Horse Racing

Haskell/Meadowlands Pace Day 2020 Selections

It is a huge day in the Garden State! Two of the premier racing days of the year in the state fall together, with Monmouth Park starting the day with the Haskell (G1) and its undercard, including the United Nations (G1), Monmouth Cup (G3), Matchmaker Stakes (G3), Molly Pitcher (G3), and Wolf Hill, and the Meadowlands just up the state finishing with their premier pacing race, the Meadowlands Pace, which completes a huge card of Grand Circuit racing, including the William R. Haughton Memorial and Dorothy Haughton for older pacers and two divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, which will give us a glimpse of our Hambletonian contenders.

With that, let’s go into my selections for all the stakes races on the day (and linked free PPs available as well, presented by Brisnet and Trackmaster/Meadowlands):

Monmouth Park Race 9WinStar Matchmaker (G3)
(2) Feel Glorious – was running on well late in the New York; should favor this course well and is eligible to improve in 2nd start since layoff
(4) Varenka – needed last race at CD to get back in form; has shown strong ability and finds a lighter spot here than last few
(8) Xenobia – posted a great figure in first start of the year against much tougher; has an excellent turn of foot late and should get an ideal trip

Monmouth Park Race 10Monmouth Cup (G3)
(7) Joevia – Suffered from too much pace pressure in last two starts, but has little early challengers this time; loves Monmouth Park and has been improving in his starts this year; will be tough but could pull the upset
(4) Harpers First Ride – Moving up in class here should be no problem; figures put him right in this field and is on the improve in form; strong finishing kick against super slow early paces makes him intriguing
(8) Just Whistle – Had too much to do last out but eligible to return well here; has some of the best figures in the race and gets Joe Bravo aboard.

Monmouth Park Race 11United Nations (G1)
(9) Paret – An absolute standout on form and figures here; has some of the best turf speed in the race and looked really good in his seasonal debut against better – a must use
(8) Corelli – eligible to improve off first domestic start; has good backform from time in GB and should improve with blinkers and lasix added – worth a shot at the price
(5) Aquaphobia – was closing in well in last two and improving on paper; put in good workouts leading up to this and gets Bravo aboard – contender

Monmouth Park Race 12TVG.com Haskell (G1)
(1) Dr Post – my single on the day; complete standout in this field and is coming into this race in really good condition off that :48 flat 4f workout; showed a lot of game talent finishing well in the Belmont Stakes behind Tiz The Law and will enjoy the two turn trip much better
(6) Ny Traffic – should be forwardly placed early and that will greatly improve his changes; hit two monster horses in last two while showing toughness in both races – sharp and gets Paco Lopez aboard for a second straight race
(2) Authentic – his Santa Anita Derby behind Honor A.P. put me off this horse; he has some green left in him and I’m not sold that going a route distance is really his thing, but his talent still towers over much of this field and needs to be considered

Monmouth Park Race 13Wolf Hill
(9) Shekky Shebaz – while I may want to give this runner a first start under the Clement barn, he does seem to be the highest rated horse here; his gate speed is truly spectacular and should give him an edge here on the Monmouth turf
(5) Dubini – needed the last race off the layoff, this one should get better now in second start of the year and the return to Monmouth Park; has the turning kick to catch anyone down the stretch and gets Paco aboard – lot to like on figures too
(2) Lonhtwist – last out was just way too tough for him, but the step down in class is just what he needs as he gets a group he can beat; big striding horse that should take to this turf better than Belmont, which he seems to just not like based on his past runs there – this could be the upsetter

Monmouth Park Race 14Molly Pitcher (G3)
(11) Horologist – heading to the Bill Mott barn might be the best move for this talented filly; she had troubled tips in the Apple Blossom (against much better) and in her runner up finish in the Nellie Morse, but this trip should favor her – and she is 4 for 4 at Monmouth against similar company
(9) Sweet Sami D – had a good return to the races in an OC at Delaware Park but now gets back against the stakes company she ran against last year; her tune-up looked like she still had more to give and should improve stepping here
(5) Vault – Mike Smith has a live runner here after she ran a huge second last month in the Obeah at Delaware Park, though making the decision to come here as opposed to last weekends Delaware Handicap is intriguing; still this looks to be a good spot for her as she continues to improve this year – a possible star in the making for the Brad Cox barn

Meadowlands Race 2 – Miss Versatility Trot Leg 3
(6) Manchego – winning the first leg of this series a few weeks ago over Atlanta before coming back to finish a second to her rival, the Breeders’ Crown Champion doesn’t need to worry about Atlanta here; should cruise to an easy victory in this one
(5) Felicityshagwell S – improved in both of her first PM starts in the US for Ake Svanstedt, this mare has shown promise – maybe this will be the chance she shows what she is worth
(1) Kenziesky Hanover – developing as a great trotter, the Cullipher trained daughter of Cantab Hall has been knocking on the door as of late; the switch to being more forwardly placed, and getting the one hole, should help her stay near the lead in the end

Meadowlands Race 3Del Miller Memorial Trot
(1) Sorella – the PA star made the switch over to NJ when Nancy Takter took over training this year; so far shes been the talk of the town – with three straight wins including a 1:50.2 (26.3 LQ) trotting mile in the Reynolds last out
(5) Panem – Dexter Dunn has had this one trotting fire as of late, keeping up with Sorella last out and winning just two back; this fits her well and if she can improve a bit, might get past her rival as they head towards the Hambletonian Oaks
(8) Hypnotic Am – last year’s Doherty winner came back with two warm up trots against lesser at Tioga and Vernon (and grab some of that NYSS money); she has been a force on the front end and should be dueling with Sorella throughout

Meadowlands Race 4Stanley Dancer Memorial Trot (Div. I)
(6) Back Of The Neck – a last out winner in the Reynolds and finished a good open trot behind Sorella two back (ahead of Synergy and Breeders’ Crown champ Amigo Volo), the Ake Svanstedt Hambletonian hopeful has a lot in the tank; his two straight :26 and change last quarters are eye opening for me and Scott Zeron has been driving very well this year
(5) Play Trix On Me – Linda Toscano brings in a tough NJ-bred trotter by Trixton; crushed through the NJSS company before making the step up in the Reynolds – needed that first trot but showed promise and should move up with Tim Tetrick in the bike
(1) Real Cool Sam – one of the favorite horses on the ground, as named for the late, great Sam McKee, won the Peter Haughton Memorial last year at the Meadowlands before a 4th place finish behind Amigo Volo in the Breeders’ Crown; now he makes his season debut after three straight qualifiers – I want to give him one start, but his talent keeps him up near the top for me

Meadowlands Race 5Stanley Dancer Memorial Trot (Div. II)
(9) Capricornus – the second division is where I find my upset on the day; tried to trot on the front end in the Reynolds last out before tiring like many that day, but just needed that race on the big mile – should step up a bit and take better to the track tonight
(7) El Ideal – last year’s Valley Victory champion returned in the same division of the Reynolds as Capricornus, but was spinning wheels last after being on the front end; I wasn’t a huge fan of how he finished, and looks like he might need on more race, but I don’t want to be the one who left him off my ticket if he trots by everyone
(3) Chestnut Hill – coming back to the big track off a tuneup on the short Pocono Downs course may be what the Nifty Norman trainee needs; he trotted alright two back, but looks to be showing more – improving and moving forward well in last three

Meadowlands Race 6 Mistletoe Shalee Pace
(1) Jk First Lady – the Three Diamonds winner makes her return to stakes company in the fillies version of the Pace; her closing kick is one of the best in the field and her pacing miles turn some heads – in really great condition after the 1:49.4 qualifier and should return to her form she had to end 2019
(2) Peaky Sneaky – right to Jk First Lady’s outside is a Nancy Takter trainee that isn’t one to forget; right there in pacing times, she has been getting better with every start and seems to love the Meadowlands; should be the dueling late
(6) Rocknificent – taking a step back down in class off a win against a bit tougher in the PASS at The Meadows, the daughter of Captaintreacherous returns to the big mile in good form; her figures pose a big challenge for anyone and Zeron in the bike makes her a tough out any time

Meadowlands Race 7William R. Haughton Memorial Pace
(6) Dancin Lou – older pacers take over the card here, although misses some of our leaders from the Graduate series; but we do get 3rd place finisher in the Graduate, Dancin Lou, who has been spinning wheels very quickly in his last few – gets a big lighter test here and should be the one pacing home in fron tat the end
(5) Backstreet Shadow – Tetrick takes the Roll With Joe winner back to the Meadowlands after a qualifier tune up; when given the front lead, he isn’t one to give him up, and although he is going against much tougher here, his figures put him right in the mix
(1) This Is The Plan – the Hoosier Pacing Derby winner is looking to return to the top of open company again, and has the chance here; he showed good promise in the Roll With Joe, but needs the longer track to get going – Meadowlands switch is exactly what he needs

Meadowlands Race 8Hambletonian Maturity Trot
(1) Forbidden Trade – last year’s Hambletonian winner comes back to the site of his biggest success after a pretty good finish to 2019 at Woodbine Mohawk; Zeron give him a good tuneup here last week, trotting clear ahead of Jl Cruze, but now gets his usual stakes company to contend with – lots to like with him
(7) Reign Of Honor – 2020 has been kind to this son of Father Patrick, as he has been trotting well in his three starts and getting better each time; solid post should put him in good position and the elongated 1 1/8 mi should favor his style and late kick
(13) Gimpanzee – would be higher up here if he wan’t coming from behind here; the easy winner of the Graduate series – sweeping two legs and the finals, he is trotting in great form and is one to watch; not sure he will appreciate the added distance and starting from behind against a really great field might not be the best – but one to watch nonetheless

Meadowlands Race 9Meadowlands Pace Final
(5) Tall Dark Stranger – Gingras and Takter team up with one that wowed everyone last year up at Woodbine Mohawk and even moreso last week in the Pace Elim, pacing clear on the front end the whole way without giving an inch; he towers over the field and is the big one to beat tonight
(3) Captain Barbossa – just did what he needed to do in the Elim last week, the Tony Alagna trainee has been improving this year off what was a very nice 2yo season; saw a lot to like in the last three and should be pacing home strong down the stretch
(9) Papi Rob Hanover – the only one to have beaten Tall Dark Stranger in the Breeders’ Crown Elim (and in the final before being DQ’ed to 2nd), this pacer is getting back into form with two good starts to the season; while might be better suited to the small track, the outside post has giving him the ability to keep clear and pace home fast late

Meadowlands Race 10Dorothy Haughton Pace
(4) Kissin In The Sand – beating the 2019 Dan Patch Horse of the Year, Shartin N, won’t be an easy task, but I’ve been far more impressed with the miles that Kissin In The Sand has been pacing to start the year; she looks like she developed into a monster pacing mare and excited to see how she does a year older
(2) Shartin N – winner of this race (as the Golden Girls last year) helped her on her Horse of the Year campaign, but that was last year; her early starts this year have just been easy cruises against lesser (much like she did to start last year), which may mean she is beatable; if she is on – she will be dominant, but that scratch out of last time gives me enough to not put her on top, but still a must use in this spot
(3) Trillions Hanover – pacing behind Kissin In The Sand last out, she had a great tune-up for this major race; she is growing up well as a 4yo now and I think she might be the best of the rest here

Categories: Horse Racing

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