by Al Cimaglia
August 6, 2022
The Meadowlands has a huge 16-race card ready to go with a 12:00 PM EST first post. There will be nine big money stakes with the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks (Race 12) and the $1,000,000 Hambletonian (Race 15) being the headliners. It should be a great day of competitive racing with some solid betting opportunities throughout the card.
The 0.50 Late Pick 4 that includes the Oaks and Hambo starts in Race 12. The sequence has a $125,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.
Xpressbet/1st Bet account holders be sure to take part in our first ever harness handicapping tournament! Play in our Hambletonian Challenge today, to win your share of our cash prize pool, which has been seeded with $2,500 cash from Xpressbet.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
3-Warrawee Xenia (5-1)-Not sure Xenia will be 5-1, but she will be worth using and it's best to respect this Mohawk invader. The Elimination race wasn't a fluke, she can fly down the lane, is loaded with talent but wasn't smooth on the turns. Could be sitting on a big try and the track won't be as deep, so could be better. Racing without Lasix appeared to not matter, and McClure should be in stalking range as the fractions could be hot.
5-Venerable (9/5)-Gets a big post edge over #10 Fashion Schooner and was in complete control in the Elimination. Has hit the board in 9 of 11 at M1 with 6 wins. Miller has options with this starting slot and the Norman trainee comes into this affair razor sharp. She will be bet and looks the part of a 9/5 choice.
2-Una Madonna (4-1)-This filly has been in the hunt in 3 of 4 starts and the only time off the board was due to a break. Paced a 56.1 back half to take a picture last week. Can win racing on the lead or coming off cover.
5-Instagram Model (8-1)-Looking for a better effort than last week. Started slowly, and raced wide on what was a deeper track. Did get going at the top of the last turn but cover stalled, she was compromised and couldn't re-rally. Can score at a price if races back to the win on 7-15.
6-Mambacita (3-1)-Fits well with this field after finishing 2nd in the NJ Sires Stakes Final. This filly looks the best on paper and Miller should be able to work a smooth trip from this post. These are 2-year-old fillies with short resumes, but this Alagna trainee appears to have a bright future.
7-Graceful Patty (15-1)-Has been hurt by slow fractions while racing from the back. Looked loaded down the lane last week but couldn't get a clear path. The price should be right to take a swing.
4-Alrajah One It (9/5)-Trainer Ake Svanstedt has 4 other entries in this race and they all could be racing for second place. This 6-year-old has looked beyond impressive in the last 2 starts and we may not have seen his best work. The main competitor is a stable mate #5-Ecurie D DK, but he hasn't raced since 7-2 and that makes the morning line favorite a single on my tickets.
1-Rebuff (9/5)-Tetrick should have no issue putting this standout trotter into play and drawing the rail isn't a concern of mine. This is another top 3-year-old who appears to be getting better and the 7th straight picture could happen with a fair trip.
3-Fast As The Wind (8-1)-Can leave with some pop, should be forwardly placed, and might be overlooked at the windows. Might not land in the pocket behind Rebuff like last week but should be racing close to the leaders. Gingras has never won the Hambo. With a little luck and a sweet trip this Alagna trainee could be his ticket to the winner's circle.
7-Temporal Hanover (8-1)-This is my price play of the day and could be sitting on a big try. Raced well in the Elimination, and Kihlstrom is one of the best drivers in the world. This Melander pupil doesn't get the press of Joviality but it's best to respect. Looks like a use on top and in gimmicks at what should be a solid price.
0.50 Late Pick 4
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