by Al Cimaglia
January 2, 2021
The Meadowlands kicks-off 2021 with a $150,000 guaranteed pool for the 0.20 Pick 5 that begins in Race 1. The large guarantee was brought about because of a $46,731 carryover from last Saturday night. It would not be a surprise if the Pick 5 pool grows to twice as much as the guarantee. The wager has a 15% takeout, and the sequence will be my focus.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
1-Machiatto A (7/2) -Just missed at 19-1 on 12/12 at this class before facing Preferred foes at Fhld and took the long way around that night. Back now at the same class as previous start. Drawing the rail should help, likes to get on the engine. Andrew McCarthy steers and could be sitting on a big try.
3-Independent One (15-1)-Taking a swing for a price after a needed start last week. Will need the right trip in 2nd race since 9/21 but could surprise if tight enough. Owns a 151 mark here and has the gate speed to be put in play early in the mile.
7-Albergo Hanover (3-1)-Qualified on 12/26 after being off since 11/15. Has 3 wins in 9 starts at the Big M and cashed 2nd place checks in the other 3 races. Best to respect, qualifier was good, owns sub-150 speed and makes 2nd start on Lasix.
1-Bronze Yankee (8-1)-Blake Macintosh trainee finds his way to the Big M with the shutdown at Mohawk. Has banked more money in 2020 than anyone in the field except #2 and could get the pocket ride behind the program chalk. Looks like a solid price that could take a picture.
2-King Alphonos (3-1)-Comes off a very sharp qualifier with Dunn steering from the 9-hole on 12/19. Faced tough foes last year and should be bet hard. Looks like a major player but this will be the 1st start since 10/24.
4-Beyond Ordinary (9/2)-Even effort in last with trainer driving. Now, Dave Miller is between the pipes and draws well. Has hit the board in 6 of 8 races at the Big M with a picture.
4-Haymitch (9/2)-Comes off a flat effort at Fhld and then was a sick scratch. Beat the $12,500 claimers here on 12/12. Andrew McCarthy steers and the Stallworth barn has had 29% winners in the last 30 days. Could beat this bunch at a square price if brings a big effort.
6-Rock On Line (10-1)-Needed last and now makes the 2nd start for the Hernandez barn and they have been rolling along. Dunn could find cover and work a trip from this spot. Should fit with this group and makes sense to include at the morning line price.
10-Fox Valley Nemitz (3-1)-Comes off a sharp win making every call a winning one versus this kind in last. Post could be an issue, and the inside pair could leave. Either way Joe B probably has the best horse, but he needs to provide a good steer.
1-Juxta Cowgirl (10-1)-Drops to a spot to shine, has some gate speed and should be a solid price. This is the 4th start off the bench, Todd McCarthy steers and the Watson barn has 6 wins in 30 starts over the past 30 days. Looking for an aggressive drive and to be in the hunt at the wire.
3-Rockin The Boys A (7/2)-This will be the 2nd start since 9/24, AMac drives and comes off a sharp tune-up at Philly. The pace could be lively and that could help this mare roll by late.
1-Whittaker N (15-1)-Using from the rail and the risk reward should be there. Could offer a bigger price than the morning line. Has enough gate speed so George Nap could get the pocket trip behind the program chalk who most likely leaves hard for the lead.
2-Blood Line (3-1)-Tuned-up here with an even effort on 12/26 versus better. This is the horse to beat and should win if dialed on high in 2nd start since 10/24. Seven-year-old still has sub-150 speed and has hit the board 8 times in 18 starts in East Rutherford with 3 wins.
Race 1) 1,3,7
Race 2) 1,2,4
Race 3) 4,6,10
Race 4) 1,3
Race 5) 1,2
Total Ticket Cost) $21.60 for $0.20
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