08/20/2015 3:59PM

Pocono: Saturday 8/22 Analysis



Spot Play: RUFO (4th)

Race 1

(5) OOH BAD SHARK has been sharp all year long and should enjoy the driver change to Morrill along with an improved post. (7) YAGONNAKISSMEORNOT bested the top choice last time and qualifies as one of the best mares in the sport; must use. (3) KRISPY APPLE has been firing on all cylinders at Yonkers but meets a slightly better group tonight. (2) CINAMONY is hard to completely toss having won 7 of 12 races this year.

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Race 2

(5) SOUTHWIND ROULETTE has been getting caught in some fast miles of late. This looks like a spot where she can take charge. (2) INVEST IN ART has form and you have to like the switch to Tim Tetrick, but I fear she may be overbet. (7) WELL HELLO THERE was my selection before the re-draw moved her outside. Ron Burke trainee has a shot with a decent trip.

Race 3

(7) DONATOMITE is coming out of the Hambletonian, so this group is clearly easier. I’d rather a catch-driver in the bike, but Trond Smedshammer is capable of leaving strong and taking this field wire to wire. (5) MUSCLE DIAMOND is probably the most talented horse in this field. If he has a good day, he’ll likely win. (2) CRUZADO DELA NOCHE has made breaks in four consecutive starts but looks capable of competing with a clean line.

Race 4

(3) RUFO went down the road with Lasix added last week. The guy is sharp enough to win and finds a field he can handle. (7) DRAGON EDDY didn’t respond quite as nicely as the top one to Lasix, but sometimes it takes a start before the medication kicks in. Gelding has high early speed and figures to make some noise. (6) ROLLING RING AFIRE aimed too high versus Wiggle It Jiggleit last time in the Cane Pace. I’d expect a better effort this time.

Race 5

(2) WIND OF THE NORTH has absolutely no chance of closing from last in the Cashman final on Hambletonian Day. This guy has returned from Europe in fine form and seems very capable of the upset. (4) RESOLVE was super in his last start and only missed a neck to likely heavy favorite (5) JL CRUZE on July 18. The latter has a near perfect record this year, but he may have to drop four seconds from his recent qualifier to win on Saturday and hasn’t been in a real race in over a month. (3) NATURAL HERBIE is very capable of upsetting given the right scenario.

Race 6

(2) STORM POINT had no shot from post eight last time and her prior form is very good. She finds the perfect spot to leave for position and get the job done. (1) SINGLE ME has some ability but remains winless in 11 starts this year. (5) SERIOUS FILLY hasn’t been on top of her gamne lately, but she has still won half of her starts.

Race 7

Sometimes you have to ignore the post and put your faith in the horse. I’m not sure why (9) CENTURION ATM came up empty in his Hambletonian elimination, but he is far and away the best horse in this race and should score with any reasonable journey. (3) WHOM SHALL I FEAR beat up on lesser in the Ackerman and should be better for the experience. (6) ALDERBARAN EAGLE put his early speed on the backburner in the Hambo but should let in shine through tonight. (5) FASHION CREDITOR is a nice horse that could hit the exotics.

Race 8

(6) BADIOU HANOVER doesn’t exactly jump off the page, but his last win came in a similar spot back on July 4 at this track. (1) BLOOD BROTHER seems to be racing better of late and could be ready to realize some of his untapped potential. (2) ALLBEEF N NOBULL was overmatched in the Milstein; this is easier.

Race 9

(1) DAPPER DUDE hasn’t exactly put together the best year with just one win from 19 starts, but he draws well and gets a nice driver change to Gingras. (2) ALWAYS AT MY PLACE has won five straight and seems like a new horse since joining the Burke barn. Where is his bottom? (3) BANDOLITO has proven to be very fast and we get a catch-driver this week; respect.

Race 10

(5) THE SHOW RETURNS has proven capable of stepping up at times and this division always seems like a crapshoot. John Campbell, who has driven her very well this year, is back in the bike and the price should be big enough to warrant the selection. (4) BETTOR BE STEPPIN probably should have won last time and trainer Holloway will make a bridle change now. She has high speed and has raced well here. (6) MOONLIT DANCE is fun to watch as she has an explosive turn of foot; huge chance. (8) WICKED LITTLE MINX may have been unlucky that a scratch moves her into this race. She has a chance with a decent trip, but would have been the favorite in the consolation.

Race 11

(8) CANEPA HANOVER put in a disappointing effort in the Hambletonian and now trainer Jimmy Takter elects for a catch-driver in Campbell. I know the talent is there and so will the value. Hambletonian champion (2) PINKMAN is undoubtedly the one to beat, but the likely 3-5 price seems short against a pretty good field. (1) CRAZY WOW is fast enough to stay with these and he should be fresher having skipped the Hambletonian (ineligible).

Race 12

(1) WIGGLE IT JIGGLEIT got back on the right track in the Milstein Memorial at Northfield and seems difficult to pick against after another favorable draw. (7) WAKIZASHI HANOVER could be the value in the exacta. Gelding has the early speed to leave for position and only needs a reasonable trip to give the winner a tussle. (2) DUDE’S THE MAN has earned my respect in recent weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won. (4) SPLIT THE HOUSE has ability but lacks seasoning; worth inclusion at the right price.

Race 13

(7) DREAMS BEACHBOY finds a very soft spot and should take care of business. (6) LYONS AGAIN has enough early speed to get involved. (1) REGGIANO picked up his game on the trainer change.

Race 14

(6) DELI BEACH remains winless on the year but I’m willing to forgive much of her poor showings. She really should be able to handle this group. (7) BODACIOUS has been sharp since moving into the Elliott barn. (1) SHAKAI HANOVER finally gets a good post to work with this week.

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