Hambletonian day full-card selections at Meadowlands

Hambletonian day full-card selections at Meadowlands

Race 1 - open pace (20-cent Pick 6)

Fresh from an upset victory in the Joe Gerrity Memorial, no. 5 Idealsomemagic A appears to be back at his best after some mid-season hiccups. He was a dynamo in the MGM Borgata Series before being burdened with poor drawing luck and now makes the move to the bigger track at a time when he’s on his A-game. No. 7 South Beach Star ships in off a decent win against stakes-type Ruthless Hanover at Harrah’s Philadelphia and should be firing from the outside post into a prominent spot. No. 6 Stonebridge Helios would sit higher on my contender sheet if this wasn’t the first start he was making in a month. He could be a little rusty and at a short price I’d be more likely to use underneath. No. 4 Captain Cowboy can contend against a bunch like this but does need a trip to do his best work.

Selections: 5-7-6-4

Race 2 – Shady Daisy 3-year-old filly pace

If you’ve never picked a Standardbred winner in your life, no. 2 Sylvia Hanover should give you an easy time of winning at the harness races. Not sure how much you’ll learn about handicapping races from her… she’s just a good horse. No. 5 Bellisima Hanover can fire off the wings and will likely have to in order to get a solid piece. In some long lost universe out in the beyond, she upsets in this field. No. 1 Beach Cowgirl should be able to rebound into an alright check from this pylon spot. I have no clue why she broke stride last out, but she’s been alright in other Grand Circuit events and solid in smaller-track stakes.

Selections: 2-5-1

Race 3 – Dr. John R. Steele Memorial mare trot (20-cent Pick 5 with 15 percent takeout)

The added distance appeared the dagger to no. 6 Jiggy Jog S on a seemingly deep track that absorbed surprise rains on Meadowlands Pace night. She gets back to the mile distance and lands into a spot where she should be sharp, but not a cinch at a short price. No. 3 Raised By Lindy has been showing gradual improvement since finishing fourth in the Armbro Flight. She went a solid tightener in the Six Pack and a sharp third in the Hambletonian Maturity to show that she could be ready to do more than knock on the door. No. 2 M-M’s Dream won in the Hambletonian Maturity and has plenty of heart and muscle, but does take time to rev into her best stride. That delay in gear could be what separates her from the winner’s circle. No. 1 Fashion Schooner does her best work one way and maybe tries to power through from the pylon post. If she’s left alone, she’s a danger.

Selections: 6-3-2-1

Race 4 – Muscle Hill 3-year-old colt and gelding trot

No. 7 Little Expensive tried his hand in his Hambletonian elimination but got fatigued from chasing stiff early fractions to just miss the final. This is a much softer bunch for him to finally start getting the ball rolling. No. 5 Kilmister will take plenty of play because of his traffic-burdened trip in his Hambletonian elimination, and he certainly is capable of dominating here. But this race does leave room to consider the less obvious outcomes because sometimes horses like Kilmister are, in fact, too obvious. No. 6 Devilish Hill finished fourth in the Yonkers Trot from a tough draw and has some decent second-place finishes behind a solid sophomore in Ari Ferrari J over this track earlier this year. Perhaps the return to two turns will be to his liking off the tightening win on July 20? No. 8 Djimon was no match in the Hambletonian elimination and could maybe hold his own against this weaker bunch.

Selections: 7-5-6-8

Race 5 – Continentalvictory 3-year-old filly trot (50-cent pick 4 with 15 percent takeout)

No. 3 Bella Macchiato has been fairly even against better fillies in Hambletonian Oaks finalists Bond and Railee Something, but now finds herself against more of her kind. This is her chance to show her class after showing a decent amount of promise over this oval when finishing second on July 1. No. 6 All A Twitter keeps getting better and better, but remains inexperienced here with just three starts against those with more than 10. That could come to bite her, but she also could be ready to tackle the world. No. 9 Warrawee Yes has been racing from off the speed in most of her starts but now gets aggressive hands in George Brennan. Maybe a change in tactics brewing from the outside post? No. 5 Blonde Bombshell added Lasix and looked fine winning last out. She showed promise as a 2-year-old but figures to be a short price in this group.

Selections: 3-6-9-5

Race 6 – New Jersey Sires Stakes final 2-year-old colt & gelding trot (20-cent survivor with 15 percent takeout)

No. 6 My Way went a decent mile to win in the second preliminary when losing the lead and retaking the lead in the stretch. As long as he can keep his legs together, he figures to be one of the main factors. No. 1 Hankins Hanover got a workout mile last out given the tough post and showed ability in the start before that when winning the opening preliminary. He gets a good post to work from and maybe is a sneaky price. No. 8 Mars Hill keeps finding his way to the winner's circle, which is a positive sign if you’re trying to win. That said, he might take more play than warranted because of the undefeated record. We’ll see. No. 3 Sig Sauer has won all one of his races and looks like a fast one. Overall, this is an open race.

Selections: 6-1-8-3

Race 7 – Lady Liberty mare pace

After two tough-luck starts, no. 3 Test Of Faith should be primed and ready to pounce. She enters off a qualifier where she paced a 52.4-second back half with a 25.4-second kicker to show she is back to her old self. And she lands a good post, so it’s go time. No. 4 Silver Label has proven herself a top one of this division but will need to plant herself in the right spot to deliver at a possibly weak price. No. 5 Boudoir Hanover likely offers the best price in this field if she launches off the wings as she always has and secures a stalking trip. She appears to be peaking. No. 11 Kobe’S Gigi won this race last year and will have speed to follow off the wings in Grace Hill, so that could again plant her in a striking spot to be productive.

Selections: 3-4-5-11

Race 8 – Sam McKee Memorial FFA 1/2

No. 1 I Did It Myway finally gets a post draw where he can work his preferred trip. If he procures a prominent spot, he should be productive in the stretch. No. 5 Captain Kirk has parked back-to-back miles going ridiculous fractions in each. Not parking the mile should put him in a good spot. No. 9 Ruthless Hanover is fast and can go fast, but his finish at Harrah’s Philadelphia last week appears a possible regression. Either way, he’ll be a short price but still likely involved on the ticket. No. 7 Allywag Hanover is overdue for a rebound now that he has five starts under his belt. This would be the race for him to get back to his old form if he ever will.

Selections: 1-5-9-7

Race 9 – Vincennes preferred trot (50-cent Pick 4 with 15 percent takeout)

No. 5 Lexus Kody is in terrific form right now and looks tough to beat. No. 1 Justice is improving with each start and lands an easier bunch off a decent fifth-place finish in the Hambletonian Maturity. No. 8 Looks Like Moni also fits this bunch and has been waiting to breakthrough at stakes company. No. 3 Take All Comers has been sharp on the smaller track and can translate that form into an alright finish over the bigger track. Tough race for the underneath spots.

Selections: 5-1-8-3

Race 10 – Hambletonian Oaks 3-year-old filly trot (first leg of the Cross Country Pick 5)

She looked loaded before levelling off in the stretch, but no. 4 Righeteous Resolve has ample room to progress off her third-place finish in the elimination. She likely will not have the same type of fractions to chase in this race, so she should be able to work her trip to win. No. 9 Secret Volo lands the right spot for her racing style to try and come from off the speed. Her main issue will be trying to get into the race soon enough, but she should offer a respectable price. No. 1 Walner Payton won her elimination with ease and can do well in the final, but the pylon draw does not necessarily make her job easier at a short price. No. 10 Heaven Hanover should be able to pick up pieces and hit the ticket at large odds.

Selections: 4-9-1-10

Race 11 – John Cashman Memorial FFA trot

No. 8 Venerate was bested in the Crawford Farms Trot but likely is much better with a target. He and no. 9 It’S Academic are likely to take the most play, and for good reason. It’S Academic enters off an eyecatching win in the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and has only gotten better with age. Their main concern could be the outside post draw, which could help put others into the race like No. 6 Southwind Tyrion. He’s only raced 10 times in the last two years and has always appeared bound for this high-level trot events, but only now the stars have finally come together to bring him here. He should belong. No. 3 Asteroid has also shown improvement since returning to the U.S. and can keep taking steps forward while grabbing decent checks.

Selections: 8-9-6-3

Race 12 – Hambletonian No. 98 (fourth leg of the Cross Country Pick 5 and start of 50-cent Pick 4 with 15 percent takeout)

This honestly is anyone’s race. No. 2 Oh Well should be ready to go his best mile and lands a post where he can work whatever trip should work best. But he also has shown a tendency to hang in the stretch while this group could also go real heated fractions early. A hot tempo would aid horses like No. 9 Ghostly Casper and No. 10 Tactical Approach, both of whom are strong when coming off a helmet. At the same time, scenarios do exist where morning-line favorite No. 1 Celebrity Bambino puts away this field. All this said, use my fair odds as a stronger guide for this race.

Selections: 2-9-10-1

Hambletonian fair odds: Most likely winners are not best bets

Race 13 – New Jersey Sires Stakes 2-year-old filly trot

No. 9 Allegiant looked ultra impressive winning in hand in a track-record mile all those weeks ago at Oak Grove and has since done alright in the New Jersey Sires Stakes. The post draw is tough, but she could be the real deal. No. 3 Special Talent has room to step up off back-to-back solid tries, one from off the speed and one on the point. The versatility early is a positive sign for her while she lands an optimal post to choose her fate. No. 2 SPY COAST picks up Scott Zeron off several educational miles that could have her ready for the big money. No. 6 Walcango finally nabbed a win off consecutive runner-up finishes and appears a solid one from off a helmet.

Selections: 9-3-2-6

Race 14 – Cane Pace 3-year-old colt and gelding pace

No. 5 Confederate probably wins. Next. No. 7 Christchurch is a logical underneath horse who can race however he wants, but will ultimately be trying to finish second best to Confederate. No. 3 Seven Colors is fast enough to contend with these but he just needs to not make a premature move. He’s best making one quick swoop late. No. 2 El Rey can also close into the mix under the right circumstances, though he’s an obvious one and incredibly quirky.

Selections: 5-7-3-2

Race 15 – Sam McKee Memorial FFA pace (2/2)

Sure, he crushed against overnight stock, but no. 9 Taurasi has shown promise all season long. He can hit a wicked-fast gear and can maybe offer an okay price since he’s against a likely favorite in No. 10 Bythemissal, who will try to roll from the outermost post. He’s capable of going the distance, but still has a few seconds to find. No. 5 Tattoo Artist has gone better efforts since trying to race from off the speed and can find himself into the mix late if he continues to try the new tactics. No. 4 Fourever Boy can sneak onto the ticket but would have to really speed up to catch some of these.

Selections: 9-10-5-4

Race 16 – NW$10,000 last four starts

Okay, we’re here. This is it. Wow. I cannot believe it. No. 6 Hurrikane Jonnyboy might be an alright get-out horse. He’s gone fast miles over the smaller track and could be ready to do some damage on the bigger track. No. 9 Brue Hanover will likely take play given he’s won four straight, but I wouldn’t want to settle on him if he goes the favorite. No. 4 Stonebridge Reef loves to get checks but struggles to win. A must-use in the exotics. No. 7 Good Rockin has the speed to contend with this group but he just cannot get to the line first for whatever reason. But he’s good enough.

Selections: 6-9-4-7

Coverage of the 98th Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks at Horse Racing Nation is made possible by a sponsorship from The Meadowlands.

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