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Track Handicapper Dave Little Bio

 

 Dave Little began a fascination with harness racing while formatting Monticello results at the Bergen Record in 1980, his first of three stops in the newspaper business.

Little got his start as a public handicapper when he joined the race desk at the New York Post in 1986 before moving on to the New York Daily News in 1991, where he began a 24-year run as harness and thoroughbred handicapper, columnist and racing editor.

Little's wife, Debbie, is currently the harness racing handicapper at the Post. They've been married since 1989.

 

 

RACE REVIEWS by Dave Little


 

 

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

Race Reviews For Friday, April 19, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 THE EVICTOR I have always liked this trotter and he raced well in his last start here. That being said, this is one tough field. Needs best.
2 ICE MACHINE Allowed to coast through a soft half-mile and trotted home in 54.3. This trotter is absolutely for real and will be tough.
3 GUCCIO He trotted home in 54.1 last week and that was his first start of the year. Getting ready for the Maturity. Major challenge for ‘Ice.
4 ARCH MADNESS He trotted a sharp final quarter in his 2013 debut, but couldn’t make up much ground. Will need to stay closer this time.
5 WISHING STONE I liked the burst he showed in the last 1/8th of a mile last week. He is going to be a major force in this division this year.
6 SEVRUGA He and Ice Machine have been the 2 best FFA trotters so far in 2013. Now comes the acid test. We’ll find out how good he is!
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-1-8
H Horse Comment
1 TATTOO YOU One of 2-3YO fillies tackling colts and older in here. Stakes winner from last year qualified well behind foe to her outside.
2 LADY DYNAMITE Put the trotting hobbles on in that qualifier and seemed to help. Remember, she was impressive at time last year.
3 SIX GUN HALL Did not travel smoothly on the far turn, clogging the outer flow. Showed some trot in the stretch. Still needs to be better.
4 STIRLING BULLET Winner of that qualifier is an 11yo veteran. NYSS competitor from last year is prepping for another NY campaign.
5 MUSCLE MOUNTAIN His first start as a 3YO reminded me of the 3YO debut of Muscle Massive a few years ago. Trotted a ton late!
6 LA HOLLYWOOD Aggressively driven last time and made an unfortunate break. Still, he must have felt good early in that mile.
7 RINGSIDE NGUYEN He has trotter a couple of miles that earned him a check so far this meet. I think a minor award remains his ceiling.
8 SECRET INGREDIENT His 2013 debut was a good one. Now he moves in against tougher and will likely get away back. Passes a few.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 CAVIART SAVANNAH Debuts for the Daley barn tonight. That last qualifier was an improvement. Remember, this barn is very patient.
2 CERTIFIED IDEAL She is the filly to beat in here. It is her first start of the year and is gearing up for the NJSS. Looks very tough, though.
3 CLASSIC ROCK Runner-up from that last race is a 5YO mare that is 0 for 13, so I don’t make that a very strong race. This will be tougher.
4 HERE AGAIN She looks like a major player in this field. I wish she would have finished her mile a little better, but she’s improving.
5 FEDS EXPRESS I liked her effort from two starts back at Philadelphia and it’s hard to compare this to the $12.5k claimer she was in here.
6 JUSTROLLWITHIT She was 2nd over in that last mile and offered little kick as the favorite. Winner was 15-1 and was 1 for 17 going in.
7 FEELINGMIGHTYGOOD Moving from a $6k claimer to nw2 is not a typical occurrence, so this is unique. She is sharp. This is tougher.
8 SOLID QUEEN Exits the same race as Here Again, finished ½ length behind that foe and will be a better price. Need to see speed!
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 ORDER BY KEEPER Graduated from the maiden ranks with style. That was a visually impressive effort. Gets a good test in this group.
2 MICHAEL’S WILD BOY Has never given a poor effort and that Weiss series is similar to the Super Bowl. Gelding catches a classy bunch.
3 MY MAN CAN Chased the Peter Haughton runner-up in that qualifier. Loved the way he finished. He was in some big races last year, too.
4 IDEAL REVENUE Yes, he has beaten this level. The horse he beat last time has come back to win. This is a tougher group though. Tricky.
5 JAILHOUSE JUICE Those back to back final quarters warrant attention here. Needs to stay closer. The 1 for 28 is a little scary. Using.
6 VIBE BLUE CHIP Added Lasix in that qualifier, but made a break. Burke getting him ready for the PASS. Appears to need a start.
7 POSSESSED FASHION Finished 3rd in the PASS Final last year. Showed good late acceleration in his qualifier. Poised for a good season.
8 AMARCORD Well, if you used him at 88-1, you still got 66-1 last time and he raced well. This will be much tougher. Will offer a price again.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 9-7-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 HERE’S JOHNNY The winner of that qualifier has Hambletonian hopes. Brief campaign last year, but it showed his potential. Lachance!
2 THE SPECIAL ONE He is yet to build upon his debut and regressed into a mistake last time. Looks like a longshot in the short term.
3 SUZELLE HANOVER See how Lady Dynamite did in the 2nd race. I liked her effort winning that qualifier. A filly with some potential.
4 THE FRANCHISE If Order By Keeper won again, move this colt up. Impeccably bred and brought along slowly. One to watch in here.
5 GLISTER HANOVER Made a break in both starts as a 2YO. Stayed trotting in that qualifier, but I am going to watch for the time being.
6 MOMS FORTUNE Not a bad try in her first lifetime start and is certainly a good starting off point. Let’s see if she shows improvement.
7 CANTAB ABS Exits the same qualifier as ‘Jonny and was a bit better. Trond tends to bring them along slowly. Still, should be a factor.
8 DUE CALZE Mare is now 0 for 13 and at this point I would like to see her finishing her miles a little better. I need to see more here.
9 EMBRACE PEACE Brilliantly named filly has gotten some good seasoning in Delaware. This is not an easy nw1. Will be including.
10 CRAZY ABOUT PAT Colt got a start under his belt and should build off that. Will we see speed? Must get involved from wide draw.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-9-1
H Horse Comment
1 HELIOS He has been a little disappointing in his last two starts. Catches a sharp horse with a lot of potential. Must dig in this time around.
2 CELTIC MERCHANT Gets some class relief and didn’t race badly at the B-2 level last time. 30-time winner cannot be ignored in this spot.
3 PILATUS Gelding had too far to come last time, but offered just even trot in the stretch. Has won nearly half his starts. Worth including.
4 BLUERIDGE TORNADO The $10k level at Dover is a tad softer than this. Interesting claim and has been off for 3 weeks. Tricky read.
5 ALL MUNKY BUSINESS Gets another move down in class and she was a little bit better last time. She is better than her recent form.
6 FROM ABOVE Trotted a ton in the stretch last week and if Silva has this guy figured out, he might go on a little streak here. Tough again.
7 MISS LEE Mare has put forth a mixed bag of efforts, but I think she is exiting a fairly strong heat. Worth including at some kind of price.
8 RINGSIDE LAURYN This level has been too tough for her in the past. Made a break last time and was not Callahan’s choice again.
9 PAISLEY Never a doubt last time going on a tour de force. Now he moves up in class, so this will be tougher. Still we play a role here.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 GORDYYY’S PET Kicks off a wide-open field on a move up in class. She has not won at this level yet this year. Not sure about a repeat.
2 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER Similar to the mare to her inside, this lass is moving up off a win as well. She has more back class, though.
3 MYSTICAL DIVA Not sure what happened last time as she slowed dramatically and then missed a week. She has plenty of class, though.
4 QUEEN OF ROYALTY Like the mare to her inside, she was an also-ran in the Matchmaker. But, she should have been better last time.
5 ITS DE LOVELY She is exiting a very fast mile at Philadelphia and seems to have speed as well. Looms a factor in a wide open affair.
6 DELIGHTFUL DIVA Exits the same pair of races as Lovely and their efforts are very similar. I suppose if you like one, you should like both.
7 MYSTRA Finished second to a Breeders Crown Champion in that qualifier. That was a fast mile. Interesting piece to this difficult puzzle.
8 RHAPSODY ROSE She has speed and will be a pace factor at the very least. I would recommend using as many as possible in the pick 4.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 VAPORTSTAR Has taken a substantial amount of money in his last two starts. This race is very tough and he should offer a better price.
2 CAMERON CHIP She had some sneaky late trot 2 starts back, so that last rally could have been seen coming. At the mercy of pace/trip.
3 IN NOMINE PATRI Moved up and caught a very sharp horse last time out in Harbor Point. Moves back down to the level of his win.
4 IDOL KEMP Has faced a couple of tough fields in his last pair. This group is closer to what he faced three back. Expect a big effort here.
5 PEMBROKE HEAT WAVE She is starting to turn things around. I don’t think she does her best on the half. Should be a factor now.
6 BAMBINO HALL Winner of his last start is a nice trotter. I don’t think we’ll see that same speed in here. Raced well at this level earlier.
7 FOX VALLEY SMARTY Went right down the road in a strong mile last time. This will be tougher, but the price should be similar to last time.
8 DASH FOR THE CASH Beaten a neck by ‘Patri at this level, but that was a strong effort. He fits here and is another contender in this group.
9 DOUBLE UP HANOVER Gelding seems to have tailed off recently and I suppose given the depth of this field, he would be a surprise.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 HEIDI FALLS He showed improved speed last time and now draws the pole. Pierce will have to use that speed again. Logical contender.
2 ORDER BY CORLEONE His effort 2 starts back can win this race. He has not won since his 4YO season, but he fits in this field.
3 LATTE HALL That’s an interference break last time at Pocono. NYSS competitor from last year has some upside in this field. Player.
4 KILLER WHALE It’s always hard to gauge any horse exiting an Amateur race. His qualifier at Philly was decent. He is a sneaky player here.
5 BIG SKY BATS Good draw to set up her late kick, which was not as effective in the C-Notes Final. In this field, she figures to be better.
6 IMA QUE T I like the progress she made in her last start. The 1 for 38 record makes her a tough play on top, but I will use underneath.
7 OLIVER KISS Another exiting the amateur race, which is where he has spent most of his year. Wasn’t Campbell’s choice. Longshot.
8 NEW YORKS FINEST Recent form has not been particularly sharp, but Callahan did opt here. Needs to improve to contend for the win.
9 CAUTIOUS OPTIMISIM She is 0 for 14 on the year but has been racing well lately. That said, this will be much tougher. Needs best.
10 T JS MR LAVEC Exits a decent qualifier but Piece opted elsewhere. Doesn’t have much speed and appears likely to get away last.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-8-10
H Horse Comment
1 AUBSESSION I like the steady improvement she showed in her qualifiers. She will need to go fast here, but that appears likely. Main threat.
2 ALWAYS LOVE ME Making her second start back off the freshening so I anticipate some improvement now. Adds value to the exotics.
3 SADIES PLACE Last start was an improvement as she kept up and earned a share. If she can build upon that, she might surprise you.
4 DREAM’S BAR She really appreciated the move down in class last time. It is likely that she will stay closer from here. Legitimate player.
5 SHAYNA BABY She intrigues me tonight as last week she was tightened up a bit and overall it was a better effort. Not without a chance.
6 I DO IT MYSELF I thought she was going to be better last time. She brings a mixed bag of efforts and at this point it’s a guessing game.
7 ARIANE HANOVER She did not take too kindly to the move back to the big track last time. I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw speed tonight.
8 JOANNIEHASAFANNY The last time she races at this level, she won. That wasn’t enough to keep Miller on board, though. Still a player.
9 VY HANOVER Recent form has been a bit suspect and she can throw in a break occasionally too. I will be looking elsewhere this time.
10 RUNAWAY TRAY Left hard last time and she put forth a good mile in doing so. She will need to use that speed again. Exotics player.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 MELDAY’S MONET Steps up off a sharp win against softer. This would be a tough class jump, normally. But The Fox makes it tougher.
2 LITTLE BROWN FOX Very fast trotter makes his 4YO debut. Gingras listed to make the trip over to drive. Poised for a big season.
3 LEXIS AMIGO Raced well against a very tough horse in Harbor Point. This will not be any easier, but he is an exotics contender here.
4 TEMPLE OF DOOM Came up short last time and the fact that he hasn’t built on his debut is a bit of a concern. Still, he can jump up here.
5 IL MAGO Broke leaving the gate at Pocono last time. His prior efforts were solid here. If he can stay trotting, he will be a factor in here.
6 BEATGOESON HANOVER This is a bit of class relieve, but the presence of Little Brown Fox makes this very difficult. Tries to earn a share.
7 TOBER Making his second start back off the freshening and his first start back was excellent. He might go overlooked in this group.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 BIG SKY ANGELINA Her last two efforts have been an improvement, so that is encouraging. Headed in the right direction. Contender.
2 IN FOCUS Will this be the spot he wakes up in? It’s hard to answer at this point, but his back class may shine through in this spot.
3 TIGER’S TOO GOOD He looks to be very tough in here. That was his first start off a substantial layoff and he raced very well. Chalk.
4 ARMBRO ARISTOCRAT Made the lead from post 1 at Philadelphia. Campbell did opt off and this 13YO has not won in some time.
5 GETINONTHESECRET Mixed bag of efforts in her last few starts. Her best effort would fit in this group. We might see speed in here.
6 HOWMUCHUBENCH Stepping up in class off a dull effort. He raced better on 3/1 before he broke. I need to see some improvement.
7 ASHCROFT Making his second start off the layoff, so improvement is to be expected. I will be watch very closely for future consideration.
8 JULIA’S WAY When she doesn’t go offstride, she races well. Mare has some versatility and was Campbell’s choice. Has a chance.
9 SPECTATOR K He will be leaving to try and find good early position. Andy goes elsewhere, but he will be a pace factor at the very least.
10 DREAM KID Gelding had just too much to do last time. I am not sure this is going to work out much different than that. Needs a trip.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 GORDYS FILLY YENTA Seems to be in a good race/ bad race pattern. Campbell’s choice of three in a very difficult field. Contender.
2 DRAGON PRINCESS She was a little better last time, but this field is tougher than what she faced in her last start. Mixed feelings.
3 BRITE JET Mare has speed, that is for sure and she is plenty sharp enough. I usually want to see a start from Rosecroft shippers first.
4 RUB THING She was aggressively handled in her last start and got a little tired late. With a smoother journey here, she can hit the ticket.
5 CHEYENNE PATTI Disappointed as the favorite last time. This barn had a tough week, with several scratches. See if barn is warming up.
6 KIMMY She broke through with a sharp win last time and now moves up in class. She does lose Campbell here. This will be tougher.
7 PICKED BY AN ANGEL Nice qualifier, but this is her first start in over five months so the chances are she needs a start first.
8 BIJOU THEATER She was rolling late and just ran out of ground last time. Callahan sticks and she will be a major factor once again.
9 DE VINS GIRL See how Clear View Hanover did earlier in the card. If that mare won, then move this mare way up. Should be a factor.