10/02/2002 11:00PM

Meadowlands: Pace makes Skip Trial


Pace makes the race, and if there is enough of it in the six-furlong, $50,000 Skip Trial at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., Summer Swing would be the horse you'd want turning for home.

Summer Swing owns the race's best last-race Beyer Speed Figure (100), and ran an even better 103 Beyer two starts before that, winning the $65,000 Teddy Drone at Monmouth on Aug. 4. A repeat of either effort would do the job here.

Trouble is, there isn't a ton of early speed in the seven-horse Skip Trial.

Unreal Party figures to make the lead, since he has led at the first call in each of his last four races and in six of his last seven. He wired the field twice in his last four starts, with Beyers in the mid-90's. The key is whether the other speedsters - Rich in Glory, Fetch Dinner, and especially Dixie Two Thousand - let Unreal Party breeze along up front.

Dixie Two Thousand's 21.80- and 44.40-second fractions last time show he will be able to press Unreal Party early. Uncontested on the lead, Dixie Two Thousand won a minor stakes at Monmouth on Aug. 29 wire to wire, beating Summer Swing.

Rich in Glory has won seven sprints this year, all by sitting off the pacesetter for a quarter-mile, then reeling him in and holding off the closers. Rich in Glory's seven 2002 wins is by far tops in the field.

So, it boils down to pace, favoring Unreal Party if there's none, Rich in Glory or Dixie Two Thousand if it's moderate, and Summer Swing if they whistle out of the gate.