“Expert” Handicappers thoughts on the Meadowlands Pace

My Full Card Analysis can be found Tiger’s Saturday July 14th Full Card, but below is thought’s from Numerous astute handicappers…….enjoy

Dave Brower….

1 A Rocknroll Dance might have gotten exactly what he needed from last week’s elimination: a mostly locked-in kind of trip that could have him fresher and fitter for the final. Admittedly, Gingras said in press notes that his colt wasn’t “at his best” in the elim, but I feel the post and plot from the rail make him the perfect upset choice. With most of the speed from the inner half of the field, Gingras can orchestrate the journey he wants and IF he shakes free, watch out late!

4 Sweet Lou is still the horse to beat, even after his less-than-sterling elimination win, but guess what, folks: he still won! Good horses find ways to win, and the only difference this time will be the gameplan to get him there. Palone wants to race him from off the pace and that will likely happen. But, is he the kind of colt that can grind up first over and beat a field of this quality? We’ll find out….
3 Heston Blue Chip intrigues me, but also baffles me a little bit. We got to see him at the Med for the first time last week and he delivered a truly gutsy effort, despite being hard on the bit throughout. That will catch up to him, eventually, but maybe not yet. I project him as the likely pacesetter here and if he shows up with the same guts as last week, he’ll be a very tough customer to get by. However, he must fend off several solid foes to become a Pace champion.
5 Bolt The Duer figures to be overbet, off his obvious bad trip in the elim. No problem, but no value. From post five, it will be hard to get past Heston early and it might force MacDonald’s hand into being overaggressive. If Mark gets patient and waits to follow Lou, then I’d be much more interested in investing in his corner.


Rusty Nash….

Last weeks elimination winners selected posts 3 and 4. Mid gate is always preferred in big money races where there should be plenty of action.

A tip of the hat here for ML odds maker Darin Zoccali as this is really a tough one. The fifth place finisher in both elim was only 1.5 lengths out!

Last week they were all competitive to the line which is a bit unusual if the drivers used all the gas in the tank. That makes prior lines a bit more important.

Lets take a look at all of them very quickly:

#1 A Rocknroll Dance does project out the best. He was visually the best out at Pokie winning the Hempt from the 8 hole. The rail is the main concern. We need him to be able to get into the race.
#2 Pet Rock has had a decent season. Take away the break a month ago and he has had a great six weeks leading up to this.
#3 Heston Blue Chip rewarded us last week at $10. I do not think he survives an engine trip fighting off multiple challengers.
#4 Sweet Lou made the quarter move last week and held off #1 A Rocknroll Dance. That might work tonight, but I would prefer a covered trip which Palone would have a good shot at working out.
#5 Bolt The Duer has been prepping for this very nicely. Last week he moved early then was able to hang in there and be only a length behind. I think he improves off that effort and may have a chance to follow #4 Sweet Lou as long as that one does not gun early.
#6 Simply Business appears to have woken up last week with the addition of lasix. He was a good 2 year old and may be one of the livest longshots in here.
#7 Thinking Out Loud is the NA Cup winner who had a week off after that win, an easy Q mile training trip and a great prep.
#8 State Treasurer was first up against elim winner Sweet Lou and really hung in the quite well. I doubt he will be first over, but if we get really quick fractions he has a decent chance to get on the ticket at a big price.
#9 Time To Roll tried the quarter move last week and could not hold off the pack. His best game is coming from off the pace so if we can play State Treasurer then we can also use this guy.
#10 All Legendhas also been great for the last month. I played him in the Hempt final at 12-1 two weeks ago and we just missed. He does need to be closer to the front, so I make him the least likely winner who was only beat a length last week.

Our Play:
Most likely I will pass this race as I simply am not able to zero in on a solid key. If you are playing the P3, you need to use them all (pressing the two elim winners and extra time or two).
If you forced me to make a play, I would avoid the underlays on a strictly value basis. That would mean tossing both of last weeks winners from the top of my ticket. I would most likely land on a dime super play with only the 1-6-7 on top and ALL on the bottom. How I fill in the two middle slots will be the trick. It will be a near post time decision.


Walt Majowicz…….


1. Thinking Out Loud – top driver & trainer.  in post race interview last week Waples said he lost about three lengths due to locking wheels. Also said that horse has high gate speed that has not been used to date. Should get good cover trip to take advantage of a likely contested quick  pace with lead changes.

2. Sweet Lou  – the logical favorite and one to beat. Should be tighter this week. Likely to brush down the backstretch.  Can he hold on?

3. A Rockinroll Dance – Good early speed and should be close up throughout  and could trip out.

Value Play

Bolt the Duer – Very competitive versatile horse always there at the end.  Looked like he was  blocked in the stretch last week  that prevented him from reaching his top speed. Should be a good value as money will likely flow to my top three choices.



My pick was going to be A RocknRoll Dance after watching the impossibility of securing a clear path when stuck in behind Sweet Lou last Saturday until clearance came too late. However, after watching the second division rerun several times, I am firmly convinced that the incident involving Pet Rock and Thinking Out Loud in the stretch, when Sears put a wheel under Waples, cost the horse the win. This horse has somekinda motor once rolling as evidenced in the N.A. Cup. You know how good Pierce is in big money events…..all Waples has to do his get him covered by Pierce and he WILL be lead into the promised land.

Thinking Out Loud will win the Meadowlands Pace.



Arch Glenn……….

This event looks to me like it could be one of the most competitive in years.  There are ways to figure that could include any of the inside seven post positions as the winner.

With that said, I’m promoting the #6, Simply Business as the best value here.  I point to two of his last five starts, that if repeated, and maybe slightly improved upon, could result in seeing team Takter, and Rockin Ronnie in the winners circle.

The start on June 2nd in the NJSS final saw him saddled with the 9 post, and he was out the entire mile, finishing 3rd by a neck, the last half coming in 54.3.  The start in the July 7th elimination saw him pull at the half from 7th, nearly 7 lengths back, to finish 3rd by 3/4, timed his last half on the outside in 53.2. 

A good cover trip, combined with Pierce pulling the plugs, and hitting the switch at the right time, will reward his supporters with a mutuel I believe should be in the range of $50-$60.


Jim Magno (Freestate regular back in the day.)

My selection

This race shapes up as a very competitive race. It is one of the best betting races since the event switched to 10 horse field. Does anyone recall Niatross winning from the second tier? For chalk players, you will get a decent price on Sweet Lou but if you want to go elsewhere Heston BlueChip is another fuzzy that really figures with Tetrick. My pick is Thinking Out Loud. He lost monetum briefly in stretch but I expect that connections were delighted that he kept pacing through the wire

The Price Play

The story of M Pace 2012 is the depth of the crop and the depth of this field. Larry Karr and Ron Burke said as much on draw day. The wise guy play might be Bolt the Duer since he was lacking room last week. I can not disagree. However, I am going with State Treasurer and Dave Miller.  This guy had second thoughts about leaving gate on June 2 and May 3. This guy figures to get more of a one run trip. Let’s see if he can close the deal perhaps coming off Waples helmet late. Same scenario could work for inexperienced Time to Roll – front end might have confused him last week off the three week rest.


Jim VanBoven……

A Rockin Roll Dance is my choice although I  am not a huge Gingras fan the horse got an easy trip last week and was digging in at the wire. With the rail he will get good position and I think Heston Blue Chip and Sweet Lou will get locked up in a speed duel. Look for Waples horse late.


Turnpike Ted…….

#2  Pet Rock – Unlucky 2 of 3. Rare break NA Final. Interfered in elim, still 3rd. W/clean trip, upsets at 12-1.

My plays for the pace will be exacta partwheels 2,5,7 over 2,3,4,6,7



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