02/02/2017 4:18PM

Meadowlands: Saturday 2/4 Analysis

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Race 1 - $25,000 Guaranteed Pick Five Pool

Race 3 - $25,000 Guaranteed Pick Four Pool

Race 7 - $50,000 Guaranteed Pick Four Pool

MEET STATS: 100 - 343 / $521.60 (-$164.40)

BEST BETS: 13 - 28 / $52.60 (-$3.40)

Best Bet: HIGHALATOR (2nd)

Spot Play: TRUE BLUE HALL (11th)

Race 1

(3) JJ SHARK got away slowly again from the cones and was in a bad spot while finishing up willingly in his last start. He gets a new Miller in the bike and perhaps we’ll see a more aggressive attempt. (4) INTHEBLINKOFANEYE has been racing better of late and seems ready to pick up a win soon. (2) LAST DRAGON couldn’t handle the uncovered trip last Friday; dangerous with smooth sailing. (5) OHOKA TEXAS N has dealt with a string of outside posts and finally drops a notch on the condition ladder.

Race 2

(4) HIGHALATOR, a homebred out of near-millionaire Higher And Higher, has been given plenty of time to get his act together and appears to have some ability. Against a suspect bunch, I’m all in and hoping for even money or better. (7) TIMCAT HANOVER sat a nice trip and was a solid winner in his 2017 debut. (6) DJNOTHERNSTAR closed like a freight train last week; needs to stay closer to the field.

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Race 3

(5) MR BLISSFULL wasn’t bad from the back of the pack last time. He draws much better this week and should be forwardly placed.  (6) PERSEVERANT continues to be a popular commodity at the claiming box and has been racing very well; using. (4) JETSKI LOUIE doesn’t get over the top very often but could surprise with a clean trip.

Race 4

(1) MATTAMERICAN drops down in class, draws inside and finds a field without much early speed. I’m expecting Bongiorno to take charge and go for the gold. (7) REUBEN BROGDEN N got caught in a quick mile versus Vegas Vacation in his first start in two months. If Callahan can fire him up early and get him in play, he should have a big shot. (6) JACKSRLUCKYTOO seems to be the sharpest of the closers in the event that the pace is fastest than it projects on paper.

Race 5

This race is wide open with nine plausible win candidates. I’ll try (5) ROCK STAR, who finished well last week from an impossible spot and draws better this time. (3) SOMETHING FOR DOC was facing significantly better when last seen here and does add Brett Miller to the team. (6) SHOW ME UP closed well last time. He needs a strong effort to make it into the final or consolation of this mini-series next week. (4) TWINCREEKS JESSE needs the right setup but can certainly beat this group if things work his way. (8) THAT’S MY OPINION has burned enough of my money lately, though I wouldn’t be shocked if he turned things around.

Race 6

(3) SI SEMALU gets the class drop I’ve been waiting for and adding Callahan in the bike is also a nice plus; all systems go. (1) MISSILE J paid immediate dividends for new connections last week. He has plenty of ability and could potentially go on a serious run. (4) ROCKIN ROBERT has been bringing a good effort to the track week after week; hard to toss.

Race 7

(5) DOCTOR BUTCH didn’t leave as fast as I thought and wound up coming away fourth in a fast opening half last week. I’ll roll the dice one more time with him. (6) ALEXIE MATTOSIE is plenty sharp and an obvious danger. (7) ONTARIO SUCCESS was hung to dry a week ago. With a smoother trip he’ll be right there at the wire. (3) ELRAMA N gets away from claimers and draws well. He has a shot in here but I’m inclined to wait one more week for the top spot. (9) CALVIN B is in fine form and fast enough to menace if the trip works out.

Race 8

(5) DR C’S Z TAM was stuck behind a gapper and broke when trying to squeeze through along the cones. Eleven-year-old was in fine form prior and faces a field that appears loaded with early speed players to set him up from behind. (4) CITY PIE is another confirmed closer that should benefit from an expected quick pace. (8) JACKSON BRADY was dead game on the engine last Saturday. Perhaps his presence in post eight will convince the leavers in posts 9 & 10 to take back early, but I doubt it. (1) SO TAKE THAT has a major chance if sitting behind live cover in striking position.

Race 9

(4) STRATOCASTER reunites with Marohn in a field without a standout player; taking a shot. (2) JOE LARRY N CURLY raced evenly in his first start in a very long time while facing much, much better foes. He can certainly win here. (3) SASSY HANOVER raced very well two starts back but stopped badly last time. Those types of anomaly efforts usually mean the horse choked down or tied up; let’s toss the line. (1) UNIX HANOVER moves into a new barn and should be competitive.

Race 10

(1) TOTALLY DREAMY drops for the fourth straight week and has reached the basement condition. Gelding was clearly improved last week in his debut for the Levine barn and can have a say in a mostly formless group. (5) GIDDY UP DELIGHT comes off a win and will take most of the tote action, but I’m not running to the windows. (9) NURSERY ED has been stuck with outside posts on the half-mile track at Yonkers. He draws poorly again but could have more in the tank than we’ve seen. (8) THE FIRE WITHIN couldn’t rally from far back last time; closer tonight?

Race 11

(5) TRUE BLUE HALL had a hint of late pace last Saturday and could be in line for a big effort on the class drop tonight. (3) FRANCOHARRINGTON N has been stuck in outside posts at Yonkers lately. Perhaps we’ll see more on the switch to the big track. (1) ROGER MACH EM has inside speed and should be heard from during the mile. (7) MY SPIRIT SOARS couldn’t handle bumping up two levels a week ago; back down a notch.

Race 12

(1) GRAVELSINMYTRAVELS blew away a similar field last week and looks solid as the clear chalk. (5) LET’S FOAL AROUND got a start under his belt after a mini vacation and now Brett Miller drives. (2) PRINCE PALANI hasn’t found his best stride yet after taking time off but will get there in the coming weeks. (7) TAURANGA comes off an open length win and should still offer value. 

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