One of the last big stakes programs of the season features freshmen on the precipice of turning three and aged horses on the verge of getting older. The Meadowlands holds the Fall Final Four stakes for freshmen of both sexes and gaits on Nov. 23, along with major events for the elders. Thursday and Friday features are Power Plays races.
TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch (H2W) list ensues. The H2W list releases promising contenders offering winners and on-the-board finishers helping to pump up exotics in crucial exotic-ticket spots.
Saratoga / R1—5
Thursday, Nov. 21
Our first Power Plays (PoP) feature is part of an afternoon double-header of harness hot picks. A lot of wagering action abounds and we have set up the attractions by using Saratoga and Philly in that order, so there are no conflicts in the sequence. Starting at noon, we offer the first five races at Saratoga, which include a Pick 5, Pick 3 (R3—5), Daily Double, Exactas, Triples and Superfectas. Choose wisely.
Antiguan Art was a dead-on favorite losing at this level last week but she deserved that posture after her Nov. 19 performance at 20-1 and with her class history on her side, post 6 may easily be dismissed as a problem. The public’s obvious play and low-price spoiler is Dw’sblissfulthinkin, but starting off a “Pick” stream with Antiguan Art’s win gets rid of many public members.
Rockin Desire was well-supported stepping up last out and makes sense again, though she won’t get the same admiration, a plus for us. Myeyesadoreya N is doing great since changing trainers and fits well with the improvements.
Sunshine Inn has won at this level, though DQ’d but shows remarkable consistency on this circuit, especially against elders (she is about to become one now, anyway). Her 49-1 failure last out was not embarrassing and should be tossed out. Her October outing, as a beaten favorite, is the key for supporting her here. Sea Change N returns from H2W list.
Seven Chapters is not the risk supposed due to a break at Freehold in a higher class and as the favorite. Since her price will be well worth it from every other aspect, expect the kind of improvement that puts her in the mix, if not in the winner’s circle.
Culinary Delight N would be on the H2W list for the second week were she not in this field. Under The Bus is almost always under the wire with the other two making the toteboard. She may be overlooked by the morning line’s poor predictions.
Philly / R 7—10
Thursday, Nov. 21
Saratoga’s PoP races should be over by 1:40 p.m. (Eastern), so we pick up PoP action around 2:25, the projected start for Race 7, which launches a 50-cent Pick 4.
Apocalypse had to qualify for all of her jumping while campaigning for her first win but look at how she sparkled at Harrington from post 7 on Oct 9 in a step above this class. From that we know she is capable of racing better than all of these persistent losers and her price here is bound to knock out a slew of tickets.
Armagedon Seelster coincidentally themes with the name of our Race 7 choice but regardless he fits in this race as an outside contender against a few of his common foes. He could surprise them all and come off the pace to win at a great price. Remember Dayson? He is now six and can overcome post 8 here with a smooth mile.
Single-race exotic players must see Muscle Defined as a blessing to the Exacta and Trifecta offered in leg three of four. He is a pro at this level and broke when a co-favorite, only to return and hit the toteboard again. He could defeat all of these and strongly.
Obvious reasoning, as is most common with handicappers and the morning-line maker at Philly, make Cajole Hanover a 20-1 shot. We would not leave him off any ticket, single- or multi-race. Joseph Poliseno (one of the poor reasons to reject this horse) handled this horse brilliantly at Pocono and tolerated its quirks when stepping up. This is a great spot for Poliseno to shine with a well-bred veteran of trotting that rebounds to its original class among lesser talent.
FALL FINAL FOUR
Saturday, Nov. 23
ANOTHER COLT CUP
The $401,850 Governor’s Cup for pacers involves second-tier frosh colts, giving them a chance for 11 o’clock honors this season. That is, if you consider Papi Rob Hanover a member of the also-raced class.
Only six left racing in the division for the last big purse, Brett Pelling’s “Papi” has little to handle here. Cattlewash is the penultimate threat, having raced with better than the other four—Captain Groovy, Father Nuno, Lake Charles and Mac’s Big Boy. Price, of course, will be prohibitive for Papi and Cattlewash may go off less than he has in his entire career.
The highest earner of the unfamiliar four is Mac’s Big Boy. He is followed by Lake Charles, then Captain Groovy. Father Nuno, who began his season with promise, failed to live up to expectations. “Big Boy” is the brightest of the dim possibility for an upset.
Eight filly trotters battle in the $475,100 Goldsmith Maid and they are a contentious bunch but only at their diminished level in the division. Sister Sledge outweighs them all in earnings and the company she kept. It is hard to predict if and how she can lose this on her own, because that’s the lone scenario beyond finding any reasons that the others will greatly improve. Senorita Rita has the best shot to upset but that does not say much for any other filly to change the obvious result.
Colt trotters number 10 in the $505,000 Valley Victory, a few of them familiar to the late season. Specifically, Amigo Volo comes into this fray with fireworks still launching from his Breeders Crown performances. He is the third-highest earner among both gaits in the division and his recent thunder makes him recognizable to bettors who helped him pay less with each start.
Our obvious lean is toward Rome Pays Off, who has paid off for us across the board and in juicy exotics. He has been on the brink of closing in on the big “Amigo” and if that one is challenged to duel here, Rome Pays Off could be the bigger amigo to smart bettors.
Frosh filly pacers go for $411,000 in the Three Diamonds. There are 10 fillies, led by Lyons Sentinel, who should be the public choice. In fact, the public choices may fall in line with earnings. If that is the case, Lyons Sentinel becomes the first choice, while Looksgoodinaromper and Marloe Hanover get the second and third spots, respectively.
We like that because we have another choice—The Bethinator. Julie Miller has this gal, by Somebeachsomewhere, in great racing shape. She has won five of nine starts and is fast enough and fresh enough to take on this class.
These co-features at the Meadowlands on Nov. 23 may not be the greatest races to wager if form holds pat. Still, we can look at them for upsets, though we should expect strong returns. For instance, in the $175,000 Mares Trot, with only five on hand, what good reason could anyone give for defeating Atlanta? All one can do is expect the unexpected, which in this case is Darling Mearas S from Ake Svanstedt. It has been a better earning year for her than Atlanta, so pass or play.
The Open Pace ($350,000) brings 10 stompers together, with a twist—Bettor’s Wish takes on a division of elders. Wait, though, the strapping sophomore is only a month or so away from being a member of this division. And this may be the chance to get a very good price on him. Another reason that is true is the fact that he may be better than all of them right now, prior to turning four. Anyone remember Artsplace?
Seven go to post in the $350,000 Open Trot, where another sophomore takes on elders, but only six. Gimpanzee is ready now to take on his 2020 division challengers and they all fall short of his earnings. Even Six Pack, who leaves for stud duty after this race and even Manchego, the mare trotter who has found extra oomph in the division’s final few. Let’s get a better price on Gimpanzee.
The $175,000 Mare Pace presents Shartin N, who returned to beating all of her foes after letting two-straight races go to Caviart Ally. The nine-horse field becomes interesting with the inclusion of another “youngster.” Warrawee Ubeaut takes on the madams but we do not see her as the kind of threats in the other races with sophs. This is a pass or play situation, so if you play, look for the outsider in the bunch that may be overlooked. We expect that to be Divas Image.
Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.
11/22/19, +Alacrity R4; Lunar Credit R6; Traverse Seelster R6
11/22/19, Bunkerhill Bill R4; Picket Hanover R5
11/23/19, Bertha Vanation R9; Fred And Roz R9; Lickcreek Speedway R9; +Outlawintriguedbyu R10
11/22/19, Lucky Seven Oflodi R1; Colonys Best R5; Mildrix R6
11/21/19, Hug The Wind N R8; +Sweet Rock R10; Voyager R11; Thuban R13
11/22/19, +Jimbelina R8; You Mach Me Crazy R8
11/22/19, +Rootin Tootin R5
11/22/19, +Mississippt Rabbit R4; +Poacher N R5; +Sometimesawinner R11; +Hoosier Paco R13
11/21/19, This Or That R4
11/23/19, Gold Record R4; Zenolas Art N R8; +Love Forbidden R11
11/22/19, Naturalle Muscle R1; Isaacs Ideal R2; Man Of Fire R2; Townline Momma R3
11/21/19, Big Bad George R1; Guiltywithanexcuse R2
11/21/19, Miss Irish Rosa A R6
11/21/19, Stormin Spree R6
11/21/19, Top Of The Mark R1; Shane Adam R3; Feel Invincible AS R8
11/23/19, +Sports Column R3; +San Domino A R6