02/16/2012 2:26PM

Meadowlands Friday Stakes Analysis

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Bob “Pandy” Pandolfo has worked as a handicapper and writer for more than 30 years. His columns have appeared in numerous publications and he is a published author.  Today Pandy takes a look at this weekend’s stakes races at the Meadowlands.

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CAPE & CUTTER FINAL – Race 4

Higher And Higher has displayed everything you could want from a race mare. She has the ability to finish fast off cover, brush to the lead early, or grind first over, and she has won with all of these trips over the past few months.

On paper in the Cape & Cutter Final, Higher And Higher is not the fastest over the track. Her best recent win here was 1:52.1. Ginger And Fred, a classy veteran that heads the three-prong Burke entry, won a division in 1:50.4. But, there are only two mares in the race that have paced a mile in under 1:50 in their career, Royal Cee Cee N (1:49.3 at Chester) and Higher And Higher (1:49.2 at Dover). So it would be no surprise if Higher And Higher can improve on her recent best time over the Meadowlands track. Royal Cee Cee N drew post 10 in this race, a very tough spot in a field like this.

The key question is: Can Higher And Higher get beat, and is it worth betting against her? This is the question I ask of the favorite in every race. But in many races it’s obvious that the favorite is weak. In this race, we have a 5-year-old mare in career best form and on a roll.  The last time she lost was on November 21 at Chester. The mare who beat her in that race is Bunny In The Bank.

There are certainly a few different ways you could go here if you want to take a shot against Higher And Higher. I’m sure the Burke entry will take a lot of money and Mud Pie Hanover won a division last week and could be live at a price. But my pick is Bunny In The Bank. I watched some of her races at Yonkers at the end of the year and at that point she was as good as any of these. In her two starts this year she raced off the pace and went evenly. Now she draws outside in post 8 and I expect Tim Tetrick to leave the gate this time. Here’s hoping that Bunny In The Bank is money in the bank.

 

SELECTIONS:

6 BUNNY IN THE BANK

5 HIGHER AND HIGHER

1 GINGER AND FRED

3 MUD PIE HANOVER

 

TENDER LOVING CARE FINAL – Race 10

The Tender Loving Care came up weak this year. The final times and fractions throughout the series have been slow and the odds-on favorite, Winning It, only beat Jamie Sue by a half length in her last start, and that filly has just 1 win in 17 starts! Wow, what to do. Winning It is undefeated in five starts. She gets post 8 and will most likely be setting the pace. I can make a case for Air Guitar Hanover. She is lightly raced and her best efforts could be in front of her. She really didn’t have much of a chance last time but rallied well in a race that had a modest pace. And Air Guitar Hanover can leave the gate, so Campbell may try to get the pocket trip. Gottaseeaboutagirl is a contender but gets post 9 and I just don’t see it. Jamie Sue is in career form but has seconditis.

Winning It should be tough, there’s really not much in this weak field, but in both of her wins this year she got away with soft fractions. I would not bet her. I’ll either pass this race or take a shot with Air Guitar Hanover, depending on the odds. If I play the Pick 3 that starts in race 8, I’ll use both Winning It and Air Guitar Hanover here.

 

SELECTIONS:

7 AIR GUITAR HANOVER

1A WINNING IT