Untitled Page


  • Week Of 1/6 - 1/12
  • SU6
  • MO7
  • TU8
  • WE9
  • TH10
  • FR11
  • SA12
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 Friday, January 11, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 8-4-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 VODKA IS TERROR Was on a nice streak until making an uncharacteristic break last time. Note, he was favored in that spot. Rebounds.
2 UPFRONT TICKET He just was never a factor in his first start of the meet. I think he is better than that. Still, he needs to improve.
3 KINGS POINT GRAD Last pair of starts were an improvement, but this is a whole new ballgame. Likely battles for a minor award.
4 BESTJETYET I was impressed with his first start back off the substantial layoff. If he can build off that effort, he is a legitimate contender.
5 STAR CHASER He has an awful lot of speed for Burke. The connections are likely to take plenty of money. Can he go wire to wire here?
6 EL BRAVO Going from a $10,000 claimer to this is just about as big a class drop there is. Longshot would need to take a big move forward.
7 INTERVENTION Welcome to The Meadowlands, Marcus Miller. Horse’s first 2 starts off the layoff just don’t stack up. He needs to improve.
8 CONNERY BLUE CHIP This gelding has some serious ability and his driver is consistently improving. Needs a trip, but can win this.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 MY LAST TRI Things didn’t work out from that wide draw last time. From this point he can stay closer. Toss him on the bottom of exotics.
2 ONE THROUGH TEN Could he have looked any better last week? Dominated that group. He will be a deserving favorite in this series.
3 MY SUGAR DADDY Outraced his odds last time to earn a check. Waters get a bit deeper now in this hidden class hike. Will need more.
4 DEFYING GRAVITY Nothing wrong with the effort he put forth last time. Looks like the biggest threat to the favorite. Can he beat One?
5 PRINCE SHARKA The move from a C-1 to this series is a substantial class hike. In addition, he was just fair in the race. Needs a lot more.
6 ROCKWEILLER Raced well here at times last year when in the Burke barn. Hard to see him winning this off his defeat at Rosecroft.
7 EVERGREEN POWER Made a break last time, but like ‘Prince, this is a serious move up in class. Hard to recommend in this spot.
8 ETHAN HANOVER An astute claim as he was nominated to this series. The most interesting horse in the race can earn at least a share.
9 MAN HE CAN SKOOT Continues to get hit with outside draws. This gelding won 16 of 31 starts last year. That’s not easy to toss out.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 THE GREEN KNIGHT I actually liked him on 12/29 prior to the scratch. But this is much tougher on paper. He should offer a price here.
2 MR DENNIS Just never got involved last time from a wide draw. Connections were aiming for this spot. That mile on 12/16 stands out.
3 SHAWS CREEK BUFF He was 7/5 last time but ended up in an impossible spot. He has every right to be better here. Price will be better.
4 DIAL A WIN See how ‘Connery did in the first division. Qualifier was respectable. Not he was 25-1 against ‘Dennis on 12/16. Tricky read.
5 CEE PEE PANIC Showed plenty of early speed from post 10 last time. This is a perfect draw and Burke has a tightener under his belt.
6 ARTS IDEAL HANOVER Loomed up on the outside but then fell into a bad habit by going off-stride. He’s better than that. Rebounds.
7 VARSITY HANOVER Got aggressive from the widest draw and it didn’t pay off. Slightly better post, another tough field .Not sold here.
8 BIG RED Not a bad try in his last, but at the same time that’s not good enough to win this race. Must step it up from here. Tough spot.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 STRETCH LIMO Nice confidence builder last time. This is a step up in class though. He might be turning a corner. Could offer some value.
2 AS YA’LL LIKE IT Last pair of starts were a step back. Previous form was sharp, but against lesser than this. Not sure he’s at this level.
3 MACHO LINDY Not a bad try last time at this level. His prior efforts were against some pretty tough groups. He fits well in this spot.
4 STAND GUARD Taking the modest drop from B-1 to B-2. Not sure if he is exiting a strong heat. Winner of last was 5th in A-2 next out.
5 R SAM He looks like the longshot of the group given his last four starts. But I do caution, he likes this track and the turnaround will come.
6 RINGSIDE LAUREN Recent form has been rather dull. Mare has been all over the class ladder recently. She needs a form reversal.
7 MY LEAP OF FAITH He hasn’t won in some time, but his last start was better. Post 7 here is easier than at Philly. He can move forward.
8 DW’S NY YANK That was a big qualifier and the horse he beat was an impressive winner in his first start. Likely to take money here.
9 TASTY MAX He didn’t do that much in that qualifier and he will likely need a start to hit his best stride. Watching very closely in here.
10 REAL BABE Made almost $150k without a win last year. Runner-up from that Qualifier races Thursday, so keep tabs. Needs a start?
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 RINGO He has been on quite a roll in Delaware lately. He catches a really good division here. But he’s part of the depth in here. Contender.
2 YANKEE DOODLE JIM Not sure those miles on the half at Maywood stack up against this tough group. Feel he is up against it in this spot.
3 EYES ONLY FOR YOU Can’t knock any horse that has won 50% of his career starts. Winner from last was 2nd to ‘Cards next out. Player.
4 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS I thought he would win a bit easier. That being said, winning is winning. He will be very tough in this series.
5 ARTHUR That was a very nice qualifier and this gelding might be the value of the field. Buter has him primed and ready. He’s a force.
6 BULLET BOB He went some big miles here last year. Showed some improvement in his 2nd qualifier. Is he ready for this. Tricky call.
7 WHO DAT LOVE He wasn’t much of a factor in his first start of the meet. Race timed in 1:51, but his form has gone the wrong way.
8 TIGER IN THE TANK Good to see him finish in 27.4 in that qualifier. See how ‘Connery did in the first race. Not sure he is ready for this.
9 SCREEN THE CALL That’s a good looking qualifier at Dover. Runner-up was 0 for 20 in 2012 though. Is he ready off the long layoff?
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 EQUITY He had a very nice season. When at his best, he can compete at the Preferred/Winners Over level. Loved his last ¼ in that QUA.
2 LUCKY ROLL He was a bet-back for me. Caught traffic in the stretch but was motoring when free. He still might offer a bit of value here.
3 HARBOR POINT This is the wild card. He never seemed happy on the track last week. But if he rebounds, he can win this. Plenty of talent.
4 BAD BOY BILLY Another gelding that should offer some value in here. His lifetime mark came right here. He might work out a decent trip.
5 SPECULATION Another that I marked as a bet back off his belated rally last time to just miss. If he builds off that, he will be a factor again.
6 ROSE RUN HOOLIGAN Really didn’t see any excuse last week. Had perfect trip, just got outkicked by Ice Machine. Could be better now.
7 STIR ME UP It appears he has reached a level that is just too high. I will look for him when he drops to the B-1/B-2 level. Not yet.
8 CELTIC MERCHANT His qualifier was just fair and his form before the 2 weeks off was a bit flat. I am going to watch a race first.
9 WALDORF HALL Worked out a trip and pulled off the mild upset last time. He is not likely to get the same trip tonight. Use underneath.
10 CHICK N TELL Pulled off a 33-1 shocked last time. Now moves to post 10 and steps up. Positive driver change though. Mixed feelings.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 CUZ SHE CAN Enters this off a sick scratch and a tough trip from post 10. Moves inside but this level looks a bit high for her right now.
2 MOJARRA HANOVER Bongiorno got everything out of this mare to hold on last time. She is in peak form but this race is even tougher.
3 ARGUMENT HANOVER This mare had no chance from post 8 and then got hammered at the windows. She is in excellent form. Tough.
4 CHIEF KAREN Speaking of sharp, this mare is razor sharp. She doesn’t pack any gate speed, but she can find the outer flow from here.
5 MJ’S BID Roughed it first over last time. If Miller can work out a trip, this mare could reverse her misfortune from last time. Contender.
6 RHAPSODY ROSE She was aggressively steered last time and it didn’t pay off. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a change in tactics here.
7 ALL ABOUT KISSES This mare didn’t do much from a favorable draw last time and now moves outside. Hard to recommend this time.
8 RUB THING She was driven to the lead, but didn’t have anything left for the stretch drive. She will need to find more in a tougher spot.
9 QUEEN OF ROYALTY Chased the foe to her outside in that qualifier. She has some recent class in her lines and she wouldn’t be a shock.
10 MYSTICAL VICTRESS This mare has plenty of class to her and her form prior to her brief vacation was excellent. She will be a handful.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 SYNERGY SEELSTER Had just too far to come from a tough spot last time. She can stay closer from here and I expect improvement.
2 SHAKY HANOVER Gets some needed class relief, but her recent form is lacking. I need to see improvement before I can consider.
3 NITE GAMES Off a sick scratch a dull effort is not usually a combination I look to endorse. Watching this start looking for improvement.
4 GROUNDED Appeared overmatched last time so she is getting some necessary class relief. I might wait for a turnaround with her as well.
5 REILLY’S DAUGHTER I am going to take a shot with her. She loves this track and qualified behind a good one last time. The pick here.
6 SLEAZY DOES IT Took a tour of the track last time and was finishing up OK. I expect her to show some improvement. Interesting.
7 HONEY DO JIGTIME Coming off back to back wins at Dover where she was ignored at the windows. I think this is a step up. Watching.
8 DELIGHTFUL DIVA This mare has plenty of back class and her qualifier was pretty sharp as well. She likes this track too. Could be tough.
9 GO ON BB I believe this is her final lifetime start. She will need to work out a trip from here. Does she have one more big race in her?
10 ONE NIGHT Made a move to the lead but was just even paced in the stretch. Her effort from 12/28 makes her a contender in here. Tricky.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 JL ROCKIN JAKE Enters this off a break and a sick scratch. Hasn’t raced in over a month as well. I will want to watch at least one start.
2 SPICE IT UP LINDY Put forth a nice rally to just miss last time at this level. That was a good effort. No reason not to include in this spot.
3 LONG STORY SHORT Allard has a sharp horse here. Toss out the effort from post 8 at Yonkers and he hasn’t missed a beat. Using.
4 PROUD MOMENT Caught a bit of a shuffle last time. That was his first start over the track this year. Expecting an improved effort tonight.
5 REV IT NOW Geldings form tends to go in and out. Has a perfect post, but I think he will need to work out an ideal trip to earn a share.
6 FLASHY LADY I really liked her qualifier. She closed out her year at Saratoga quite well also. This is the perfect spot. She’s a handful.
7 MOHEGAN HANOVER Got to a level that he appreciated last time. I feel this a step up, but when Miller gets a trotter going, they stay good.
8 JON WIN Qualifier was good, but his racing record recently is rather sporadic. I am going to watch this one as Tetrick opted off here.
9 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY Defeated Jon Win in that qualifier with a perfect trip. Prior form was lacking a bit. Watching one here as well.
10 SHANTY IRISH Clearly her last qualifier was a step in the right direction. But off 4 months and from post 10, I think it’s best to wait a race.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-3-10
H Horse Comment
1 WESTERN TSUNAMI He had a bit of late pace last time and now slides inside in a congested field. Stays closer and he is a contender.
2 IMAGE OF DAWN The now 14YO millionaire kicks off his final year on the track and he is razor sharp. This is a class hike. Possibility.
3 POWER SURGE Keep an eye on this gelding because he had a bit of pace late in that mile last time. Improved effort wouldn’t shock me.
4 LADY’S BIG MAN Added Lasix last time and he finished a bit better. Now he steps up in class. I guess he would be a surprise now.
5 NF INDEPENDENCE Steps up in class off a dull effort when claimed. It’s hard to see him improving enough to consider in this spot.
6 FOUR STARZ ALEX His form seems to be trending in the wrong direction which is problematic. Watching carefully for improvement.
7 STORMIN RUSTLER He is stepping up in class, but he was very good on opening night. Tepid call as the favorite in a wide open field.
8 DREAMZZZZ R FOR U Earned his first win of the year in his final start. Perhaps he can start 2013 on a high note? Appears to be a player.
9 BETTERTHANLYNX He is sharp, but this is a much tougher spot than an optional $12,500 claimer at Monti. Think this is too tough.
10 WISHER Gingras has one way into this race, he has to leave. If he can find a spot early on, he has a chance despite the wide post.
11 TIME STOOD STILL He was very good two starts back, but then took a step back last time. He’ll be at the mercy of the trip from here.
12 YA GOTTA GO When he works out a trip he can find a way into it, but that seems a tall order from this spot in the second tier.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 FOX VALLEY SWIFT She was a bet back from last week as she seemed loaded with pace at the end of her mile. Tetrick’s choice. I like.
2 LOVE YOU BYE I liked her last effort and think she is pretty sharp right now. If Carlson can work out a trip, I can see her on the ticket.
3 RUNAWAY TRAY First of a few in here getting some class relief. That being said, she didn’t show me enough last time to play here.
4 SADIES PLACE She found herself in too tough of a spot last time. This race did come up tough, and am not sure it’s a real class drop.
5 GORDYYY’S PET Came from last to score last week at 24-1. Now she steps up. Likely will still offer a decent price. Repeat within reach.
6 HOSTESS LISA She was really disappointing last week as I thought she would race better than that. I need to see more from her now.
7 RUNAWAY ROSE This is a move up in class and I am not sure the two that beat her last time would fare too well in here. Standing against.
8 REAL RAVISHING Aggressively driven against tougher last time and it didn’t work. This is a softer spot. I could easily see a drop and pop.
9 MISS SAND CREEK Exits the same B-1 as ‘Ravishing and she raced OK in there. Don’t mind the time, track was a bit deeper on 12/28.
10 TYKESA MOON Second time Lasix last out and backed up. That concerns me. Connections always take play so I will look elsewhere.