Sat night cards could weather the storm
While many sports enthusiasts are eagerly looking forward to the National Football League conference championship games on Sunday afternoon, standardbred racing fans will be hopeful that a pending winter storm does not nix the cards at Yonkers Raceway and The Meadowlands on Saturday night.
In Saturday's opener at Yonkers - assuming that they have an opening race - look for Ronny Bugatti (Jordan Stratton) to garner his first win of the campaign following a pair of second-place efforts. Last week in a similar non-winners of $12,000 last five starts event Ronny Bugatti raced first over into a 56 flat back half and gained the place spot behind Stolen Car, one week after finishing second in a tougher non-winners of $18,000 last five class.
Then one race later in the second look for Freespin N (Jason Bartlett) to notch his first win of the season in a non-winners of $12,000 last five split. He gets ample class relief after finishing eighth from post eight against non-winners of $18,000 last five company, one week after opening the season against non-winners of $25,000 last five rivals.
Then several races later in the fifth, give Caution Signs (Matt Kakaley) a serious look from the rail in this non-winners of $18,000 last five event. Last week in a tough non-winners of $25,000 last five class won by Sunfire Blue Chip, Caution Signs got away third and raced first over down the backside and settled for third. He should be handled much more aggressively from the rail this week.
Then two races later in another non-winners of $18,000 last five split, look for Stolen Car (Tyler Buter) to continue his winning ways despite the modest class hike. In each of his first two starts this year at Yonkers, Stolen Car has prevailed against slightly lesser but last week he scored in sharp, first over fashion.
Then two races later in the ninth, an oddly-written non-winners of $19,400 last five starts class, look for Validus Deo (Bartlett) to notch his second straight tally. Last week he bested non-winners of $18,000 last five company and can win again here and still come right back at this level next week. The race does appear written for Gallactic Galleon who just fits under the condition.
Then several races later in the finale, give Drunken Desire A (Kakaley) the nod over Sunfire Blue Chip in this tough non-winners of $25,000 last five class. Drunken Desire A gets some class relief after facing Open Handicap and Preferred Handicap foes in each of his first two starts and draws inside Sunfire Blue Chip who was a sharp winner at this level here last week after exiting the Open at The Meadowlands.
Speaking of the Meadowlands, a pair of races just past the midway point of the card look very playable.
In the eighth, a non-winners of $11,500 last five group, give Winds Of Change (Brett Miller) the slight edge over Yonkers mainstay Sapphire City (John Campbell) who makes his seasonal debut in this spot.
Then one race later in the ninth, a non-winners of $15,000 last five event, look for Kingofthejungle (Andy Miller) to regain his winning ways in this spot. Kingofthejungle exits the Open dominated in recent weeks by Bushwacker and returns to a class that he won during a three-race win streak capped by a victory in the Open.