by Al Cimaglia
May 8, 2021
Tonight, the Meadowlands has a competitive 13-race card set to go with the 0.50 Early Pick 4 starting in Race 6. That 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 at the Big M was Andrew McCarthy with four wins. Andrew Harris was the leading conditioner with two trips to the winner's circle.
In eight of the 13 races the winner was on the lead at the top of the stretch. In the other five contests the winner was within three lengths of the leader at the top of the lane.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
2-Seriously Hanover (3-1)-Odds-on chalk didn't disappoint beating 3 from this field in last and now Dave Miller takes over for Dunn who steers #7. Looked the best last week and there should be no reason to discount chances now.
5-Island Of The Sea (5-1)-Has been stuck with post 9 and 8 in the last 2 starts and should benefit from the move inside. This is a tough group but TMac should be able to find a live cover flow and looks like a player at a fair price.
7-No Lou Zing (5/2)-Sweet Lou 4-year-old comes off a pair of qualifiers and battled the best 3-year-olds last year. Takter trainee could fire hot off the bench. Can win on any size track but is really tough to beat on smaller ovals. Could handle this crew if dialed on high but may not offer any value.
2-Heza Real Diamond (9/2)-Missed a start before last week's race and was in too tough. Drops to the level of a big try on 4-17. Should get the top rather easily and if so could make every call a winning one.
4-Covered Bridge (7/2)-Tried Lasix for the 1st time and scooted the 2nd half in 53.4. If Gingras works the same trip it could be picture time again.
6-Lyons King (6-1)-Makes 3rd start for the Jen B barn, will look for more improvement and just missed from the 9-hole in last. Lost to #4 and they both could be there at the wire once again. Will use looking for a solid price and could offer more value than the 2 above. The 0-11 record this year and 1-15 at the Big M may help the price.
1-Respect Our Flag (7/2)-Comes off a .55 last half and and a 26.3 final quarter while facing better in a needed start. Could be a player at this class and Joe B should have this 5-year-old forwardly placed.
2-Sundown Kid (5-1)-Was used off the gate last week to get the top versus better and had missed a start. Stayed inside and didn't get a clear path until late in the mile which cost a better finish. Now gets some needed class relief. Miller takes the lines and he should be able to work a smooth trip.
5-Wheels On Fire (12-1)-Comes off a decent effort last week after shipping in from Wbsb and had been off since
3-27. This will be the 2nd start for Burke and Gingras could leave to get the top or take a pocket ride. Tough race, but is worth a swing at the morning line price.
7-Colossal Stride A (4-1)-Has finished 2nd in the last 3 starts, just missed in the 2 latest tries at this class and those winners aren't in this field. Dunn can work a stalking trip and may have enough to seal the deal tonight at a square price.
9-Sintra (7/2)-This will be the 3rd start at M1 and for the Pelling barn that is batting 36% over the past 30 days. My take is TMac won't try to wire this field but will get a good early seat and then rally. The pace should be hot and the race could set-up nicely for this classy 8-year-old.
Race 6) 2,5,7
Race 7) 2,4,6
Race 8) 1,2
Race 9) 5,7,9
Total Ticket Cost) = $27 for $0.50
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