This is Meadowlands Pace night, and there is a stakes laden card which starts at 6:20 PM EST. The night features three Pick 4's, the middle sequence starts in Race 8, and it has a $100,000 guaranteed pool. The last Leg is in Race 11, the $668,000 Meadowlands Pace, and that sequence will be my focus.

Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.

Race 8 (9:17PM ET)

2-Twin B Joe Fresh (9/2)-There are many who will single Sylvia Hanover, she is a great filly, but this Chris Ryder pupil should be a major player. Doesn't need to have the lead turning for the wire to win but should be racing near the top of the stack with this post draw. Gets a chance to get revenge on Sylvia after a 3rd place finish in the Fan Hanover and this time should be closer to the chalk throughout.

5-Slyvia Hanover (9/5)-This gal checks all the boxes, has won 11 of 12 lifetime and is 3 for 3 in 2023. The case could be made that she looks stronger as a sophomore but the one fly in the ointment might be first time racing at M1. Deserves respect but will hold back on complete devotion and use 2 others that appear to have a winning profile.

11-Strong Poison (3-1)-Came 3rd to Sylvia in the BC Final in October. There's no embarrassment to that and the question is whether Poison is a better horse now. My guess is yes. This is the 2nd time for Lasix after storming home with a 53.1 back half at HoP on 6-30. Obviously, this post could present a challenge but the 2 rail horses have gate speed. Yannick Gingras won't be bashful, he could get a decent seat and look to rally down the lane.

Race 9 (9:42PM ET)

1-Silver Label (5/2)-Liked her last week and she closed like a jet. Should get a cozy trip and likes to race near the top of the stack. Finished 4th in her first start of the season and in every race since has either won or finished second (9-5-3-0).

2-Grace Hill (2-1)-Surged up to take the lead and was no match late for the one above. Grace deserves respect, not only for winning the first 5 starts this year but she didn't race poorly last week. Still closed in 26.2 although finishing a distant 2nd to the winner who sizzled the last panel in 25.3.

5-Max Contract (10-1)-Will swing for a price with this Julie Miller trainee who draws well and had no chance from post 10 in last. Has a 148.3 mark here and tries Lasix for the first time. Has won 6 of 7 at M1 and if Andy Miller can work a solid trip this mare could surprise.

Race 10 (10:10PM ET)

2-Air Power (7/5)-Dexter Dunn gets the assignment and won't be 10 lengths back at the first call tonight. Should be closer to the lead turning for the wire and looks the part of a 7/5 chalk.

5-Gaines Hanover (4-1)-Last year's Breeders Crown Champion should get it all in gear for this race. Driver, Louis Roy is in from Ontario, and he can work a very good trip with this post draw.

7-Oh Well (3-1)-Has not won this year (0-4), but has been close, and was off about 4 weeks between the last 2 races. Might be overlooked at the windows and offer some value. Has hit the board in all 9 M1 starts and has 3 pictures (9-3-6-0).

Race 11 (10:41PM ET)

1-Fulton (8-1)-Dexter Dunn picks here over the #3 which was a bit of a surprise. Got an awful trip last week. Floated out wide into the opening turn and then stayed parked out into super fast fractions and had opportunities to get to the rail. The price is right to include and will respect the connections. The steer and finish should be better.

3-Christchurch (10-1)-Any horse who is pressed and goes a 52.1 half and ends with a 27.3 last panel to lose by only a length, has my respect. Yannick Gingras should be able to work a more efficient trip and is a main player unless last week took a heavy toll.

5-Confedrerate (6/5)-This is an outstanding 3-year-old and should be in the thick of things again. No doubt deserves to be the program chalk. But this is such a deep field and could be bet down off the morning line. Tim Tetrick will put this colt in play and give him a chance to cross the wire first.

My $.50 Middle Pick 4 Ticket

  • RACE 8: 2, 5, 11
  • RACE 9: 1, 2, 5
  • RACE 10: 2, 5, 7
  • RACE 11: 1, 3, 5
  • COST: $40.50

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