February 2020 offers some more action than in 2019. Pocono opens, sharing a rich herd of contestants, equine and human, with the Meadowlands and Yonkers as it presents a wider choice for our selected feature events and Power Plays (PoP). Do your own handicapping and respect our off-the-beaten-track opinions to spike your to your cashing.
Profitable possibilities return in our H2W (horses-to-watch) list. H2W selections supply bettors with sharp finishers for win, place, show and most single- or multi-exotic races.
Freehold / Race 3, 4
Thursday / Feb. 6
No wins were recorded by any of the eight in this field yet this season, so room for interpretation of their prowess in their new age group may be more obvious than later, when they each form patterns racing. Plus, the conditions have been set in the Trackmaster mode, which is questionably reliable when gathering fields.
Obvious as it may be, Miriam Kraemer’s Stick That Lip Out has a great chance to take this field for fun. Last week, sharing the favorite status, Stick That Lip Out battled wide for the lead and held it into the stretch, battling a closing foe, until passed by three others that had much better trips. From post 2 here, she should not be an overwhelming first choice, though she has hit the board two of four times, since the Surick-Miller team has a pacer on board. That horse, Belladonna Zette, may wind up to be of value in an exacta with Stick That Lip Out on top.
Race 4 is a conditioned trot where Mocedes Boy may be the best value, escaping the betting public’s pockets for Erv Miller. Dropping a notch, one of three winners in the field, he was 8-1 last week with a bad start, breaking too late to force a recall. He was quick to get back on gait and gain a whole bunch to three-quarters and maintaining steadily to finish fifth.
Mocedes Boy has competition for betting status, including Getting Messi and Full Rights. Those could battle for the public’s top choice and would be great criss-crosses for a trifecta and good sharing exacta co-starring spots.
Yonkers / Races 1, 2
Friday / Feb. 7
You may find a few exotics in which to use the pair of entries we support in the Daily Double that launches tonight’s program but we endorse them both to win.
Steve Said has lost three straight in the early season but his most recent at the Meadowlands should be tossed, as not representing how he may race here. At 17-1, the Andrew Harris-trained pacer showed less interest in participating than if he were qualifying for a slow time. Having signs of life and being a member of the hot Harris barn, Steve Said is a classic sleeper that may awake on the two turns and do so to start the Daily Double off with few tickets alive.
The second half of the Daily Double features a sharp student of Nick DeVita, whose early performers have warmly affected his standing among trainers. Nick’s Armbro Courage N is in a perfect spot to take this field at a good price. The obvious crowd choices will be overbet for their connections, setting up a fine toteboard rumble with Nick’s gruffly pacer.
Pocono / Races 3, 5, 6, 8
Saturday / Feb. 8
The first weekend of the 2020 Pocono meet could offer some good bargains, overlays, and sharp miles for those outside of the public interest. In celebration of the track’s opening and great collection of fields, here is our extended analysis of features we deem worthy a look.
Winning Gene drew post 8, which may not dowse his performance and certainly would enhance any exotic combo where he finished. He’s one of four trotters beginning their seasons and comes off of a qualifier performance that shouts he means business.
Heartbreak Hill’s qualifier was impressive; he came in second to Captain Malicious. This was a seriously talent-packed prep (it included McBoogitty—see H2W 10th race). Bruce Clarke stock may be underestimated by local fans of the usual suspect conditioners.
BJs Guy finished second at Monticello last week and that was a good prep for shipping to race at the larger track. It is not the step-up move some players may think, it’s a level in which he belongs; trainer Robert Lounsbury has him sharp right now, when we may get him at bargain odds.
Cheyenne Reijane sat an easy trip in his qualifier on Feb. 3 but gained ground to come in third while the first two hit the wire at the same time. Darren Taneyhill won’t go under the wire for us as a trainer sending some value into the Pocono mix.
Pompano / Races xxxxx
Sunday / Feb. 9
Wallyworld IV continues the challenges at Pompano, backing horses not driven by local-hero Wally Hennessey in search of odds better than the Wally produces thanks to chalk bettors favoring a driver over more important factors.
Fritzie Pic Up Man is sitting on another win and should get a strong cover trip and take this one at a decent price.
Wally has two choices here and we’ll try to beat whichever he goes with by backing Ira Chief, who from the rail could get home with an easy trip.
Wally is offered one of a quartet to drive in a five-horse pace, so we eliminate all of them and support Rockin Machine from the rail.
War-n-munn always puts in a great effort for trainer Kevin Wallis and is our choice to beat Wally’s ride.
Wally has a single choice, an obvious one, and we bet against him again, this time with Garrett’s Guide from the outside.
An Open Handicap trio is available to Wally. Our choice is Brigadierbronski, already one win for two starts and a candidate for a perfect-trip score.
An old friend once told me, “Always bet a horse with the word Spanish in its name.” We don’t buy what magic the word may bring but we do endorse Spanish Art in this mile.
Wally does not plan to go home early; he’s listed on three in the final race of the program. Our money is on Grand Galop Semalu.
Review our choices and confirm the wagers available at the prescribed track. H2W offers possible contenders researched from reviewing races. Horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track with the date of their race and the race number (R6 ) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it appears on the list for the second time (horses are listed twice only if, at first, they failed to win. An “ae” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment.
2/8/20, Perapps Knot Yett R5; Myells Rockstar R7; +Bahama Bay R8; Blue On Black R9; Duneside Sport R11; +Littlebitaclass R12
2/7/10, +Stylemaster R1; Why Why R3
2/8/20, +Tabbat McRey R2
2/6/20, Goldberg R6; Bo Mach R12
2/6/20, +Book The Bet R6
2/7/10, +Balfast N R9
2/7/10, +Fast Lane Denali R2; +Special And Unique R4
2/9/20, +Working Class Hero R6
2/8/20, Its Just Too Much R3; +Glenferrie Dreamer R4; +Rock Of Cashel R7; +Declan Seelster R9
2/7/10, +Sandy Win R10
2/8/20, +Stendahl Hanover R5; Captain Trevor R10; Captain Mulzac R11
2/7/10, +Kings Beach R4; +Shooters Dream R5; +Poacher N R7; +Mommas Jolt R7; +Bergerac ae R8
2/7/10, +Chasing Madi R6; +Up Front Flor Ida R8; +You Look Hot R12
2/8/20, +Big Pink R1
2/6/20, +Quint Largo R4; Nippy R7
2/8/20, Scarlet Desire R2; Vow To Wow R7
2/8/20, City Hall R9; McBoogitty R10; +Sweet Beach R11
2/9/20, +Smart Talker R1
2/6/20, +Sugar And Spite R8
2/6/20, +Quite A Delight N R2
2/7/10, Zooez Boy Henry R5; An Allstar R5; +Quite A Sight R11
2/10/20, +Mark With a K R6