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Handicapping

  • Week Of 9/10 - 9/16
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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, September 16, 2017

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 CHECKMATE HILL Coming along slowly, after an adventurous start to his career. Last out was best effort yet, so let's see if he builds on that and stays trotting all the way. Figures to flash speed from the pole.
1A PRAYING GEAR 5YO stablemate to the freshman is attempting a comeback, but it's not going so well just yet.
2 SHOSHIE DEO Did well in the sires stakes here, and then traveled well to Kentucky and Indiana. Seems like he's gained confidence along the way and he fits this group well. Only needs to go a touch faster, but has before.
3 WOMEN'S LIB 2YO filly tackling older, and males isn't in an easy spot! Hard to describe that last one, with the hopples on. Just seems like she was uncontrollable? Take a good, long look on the track before you bet.
4 WHAT A KNOCKOUT Had a nice breakout maiden breaker at Philly and then came here with a decent try. Seems to be over that sickness from July. Proved she could handle the colts here. Probably the one to fear tonight.
5 SEND KEY HANOVER 3YO turned things around willingly in the Philly win, and then regressed back into a miscue at Pocono! This is only fourth lifetime start, so let's not be too hard on him. A flat mile gives chance at the upset.
6 TOP OF THE LINE Knocking on the door lately, folks! But, let's not forget that he is just 1-27 lifetime. I'd want fair value to try him in the top spot and that doesn't seem likely. Odds too low?
7 ENVY HANOVER Filly never really got rolling last time, but she did come off the gate nicely. Eventually, she will have to show that speed again and I can't guarantee her mile track stamina. Your call?
8 ROAD LIGHT Has some speed, but again it's a problem with mile track stamina. Kirby put her in a good spot last time, but she just got tired. This post is tougher, and the trip to the lead doesn't look easy. I'll prefer others. Trainer: Not the greatest post draw, but raced well last week.
9 DUDE HANOVER Not a lot going on in this corner, so let's just pass from the dreaded post 10.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 SWORD OF THE SPIRIT Uncorked a flying rally as part of a three-winner night for Roberts last Saturday. It shocked me a little, but give credit where it's due. Proved he could pace fast enough on mile track. Can he do it again?
1A FRANKIE BOY Barn's other entrant also raced well upon arrival. A good night for trainer Nunes! Frankie loses that pole post edge and he's a one run closer. Has to hope things set up for him to uncork a rally. A big maybe.
2 IYQ YQR Ended up with the trip of a lifetime last week and took advantage. With that said, he still finishing willingly and proved he could pace that fast. Will things set up the same? I doubt it, but the inside post helps. So does speed. Trainer: Trained very well and is ready to go!
2A RU READY TO ROCK Aggressively handled upon arrival and got a touch tired late, understandably! I don't think he'll need a 26 flat starter to get there from this post. Completes a pretty powerful entry here. Either one can win.
3 RING WARRIOR Got cooked in that early speed duel last week, so let's not be too hard on him. Moves to a much nicer inside post and we can't question his speed. Just hoping for an easier trip and he packs a big chance.
4 ST LADS FLIRT Turning for home last week, I thought he was a winner. Eric A probably thought same. Got nailed in the final stride by #1. It was still much improved effort. Packing one good move, so timing and trip are critical. Trainer: Unpredictable horse here.
5 VICTORY AT LAST Used wicked hard as part of that speed duel. He didn't exactly stop, so that shows a little heart. the midpack post is ideal, to give pilot options. In this race, it's probably good to have options. No speed duels!
6 HOWSABOUTAKISS Liked him a lot last week and he squandered good situation. Not sure what to think after seeing that. We can probably make a case that he's tailed off? I'd have hard time taking a short price again. Your call?
7 SOUTHERN SPORT Outraced his odds last week to hit the board. Yes, things did set up for the closers, but he still proved he could go that fast. Same situation here, in very bad post. Needs a lot of action up front to help.
8 DOUBLE YOUR BET Yes, he had some traffic issues last week, but it's still post 10. Needs a lot of luck out here.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 GONNA FLY Burned some cash up at Monti, getting parked out at 3-5. Prior effort at Tioga would be good enough to put him in the hunt here. Has handled a big track before, but this is no easy spot. A-1 best required.
1A STARSABOVEALLERAGE 6-time winner this year. Sometimes delivers a good kick, or good speed, but he's got to avoid those miscues. Maybe the ship back to the big track will wake him up. A good two-for-the-price-of-one?
2 WAR CRY HALL Delivered a fine effort for Bob Hechkoff in the amateur event. With that said, he likely won't be cutting this mile and it's a brand new ballgame against these foes. I think he could be a touch overmatched. Trainer: Nice brush last week and held off a tough challenger. Hoping to build on that effort.
3 MOONLIGHT COCKTAIL Looks like a prime chance to drop and pop tonight for Team Toscano. This mare is a grinder, and this inside post is perfect for her. She can trot faster than most of these. May only need smooth trip.
4 MURMUR HANOVER From PEI to the Big M winner's circle last week! A nice effort, indeed, but totally untested vs. inferior foes. This is the test for class, and we'll see if Gannon got himself a good one. Will need more to beat these.
5 DANISH DURANGO Did have a bit of a tough trip in the amateur race, and did hold his ground well. That was first time Lasix and they often say the second time is when it helps best. However, this is much tougher race. Your call? Trainer: Got brutalized in the amateurs last week. Hope for a better trip and has had a good week.
6 SOUTH SIDE HANOVER Was a sure winner at big odds until she went to running near the wire. That was a shame! Especially if you bet on her. If anything, I think this is tougher situation and the price may not be right. Tough call.
7 THAT'S RIGHT JACK Not having much luck lately. Also has been up and down the class ladder at several different tracks. Versatile enough to leave, or take back, wait for flow. Perhaps not the worst longshot stab ever.
8 JACK VERNON Easily the key to the race! I know we're all staring at those recent miscues, but he was in against much tougher. If he trots tonight, he should probably beat these. The post is a big knock, however. Your call at what price?
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 CAN DO Finally gets a break again at the post draw. That immediately puts him in play. Owns more than enough speed, and sometimes gets brave. I would have a tough time leaving him off the ticket in this spot.
2 SHADY MCCOY Eric A won a race with this fella here earlier. If you apply the class drop, and return to big track, you get a live longshot. We know horse likes to win, as evidenced by record. Not easy spot, but very possible.
3 SILVERMASS VOLO That win at Pocono two back looks awfully impressive. The follow-up, up in class looks good too! Seems like a "grinder" and there could be plenty of action in here to set up a rally. I can make a case for him here.
4 BASTILLE Worked his way too high in class recently. Not bad for an 11YO! He has experience here, but doesn't win all that often. I guess in a race like this, I probably have to take a stand against. Demand value if you fancy.
5 EXPLOSIVE LEGGS Another up and down the class ladder at all tracks. I'm guessing he's most effective at one level lower than this, so I will also go against for now. I have to let him prove he can hack it here. Not sure yet.
6 LAUDERDALE Any time he's in a race, it presents a handicapping dilemma. By all rights, he probably should have won his last two. His effort here on Hambo eve was just okay. We all know about the back class, and the speed. Trainer: He is either good, or not so good. Never know which horse will show up.
7 PINKMAN Speaking of back class, how bout a Hambo winner on the comeback trail, first time Lasix! It's taken Team Takter a while to get him rolling, but he seems okay and ready to roll. If even halfway primed, he could outclass these. Trainer: Had two qualifiers after we put him on Lasix and been much better. Not sure how fast he can go yet.
8 REAL DJ HANOVER Seems to have tailed off as he worked way up the ladder and this looks like another almost impossible spot. Have to pass from way out here.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-10-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Clearly wasn't ready for his comebacker. With that under his belt, I expect a slightly better performance here. The pole will keep him close. Let's see if we get that closing kick again.
2 ROCKINWITHTHEBEST Barn had a real good night here last weekend, so they're bringing another to the party. Not really sure how to rank this one, but there are no killers in here. Does he fit? We're going to find out.
3 QUALITY BUD Gets some much needed class relief. Is it enough to wake him back up? Went a few good races at this level here earlier this summer. The big problem is no wins yet this year. That's tough to take.
4 STAKEOUT Set a very fast pace on the lead in return and simply got tired. With that said, we could easily get a change of tactics and a better result. This is the level where he belongs. I can make a case he goes better tonight.
5 OFFICIAL STRIPES Too many scratches and dull efforts on view. Have to pass on this one's chances.
6 AUCKLAND FLYER Had every chance to get close last week, given a good trip, but he simply could not keep up late. With that said, he'll have to find more, and find it fast to be competitive here. Trainer: Trained good this week.
7 WORKANDPLAYHARD Flashed nice speed for Andy last week and then got leg weary late. Now the post is tougher and he's another that will simply have to find more to earn. Never an easy task here at Club Med.
8 BIG STRETCH MARK Yes, 0-9 this year, and 2-45 lifetime. Lots of seconds, though! Working his way back down the class ladder, against a field that has no killers. I probably wouldn't put on top, but I'd definitely use underneath.
9 JUMBO JET N Thought he had a pretty good shot last week and it didn't quite work out. Second try at this level, but from tougher post now. Not sure how big the price will be, in wide open race like this. I do expect speed, though.
10 HONEY I'M HOME 0-10 so far this year, with all out-of-town efforts in PA. I will respect fact that he showed strong speed, however. This is prime spot to take a shot, provided he can handle the mile track. That's a good question.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 ST LADS MOONWALK Serious class relief on a horse that's won here each of last two year. Didn't get lucky at post draw, but has shown more than enough speed to overcome. Very hard to ignore, with a partner too!
1A TITUS SEELSTER Post 10-itis, but powerful, blast out speed. Fits very well in here, with a decent entrymate. Took his mark on a big size track up at Vernon, so he can handle this. The only knock is the post. Forces the issue early.
2 ASHLEY'S HUSBAND That was some eye-opener here last week! Montrell sent him right down the road and he kept on going. The pole position is a big plus in this spot, with the power on outside. Let's see if he handles the hike.
3 SUPER IMPOSED N Really turned things around over past two starts. What a difference! Hikes up the ladder again, and switches to Club Med, but I think he's ready to handle it. Also versatile, and that will help the cause too!
4 MACHS BEACH BOY Took a little time off and doesn't appear ready for a test like this. These are too tough.
5 CHEVALS CLIVESDALE One more inch of racetrack last week and he wins. Would have been huge price too! With that said, this is a field full of class droppers and he's hiking up. I don't think that's going to work out well. Trainer: Trained very well and ready to go!
6 TEXICAN N Another Yonkers shipper that was seeking a softer spot and this probably isn't it. The midpack post should help and keep him within range, but not sure how sharp he is right now. I'd want big price to take a swing.
7 BALLINROBE How does an Ocean Downs Open type race fit with this bunch? That's a good question. One Ocean shipper did win here last week, but this is no easy spot. Would have to prove he can pace in 50. Not sure bout that.
8 GO BIG SPENDER Almost got very lucky last week, given a prime drive by Andy. Definitely did prove he could go fast enough, but I don't plot the same trip for him against these. I will go against again.
9 CALVIN B Can't really say that Cal is sharp and in good form right now. Have to pass from way out here.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 JACKSRLUCKYTOO Big M lover returned to Club Med last week and never really got into the race. I'm willing to forgive that, knowing this spot looks a lot better. The inside post keeps him closer. Bettors try to get money back. Trainer: Should be okay off the rail.
2 J T Continues to work his way back down the class ladder and this is the kind of horse Eric A did well with at big prices. I wouldn't hesitate to toss him onto the ticket if the value is there. It figures to be. Sits in, saves ground.
3 CITY HALL Also slid down the ladder over past month, but hasn't woken back up. I guess we have to wait.
4 KOTARE YAEL N Turned in a couple of decent tries when seen here. He's adapted well to U.S. racing and owns one big kick. Therefore, timing and trip are usually critical. There could be some action in here to set up the rally.
5 WEGOTTATRUCKYEA He's also best as a one-way closer. Not sure what happened last time at Pocono, because he just stopped. He's got plenty of good starts here. One of the eligible closers, if things get western early.
6 MICHAEL'S VICTORY Seemed a little overmatched upon return and he does drop a tick. Still a longshot to me.
7 EXPRESS STRIDE N Ran into all sorts of traffic troubles last week, so don't be too hard on him. Took money that night too! Likely to get bet a lot again. I guess it's all about value. At short price, not sure I want the risk from post. Trainer: Never had room last week. Had a great week, though!
8 IAMMRBRIGHTSIDE N Wow! What's happened to this gelding. Launched a big move for about 10 feet last week and flattened out badly. Not sure I can recommend him after seeing that. Need to see a good one again.
9 SICILY His best weapon is speed and this is ideal spot to fire out of there. Lots of closers to his inside, so have to take a shot. Probably needed the race last week. Any repeat of July 29 effort gives him solid chance in here.
10 MARTY MONKHAUSER A Over from Pocono on a mini class drop, but he's facing a big uphill climb from out here. I don't see him blasting out, and I don't see him outkicking all the other closers. Very tough spot.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 JARNAC 0-26 on the year, so that's a knock right off the bat. Working her way up the class ladder too! That's not going to help. I guess I could consider in an underneath spot at expected big price. Sits in, saves ground.
2 FOUR HOUR NAP Super dig-in effort from this mare last week. Rick Dane kept her alive and going all the way to the line. This spot looks a whole lot tougher and she won't be setting pace in here. Likely to follow, try to keep up.
3 SCARLET N SILK Down from New York with a mixed bag of efforts. Only two wins so far this year. I'll note she took her mark on mile track, plus wins at Hawthorne. Post helps keep her close. Let's see if she can set up a rally.
4 TWICE AN ANGEL Unlucky mare has had a long season, but this is good chance to bounce back with a good effort. Will have to find a way to chase down McAce, but she does have the post edge. Might only need smooth trip. Trainer: In tough last week and raced very good. I felt good going into it, same for this week.
5 OUR ELS DREAM N Over from Yonkers and not exactly into an easier spot. She is unproven here. I'll pass for now.
6 THE SUMMER WIND Another that doesn't win very often, but sometimes sneaks into the gimmicks. The midpack post is always ideal for horse that wants to rally. If the action up front is fast, we can watch for her late.
7 SUDDEN CHANGE N Another Yonkers invader working her way down in class. Note that she owns a win here this year, so have to respect that. Coming off a tough trip effort. Might be stuck in same situation here from outer post.
8 MCACE OF ARTS Love this mare's speed! It always puts her in play, but she can get a little hot at times. Fought tenaciously every step of the stretch and it will be the same here. Fires right to the front, Catch if catch can! Trainer: Raced okay last week, just got nosed out.
9 ABBIJADE HANOVER Moves from the pole, to post nine and perhaps a no chance spot? Not likely to leave into the teeth of #8, so it's all about a trip from the back. Must be a smooth one, or she will have too far to come.
10 BETTOR CHILL OUT What happened last week? I have no idea. She broke for no apparent reason on a clear lead. Now, it's post 10 and a big challenge for pilot. Might have to be very careful from out here. No mistakes.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 WHATAORSE 11YO is still going great guns right now! I still remember that lifetime best win here earlier this summer. The recent efforts at Freehold are both good. He's got versatile speed and the rail. Very usable here.
2 SAWBUCK HANOVER In for the $20K tag here, so you can buy him if you want. Looks like an honest earner that doesn't miss too many checks. The post will keep him close and he'll finish late. Only needs that smooth journey.
3 PERSEVERANT Had a tough trip grinding here last week, so let's not be too hard on him. Finally gets a break at the post draw and that immediately helps his chances. Have to figure good value here. Also usable, if price is right.
4 VICTORYDAZE WILWIN Yes, he had to need that race last week, after missing a month-plus. This level might still be a tad too high for him and he's a one way closer. Would need exactly the right setup, like he got on Hambo eve.
5 PREPARTY One of several for this barn that have solid chances tonight. While I'm not in love with fact he got scratched last time, I think he's a better fit here. That win was good confidence booster. Hard to leave out. Trainer: Had equipment issues last week.
6 MR BIG LOAD Over from Yonkers with flat form and into a tough spot. I will note that he owns a win here this year, so maybe we should consider that. Will he fire out and take a shot? I wish I knew the answer to that.
7 SPICEBOMB Begins his ascent back up the class ladder and returns to his favorite surface. Many good starts over this oval, and even though I don't guess right on him often, he has to be considered here. Has beaten better before.
8 HEZABLUECHIPBOY N Hard to get a real "read" on his form right now. Burned money on roadtrip to Harrington. Toss the last from bad post at Yonkers. Gets another bad post here, but does have some back class. Very iffy.
9 SCIROCCO BLUE CHIP Squeezes in for the condition here, but gets slammed with a brutal post. Has been racing well over at Pocono, but this spot could be a little too tough for him. Only chance is to fire out. Not sure about that.
10 MISTER TRUTH Finds his way back to the Med, but in impossible spot from post 10. Needs a lot of luck.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 SLY RULER Turned in a fairly decent try last week, given a tough trip. He still held on for a minor share and that's probably the goal again. The inside post will keep him close. Still a longshot to me, though.
2 WILLIE BOOTS One of several in here looking to drop and pop, and it's very possible! Usually good for one solid move in a mile and this race is full of those types. One of them will get lucky and I don't know which one.
3 OUT REGAL IDEAL N Beat a field like this here rather handily back in the early part of summer. Returns into prime spot for Vallee, and he's more versatile than you think. Would be very hard to leave off the ticket tonight.
4 WHAT I BELIEVE Did a good job of ground-saving last week and picked up a nice check despite some traffic issues. I liked what I saw when he shook loose. Not likely to be 26-1 this time, but maybe not worth shorter price? Tough call.
5 ROCK TO GLORY I just don't think he's sharp enough right now to tackle this group. Need to see good one first.
6 ALWAYS A DIAMOND Liked him last week and I was wrong. Andy had him in good spot and horse had no kick! What's up with that? Bigger thing to consider here is the class drop. Is that enough to wake him back up?
7 STRATOCASTER Somehow ended up the favorite here last week and I'm not sure why. Followed a dull flow wide and never really hit top gear. Draws another difficult, outside post and might not have early speed. A tough take at price. Trainer: Unless I can find a driver that wants to get involved at the beginning of the race, I may as well stay at home.
8 DAVID THE SAINT Just 1-26 this season. Not exactly in raging form. Stuck outside. Too many knocks for me.
9 THE ROCK Probably the key to the race! Won here earlier this year and barn has had tremendous success in NJ in 2017. Class drops like this usually wake The Rock back up and I expect to see speed. Only way to get into it.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 DON DORADO That was a heckuva try in the amateur race, considering the long layoff. Horse has plenty of class and tries hard every time. He's used to facing better than this, so I make him clearly the one to beat from the rail.
2 HILL I AM Keep in mind that he did win a race here this year. This is second start off a long layoff, and a big drop in class. The inside post should keep him close enough. Is he ready to deliver a top effort? If so, watch out.
3 MAN OF DESTINY Wasn't much of a threat against that better field last week. Looks like a work in progress for Marino barn and I don't think I've seen enough to warrant a bet just yet. I need to see more first.
4 WILDFLOWER It took a while for her to get rolling, but she trotted strongly once in gear. That should serve as perfect acclimating mile to the Med. Owns no early speed, so at mercy of pace and trip. Can she track down the Don? Trainer: Big mile for her, four wide off the turn. Great tightener and draws better. Big shot here!
5 WHATNBLAZES 11YO rarely wins, so I'm not considering for the top spot. However, he's always around the number and on the ticket. Would be very hard to leave out, considering midpack post and potential for smooth trip.
6 DOG GONE LUCKY It's been a couple of years since he won, but we must note the barn change here. First time Miller is a profitable angle. I suspect she'll turn this fella around, but it might take a start or two. We'll see. Trainer: New addition to the barn. Needs to stay flat.
7 PARTY ON THE RIVER Gets "lucky" to scratch into this, but was pretty flat last time. Would need a lot more here.
8 JAZEBEL DE VIE Did stay trotting last week, so that's a step in the right direction. With that said, it was a decent journey from the pole post, and now facing a tougher journey from an outside post. That might not work out.
9 PLAYBOY RUSTY Also very flat, coming out of a key negative race in my opinion. Where's he going from post 9?
10 TROT COMMANDER The last of the longshots in here, and from the worst post. Can't really be too positive about that first start back here. Would need vast improvement to get any closer.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 GYPSY ROSE 3YO "inherited" the lead last week and turned in a pretty gutsy effort under pressure. I don't think that's her best style, so look for a different kind of journey tonight. She's definitely proving she can go fast enough.
2 TWIST OF FATE Squandered a golden opportunity last week, given a perfect trip and drive. Yes, this field might be a tad easier, but I'd have hard time betting on her off that effort. Will have to find a lot more stamina.
3 TEN CARAT Last of the 3YO's in here invades from Philly with a mixed bag of efforts. Hard to gauge, but showing no wins yet this year. At least she finally gets a better post. Seems like a one move type, so will need a trip to have shot.
4 FREE SHOW Got torched blasting out of the eight-hole down at Philly. She had every right to tire. Still, it was good display of speed and Pelling will eventually figure her out. Demand a fair price if you fancy on the big track now.
5 MCFOOLERY Had some traffic issues last week and appeared to have some pace. Takes the final dip to bottom level here, so it's time to step up and deliver. I'd like to see just a touch more speed, but not sure she has it early.
6 MOJARRA HANOVER Had a couple of decent tries down at Philly. It's back to her preferred surface here and the post is okay. She's best as a one-way closer out in the flow. Likely to get that kind of trip here. Can hit the ticket.
7 HIPNUMBERONE Up and down the class ladder a lot lately. Never seems to find the right spot, and I can't even guarantee this is it. Does pack a reliable turn of speed, but may be suspect on mile track. We'll find out.
8 WALK TWO MOONS Last time seen here, she was in against vastly tougher. Just okay since, but she's overdue for a good trip and solid effort. The tepid call as fave, in this hard-to-handicap race. She looks best on paper.
9 AARIN HANOVER Almost got there last week, chasing a front-end winner. With that said, it was ideal trip from the rail and her post luck has run out. Just 1-21 on the year, so I'll probably go against from way out here.
10 TON OF LUCK Her name is exactly what she needs to win this from dreaded post 10. I just don't see it.