better last time and failed; drops again.

Race 11

(2) SWEET JUSTICE has been racing reasonably well of late and picks up Corey Callahan this week. (1) HILL I AM has been doing good work with Lasix added; obvious threat. (6) LAZURUS drops down and deserves some consideration. (9) WHATNBLAZES gets barn and driver changes but may not be fast enough to compete from the outside post.

Race 12

(3) WINEMASTER HANOVER chased a better horse in his recent qualifier. This guy doesn’t jump off the page, but he certainly fits and I’d expect a strong effort with him in for a claiming tag tonight. (6) HALL PASS HELEN is dangerous from off the pace with a smooth trip. (2) FASHION ZOOMALOT and (1) FUSION POWER are both coming off good placings.

Race 13

(3) KELLI RACHELLE made her second start since August and was just even a few weeks back. Ricky Bucci trainee should be ready to roll in this spot. (5) MELANIES SHARKETTE scored at first asking upon entering the Johnson barn and can certainly win again. (4) GO FOR SAND loses Miller to the top pick but picks up a nice replacement in Callahan. (10) ROCKERS ALLEY has plenty of form but a bad post.

[DRF HARNESS NEWSLETTER: Sign Up for the NEW FREE DRF Harness Newsletter. Fresh content and insights delivered each Friday.]