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Handicapping

  • Week Of 7/15 - 7/21
  • SU15
  • MO16
  • TU17
  • WE18
  • TH19
  • FR20
  • SA21
Track Handicapper James Witherite Bio

 

James Witherite, a lifelong fan and follower of harness racing, has made a career of it since 2006.  Following studies in music composition at Duquesne University and a seven-year stint as the racecaller at Harrah's Philadelphia, he moved his base of operations to Tioga Downs (and its sister track Vernon Downs) in 2014, where he not only is the lead broadcaster, but also the program handicapper and oddsmaker.  When not on the mic or calling the horses to post in a more musical fashion, the 30-year-old Pennsylvania native is an accomplished jazz organist. 

 

 

RACE REVIEWS by James Witherite


 

 

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment makes every  effort to post Race Reviews 48 hours before scheduled post time.  

Race Reviews For Saturday, July 21, 2012

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-8-7
H Horse Comment
1 KEEP GOING Raced better last week, showing speed on both ends of the mile. This field is wide open and he has a good a chance as any.
2 KAUFMAN HANOVER No excuse last time as this gelding just came up empty. His prior effort was good though. Mixed signals here.
3 MEGA LIGHTNING Like many in here, he is dropping in class, so I’m not sure how much of a drop it is. He ran out of steam in the lane.
4 EAGLE JOLT Gets the tepid call as the favorite in a wide open field. The drop in class is immense and his speed makes him dangerous.
5 RILEYS LUCK Just couldn’t stay close enough last week. Raced OK at this level on 7/7, but this field is much tougher. Must step it up.
6 GREAT VINTAGE Been facing a couple of tough fields and finished 2nd to the Meadowlands Pace runner-up on 6/30. Legitimate Threat.
7 SCOTTY MACH N His best asset is his speed and I expect Rattray to send him out. Caught a loaded field for this class. Still a player.
8 ART FOR ARTS SAKE He’s been close in each of his last couple of starts. The wide draw won’t help him. Like that he picks up Miller.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 LEGENDARY MYTH His QUA’s have been decent, but things haven’t worked out so far under the lights this year. Watch for improvement.
2 LEGAL DREAM Showed serious improvement in his last start, pacing a much faster mile. He has early speed too. Looks like a contender.
3 SAVANNAH SPLENDOR Got off to a slow start last week from the pole. He passed several horses in the stretch. Must stay closer early.
4 EIGHT TEN EOM Finally, he gets a good post position, and he is likely to take money on that alone. Lachance has options here. Player.
5 DOC TELLADAY He came from a tough spot last time and just flattened out in the stretch. He can improve off that. Should offer value too.
6 ROCK N ROLL LEGEND Added Lasix last time but he made a miscue. Gelding is yet to prove he can win at the big track. Up against it.
7 CROCODILE ROCK Showed speed last time before getting tired. He’s probably better from off the pace. With a trip, he can get a piece.
8 ONLY ROCK N ROLL He just has not been finishing his miles with a flourish and is now 0 for 9 on the year. He must find more in the lane.
9 MR POMPO Squandered a pocket trip last out, but he may have needed that start off the freshening. He is a candidate to improve. Upside.
10 HOT ART He certainly has put together a pair of nice rallies his last 2 starts. But, will he have to pass the whole field here? That’s tough.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 6-1-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKSTAR TEMPER Been facing better and he almost pulled off an upset against a better group on 6/23. Class drop will only help him.
2 HARRAH’S BEST Been struggling once again this year, following a winless 2011. He is hard to endorse until he shows improvement.
3 FOUR STARZ LOUIE Those last pair of starts were against solid fields for Nw6500. That makes this a major class drop. Should be tough.
4 BRANDON’S COLT He was 2nd to a big dropdown winner at this level in early June. If he can re-find that effort, he can win this. Player.
5 FROG JUICE New pilot has to find a way to keep him closer early. It’s nearly impossible to win when your 10th at ¾’s. This is a class drop.
6 CARSON CITY ROAD Raced well on Tuesday at Yonkers and that’s encouraging off a good effort at Tioga. Seems to be moving forward.
7 INCOGNITO Never got involved from post 10 last time. He has been rather dull for the past few weeks. Like that he gets Miller in this field.
8 TREY He was a little better last time, but he still isn’t finding enough in the stretch. But he has been progressing. Using in the dime super.
9 YOUTH UPRISING Doesn’t have much early speed and doesn’t finish his miles well. That’s a rough combination. Must step it up.
10 HE’S A BEACHBOY Gelding has a little bit of speed, but not sure how he is going to handle the long stretch. I advise watching this time.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 FROM ABOVE He was considerably better in The Dancer, that’s a positive step for him. Drew well and let’s see another step forward.
2 GYM TAN LAUNDRY His effort in The Goodtimes was encouraging, but he was not as good in The Dancer. Still, that was a fast mile.
3 ROYAL SHYSTER This colt cost a pretty penny at Harrisburg, and frankly he has been a disappointment. He was an excellent 2 year old.
4 NEW YORK MUSCLE Owns a win in Nw1 company. This is massive leap in class from there. Tackles several legit Hambo contenders.
5 RICCOLO Trond found his Hambo horse, in Illinois. Private purchase has been on a tear this year. Is he this good? Trond only helps.
6 MARKET SHARE I really like this colt. He seems to always come with a solid try. He likes this track and I think he could be tough to beat.
7 WEINGARTNER Colt really could not have looked any better in that QUA. He is on the fast track to Hambo, so a big effort is required.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 WESTERN TRADEMARK This is the right level, and you have to like the move inside. There are a handful of contenders, including him.
2 INTHEBLINKOFANEYE Speaking of contenders, it is hard to be much sharper than this gelding. He responded to the class drop, too.
3 FITZ’S Z TAM He has been facing tougher than this virtually all year, so this class drop is significant. Can easily jump up and win this.
4 KEVLAR HANOVER Disappointing in that series final and now has been off 3 weeks. He’s a fringe player in a very difficult field. Maybe.
5 MCELODIAN Never really got seriously involved last time. He should find himself in a live outer flow here. But, he’ll need to be better.
6 MCCLELLAND Been facing some of the better older horses in the game and catches some serious class relief here. He’ll be a handful.
7 RESCUE PLAN Like the speed he showed on both ends of the mile last time. Not sure he can win this, but he should be left on tickets.
8 SNIPER SEELSTER Beat a softer group on 6/30, but last time against similar he could only manage a minor award. Similar result here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 BULLET BOB Kicks off a tough field. He was good last time, and finished 2nd behind ‘Verdad on 6/30, who he meets again. Using a bit.
2 SHAKERATTLENROCK He is going to take play off his Meadowlands Pace lines, but he’s far from a lock here. Wouldn’t take short price.
3 MORTAL ZIN His past couple of starts have not been very productive and in a field like this, a major turnaround is required.
4 DIVULGE He brought a large sales price at the January Sale, and he is yet to perform to that price. Talented, but he needs to improve.
5 VERDAD It is not easy for a 3YO to face tough older condition horses, so his last effort was good. I think he is a major contender in here.
6 SOCIAL NETWORK He’s been facing older horses lately, so perhaps he can be better here. But, his tardy starts are becoming a concern.
7 COLD HEARTED SHARK Hard to be much sharper than this guy is for Team Teague. He should be a legitimate contender in here.
8 PRINCE SHARKA Exits the same race as ‘Network, so he should also appreciate the move to just 3YO’s. Can see him earning a share.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 OSCAR OSCAR Coming off a sick scratch. Prior to that he got buried inside behind and really had no chance. This field is a tad easier.
2 AVENUE HANOVER Making his 2nd start back off the layoff and he certainly wasn’t bad last time. I would keep him on dime super tickets.
3 BIG BAM RAY Renews his rivalry with Oscar here and he might be a bit sharper than that foe. He was able to stay closer on 7/7, too.
4 MEANT TO BE ME This horse has such a high cruising speed and he should improve in his 3rd start off the freshening. Interesting.
5 BOLERO ANDREW Nothing wrong with his last effort, except this field came up much tougher. He’ll need to be even better in here.
6 FREDDY DAY HANOVER He raced well against Blatantly Good, and just throw out his last start from post 8 at YR. Will offer a price.
7 WON THE WEST What do we expect here? He just has not been the same horse this year. He is likely to be favored. Scary proposition.
8 GRAMS LEGACY Showed up with a much improved effort last time and he likely will have to be even better here. Should offer value.
9 PANESTHETIC You always have to respect his speed and he is still pretty sharp. Can he take this field wire to wire? Tough assignment.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-8-2
H Horse Comment
1 D MAC Getting some class relief here, but he also hasn’t race in 5 weeks. Winner of last was a very good 3rd in The Meadowlands Pace.
2 ARTS IDEAL HANOVER That was a sharp qualifier to say the least. But, he has made breaks in his last 3 pari-mutuel races. Risky.
3 RELENTLESS DREAMER Has not handled the move up to Nw3 company very well. It would take a form reversal now to contend.
4 LLC DELIGHT He’s in the upcoming Mixed Sale so the connections are looking for a good effort. Still, he is a tough play off his last pair.
5 TAXED Threw in an uncharacteristic break last time. Although he has just one win this year, he should work out a trip from here. Value play.
6 MICHAEL’S DREAM He has not taken his Rosecroft form on the road with him and this field won’t make it any easier on him. Longshot.
7 ROCKWEILLER Nobody in this class was beating Brent Montana last time. This field has some talent in it as well. Prefer underneath.
8 MAJOR BOMBAY Could not overcome the mistake leaving the gate last week. If he has his mind on business, he will be a legit contender.
9 EVERGREEN POWER That was a big effort off the bench last time. Still the move from Nw2 to Nw3 is a demanding one. Mixed feelings.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 BEWARE OF DARKNESS He has been decent lately. Still, this field is tougher than what he has been facing. Must step up his game.
2 BLUE CLAW This looks like the kind of spot that he can make his presence felt. He is likely to take money in this spot. Win is possible.
3 STOPWATCH N Got aggressive last week against a tougher field and he came up short. This should be more to his liking. Clear contender.
4 HURRIKANE ANTHONY Steps up off a loss which is a tough angle to work with. Still, he is in better form than several of these. Maybe.
5 HIGH NOON He was just even last time, but that field was a bit stronger than this. He could work out a nice trip from here. Worth using.
6 WINDFALL BLUE CHIP He has been OK lately, although his last race was a bit disappointing. This field looks more manageable. I like him.
7 JIN DANDY He has not been able to find the form he showed over the winter and he hasn’t given a reason to expect big improvement.
8 ATTACK MODES BILLY His lack of early speed always makes him a tricky proposition, especially when he draws outside. Must stay close.
9 TAKESHIGEMICHI He continues to lose ground in the stretch and doesn’t have the early speed to overcome the wide draw. Longshot.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-2-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 CULLENS BLUE JEAN He has been decent of late, but hasn’t shown the knockout punch required to breakthrough. He is close though.
2 DA VISION OF ART Took all the money first time off the claim and showed up with a big effort. He should be a handful here once again.
3 EVENING JOB I guess this is a slight drop in class, but not by much. His form has been rather dull of late. He’ll need to improve to contend.
4 REMISSIONOFSINS He has been racing pretty well of late and now gets a bump up the class ladder. This field will be much tougher.
5 ART’S JIMMY RAY Just could not get to ‘Vision last time. If he can work out a live cover trip, I can see him getting a bit closer. Possible.
6 JOLT He has been facing better just about all season. But, his last effort isn’t very inspiring. He can wake up with the class drop. Maybe.
7 TOO MUCH PEPPER He is very sharp and there is no reason to expect any regression here. Most likely candidate to upset the favorite.
8 VEAL MARSALA He seems to have rounded back into form and he is interesting on the move into claimers. Not without a chance.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 10-2-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 CR FIXED ASSET He raced better on the move back down to this level. Draws the same outside post and merits win consideration here.
2 BLADE RUNNER Ran into a buzz-saw in Ideal Matters last time. That field wasn’t that strong otherwise, but he raced well. Contender.
3 AINTNOFOOLSGOLD Has put forth a series of even tries lately at Philly. Gelding is now 0 for 14 on the year though. Minor award possible.
4 POKER CHAMP Form has been rather dull of late and he hasn’t hinted at a turnaround yet. Retains longshot status for now.
5 PARTY FOR TWO His last pair of efforts have been an improvement and he draws well here. Expect him to work out a live cover trip.
6 T M TOP GUN Coming off a handful of dull tries and he doesn’t have much gate speed either. Have to watch for signs of improvement.
7 ONLY IN AMERICAN His effort from 6/13 at Philly wasn’t bad, but his other efforts are sluggish. Now 0 for 9 this year. Needs a turnaround.
8 ALA CARTE BILL His last pair of starts have been a bit better and while he is often at the mercy of pace and trip, he can hit the ticket.
9 JUMPIN JACK FLASH Shows a pair of wins lately which catches the eye in this field. Still, one was an amateur race, the other a soft field.
10 JOE DE FINO I am going to take a flyer on this guy. At time he has hinted at ability and he seems to have more upside than others in here.