02/16/2012 2:34PM

Meadowlands Saturday 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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AQUARIUS FINAL – Race 5

In the Aquarius Final, the favorite will be Westwardho Hanover. Now in this case I just don’t want to go against the favorite. Camaes Fellow finished second to the favorite in his last two starts and finished third behind him at Woodbine three starts back. Both of these 4-year-olds are sharp but one will be the favorite and the other will be the second choice. I don’t sense an opportunity for value. A lot of bettors will opt for the obvious 5-3 cold exacta here. Sir Ziggy’s Z Tam has cycled forward nicely and was only a head behind the favorite in his last while pacing a :26.4 final quarter. He has a shot but needs a disputed pace and a good flow of cover.  I’ll probably just watch the race because I can’t make a solid case for any of the longshots in this race, and I think Westwardho Hanover has a class edge.

 

SELECTIONS:

5 WESTWARDHO HANOVER

3 CAMAES FELLOW

7 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM

6 TOWNSLIGHT HANOVER

 

JUNIOR TRENDSETTER FINAL – Race 6

The Junior Trendsetter Final looks like a good betting race. Although Take A Walk comes off a strong, front running 1:52 win, he could be vulnerable. We have to remember that two starts back he was on his way to an easy win when he got rough suddenly in mid-stretch and threatened to come to a complete stop, or make a wild break. Campbell kept his cool and straightened him out and he won, but that was a sign of erratic behavior that could come back to haunt him.

I’m The Pied Piper was a bit of a flop in his second start. After finishing in :26.4 in his debut, I expected him to improve and win his second start but he was beaten at 3-5. But the reality is, I’m A Pied Piper did improve in his second start. He paced in 1:54.1 in his debut and in 1:53 last week, and his pace figures were much faster. He simply got beat by a big effort turned in by Take A Walk.

Social Network did not improve in his second start and lost a race that everyone thought he would win easily. Big League is in good form, but is he fast enough? Eastwood Blue Chip struggled last year, losing his first 12 starts, but has now won three straight. It looks like there will be a lot of movement and a fast pace in this race. I’ll go with I’m The Pied Piper to keep improving and out kick them late.

 

SELECTIONS:

7 I’M THE PIED PIPER

5 TAKE A WALK

8 EASTWOOD BLUE CHIP

4 BIG LEAGUE

 

EXIT 16W FINAL – Race 10

The Exit 16w figures to be a terrific race. Itrustyou and Special T Rocks went head to head earlier in the month and it was a battle. Itrustyou gets a better post on Saturday and has had to deal with faster fractions.

I was really hoping that Fearless Diablo would get a decent post. I loved the way this 4yo raced last week. Driver Matt Kakaley sent him hard from the gate to the lead in :26.4, then made an aggressive second move to regain the lead past the half. From there he took on pressure but held gamely for the show. He is proven from off the pace, so he doesn’t need the lead to win. Unfortunately from post 9, Kakaley willl probably send and that could mean a tough trip. This 4yo has only raced seven times and he has really come into his own. If he can get a tuck or work out a trip he has a shot.

Every horse in this race is in form and there are several horses that could be firing big in the lane if the pace is hot. Bettor’s Reward came home in :26.2 in each of his last two starts. I have to stick with Fearless Diablo despite the post. He’s the one that caught my eye last week and I do get a capable entry-mate in Cam B Zipper.

 

SELECTIONS:

1A FEARLESS DIABLO

2 ITRUSTYOU

3 BETTOR’S REWARD

7 SPECIAL T ROCKS