Tactical blunders from trainers, horse's who aren't what they used to be, bad drives, or it is what it is and that's racing?
Maybe it was a bit of everything.
That was a fascinating Meadowlands Pace, and it was pretty frustrating for bettors.
From the rail out:
A Rock n Roll Dance - A bike change which helps when you want to show speed, a score out and a pretty solid, handy horse. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Pet Rock - A pretty sound animal, who was also scored out, showing some intent to leave. Second place.
Heston Blue Chip - He was fired up leaving hard last week, so I bet dollars to donuts the barn did not want to fire him up off the gate. That was a mistake, and they paid for it, because this horse raced really well.
Sweet Lou - He had a head nod in the post parade and he was given words of a phrase that result in the worst ROI known to man for harness bettors: "he needs a helmet". That's code speak for, "we are not sure why he isn't racing as well, so we'll try him from off the pace." If you haven't been betting this game for awhile, trust me, run when you hear those words. Having said that, Lou raced pretty well off the no chance trip.
Bolt the Duer - I handicapped him to leave. He didn't. I don't know why. It's not like it's the first time I've been wrong.
Simply Business - Didn't leave, didn't get a call.
Thinking Out Loud - Randy was thinking, and thinking pretty well. "No one is leaving, so I better get my ass in gear". I thought he could've tucked behind Brian instead of going to the three hole, but at least he left for some position in crawling fractions and gave his horse a shot.
State Treasurer - To the back, up the rail. No shot to win.
Time To Roll - Andy did not even make the gate. He went right to the back. I was sure they were going to take a shot. How can you win this race from last?
Allstar Legend - Jim Morrill, who was aggressive all night was again, and it paid off. It's not often in a huge race you see a 99-1 shot on top and not back through the field. He came third. Well done. He gets a gold star.
What I think we saw tonight was a reflection of a few things:
You've got some very wary trainers and drivers, because horses are getting chewed and some look they may not last the year. The speed these horses have been asked for is pretty ridonkulous, and they ain't machines. As well, I think you saw some overthinking. Remember when everyone said whoa in Donato Hanover's Hambo win (he got a 58 and change half) because of a track everyone thought was closer biased (it really wasn't). I think that's what happened again.
There is no denying it, the card was poor for bettors. When you have a top track that's carding its best card and John Campbell and George Brennan are not even there, it spells trouble.
Googoo Gaagaa broke again. Perhaps he is sore after a few fast miles. Trotters are particularly difficult to keep sound when they go big speed.
Check Me Out showed some flash tonight, for the first time (in my opinion) this season. I didn't play her. I thought Miller's horse had some pop.
Remember last week when we talked about American Jewel not quite looking as good on the track at Pocono? I think she's not very sharp. She was beaten and had little fight. If you watch the last fifty yards, her strides are really, really short.
Despite the weird Meadowlands Pace, it was still a good betting race, and there is no denying that. Take for example if you handicapped the fact that so many would go to the back. You see Yannick and Brian score out from good posts, you take some 12-12's. Boom, you can make $25k with a modest investment.
Hurrikane King Cole again showed he's one of the fastest pacers, if not the fastest pacer of 2012. The problem with him, is that he keeps winning races with small purses.
The more I look at this crop the more I think Warrawee Needy - if they are not too hard on him - can kick everyone's ass from August 15th onwards.
Note from twitter tonight via Jody Jamieson:
That's some gossip there harness fans!
Have a great morning everyone.