Untitled Page


  • Week Of 12/17 - 12/23
  • SU17
  • MO18
  • TU19
  • WE20
  • TH21
  • FR22
  • SA23
Track Handicapper Dave Brower Bio


Dave Brower grew up five minutes from the Meadowlands in nearby Passaic, NJ. He served as the Meadowlands morning line oddsmaker, handicapper, and broadcaster for 16 years from 1987 to 2011. He has also co-hosted CBS Sports Network’s coverage of The Hambletonian, Meadowlands Pace, and Little Brown Jug with Hall of Famer Gary Seibel and his new co-host at the Meadowlands, Justin Horowitz. Brower also published "Harnessing Winners, The Complete Guide To Handicapping Harness Races" with Daily Racing Form Press in 2009.


RACE REVIEWS by Dave Brower

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

Race Reviews For Thursday, December 21, 2017

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 HERE COMES NUMBERS Clearly facing weaker up at Monti lately, so this is a big step up in class. Not sure this fella will be able to trot fast enough and he's got to prove it first. Not for me just yet.
2 KNIGHTOFVICTORY I know he didn't show much in that last try here, but had a needed confidence builder since. There are no killers in here, so if Yarock can keep him close, he might have a shot. Owns a fairly decent kick.
3 KEYSTONE THOMAS Always flashes that speed, but doesn't always finish it off. That's the problem. Not sure I can expect him to wire these, but Hechkoff will give it a go. Not easy to get by in the early part of the mile.
4 SONG OF THE VALLEY Didn't have much chance when seen in this event two back, but I will note that the winner, Party came back to beat better. I'm more concerned with the break last time. That's never a good thing.
5 O'DOYLE RULES Harrah's Philly is now done for the season, so we expect to see an influx of horses like this. This 3YO wasn't bad in some tougher spots down there, so let's see if he can go just a little bit faster here for his owner.
6 BOLD FRESH Took an aggressive try with Aaron last time and came up a little bit short late. With that said, the strategy might change. Rallied nicely before that. Either way, he'll probably offer better betting value. A maybe.
7 MASS BALANCE Had to "need" that last start, first one for the barn and Rob drove accordingly. Liable to be a lot more "live" tonight, but not sure what the price will be. Still needs a top effort to upset the applecart.
8 AUTEUR HANOVER Field's other 3YO was overmatched last few, but still raced well. Pilot has had some success in this series and if not for the 1-30 record this year, I'd be all over it. IF price is low, maybe we take stand against?
9 PEOPLESAYIMNOGOOD Sports two straight strong rallies, but isn't it going to be the same again? This outer post will make things that much tougher and unless we get a little mayhem, this mare may have too far to come.
10 URIEL Looks like the big longshot of the bunch and I will simply pass, from the outside post.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 SAM Outraced her odds last time, delivering a decent rally behind a trip winner. Moves all the way to the pole on the step up in price. Is it too much? That's a good question. We'll find out. Sits in, saves, tries to get lucky late. Trainer: Took to the Meadowlands good her first start. Gets the rail and hopefully, she can handle the jump up in class.
2 MISS DEFIANCE Now 0-27 and counting, so that's a problem. With Philly now closed, mare takes a shot here and I will note she took her mark here last year. I guess I could make a case for more, but I'd want big price to try.
3 ROCKERS ALLEY No real factor last time when forced wide. This is a return to the claimer, but I can't be too positive about her chances, based on recent form. In need of a big wakeup call, and those are hard to predict.
4 SGT MOLLY PITCHER Back at the Big M after a quick trip up to the Spa. Raced pretty well here, so I'll give her a big chance again. I like the speed and expect her to fire out. Any smooth trip gives decent upset chance.
5 ALWAYS FLASH N Not bad from the outer post last time. Sometimes it takes a race here to acclimate. Loses Brett in the seat, so that's not good. Looks like a mid-range price kind of play. Still going to need a trip to win.
6 TRUTH ISALWAYSBEST Up from Dover and into a new barn? Those aren't easy races down there, and this mare seemed to tail off. I can't guarantee a big wakeup call based on recent form, but Brett did opt here. Your call, folks?
7 CHARMING HILL Slick drive by Jimmy, Jr. last time, firing right up the pylons. But, I'll add that the mare was very good! That's two straight wins here, so she remains sharp and is clearly the one to fear. Helps that fave is outside.
8 FEEL THE DARKSIDE Mixed feelings about this filly coming over from Yonkers. A touch of stamina is lacking here, based on last two tries, so she'll need to find more to beat these. That, plus the post doesn't help. Tough call.
9 FOX VALLEY HERMIA Took a week off after flattening out against better. New barn? The drop is key, because she was that good in the start two back. Any effort like that would beat these. Only needs overcome the outside post.
10 TWIST OF FATE Moves from pole to post 10 and was flat last time. That's enough for me to leave out now.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-4-9
H Horse Comment
1 MUSCLESANDMARTINIS Not a whole lot going on with this one right now. I am skeptical that the switch to the mile track is the answer, so I'll probably just pass and watch one, to see if he belongs.
2 PRINCE OF MINTO Wasn't very effective when last seen here. Went back upstate and threw in another clunker. I remember him being rough-gaited, so take a good, long look at him on track before you decide to bet. Adds Lasix.
3 MIDFIELD MAGIC Another that didn't show much upon arrival and I'm hesitant to expect that much more tonight. It could come, but that's hard to predict. Let's see if the gelding gets any closer, for future consideration.
4 CODIAS ON THE MOVE Gets the tepid call as fave, in wide open race, simply because he raced better than most of these last time. That was first trip here, so any improvement at all will give big chance to win. Hot pilot aboard. Trainer: Will be a bit tighter this week.
5 ENGAGEDATLEXINGTON Had Brett Miller opted here, I would probably have given a bigger shot. Since he did not, I'll have to look again. Makes 43rd start of year, so he is durable. A welcome back to Marcus Miller tonight!
6 DULUTH Hasn't won a race in a LONG time, so that's an issue. Since this is technically a slight drop, he might take some money. Seems like a grinder, so at mercy of both pace and trip. Won't be easy to grind by this bunch.
7 LANDONFITZ Another of the possibilities in this hard-to-handicap race. Faced a better bunch here two back and trotted faster than most can go. Any repeat of that type effort and he becomes a big factor. Hard to leave out.
8 PLAYBOY RUSTY Arguably not one of my favorites, so let's just rate him a longshot and pass for now.
9 A PENNY EARNED This was Miller's choice, so let's take an extra look. Hopples went on recently, but he still made a break last time. That's not good, but second time at reduced level might work out. Plus, the switch to Brett.
10 BROOKROADDONNIE 7YO wins once in a while up at Monti, but doing it there, and doing it here are usually two different things. Slammed with post 10 as well. Probably have to prefer others for tonight.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 CITY PIE Brett's choice went off at low odds last time and disappointed. Prior effort was okay, and this is a move back to claimers. I don't expect much of a big price here, and can't guarantee horse will be good. Your call, folks. Trainer: Post relief should help in this easier class.
2 JUS' LIKE A VIRGIN Tossed in bit of a clunker upon arrival, but sometimes it takes a race or two here to acclimate. Several of his Rosecroft efforts would be good enough to win this. I'll take stab that he wakes back up.
3 DANISH DILIGENCE Pretty consistent of late down at Philly, but their meet is now over. Attempts to make the transition to the mile track and it's never an easy one. With that said, I will include underneath in the gimmicks.
4 BAY RUM Up from Freehold and up in class. Now 0-21 on the year. I will likely have to pass and prefer others.
5 NOT MY FIRST RODEO Had a tough trip in first go here, so let's not be too hard on him. Many of those Maine efforts seem good enough to go with these, so I'll give another chance. I like the midpack post. Needs a smoother journey.
6 DR C'S Z TAM Woke up in a big way with the switch to claimers. Also, presence of A Nap helped, and he's back in the bike again. Also took pretty big betting action, so let that be the guide. Horse should be live again. A must use.
7 ISE THE BY BOY Hasn't had any luck here yet in the trip department. With that said, he's overdue for something more. Can't say I'm in love with the post, but his speed should overcome that. Consider at the right price.
8 ABOUT THE BENJAMNS Recent claim has regressed a touch, so this is a tall order on the ship up from Freehold. I would need to see a good one first, before I could endorse. Post doesn't help either.
9 MODERN YANKEE Barn hasn't had much luck here either. And this horse gets stuck with another bad post. Wasn't Brett's choice, so I don't have too many positives to go on. In need of a softer trip and some better luck.
10 SHAVING MUG Moves from pole to post 10, so that's never a good thing. I don't see him as a quick starter, so I will likely have to pass in this spot.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 BUCKLE UP Hikes up the ladder a notch after a powerful victory for Jimmy Jr. BUT, the hot pilot has to stick with a main client in #5. Still, this gelding has a bit of back class and the pole is perfect for him. Don't let choice sway you.
2 CARD KNOCK LIFE Iron tough gelding is sure durable, so keep that in mind. Not exactly overloaded with wins this year, but drew a much better post tonight on a slight drop in class. I wouldn't be shocked if he got a lot closer.
3 BEACHCHIP HANOVER 3YO didn't show much upon arrival, so that raises some questions. I have to think he needed that start, so I'm willing to give another swing. Was racing much better in Mass. before that. Let's see more, please.
4 LE GAMBE Has one good start, sandwiched around a few less-than-stellar ones. I do believe he needs one notch lower in class to be effective, but you never know. Gelding needs a soft trip too! Will he get one? Not sure.
5 INVICTUS HANOVER Not bad in his first start back here, so let's expect more in this corner too! Jimmy had options and chose this fella, so that's a BIG call. Don't expect a huge price, but do expect a strong try. Lots to like here.
6 DREAMZZZZ R FOR U One of the many Philly invaders we'll see in the coming weeks. Some will make it, some will not. Seems like this fella might be just a notch overmatched. He'll have to prove me wrong.
7 THE FIRE WITHIN Last raced on Nov. 11, so that's a big problem. Has faced this type before, but almost has to "need" this start. I'll be watching closely for future consideration. Post hurts too! Trainer: Misses a month here, but I expect his best effort tonight.
8 DUNE DUDE Not really sure what's going on here. Seems like a long time ago that he won a race here in 1:50! Whatever ailed him with that sick scratch is lingering. I can't predict when the wakeup call will come. Your call?
9 WHATAORSE I've tried him twice and he's had rough trips both times. Maybe I'll give connections a break and choose another. Watch him win and pay $30! That's happened before. This time, the post is a killer.
10 INTRIGUED INTENDED Suffering a good case of the bad post blues and it continues. Not much to like out here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 ACTON ONELASTTIME Picked up checks in both starts here, and those came from outside posts. Is he really good enough to threaten the favorites from the pole? Probably not, but he could easily hit the ticket with a trip.
2 SOUTHWIND INFERNO Basically the same profile as #1. Hasn't been bad. Job of pilot here is to save ground and try to get lucky late. That's not out of the question. Will offer big price and has an outside chance for a share.
3 WALKS OF LIFE Showed up sharp and ready off the layoff and simply crushed the field. Andy HAD to stay with #5, but this might be the better horse. If anything, he might even offer the better price. I'll take a shot with Eric A! Trainer: Came out of his last race very good.
4 MASTER OF PUPPETS I can't really fault this guy right now. Showed up here and raced well enough all three times. Gets a better post here and the pace could be lively. That would aid his cause, because he's a closer. Tough call.
5 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A Clearly on a roll right now, so it's hard to argue with winning efforts. Might be tackling a tougher foe in #3, but sharp horses win races. Should be good battle for tonight's $12,500 G Notes! Trainer: A consistent veteran!
6 FOX VALLEY CADET Last start was just a disaster, so let's just forget about it. Horse was solid in every other recent race. Since he's back in, we can assume he'll be okay again. Drew outside the main foes, though. Mixed feelings.
7 PAN GRAD Woke up a little with that last try, chasing #5 home with no shot. Can't really say I'm in love with this post, because horse doesn't usually blast. Wasn't Brett's choice either. Guess I have more negatives, than positives.
8 EVERY INTENTION Ended up in the flow last week and failed to deliver a winning kick. With that said, now he moves to a tougher post and into a testing pace scenario. Will need some A Nap luck to get into the hunt.
9 MAY I CRUISE WEST This was Brett's choice and I can understand why. Gelding flew home for the win two back, and then ran into traffic troubles last week while loaded with pace. I guess it's all about the post, folks. This is tough one.
10 ROCK THE OFFICIAL Can't like 'em all, so I'll have to leave this guy out from the dreaded post. Not for me.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 ARTS BLAZE 13YO warhorse is up from Freehold off a win, but also up in class again. These may be a little too tough for the veteran, but he does have the rail to help out. Sits in and keeps up? We'll see if he offers a late kick.
2 OHOKA TEXAS N Hartline barn finds its way back to Club Med, with Philly now closed. This 10YO isn't exactly a "winning machine" but he could probably pick up a piece here. Will need a smooth trip and one big kick.
3 DABESTLEADEREVER Fires back on slightly short rest after a sharp, winning effort at home base. Yes, that was probably a weaker field than this, but I like sharp horses. This fella likes to win! Can't count that out.
4 SMOOTH MOCHA Just okay here last week, in first try over mile track. Sometimes it takes a race or two to develop that stamina. Eric A had choice and stuck with this gelding over #7. That's a mild hint of more to come tonight.
5 FLY'N WITH ROYALTY Was a little better last week, after a less-than-stellar effort two back in that four-horse race. With that said, I don't expect much value with Brett choosing here, so be careful. Might be vulnerable favorite?
6 TERROR OF THE NITE Took ALL the money last week and just failed to hold on, but with very good try. Might be a better option than #5, if price is right. I fully expect to see that speed again. Any good trip gives big chance.
7 MCCITO Wasn't exactly lighting up Philly lately. Gets stuck with another difficult post and assignment here. Wasn't Eric's choice in this spot and I can understand that. All of that adds up to a pass, and see if we get better effort.
8 BY A TIME 11-time winner this year, so keep that in mind. However, none of those wins were recent, and this might be a little too tough for the gelding. Showed speed from outside post two back and will need all of that again.
9 MAGIC TRICKS Disappointed in the Philly finale when claimed. Barn has some prior success here, but I can't guarantee this horse will be primed and ready to go. Not many wins this year, but a whole lotta seconds.
10 YANKEE ARTILLERY The other fresh claim had a tough trip in last try down at Philly. Two straight eight-holes before that, and now post 10 here! That's called a bad case of the post position blues.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 3-10-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 SLY RULER Coming off a scratch, so it's been three weeks since he raced. That's a problem. IF primed and ready, he's got plenty of speed to protect the inside. If the price is right, I might consider including in gimmicks underneath.
2 FORCED PASSAGE Struggled upon arrival, so I'll take another pass and see if horse improves at all.
3 MAJOR BUDDY A Endured a brutal trip in first try here, and I must note that he didn't pack it in! That showed me something. Gets a much better post tonight, and a very hot driver in the seat. Very hard to ignore right now.
4 MEDOLAND JATE Making just second start off a year layoff, so I think he'll need at least one more. Pass.
5 IDEAL LEGACY A Took a very aggressive try in the Philly finale and ran out of gas. Was that field better than this one? That IS the question, because horse has rounded into form nicely. Brett takes call. Lots of positive signs.
6 DEBT OF HONOR Tough to get a real gauge on his Freehold form right now. This is about the same kind of level, but horse hasn't exactly been exploding lately. Did win here earlier this year, so that's a plus. Mixed feelings here.
7 TEMPSTER HANOVER Over from Yonkers on a slight class drop, but still stuck with a difficult post. Horse hasn't shown much early speed lately, but he's got the right guy in the seat for big wakeup call. A Nap driving very well.
8 HIGH COURAGE N Kind of the same boat as #7. They come out of similar races in NY, but it will be difficult transition here, especially from an outer post. I can't guarantee that he'll be good here. Your call, folks.
9 CLASSIC SEEBREEZE Probably needed that last try here, but I wasn't impressed with his move. Gets slammed with another brutal post, so I consider him on the outside looking in. Definitely a longshot to me. Trainer: In need of a prayer tonight.
10 GRAND THEFT Probably the key to the race! Joey B gets the call and he'll see that only way into this race is to fire out. That complicates the pace scenario, but oh well! Horse has won here before too! Some things to like.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 DRAMA FREE Brett chose this half of the entry, and over #6, so that's big call! Barn is off to good start here and horse may have been facing a better bunch at home base. Packs versatile speed, so the outer post doesn't concern. Use.
1A NEYMAR For all the soccer fans out there! This is the "closing" half of the entry, but technically he was in some softer spots up north. I hate the post, and unless you're predicting mayhem, he may be too far back.
2 ROADSHOW VIC Owned by his driver, so he can do whatever he wants! Horse did race a LOT better in second attempt here and the pole position is a big plus. Expect a touch more speed to protect the inside. Very usable. Trainer: Disappointed in recent effort. Hoping racing back-to-back weeks will help.
3 ABC CROWN ME QUEEN Also down from Spa, but probably in a little too tough here. I need to see more.
4 HAILEYSGONEDANCING Looks like that race fell apart last time down at Philly. Slow last quarter? Must have been windy. Still, that class is a tougher one than this, and I must note that A Nap gets the call, with Jimmy opting to #10.
5 TROT COMMANDER Not going great guns right now and facing better claimers here. Have to pass for now. Trainer: Hoping for better results. Hasn't been very good lately.
6 MUSICAL ROMANCE Firing back on short rest after a solid speed try at Spa on Sunday. Yes, she did get caught as the fave, but it was still good try. Brett did not opt here, though. Still, have to respect that speed at all times, folks.
7 BOOTSWITHTHEFUR Took a speed try down at Freehold and fell apart late despite well-rated pace. That's not good for his chances here, folks. I suspect we'll see a return to the rallying tactics and that might work out better.
8 JUSTSINGALONG One more inch of racetrack and he was a winner last week! Would have paid over $100. Gets stuck with another difficult post, and will need some things to go his way again. Can't always count on that.
9 YOOOUKILIS Perhaps the biggest question mark in the race. Missed three weeks after a sick scratch and a reclaim, so that's mixed signals. Driver stays loyal, but this gelding just might need one. I will wait for softer spot.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 GIMME SOME LOVIN' Looks like she squandered a pretty good trip in the Yonkers finale, but this could also be seen as a softer spot? Gets the rail for barn that sneaks in and gets the money on occasion. Have to take a long look.
2 HERETIC FRANCO N Launched a big move and flattened out in first try here. This is same class, and slightly better post. Has shown speed before, so will pilot change up the tactics? I'm not sure. Could hit ticket with smooth trip.
3 CHERRY BLISS Just one win this year, and only one win last year. But, mare has worked her way down in class and gets a new driver in A Nap. The way he's driving right now, I hesitate to throw anything out. She fits this group well.
4 I SAW RED Brett opted here over #9,10, so consider that. Mare wasn't exactly lighting up the world at Saratoga, but maybe a change of scenery will wake her up. She sure races a lot! 46th start of year coming up.
5 SHARON ROSE ARTIST Never really fired in Big M debut, so I have to rate her a longshot again. Not my type.
6 UILLEANN Up and down the class ladder down at Freehold, with very mixed results. I just wonder if she's fast enough to be competitive here, and I have serious doubts. Will have to prove it to me first.
7 MACJESTIC TODDY N Another that's very hard to gauge, visiting fourth different track over past month. Seems to have tailed off a touch too! I can't exactly guarantee the wakeup call is coming, but she has faced better along way.
8 PURITY Looks like a short-priced favorite, based on her speed and recent tries. Is she a lock? I won't go that far, but I will say she looks a LOT better than most of these right now. The post means Andy will have to send her. Your call?
9 ROCKINTHENITEAWAY Down from the Spa for new listed trainer? This is not a good spot, with #8 likely blasting out just inside of her. She has shown ability to rally and will need all of that just to get close. Likely a longshot.
10 AARIN HANOVER No idea what happened last time, because she just backed up. Since it's post 10, I couldn't possibly hop back on board until I see a good effort again. Your guess.