01/14/2016 4:28PM

Yonkers: Saturday 1/16 Analysis


MEET STATS: 9 - 22 / $71.20  BEST BETS: 1 - 2 / $4.10

Best Bet: VALIDUS DEO (9th)

Spot Play: ELRAMA N (1st)


Race 1

(6) ELRAMA N was aggressively handled off the holiday layoff and flattened from the pocket late; Bamond trainee should be tighter in his second start of the year. (1) UPFRONT COUNTRYBOY gave way badly after also being aggressively handled and I expect the Godinez horses to all be better this week. (4) JUSTIFIED was better than his line looks last out, where the leader stopped in his face.

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Race 2

(3) ROCK TO GLORY gets some needed class relief tonight and should be a player versus these. (4) AMERICAN RAGE raced well last week to be second best and he's been knocking on the door for a while now. (1) DULL ROAR offered nothing last out, but he lands the rail tonight and the Ford trainee should be considered for a share.

Race 3

(2) ARI ALLSTAR essentially toured the track last week while having no chance from the outside post; he loses Bartlett tonight but that can only help the price. (3) FAT MANS ALLEY took money last out but never had a prayer of reaching; he drops, moves inside, keeps the leading driver and obviously has a big chance. (6) URBANA BAYAMA has closed nicely in his last two; he should be coming late again.

Race 4

(1) WINDS OF CHANGE returns for his 2016 campaign for Jimmy Takter and he should be able to take these the distance from this spot. (3) KIPPENBERGER N is another Bamond trainee who should be tighter tonight and offer more. (2) THORN IN YOUR SIDE returns locally from Canada for Auciello and he should be close up throughout.

Race 5

(4) CYCLONE KIWI N gets class relief off last week's needed race and from this spot I expect Bartlett to be heading to the front. (5) SUNFIRE BLUE CHIP has been lightly raced over the last couple of seasons but obviously he has loads of talent; he'll certainly attract attention tonight. (1) CAUTION SIGNS gets serious post relief and should be in line for a live stalking trip.

Race 6

(8) PHIL YOUR BOOTS was in for an $8K claiming tag just a few months ago and now he's assigned post eight in the Open and deservedly so; Andrew Harris trainee will be firing hard. (2) MELMERBY BEACH has been a nice purchase so far for Annunziata but he has missed a month and may need a start before we see his best. (4) ASLAN was a steady second to the top choice last week.

Race 7

(2) TEXAS TERROR N took money, sat in, had pace but it was too late in his U.S. debut; he should be more aggressively handled tonight. (1) STATESMAN N can't seem to get over the hump at this level but the Burke trainee has been racing very well and is tough to ignore from this spot. (4) BULLET BOB is another veteran who has been live recently.

Race 8

(7) RONNY BUGATTI raced very well to be second best to a sharp winner last week, his first start in over three weeks; gelding drops in class and should be aggressively handled from this outside post. (2) STOLEN CAR remains at the same level as his win last week when he sat a perfect trip; he's capable of repeating but needs another live journey. (3) BIG JER was uninvolved in his 2016 debut; he's been competitive at this level in the past.

Race 9

(2) VALIDUS DEO toured the track last week in a needed start; he's a different horse when drawn inside and Bartlett will take command from this spot. (5) RURAL ART returns to Sears, drops in class and looks like a player. (1) CHEYENNE SEEBER draws best and will be saving ground from this spot.

Race 10

(3) DONAU closed nicely off live cover last week to be third best; gelding had a solid 2015 season where he banked almost 150K and he looks like a perfect fit here at this level and from this post. (1) IN COMMANDO was a winner four back from the rail the last time he was in with NW18000 types. (6) ONE THROUGH TEN does have good early speed at his disposal if Dube chooses to use it.

Race 11

(3) POLAK A has never been one of my favorites but he did race decently last week versus better in a needed start and he should be firing early. (1) MCARDLE ROYALE N looked good going coast to coast in his U.S. debut for DiDomenico. (5) HIGHVIEW CONALL N was very good last week just getting outbattled by the favorite but he's outside what he has to beat tonight and may be at a tactical disadvantage.

Race 12

(1) CASIMIR JITTERBUG almost comically gets to drop in class off a win last week as the favorite and he draws best to boot; he's default selecting from this spot. (2) ROLAND N ROCK successfully transitioned to the aged ranks with a nice win last week and he stays at this level with another good draw; good matchup here. (7) DUEL IN THE SUN fired hard last week and pulled off the big upset; he will be a good price again and is worth considering.

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