01/27/2012 1:30PM

Presidential Final could mark a return to glory for Blatantly Good

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Blatantly Good captured the Presidential final in 2010 at the Meadowlands and will try to do it again on Saturday.

Blatantly Good is a former claimer. He was once eligible to be purchased for as little as $7,500. Since that low point he has climbed the class ladder many times and on Saturday he once again finds himself in the $110,500 Presidential Final at the Meadowlands with longshot hopes of capturing his second trophy from that prestigious event.

Over the previous three-plus years Blatantly Good has earned over $670,000 for owner Jeffrey Bamond, who claimed the now 8-year-old for $50,000 on October 18, 2008. Since then Blatantly Good has been the model of consistency in the older ranks, having banked at least $190,000 and pacing a minimum of one sub-1:50 mile each season.

“He has a special place in my heart,” said Bamond. “He’s an ornery son of a gun, but he is special to me.”

A regular in the Open ranks since 2009, Blatantly Good, who is currently trained by P.J. Fraley, achieved his high point in 2010 when he captured his lone stakes final victory. The Presidential score was the pinnacle of success Bamond never dreamed of for his Albert Albert-sired purchase.

“He has really overachieved. The night he won the Presidential, it was a great thrill,” said Bamond, who currently owns 23 horses, including unraced babies.

Towards the end of 2011 Blatantly Good began to tail off. He was an also-ran in each of his final starts, culminating in a rare break on December 10 at Yonkers Raceway. Following a four week break he returned in an Invitational event at the Meadowland and showed no improvement, but was entered into the Presidential anyway. He finished an even fifth, posting a 1:48.4 final time in round one while chasing the fastest January mile in history (1:48). Needing a better showing in the second leg to make the final, Blatantly Good picked up his game by finishing third and showing a bit more pace at the end of the mile.

“Age is certainly catching up to him,” said Bamond. “We try to limit his starts and baby him a bit. But his effort last week was good. I think he might be rounding into form.”

He continued, “I wouldn’t be shocked if he won the final; maybe surprised. I would be shocked if he didn’t put in a good effort and get a nice check.”

Blatantly Good will have no easy task in Saturday’s rich final. He will face three millionaires (Silent Swing, Annieswesterncard and Vintage Master), and those are not even his toughest competitors.

Golden Receiver (9-5 morning line) will be the likely odds-on public choice come post time. The 7-year-old Mark Harder trainee looks for a Presidential series sweep, having captured the first two preliminary rounds and setting an all-time January speed record in the process.

The probable second choice in the wagering is River Shark (5-1). A Meadowlands winter specialist (16-7-0-3 record at the Meadowlands since 2010), River Shark won in the first leg of the Presidential only to be a hard-luck third in the second round due to a tough uncovered trip.

In total, 10 horses and geldings ranging from 5 to 10 years in age will do battle in the Presidential on a card that also features the $74,000 Complex and $73,000 Clyde Hirt Finals.

Itrustyou headlines the Complex on the strength of a nine-race win streak. The Ron Burke-trained gelding is part of a four-horse entry sent out by the reining USHWA Trainer of the Year.

Special T Rocks is sure to take the bulk of the action in the Clyde Hirt. Trained, driven and co-owned by Daryl Bier, the son of Rocknroll Hanover sports a five-race win streak of his own and dominated in both legs of the series.

Post time for Saturday’s Meadowlands card is 7:00 PM. The Complex, Clyde Hirt and Presidential series’ are carded as races 3, 6 and 10 on the 13-race card which also features a $75,000 guaranteed Pick 4 commencing in race 6.

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