03/03/2016 4:12PM

Meadowlands: Saturday 3/5 Analysis


Race 3 - $30,000 Guaranteed Pick Five Pool

Race 5 - $25,000 Guaranteed Pick Four Pool

Race 9 - $50,000 Guaranteed Pick Four Pool

MEET STATS: 105 - 369 / $619.30 (-$118.70)  BEST BETS: 14 - 27 / $59.90 (+$5.90)


Spot Play: PRINCE PALANI (11th)

Race 1

(1) TIGER’S TOO GOOD clearly needed the race last week after missing some time. Veteran gelding has won here in the past and seems to be in soft this week. (7) BALLARE HANOVER lost his two-race winning streak a week ago but still looks menacing staying at the same level. (2) EXQUISITE GLIDE threw in a clunker last time but is better than that.

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Race 2

(7) ROCKEYED OPTIMIST looked super winning last week and should take care of business again. (4) JET AIRWAY couldn’t be any sharper, but I’m not sure he can handle the top choice. (2) DOVUTO HANOVER raced well in his first start since June. I’m inclined to wait one more week.

Race 3

(5) BETTOR MEMORIES got away slowly from an outside post and had no chance while chasing a slow pace. This NW2 came up cheap and I can see this guy taking a small step forward at a price. (7) MAAJAACKKOBE gets away from Missile J and becomes the clear favorite in this condition. (4) HONEY I’M HOME has been racing okay versus better and fits nicely in here.

Race 4

(8) PIECE OF THE ROCK battled hard last week and now moves into a new barn. Maybe the Harmon stable can get him over the top in what looks like a good spot. (4) AMPED UP comes off what looks like a bad line but he did finish in 27 1/5. Maybe that final quarter is a sign of good things to come. (5) YOO BET YOUR GLASS has proven that he is more than capable of winning here against these cheaper claimers; hard to toss.

Race 5

(1) UPFRONT BILLY takes a meaningful drop to the basement condition level. Normally he is a lock in the NW5000 ranks, but this race looks more like a NW7500, so you should at least get a decent price. (7) MESMERIZED was locked in the pocket and couldn’t find room until too late a week ago. I worry he’ll get overbet now. (5) FOX VALLEY LEGEND cuts his claiming price to $12,500 and you know he’ll be rolling in the lane.

Race 6

(5) ALLSTAR LEGEND hasn’t exactly been paying dividends for me of late. The class drop on Saturday should be a difference maker. (9) BURKENTINE HANOVER finished up willingly with no chance last Saturday and unfortunately is stuck with another bad post. (2) OUREA NOURRIR is another in here moving down the condition ladder; trip threat. (1) MAJOR WAR has been disappointing this year but will make his presence felt at some point.

Race 7

(6) DARCEE N arrives for Ron Burke in decent form. The barn was hot last weekend and I’m not enamored with any of the horses in this race. (4) SER JON rallied impressively behind an easy winner in his first start since November. (3) K SLATER gets post and class relief this week. (5) UF FAST FEELIN has his issues staying on stride but kept his act together well enough to win last week; new barn now; mixed feelings.

Race 8

(5) FIRST OF ITSKIND rallied strongly as usual last week. This is far from an easy race but there seems to be enough early speed to set him up. (7) PANSFORMATIVE is razor sharp right now. If he guns off the gate and the two to his outside elect to relax, he can head right down the road. (6) K-LEES SHAKENBAKE is clearly at a winning level; needs smooth trip.

Race 9

(6) ART HISTORY raced very well from post 10 in just his second start of 2016. He moves in a few slots now and should prove very tough. (5) COOPERSTOWN showed some nice improvement with Lasix added. (8) VERDAD was much better last week than his line indicates. I think he has a legitimate shot tonight at a price.

Race 10

(4) CHEYENNE SEEBER was trapped in traffic a week ago and never got a chance to stretch his legs. If you draw a line through that PP, he looks very competitive in here at what should be a decent mutuel. (7) JACKSRLUCKYTOO was done in by the trip in his latest race. Notice that Bongiorno chose this guy over a Burke-trained horse. (5) STRATOCASTER has been putting in honest efforts week after week.

Race 11

(1) PRINCE PALANI had no chance of closing into a pedestrian 56-second half a week ago. If he can track live cover or find a quick early brush, the Harmon trainee can upset at a price. (4) BACKDRAFT HANOVER has picked up his game for the Russo barn and is coming off a big mile; obvious chalk. (2) LEGENDS LUCK is back at the Big M with a better post this time around.

Race 12

(10) DUNE DUDE is stuck outside but gets a big class break this week. This doesn’t look like the most difficult NW7775 around. (2) ROCK OUT is the one to beat. Can he get his speed to last the mile? (8) GRATIAS DEO needs some help on the front, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he pulled off the upset.

Race 13

(6) BUCKEYE IN CHARGE has been in sneaky good form and gets a monster driver change. As much as I want to pick against this guy, there really are no other good options. (5) HACIENDA has come off two good efforts and ranks as the logical next best guess, though he hasn’t won since 2014. (9) ALEX BULLVILLE faces easier this week. (8) PEDRO’S DREAM could be dangerous due to his early zip.

[DRF HARNESS LIVE: Real-time insights from the DRF Harness team this Saturday at 6:35 p.m.]