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  • Week Of 3/25 - 3/31
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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 Saturday, March 31, 2018

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 LETSGETINTOTROUBLE Did a fairly decent job of keeping up in that very fast race for this level last time. It was only his first try this year, so there's plenty of room for improvement. Has the rail again and will step out a bit more. Trainer: Last start encouraging. Hopefully, the upswing continues.
2 LUCK N ROLL K In from Pennsy, along with a bunch from this barn. Drew two bad posts in the first few tries, so let's be kind. His finish in most recent was okay. Let's see if he's a mile track horse. We'll find out soon enough.
3 GUNSLINGER HILL It's never easy to win your debut, especially with only one qualifier. Plus, look at the way he did it! Very few horses can make up that kind of ground from a terrible post. This guy might be something special. We'll see.
4 J K FIELDING Had a pretty rough trip in that race dominated by a big favorite. For this gelding, it's been a mixed bag of efforts, so I'd be cautious. But, he might provide an interesting speed option, vs. the closer #3. Expect speed.
5 GOOSE MOUNTAIN Stakes and series placed last year, but only one win to show for it. Note that he's a 4YO now, so that's minor edge vs. the 3YO's. Has one start under his belt. Expect a little more to be coming. Is it enough?
6 BAG PIPE MAJOR Still looking like a longshot to me. Hasn't been very effective lately. Would be a surprise. Trainer: Has been unlucky of late, but had a good week of training, so we expect some improvement.
7 LONG BEACH Was pretty well-positioned in last few, but clearly lacked that knockout punch you need to win here. Is it the faster races, or is he just not sharp? This post certainly won't help. He'll need to find some early speed.
8 OAK ISLAND Not really sure what to make of this horse tonight. He's shown some ability in two seasons of racing. He does have four wins. That Pocono qualifier doesn't look all that great. Bad post. Maybe we watch one tonight? Adds L.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 CYAMACH N On the slow and steady comeback trail for Team Berry. After the look of those first two, it seems he might need a few more. Best asset here is the rail, so he can just sit in and try to keep up. Might not be that easy.
2 ARCHANGEL THREE Has also had two starts to get those race legs back ready. Unfortunately, he doesn't receive any class relief yet, because that's what will do it now. I will wait for a softer spot, which should come soon.
3 DURANT Had just enough sneaky pylon pace last week to warrant an extra look here, folks. This horse is VERY good right now, and he will benefit from that sit-in trip he got last week. Sometimes, they all need an easy one. Usable!
4 STATHAM N Looks like the "wild card" in here, because we don't see too many Tritton invaders here. Horse clearly had some solid races while working up the class ladder. Is he a true mile track fit? I guess we'll find out. Speed?
5 WESTERN JOE The rivalry continues! Joe was used pretty hard to get to the lead last week and got collared and caught by a brave Bettor. Now, the posts are reversed again, so the trip to the lead might be a lot easier. Helps.
6 BETTOR'S EDGE Sometimes, even veterans surprise you once in a while. After failing to reach the wire on lead a month ago, now, he's finishing with something extra! Outfought Joe with a clear cut big effort last week. Will have to do it same way again.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-8-6
H Horse Comment
1 GLENFERRIE DREAMER Taking a sizable class drop here, and allowed into the race via alternate condition. Gets the rail, and a switch to Andy Mac. Can you say: live? Third back off a layoff is often most potent. Hard to leave out.
2 REVRAC HARBOUR Freshened up a couple of months. Shows only one qualifier, and it didn't come here. I'll take a stand and say he's not quite fully cranked and ready yet.
3 MAJESTIC SUNSET After a series of miscues, that last effort stood out in a good way. After being buried at the back in a dull flow, he had some trot late. So, if you want to try a risky price play, why not this guy in a good post? Trainer: This gelding seems to have found his form once again. Had plenty of trot in a non flow race last time.
4 BWT TAJ Forced up in class after that tow-along second, and these look a little too tough for him. Pass.
5 JUST FOR TODAY Did not have a good trip in first try here, but he wasn't very good either. After seeing that, I'm just not sure he's a true mile track horse. Will get one more chance to prove it.
6 STITCH IN TIME Has rounded into form nicely for Camp Buter. That was good speed try last week, and he was very unlucky to lose in the last jump. Expect similar tactics here, but I must note that Andy Mac chose #1. Telling?
7 NEVERDIE Back off the short layoff here. Probably prepping for a return home to Maine soon. I'll watch one.
8 MAN OF MUSCLE Finished a decent, rallying third on Tuesday at Dover. That race was won on lead by a 1-5 shot, so the effort by this guy was okay. Not a fan of the short rest thing, but note that he's won here before. Dangerous.
9 ITS CHOCOLATE TIME No, I can't explain where he came up with that effort last time, so don't ask. With that said, he steps up here, gets a tougher post, but will at least show speed. I'm not sure he can wire this group tonight.
10 HANKS TANK Had Hank drawn a better post, I'd probably tell you to look a lot closer. It's the 'ol second start back with a drop in class look. BUT, he doesn't seem to start too quick. That, plus post 10 make this a tough task.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 JK WILDFIRE Everything out of this barn is firing right now, and I'll add that they ARE ready in first start off the layoff. That was case for this guy at Pocono, so now he gets the acid test vs. better on the big track. Interesting spot.
2 ART DANCER Found a nice, easy soft spot for the return, and Andy put a nice, easy trip on him too! That always helps going forward. He will benefit greatly from that. He is meeting a few tougher foes here, but I can't go against.
3 ROCK LIGHTS Was good enough to make Gov Cup final here last fall. Credit for that. Was put on the shelf after a confidence-building win at home base. Shows up here with two good qualifiers. Is he fully ready? Not yet.
4 WHATA TWIST Been stuck in some tough spots lately and it continues here. These are just too quick.
5 HEAVENLY SOUND Yes, he somehow got caught last week, but horses do sometimes get a little "lonely" on a big lead like that. What I DID like was the speed shown! A new dimension. Makes him more dangerous. Tests #2. Trainer: Missed a week. In with some nice colts. Should be on his game.
6 BET THE DRAGON Back to Club Med after a dull run through that series. This is no easy spot for the return, however. I like that he plots for a trip in what should be good cover flow. Just needs to find a bigger kick when it counts.
7 ROCKIN MACHINE Ended up in a good spot last time, but clearly lacked the needed finishing kick. That makes two straight with no excuses. Drew rough post again and will simply have to find more stamina. Not sure about that. Trainer: Trained him differently this week and he was super. Expecting improvement.
8 YO APOLLO CREED I'm not sure how he does, but he somehow gets around those turns. Sometimes, he stays onstride too! Did everything he could to stave off #2, but it wasn't going to happen. Will he blast again? Not sure.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 MAROMA BEACH Almost got the job done in that first start back against a heavily bet, and well-meant winner. I didn't expect that. Finds the rail here, with a switch to Andy Mac. Horse might be even better tonight.
2 MIKE'S Z TAM Was bet like the "International Good Thing" last week and came up just a bit short. Pat put a perfect trip on him too! So, like #1, he's also primed and ready for a bigger effort here. Will it be enough? Not sure.
3 CENTURY CHURCHILL Was forced up too high in class last time, so he gets the "slide" back down here. But, in reality this is a real tough spot. I don't think he's quite up to the task here, so let's rate him a longshot again.
4 BARIMAH A Yes, he got the job done last week, at 3-5. Things set up perfectly for him, but I guess he was due that kind of luck after some disasters. Now, begins the ascent back up the class ladder. Won't be 3-5, but Andy's pick!
5 RATHER SWELL That was SOME effort here to open the card last Saturday. Victor drove him like he knew he'd be good. He was right! This spot is significantly tougher, and the strategy might even change. Still, horse is sharp! Trainer: Raced good last week. Was finally able to be on the front. Moves up in class, but I think he can race with them.
6 JOE'S BID Proved that win was no fluke, by coming back in a tougher spot and racing well. Joe is also razor sharp and rounded into form nicely, but what's he going to do from this post? Probably at mercy of pace and trip. Trainer: Very strong last two starts, but this combination class with aged horses will be tougher.
7 MR EUROMAN N The Euroman is a real head scratcher right now. Sat patiently last week and was finishing up okay. So, it was step in the right direction for sure. Now, it's a bad post, and Andy bails. What do we do? I have no idea.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 GRIFFON HANOVER Moves back inside, so that immediately raises his profile. This guy has rounded into form very nicely, and he's sharper than you think. If he can "protect" the inside here, could end up with a great trip.
2 SAMS TRIPLE CROWN Sam delivered the goods last week, at the ridiculous price of 2-5. It was a simple brush and crush, but there's NO way it'll go like that again. He'll have to prove it on the step up. Will be more than 2-5 now.
3 DRUNK ON YOUR LOVE Stakes-quality sophomore of last year makes first start back at four, and he isn't ready for this just yet. Watch closely, for future evaluation.
4 LAWRENCETOWN BEACH MIA for a couple of weeks, so that always worries me a bit. Gets into the race via an alternate condition and has plenty of speed to make #5 work for the top. Could be an interesting sprint home.
5 SUNFIRE BLUE CHIP Had a nice, easy time in his comebacker, and appeared to have plenty left in the tank at the end. Jimmy will drive again and there's no secret what he'll do. Probably right to the front, catch if catch can. Trainer: I could not be happier with him last start. Had much left in him.
6 BIG STRETCH MARK Really tough trip grinding it out last week. And that came after missing a few weeks. So, I won't hold that against him. However, tonight's problem is likely the post. How will he get into this one?
7 DOREL Needed every bit of that huge effort to win in that spot two weeks ago. I guess the whole track knew he'd be live in that spot. Now, he's in a very bad post from post seven. I expect conservative effort tonight. Keeps Mac. Trainer: Coming back well this year. Don't disregard.
8 MEETYOUATMIDNIGHT This is the sharpest horse at the track, that doesn't have a recent win. Almost not fair, because he's been racing his eyeballs out. BUT, in this spot, against the likes of #4,5, is it time to take back? Maybe.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 STARZNHEAVEN Watched that race at Pocono last week and he simply outclassed them. Was parked the mile here before that, trying to chase down Durant. Gets the rail here, which should help keep close. That grind is strong.
1A ENOCH Invades for the Burke Brigade and I don't think we've seen this fella here before. Has shown ability to handle any size track, and he's raced back into shape nicely at home base. Was probably hoping for a softer spot than this.
2 NOCTURNAL BLUE CHIP Confidence is a wonderful thing for a horse, and that's exactly what this guy has gained over the last month. Keeps getting better. Yes, the trips have worked out, but he's been good. This is acid test.
3 AMERICANPRIMETIME I love this hard-trying horse, but not for betting purposes tonight. I think he's going to need this, even after the winning qualifier. I will wait for a slightly softer spot soon.
4 ALL WEEK Like #2, this guy is just very good right now. That was supreme effort to dig in and fight off Mike last week. So, I will add a LOT of points if Mike did well in the 5th. That versatility is a huge asset to have in race like this.
5 BIG N BAD Another invader to Club Med, this one for Team Harmon. Shows only one qualifier, but it was better than you think. Is Big primed and ready for a top effort? I'm going to guess now. He might need a little class relief. Trainer: Qualified ok. Finished up pretty strong.
6 SOME ATTITUDE Here's the key to the race! Last time we saw this guy here, he was solid. He's been tuned up nicely up at home base, and last speed tightener is perfect. Expect a VERY aggressive try despite the post. One to catch!
7 LIGHTNING ONMYFEET Looks like the longshot, stuck in impossible spot off the layoff. Watch closely, for later evaluation.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 BAY RUM Applied steady pressure last time with a very tough trip and note he didn't exactly spit the bit. That caught my eye. Maybe he is a big track horse? Eligible for a check here, if he gets the right inside journey.
2 VICTORY AT LAST Took a ton of betting action last time, and Andy put him in a good spot, but horse simply wasn't good enough that night. Would need a lot more than that now, so let's rate him a longshot now.
3 DAVID'S DREAM Circled his cover with a pretty bold-looking move last week, and failed to sustain it. Plots for similar journey here, so Dave will just have to find more if he's going to upset the applecart. I'm not so sure.
4 MORE DRAGON We all loved him last week, and he did get the job done. Super low price, though. Andy Mac had three options in here and selected this one, so that's all I need to know. Has the post edge too! Looks best.
5 QUALITY BUD Raced pretty well off the rail last week, chasing the big fave, #4. The posts are a little different now, so it will probably take a different strategy. Has delivered some nice efforts to hit the ticket. Gotta give respect for that.
6 BUPA BRUISIER I guess if you wanted a live option against the fave, this is your play. He was as LIVE as could be last week and it took a giant mile to get by him. Clearly stronger since the claim. May not have to set the pace tonight. Trainer: Pleased with the claim so far. Two decent efforts. Jumped the light at the finish line last week. If he races back like the last two, we're hopeful for his chances.
7 ROOSTER RABBIT Another wild price on this guy last week. Really? 2-5? Well, he got the job done, but clearly against the lesser division. I didn't expect Andy Mac to take this one, and he did not. Will need even more to upset.
8 ALLSTAR ENERGY Set a very solid pace to set things up for More Dragon last week. No problem. It was nice speed effort. Gets stuck with another bad post, so what will happen now? That, I don't know. If he sends, creates mayhem.
9 ALL IT TAKES Yes, he won too, last week. It was a gutsy effort, but not nearly as flashy as #4. So, I understand Andy M choosing the other one. I hate this post. It'll be a long grind to get into this one tonight. Demand value if you like.
10 DANISHDUJOUR Can't like 'em all, so let's leave this guy out from the dreaded post 10. Needs a wild pace.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-1-8
H Horse Comment
1 NATIONAL SEELSTER The first of many possibilities in this "Dropdown Derby." Ordinarily, I'd love him in this spot, but there are a few others that have same profile. Third start back. Rail. Was sneaky good last time. Watch out.
2 TALENT SOUP I expect this guy to be very "live" tonight too! Had a TON of sneaky pace last week, and that came after a purposely sluggish start. Made up a lot of ground, folks. Horse loves this track. It might be time to bet.
3 EVER AGAIN Faded last week, and if anything, this field is tougher. This is not the right spot for him.
4 MICHAEL'S VICTORY No, I don't understand why he was 3-5 last time, but he faced insurmountable lead on the winner. He's forced UP in class off that, and facing all the dropdowns. That's probably not going to work out well.
5 GHOST PINE Shows breaks in three of last four on the half, dating back to December. So, what do we do with him here? That's a very good question, and I have no answers for you. If he feels good, I imagine Pat will send him.
6 WORKANDPLAYHARD Impossible trip last time. Game and gutsy effort before that. Gelding remains pretty sharp and can definitely be part of this. BUT, he will need a smoother journey. In for the tag here, why he fits the race.
7 SIPPIN ON SUDS Second back off the layoff here, and after watching the first one, I feel he might need another. It is the needed class drop, but I'm going to wait one more start.
8 JACKSRLUCKYTOO Now what do we do with Jack in this spot and post? The last time he left, he came up empty late, so that's the key. His best work comes from behind, but in this post, how far back will he be? And, at short price. Trainer: Had no pace last week and I was very disappointed in him. We turned him out a lot this week.
9 BETTORS GLASS This guy doesn't appear to be fully cranked and ready yet. Drew the worst post and hasn't shown any speed in while, but Andy chose him over #5. Interesting choice. Maybe we're ready for a wakeup call.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 DULL ROAR Invades from Pocono and NY in search of a big time wakeup call, but we've all seen it happen before. When they drop in class like this, and get better post, we usually see some newfound speed. Watch the board?
2 BAD GAMER MIA since March 3, so that looks like an issue. I have a feeling he's going to need this one.
3 ALLBLACK STRIDE N Ended up in a hot pace battle last time, and I don't think that's the way he does his best racing. With a completely different journey from this post, things could be a lot different. Owns one big move. Times it? Trainer: Seems to be on the right track after some easier races at Freehold. Had a good week.
4 CALVIN B That wasn't an easy trip last time, but Cal was a LOT better. It was a pretty big move he launched, and then got caught by the "live" favorite. A big step back in the right direction. But, also a step back up in class. Your call? Trainer: He's feeling good. Should be competitive in here.
5 SCIROCCO BLUE CHIP First start back off the freshening and I don't think he's quite ready after one tiring qualifier.
6 CLOUSEAU HANOVER Note Andy Mac's choice of this one over #4. That surprised me a bit. Gelding has surprised us here before and this is pretty clearly a wide open race. I wouldn't be shocked if he jumped up with a big one.
7 MISTER TRUTH Still stuck at this higher level, because he keeps getting checks! Packs versatile speed, and Eric A always drives him well. If nobody's on the gate, he might take a shot and blast. Has done it many times.
8 SANTIAGO STYLE Probably the "key" to this race, because everybody saw him flying home last week. BUT, isn't he going to get away last in here? And if there's no hot pace, won't that give him too far to come? Plus, short price.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 PERFECTLY CLOSE Has one win this year and it came here, so keep that in mind. Back to the mile, and gets the rail. All of that could spell very live! Not sure I'd want very short price, but with any reasonable value, must use. Trainer: Should be competitive from the inside post. Has speed and works hard.
2 SPAGHETTI EDDIE Has endured a bunch of tough trips lately, but remains deceptively sharp. Been racing his eyeballs out lately. The inside post keeps him in play, but I sure would like to see him not have to grind. Ain't easy, folks.
3 THEBESTOFJOEL First start up from Florida, I usually watch. Horse does like to compete however, and once took his lifetime mark here. A long time ago. I'm still going to pass for now and see if he fits.
4 JOJO JOVE Claimed last week and got stuck in traffic for some of the stretch. Horse remains pretty sharp, and I expect it will continue for new barn. He's packing solid speed, so that's always dangerous. Would be very hard to leave off tix.
5 DRUNKEN TERROR Actually outraced my expectations from that tough post last time. But, yes he had to endure a rough trip. It could be a lot sweeter from this midpack start. And Merton knows him now. Another possibility.
6 FEARLESS LEADER N Was marching right up the class ladder until he reached this level. Is this too much? Usually, it's all about pace and trip for this fella. A rare chance to get Andy Mac at a price too! I'm not sold either way. Trainer: A little disappointing last time. Needs to be involved early.
7 ROCKINWITHTHEBEST Tried to rally into a paceless race and we all know how that works out. Not! He was also lugging in so badly that Corey couldn't steer him. It'll be up to Jimmy to keep him straight tonight. Not easy task.
8 SWEET TALKIN SATIN Up from Dover with a mixed bag of efforts. Looks like they sent him to new barn. Possibly to try the mile track? He will have to prove he fits, and this post won't make things any easier. Lacks speed as well.
9 TERROR OF THE NITE Well, this guy doesn't lack speed, but he does lack consistency. Took a very aggressive stance with Andy Mac last time and gave it up late. Now, it's post nine. He won't win it coming from last, so expect send.