07/16/2015 10:32PM

Meadowlands Pace: Is Wiggle It Jiggleit on the road to greatness?

Does Wiggle It Jiggleit compare favorably to Somebeachsomewhere?

On Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack, Wiggle It Jiggleit will attempt to win the 39th edition of the $706,000 Meadowlands Pace. The horse with only one loss on his dance card is a victory away from being the clear front-runner in his division and for Horse of the Year honors.

Where does he exist on the spectrum of top horses over the last few decades? Not very high at this point, but that doesn’t mean he can’t climb the ladder very quickly with repeated success. While owner George Teague, Jr.’s recent proclamation that Wiggle It Jiggleit compares favorably with the great Somebeachsomewhere is a nice sentiment, it seems a bit soon to place the gelding with the elite of racing past.

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The above said, let’s take a look at the tale of the tape between ‘Wiggle’ and ‘Beach’.

Somebeachsomewhere was perfect in 10 career starts entering the Meadowlands Pace, which he lost narrowly to Art Official in a 1:47 mile. Wiggle It Jiggleit owns a 13-for-14 career record with his lone loss coming in the North America Cup final, a race that Somebeachsomewhere won.  Though, I admit that ‘Wiggle’ deserves immense credit in defeat after doing the heavy lifting with fast fractions on the lead.

EDGE (Career Record): Somebeachsomewhere

Prior to his start in the Meadowlands Pace Somebeachsomewhere had racked up major stakes victories in the Metro and North America Cup. Wiggle It Jiggleit has one major stakes win in the Max Hempt at Pocono two weeks ago.

EDGE (Stakes Wins): Somebeachsomewhere

Somebeachsomewhere retired as the co-fastest horse in history with a 1:46 4/5 victory at The Red Mile back in 2008. Wiggle It Jiggleit has never paced faster than 1:48 2/5. That said, ‘Wiggle’ is the all-time fastest 3-year-old on a half-mile track (1:49), pacing two-fifths of a second faster than ‘Beach’.

EDGE (Speed): Draw

Somebeachsomewhere and Wiggle It Jiggleit both use the full complement of 18 characters in their names.

EDGE (Name Length): Draw

The reality is, despite facts that give the edge to Somebeachsomewhere, Wiggle It Jiggleit has every chance to be as good as or better down the road. He still has a large chunk of his 3-year-old season ahead of him. Should he dominate and hang a sub-1:47 mile on the tele-timer along the way, we could certainly be mentioning Wiggle It Jiggleit among the greats like now Hall of Famer Somebeachsomwhere.

The best part is that ‘Wiggle’ is a gelding and could provide fans of the sport with years of thrills. Maybe he can grab the baton from fellow gelding Foiled Again as the perennial champion older horse in the country.

But before the comparisons with Somebeachsomewhere commence and long before we can even dream of putting him in the same sentence with all-time money winner Foiled Again, Wiggle It Jiggleit must win the Meadowlands Pace.

From everything we have seen in recent weeks, Wiggle It Jiggleit is more than a deserving favorite in Saturday’s $706,000 Pace final. He was spectacular in winning the $500,000 Hempt on July 4 and perhaps even more spectacular sweeping the field to win his Pace elimination. He followed fellow top 3-year-old Wakizashi Hanover and went by him rather easily.

He clearly looks like the best horse in the final, but is he unbeatable? Since Wakizashi Hanover already bested him once, the obvious answer is no. Yet, when you consider the cast of characters in Saturday’s big dance, who would you back with confidence to win other than Wiggle It Jiggleit?

All things being equal, how many times out of 10 could Wakizashi Hanover beat Wiggle It Jiggleit? Two? Maybe three? That would give him a 25% chance on average of beating ‘Wiggle’. But this is not a match race. What about In The Arsenal? Once, maybe twice in 10 tries?

Widening it out for the sake of easy percentages, and including post positions into the handicapping equation, I give each horse the following chance to win on Saturday:

Lyons Levi Lewis 1%; Dude’s The Man 1%; Artspeak 6%; Wiggle It Jiggleit 55%; Rock N’ Roll World 1%; In The Arsenal 14%; Revenge Shark 1%; Dealt A Winner 4%; Wakizashi Hanover 16%; Badiou Hanover 1%.

So the 4-5 morning line odds on Wiggle It Jiggleit seem very reasonable. Basically I’m viewing ‘Wiggle’ as at least three times more likely to win than the next closest competitors. Which also means that if you can get four times the odds on Wakizashi Hanover or In The Arsenal than ‘Wiggle’, you could consider swinging your $$$ that way. 

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While Wiggle It Jiggleit will be my official selection, I fear his price will be much closer to 2-5 than 4-5 come post time. Which means betting on him in the win pool is just not logical. The return is poor and his chances to win just don’t match up with the likely odds. Because of the probable underlay price on ‘Wiggle’ I’m guessing that almost every other horse on the board will offer some value, which leaves plenty of options if you are a win bettor. Dealt A Winner, who impressed me in his elimination and will be huge odds, will certainly be on my exotic tickets and perhaps on a win ticket.

Or you can try some cold exactas with Wiggle It Jiggleit on top and roll the dice in those pools.

Regardless of your wagering decisions on Saturday, the options are tremendous for the 14-race card which kicks off at 7:15 p.m. Total handle figures to eclipse $4,000,000 on a night with eight stakes races. The track will offer three guaranteed pick fours, topped by the $100,000 promised pool in race 7. There is also a $50,000 guaranteed pick five in race 1 to kick off the card.

Happy Meadowlands Pace night!