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Handicapping

  • Week Of 6/9 - 6/15
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  • MO10
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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 Saturday, June 15, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 ANDY BARAN A dominant winner in Round 1, but against a softer group than this. A deserving favorite, but far from a cinch in this spot.
2 KAUFMAN HANOVER Got aggressive at 56-1 last week and just got tired in the stretch. Good effort, but he is still a longshot in this field.
3 ELUSIVE REWARD Elected to sit in and closed to earn a check in the stretch last week. He is better than that and I expect better in here.
4 BOBJACKS ANGLE A Nice effort behind a well-meant winner last week. This horse looks sharp and a live cover trip makes him a player.
5 AVOGADRO HANOVER He is a slow starter, so he is always at the mercy of pace and trip. A candidate to round out exotics with a trip.
6 S F LAW Finished an even 4th behind Andy Baran last week. This field is tougher, and thus, he will need to be better. Loses Allard, too.
7 MR BIGGLESWORTH Moved to the outside but could only get within 4 lengths of the lead. He, too, will need to be better. Longshot.
8 FREDDY DAY HANOVER I suppose we just draw a line through that effort in Leg 1. He needs a win to guarantee a spot in the Final!
9 CSARDAS Left for position, sat the pocket and then came up empty in the stretch. That just doesn’t bode well here, so I will pass.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 ALWAYS THERE Seems to be at a level that has proved to be too much. Draws inside and will hope to tow along and earn a share.
2 ROCKS N BONDS Not a bad effort in Round 1. He will need to improve to catch the favorite, be he can hit the ticket. Use in exotics.
3 QUIK MAGIC Left out of there and got a soft opening quarter. Got shuffled a bit, was still pacing well at the wire. Can hit the board.
4 WORD POWER Will be a massive favorite and deserves to be. Raced against an apparent speed-bias last week and raced huge!
5 ROAR This is going to be a racehorse. Nothing wrong with his effort last week and I expect him to continue to improve. Second best.
6 ROCK ICON Was not a factor last week and now he runs into Word Power. He will need to improve quite a bit in this spot.
7 IMA GIGGITY FOOL Going up against Word Power again after a game effort last week. Nothing to knock as he should hit the ticket.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-10-4
H Horse Comment
1 ITSAHARDROCKLIFE Not a bad effort last time behind Big Art who he faces again here. Draws better and is a candidate to improve.
2 MINDSET It goes without saying that this is the horse to beat. He is still Pace eligible, but he better start putting on his game face now!
3 SHADY CITY I would call his last race an even effort. That was his 2nd start in 4 days. He is just 1 for 17 in his career. Hope for a part.
4 NATHANIEL B Here is the wild card of the field. Goes for connections that are known to well here, but qualified really well. Interesting.
5 HILLBILLY KID Winless streak has now reached 17 to begin his career. Recent efforts are decent, but a win would surprise me here.
6 STIMULUS PLAN His last race was better and it was good to see him passing horses late. I would call him a deep exotics contender.
7 GRATIAS DEO Has not been able to bring that Plainridge form down to M1. None of his last 3 starts make him a contender here yet.
8 ROCK N AHARD PLACE Had to need that last start as he was off a long layoff. Still only 2 lifetime starts and I think he needs more time.
9 SCENARIO HANOVER Did not show much in his qualifiers and it appears that he is still the longshot of this group.
10 BIG ART Sat the pocket and pounced to a comfortable win last time. Things will be much tougher here, but he still is rated a contender.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 REAL MARRIAGE Beaten favorite from a week ago, but he raced well. Loses Callahan this week, so that will help the price for backers.
2 PARADISE STATION Back to back wins to start his season and this field is not that much faster than him. Mayland shipper can contend.
3 BULLVILLE HONEY Tioga shipper is just 1 for 21, but seems to always earn a check. I expect more of the same in this spot.
4 GALEX Brutal trip last time and prior to that paced a 1:52 mile. Anything close to that effort wins this race. Gets Andy in the bike, too.
5 PADRE MANUEL His form has not been sharp recently, but this is a bit softer of a spot. Still, he is 0 for 17 on the year. Mixed feelings.
6 CAPITOL TRIP Recent form just has not been good and I would need to see some improvement before I can consider here.
7 AIRBURST HANOVER Shows a win against nw1 company at Philly, but he was 22-1 that day and his follow-up effort was below par.
8 WORLD CUP CULLEN He has a couple of decent races against similar in Philly, but he is too inconsistent to feel confident. Tricky call.
9 RAGGS Last four starts have not been good and he was 178-1 last week and draws the far outside. Appears the longshot again.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 RELENTLESS DREAMER His rally was a bit too late last time, but it was a better effort. He is always dependent on trip and pace. Maybe.
2 HACIENDA He had a ground-saving trip last week and was closing nicely into a speed favoring stretch. Draws well, he is a legit contender.
3 HIGH OCTANE N He was also forced to close into speed-favoring conditions last week, so that rally wasn’t bad. Can hit the board here.
4 GEORGETOWN N This horse has ability and he was better in that qualifier behind Bettor Sweet. Still, I might watch a start.
5 UNICORN HANOVER He is in pretty good form right now and has an ideal post for this event. Gets Allard and he rates an upset glance.
6 DOUBLETROUBLE Finished 2nd beaten a nose against similar last month, but why did he get beat at Saratoga? Tough call now.
7 LAWGIVER HANOVER He was flying up the pylons last week and just ran out of racetrack. Harder will get him in position to close again.
8 NOBLE FALCON Good effort last time but just got collared in the stretch. This is the level he can do some damage at. Another player.
9 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM He is 0 for 15 on the year which makes him a tough recommend on the win end. He likely will be coming from last.
10 ALED HANOVER Coming out of a fast mile and he raced well there also. The Burke/Miller combo will get money. Contention runs deep.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKAHOLIC The first of many contenders in a very tough race. Good 2nd last week, but he is still 0 for 10 on the year. Rates a look.
2 ONLY THE LONELY Miller showing loyalty to Surick here, but Source of Pride is the better horse. That said, this horse can roll late.
3 LETS ROCK TOGETHER Added Lasix and was bet like an international good thing, but did not fire. The 3 week gap is a concern, too.
4 BANGBANGKISSKISS This horse was thought to have a lot of ability at one time. Ships up off a dull try and looks like a longshot.
5 STEUBEN PATRIOT Those are back to back good miles and he has a good post for this race. Might add value to the exotics.
6 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUY Yes, he is dropping out of the Sire Stakes, but this is a pretty tough nw3. I think he needs to improve.
7 SEEK THE DRAGON Showed good speed on both ends of the mile last time. That said, this race is much tougher. But he is a contender.
8 TRACK MASTER D He has been racing well, although he probably should have won last time out. Appears a fringe player in here.
9 SOURCE OF PRIDE He is the best horse in the race and is Meadowlands Pace eligible. This spot won’t be easy, but he will be tough.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-8-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE That was a brave rally last week as he did not have the easiest of trips. This field is much tougher though.
2 BOLERO ANDREW Going from a C-2 mini-series to this spot is a monstrous jump up in class. He will need to be even better now.
3 BULLET SPEED He has gone some good miles here this year, but his recent form is a bit spotty. Needs one of his best efforts to cotend.
4 BREAKIN THE LAW Not sure what to do here. One month ago he was beat in nw4000 at Pocono. But his last mile was big. Tough read.
5 URGENT ACTION That was a good effort last time and he has won against similar here before. Allard’s choice is one of several players.
6 MCCLELLAND He has re-found his best form and enters this on a nice win streak. Based on his current form, he is another contender.
7 DREAM OUT LOUD N He has made his presence felt since his arrival and will get a major test for class in this spot. Intriguing player.
8 BETTORS GLASS Not easy to rally the way he has at Philly. Perhaps the longer stretch here can help? Will be coming late for sure.
9 PANESTHETIC Caught a bit off guard that Allard opted off. Smith has to use his speed to his advantage here. Will be blasting, I think!
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 BRANDON’S COLT Last two starts have not been too sharp and I do not believe that win against nw2500 company at Fhld holds up here.
2 ALLAMERICAN APACHE Yet to get back to the form prior to the claim, but he is getting there. This looks like a class drop. Interesting.
3 STORMIN RUSTLER That 0 for 16 bothers me a bit in this spot and his last effort at Philly was not up to par. He needs to be better.
4 UP TOWN WATTS Has not raced in 18 days and his form prior to the scratch was a bit dull as well. I will watch this time around.
5 DAMON BLUE CHIP This C-1 to C-2 move has proven to be a big drop. Andy does opt to drive Surick, but I actually prefer this guy.
6 COOL RUNNINGS Raised better on the initial dropdown to this level, but he has yet to return to that form. He needs to step it up.
7 KISS MY ART Like his stablemate Arezzo Hanover, he can break at any time, so he comes with some risk. He’s a player if he stays flat.
8 PRESTISSIMO He just ran into a buzz-saw last week, but that was a good effort. I expect to see speed in this spot. Another contender.
9 HANG TEN Comes out of that race won by Bolero Andrew who moves way up the ladder tonight. I think he is a major contender off last.
10 COASTAL N Was racing at the C-1 level when last seen here, but he hasn’t won in some time and is coming off a break. Not for me.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 LUCKY CADET Loomed up 3-wide turning for home last week, but he flattened out in deep stretch. He is just 1 for his last 27, too.
2 DIGGERS REST N Yet to win this year and while his last race was a bit better, he was still losing ground from the pocket last week.
3 FOUR STARZ TWINS He has raced himself back into shape and is going well. He catches a tough group and will have to pace 1:51 to win.
4 CC RACY Closed willingly last week at a big number from a tough spot. Can he build on that mile? If so, he would be a contender here.
5 BLUE STRIKE He too closed well on a racetrack that was not conducive to that racing style last week. Perfect post. Another contender.
6 THANKS FOR STOPPIN Beaten favorite last week is more likely to blast from here and make the lead. Expect a better effort this time.
7 BIG PUFF DOGGIE Was not much of a factor last week and he will need to improve in order to contend in this field.
8 ALA CARTE BILL Not a bad rally last time and he will have to put forth a similar effort here. The slow starts do not help him though.
9 AWESOME ARMBRO N Coming off what seemed like an overdue win last time. Will he come from last to win this? That’s a tough call.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-7-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 BEAU RIVAGE He is now 0 for 15 on the year and although he continues to race well, I will likely try to beat him in the top spot here.
2 BELL’S PANACEA His recent form has not been sharp and it would take a form reversal at this point in time to make him a contender.
3 COME ON RIDGE He has raced well at times here in the past and technically this is a class drop. He can wake up a bit in this spot.
4 ARTILLERY MAJOR He is entering this off a win, which is worth noting, but he will need to go substantially faster in this event.
5 POKER CHAMP Continues to get off the gate slowly and is now coming off a break as well. He retains his longshot status.
6 WHITTAKER He hasn’t been in sharp form recently and it would take sudden improvement to rate him a contender in this field.
7 BLUE CLAW There are certain spots where he jumps up and races well. The tote board usually indicates those spots. I like him here.
8 ALLAMERICAN CHIEF Coming out of the Bettor Sweet qualifier, but he is yet to hit the board in 2013 and I need to see improvement.
9 PALM’S BEACH He just had too much to do last time against a well-meant winner. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some speed here.
10 POP A TOP POP Form at Harrington has been just OK and without much speed from post 10, this looks like an imposing task.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 TOWNSLIGHT HANOVER That was a big mile, but I do caution that the track was very fast that night. This is a tough task on the move up.
2 STATESMAN N Nothing wrong with his last effort, but this is a tougher field than what he faced last week. This is a good horse, though.
3 BOLT THE DUER Got a perfect drive in the Dan Patch and it paid off. He is the class of this field and looks like the logical horse to beat.
4 VERSADO He is not as good now as he was earlier in the year. That said, his effort in The Molson was pretty good. He can hit the ticket.
5 MEIRS HANOVER He is pretty good when he gets away from the best FFA pacers, although this field is good. He is a fringe contender.
6 DIAL OR NO DIAL Is he ready off the 3 week layoff? That’s a big question. He should be a top-3 contender here, assuming he is ready.
7 ABELARD HANOVER Is now on a 4 race win streak and this might be his biggest test to date. Great drive by Milby last week. Logical.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 DASH N That was an aggressive try from post 10 last time and he should work out a smoother trip here. Wouldn’t shock to hit the ticket.
2 LONG LIVE ROCK Looks like the horse to beat in this series as he didn’t even take a deep breath last time. Overwhelming favorite again.
3 TREY Was not able to make up much ground last time and he looks like he is in too tough in this series. A longshot again.
4 CITY PIE Rolled home quite impressively last time at huge odds. Due to the presence of Long Live Rock, he will be a nice number again.
5 FIRE ESCAPE Sat in and closed well enough to pick up a check, and can he improve here? I suppose, but a minor award appears best.
6 REDNECK OUTLAW Enters this off a win, but he will need to step things up to beat Long Live Rock. Appears to be 2nd best in here.
7 MORALITY Made a bold blitz down the backstretch but could not clear. Not exiting the strongest division, so I think he is up against it.
8 HE’S A BEACHBOY Also doesn’t exit the strongest division and raced OK showing some late pace. I think he is a deep exotics use.
9 OVERNIGHT DELIGHT He has to make up 7 lengths on the favorite here, which seems like a tall order given how this race sets up.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 LEBRON Not coming off a very good effort as his form continues to move in the wrong direction. Hopes to tow along for a share.
2 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A Coming off a win, but I will point out, that was the weakest division in my opinion. Might be a vulnerable favorite.
3 TOUGH LOVE He has continued to slide down the class ladder, without much success. Just 1 for his last 43. Not sold on his chances.
4 UPFRONT COSMO Nice effort last week behind Esprit De Kayjay A. If Abbatiello can keep him closer, he might be able to catch him.
5 VAVOOMSTER Showed speed last week, but faltered in the stretch. This post will give Allard some options. I wouldn’t sell him too short.
6 BOX CAR JOHNNIE He is coming out of a stronger field in my opinion. Better post and if Baggitt can work out a trip, he can get there.
7 MASTERMAKER Did not make much of an impact last time and it would take some needed improvement to contend here.
8 HURRIKANE ANTHONY Did not factor last time and it looks like he might get away last in here. That just isn’t going to work.
9 BIG RED I think we will see speed this time from Macdonald. Might be able to loop around a few. I would call him a fringe contender.