by Al Cimaglia
February 13, 2021
The Meadowlands has a big 15-race card set for tonight with the 0.50 Early Pick 4 beginning in Race 6. The sequence has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.
On Friday, the driver with the hottest hands was Andrew McCarthy with three trips to the winner's circle. The top conditioner on the card was Julie Miller with two pictures.
Last night, it was difficult to make up ground in the stretch. Every winner was either first, or within about two lengths of the leader at the top of the stretch.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
1-Hudson Phil (12-1)-Comes off an improved effort in 2nd start off the bench. Shows good gate speed in past tries and has a chance to get a cozy trip possibly behind #8. Zeron steers for the 3rd straight time and will take a swing for a solid price.
5-Italian Delight N (8-1)-Four race win streak was snapped in last but that effort came from post 10. Did pace the back half in 54.4 and now gets a very good post. Dunn steers again and it's best to respect.
8-Western Joe (5/2)-Form is sharp and has raced well in the last 2 despite being stuck with the 8 and 9 post. Could leave again and has the gate speed to find a close-up seat. This isn't an easy group but is a major player and will likely be bet hard again.
2-Incredible Shark (4-1)-Steps up, but almost the entire field is facing better and last 3 have been sharp tries. Doesn't show a recent win at this level but AMac should put in play early. Might land on the point, and if steals a quarter could be tough to beat.
6-Lachie Maguire N (5-1)-Loses AMac but Zeron knows well and he should be able to work a good trip. This 11-year-old is usually right there at the wire and has hit the board in 8 of 11 at M1 with 2 wins.
8-Rockin The Aces (3-1)-Dropped and finally popped in last and now bumps back up again where it won't be as easy. Left from the 8-hole last week and grinded it out for a picture. If the pace is honest Dunn could find a way to roll by down the lane.
3-Wyatt J (3-1)-Four-year-old has fired hot off the bench and shoots for 2nd straight win at this class. MacDonald is back between the pipes and Wyatt likes to take pictures. Did notch 8 wins in 10 starts in 2020 and is 9 of 16 lifetime.
7-Levine (8-1)-Yonkers invader fits with this crew and raced from far back after starting from the 8 hole on 2-9. But did pace the 2nd half in .55 at YR last time. Took its lifetime mark of 151.4 on the 7/8's at VD. Interesting play looks like a solid price.
9-McMike (7/2)-Was off for over 3-weeks before last start on 2-6 and cashed a 3rd place check in a quick mile. Outside post makes the price and this Burke trainee doesn't show much gate speed. Gingras should find some live cover and could take another picture. Did win 10 of 21 in 2020. First try on the larger oval here was good and could be better tonight.
3-Paduka N (6-1)-Drops after fading badly down the lane. There aren't any Western Joes in this field and should be able to get the top or a 2-hole trip. Won from post 9 on 1-2 at this level and could be sitting on a big try.
5-Ima Real Ladys Man (7/2)-Allard steers and he is usually aggressive. This Cullipher trainee likes to race at the top of the stack and should be there. Draws well and looks like a major threat.
6-Boiling Oar (8-1)-This the other entry from the Cullipher barn and this one should be a nice price. Versatile sort has won 28 of 72 lifetime starts. Has only 1 win in 8 starts at M1 but has done good work on the larger Hoosier oval. Looks like a must use and will hope the 8-1 morning line is correct.
Race 6) 1,5,8
Race 7) 2,6,8
Race 8) 3,7,9
Race 9) 3,5,6
Total Ticket Cost) $40.50
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