Race Reviews

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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, July 01, 2016

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 SOUTHWIND AVANTI Has done well in both of her qualifiers, closing in sub-:28 in each.
2 EVELYN Went parked past two calls in her first and only appearance on the Big M surface and finished a close second.
3 CAPTIVATING SPIRIT Qualified at Vernon in 2:03, which puts her a step or two behind these.
4 CHECKMATE TIME Showed improvement in each of her starts against freshmen filly trotters, big chance to win this. Trainer: She's been great and we're expecting a big race out of her.
5 FEED YOUR HEAD Takter student is certain to be popular at the windows and should be, off consecutive victories. Trainer: Both qualifiers were good, this is a solid filly.
6 ROMANCING RACHEL Burke filly qualified well at Gaitway and may have enough speed to make the top early against these.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 ICANWITHMAGIC Qualified well in two straight before finishing seventh in a betting race at the Meadows, getting there.
2 DEO GALILEO Looked good going down the road in pari-mutuel debut in 2:00.1 at Grand River, can take another. Trainer: Qualified well on the big track, I think he should drop his time a bit, looking for a good effort.
3 ALWAYS SAFE BET Burke trainees always merit respect although this one may need a bit more in his final quarters.
4 EVERY WAY OUT Roughed it a bit going parked for two calls in fast (winning time 1:55.3) Gaitway qualifier, looks prepared. Trainer: Had a good week and all things are pointing in the right direction.
5 NOTENOUGH FOR ME His lines are that of a horse where things are so far, so good, likely good enough to compete with these.
6 FIREFOX HANOVER Has yet to put a good line on his card.
7 FOUNDMYTREASURE Not close to the pace at the half in either of his two charted efforts, which figures to make things tough.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 HAMMER TIME After going off stride early in his last baby race, appears to need a bit more experience.
2 PARTY HARD Had trouble staying with the field when last seen on June 18, but showed early speed in the prior outing, which could put him in the mix.
3 ETERNAL PATROL Completed his mile in 1:58.2 last week, which puts him at or near the top of this field.
4 MOUNTAIN OF LOVE Consecutive documented sub-2:00 miles and residence in the Algana barn could lead to a winner's circle visit. Trainer: Two solid qualifiers heading into first career start.
5 IMPACTER The Svanstedt stable has had an obvious impact on the North American harness scene and may have another good one here.
6 WHAT THE HILL Trainer Burke did not use trotting hopples in first outing but did in the second, still figuring this one out.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 NEW JERSEY VIKING First racetrack appearance was a respectable fourth with a final quarter of :28.1, from the Svanstedt barn.
2 KING ON THE HILL Takter barn resident rallied well in :27.3 to get second in nice effort a week ago, well prepared. Trainer: I was very happy with his last qualifier.
3 DEACON TONY Much work still to do after going off stride in consecutive outings.
4 FLY ON Shows two wins in two outings at two different tracks, Julie Miller trainee has a big chance in here.
5 SOUTHWIND COBRA Possesses big-time early speed based on his two Gaitway outings, Burke trainee has big potential.
6 EL SENOR DEO Appears to be in a tough spot given his outside post and 2:02 mile time in career debut.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-4-9
H Horse Comment
1 EARN AND BURN Did good things in his seasonal debut, finishing fourth after making the lead from post seven, raced in stakes events a year ago at 2 and is a true stakes-caliber horse taking on modest older foes.
2 MONTALBANO BI Has had plenty of trouble staying flat of late, but the last time he did, he finished second in a mile that went in 1:52.1, Remmen trainee can take this if right. Trainer: If he behaves he should be right there.
3 FREEDOMBIRD Lifetime stats are good, his 2016 numbers? Not so much. Needs a lot of work. Trainer: Qualified OK, is a bit of a problem child who hasn't raced in a little while and may need a start.
4 BELL A CHICK Has put together four good outings in a row for Karen Garland, draws well and figures in the mix. Trainer: Missed last week, draws inside and is hopefully a little closer.
5 CHERRY TREE NICOLE Failed to cash a check in last two at odds of 60-1 and 72-1, tough spot. Trainer: A little overmatched but still hoping for a check.
6 TROTTIN TROY Has not participated in a pari-mutuel race since March 4 so it's likely he'll need a race or two to get ready.
7 TOO MUCH HANOVER Still looking for his first win of the year but does have some form hidden among his last four outings. Trainer: Missed a few weeks but trained well.
8 ALEXANDER LUKAS Failed to maintain a proper gate in his last two betting starts and appears to be in an awfully tough spot. Trainer: Off a layoff, trying to get him back to his good form of last year when he raced with much better.
9 ICE O LATE Took money (7-2), raced well in last when second from post six, unfortunately, draws the nine tonight with little gate speed. Trainer: Made a lot of changes for last week, raced much better off a three-week layoff and should be that much better this week.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 SPENDING SPREE Shows two respectable lines for her career debut, figures close to the action from start to finish.
2 SOUTHWIND PRIUS Was closing in on the leader in each of her charted efforts for Julie Miller, deep stretch threat.
3 MYAMMIE DRAMA Staying flat has proven problematic for this lass, who will need to show she can mind her manners before advancing.
4 WAFFLE CONE Three outings for Burke, with each better than the one before, shows big speed and two straight wins on her card, the one to down. Trainer: Talented but anxious baby that will be handled with care.
5 ICE ATTRACTION Quick final quarter of :27.4 led to a good second-place finish in only-ever appearance, Svanstedt trains.
6 GRAND IDEA Might not be quite as good as the elite horses in this field, but just might be by the time they hit the wire tonight. Trainer: Qualified very well and is a nice filly.
7 ARIANA G Two charted lines, two victories for this Takter trainee who may find things a bit difficult from this outside post. Trainer: Was super in both qualifiers and should be a factor.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 CELEBRITY STIMULUS Stayed close to the action before blowing past a less-talented field last week, sharp, but a notch below a handful of these.
2 REAL DJ HANOVER Major amateur-race player in recent weeks finds himself in softer spot than he was in on May 24, when last in a race that featured regular drivers, will no doubt once again be closing well late.
3 ASPEN CALIFORNIA Has been cashing some checks of late but hasn't been especially close, this is not an ideal spot.
4 KENT COUNTY Failed to stay flat in either of his last two starts, qualified OK, but must stay on stride in a race mile before getting strong consideration.
5 STICK OF BUTTER Paid immediate dividends for the Del Cid barn winning a $39,900 NYSS event in her first start for the outfit, shows a Big M win on May 13, obvious chance. Trainer: She's doing fine and trained well, she should race well tonight but still needs work on her mental attitude.
6 LAZURUS Did not display the type of improvement one might have expected in last dropping down but could rebound for top (Harrison) barn.
7 IT REALLY MATTERS No chance from the 10 hole in last but prior two were decent tries with better foes out of town.
8 GENIUS AT WORK Has not been doing well of late, went off stride before going inside the pylons in last at Yonkers.
9 BROOKROAD KNIGHT Another who is at risk to break stride, finished 10th in last at 60-1and is tough to get behind in here.
10 FERRISWHEEL JUNKIE Yet another who went off stride in last, does show two wins on his card, but with far lesser foes.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 GEMMA'S BEACH GIRL Final time of 1:56.2 in her second lifetime appearance over this track puts her right there with these.
2 SIMPLY AWESOME An effort of 1:58.3 is respectable, but might put her a handful of lengths behind the top ones here.
3 PERPLEXED Alagna trainee has been a good second in both outings, Somebeachsomewhere product's last week mile time was a sharp 1:56.4. Trainer: Made good progress between her first and second baby races, looking for a nice trip off the pace in her first career betting start.
4 INVERSE HANOVER Raced steadily near the rear throughout career debut before a final quarter of :27.2 got her a fourth-place check, figures to improve off that.
5 WORLD APART Linda Toscano student is off a “circle that one” kind of effort, rallying from sixth, closing in :26.4 to get up by a neck. Trainer: Has had two promising qualifiers and am looking forward to her first start.
6 JAYE'S A LADY Another off a pair of efforts that should put her in the mix in her betting-race debut.
7 DANCING IN HEAVEN Shows one good Gaitway effort on her card and one not so good, let's see how she does at the Big M before trying to conclude what she might be one day.
8 AMERAWAY Her one charted line is a good one, 1:56.4 is a fast mile, but how she reacts to the outside post is the question.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 UNCLE HANOVER Nothing short of superb coming first over to pull off a 20-1 surprise in last, obvious repeat possibility.
2 BRANDOS MUSCLE MAN Given his eighth-place finish in last at Monticello at odds of 42-1 this might be a tad tough.
3 DREAMFAIR BOGART Was a winner at Pocono two back and was a tough-trip fifth in last, clearly getting his act back together after a couple of breaks but this group looks too fast for him.
4 BLUE MUSE Has performed at a highly competitive level with this kind in two straight and could upset at nice price.
5 WORLD CUP Has been knocking heads with some tough customers (Jewels In Hock, Danish Durango) of late and will assume the role of favorite tonight. Trainer: Raced evenly last week, takes another drop, which should help.
6 CALIPARI Led for a long time at Yonkers going 1¼ miles in good try as the favorite, should be firing to the front.
7 POP I Overmatched in last facing Saratoga's best but did win two of his prior three facing lesser, will be class-challenged facing these but has some game.
8 CAN DO Has now not raced well in four straight, hasn't been in this soft in a long time and figures to finally have a good night. Trainer: The 8 hole is tough but he always gives 100%.
9 SUMATRA Went off stride in only recent betting start, draws poorly and does not figure to be in the mix tonight.
10 COMMENTARY Harmon trainee has been extraordinarily consistent finishing second in four straight, worthy of respect but the post really hurts.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-10-6
H Horse Comment
1 DREAM OF PARADISE Baby race at Pocono wasn't impressive, finishing 22 lengths behind the winner, needs more experience.
2 ROSE RUN SALLY Finished last in Meadowlands debut, closed well, but so did the field, has some improving to do.
3 CALL ME CAPONE Has shown improvement with each Tioga Downs outing but still has much work to do.
4 IT'S OK TO DREAM Final time of 1:57.4 in first appearance at Gaitway is the type of effort off which this Julie Mille student can improve. Trainer: Makes first start for the season, qualified OK at Gaitway and am eager to see how she likes the Meadowlands.
5 MAIDEN DREAM Raced twice at Tioga, stopping the clock in 2:00.3 and 2:01.1, times that put her a notch below the better horses in here.
6 DESIGNATED DRINKER Vernon shipper has put up a pair of mile times (1:58.4 and 1:57.4) that make her a contender.
7 STRONGRTHANDASTORM Mohawk shipper opened up a big advantage while pacing an opening half of :58.3 last week before ending up second, 4¼ lengths back in mile that went in 1:55.2, speedy sort should like the big track.
8 WONDERFUL WORLD Her mile of 1:59.3 at Tioga stamps her as a secondary contender in this field.
9 PAISLEY SKYE Failed to stay flat in last outing at Tioga and will need this race - and maybe another after that - to compete.
10 LIVINGINTHEDREAM Erv Miller trainee finished fifth in respectable effort in betting race, the only competitor in here to have competed for pari-mutuel spoils, big knock is the outside post.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 AMERICAN PASSPORT Alagna student is a bit of a breaking risk but can do good things when right, such as when he finished a close second to North America Cup winner Betting Line in the June 4 Somebeachsomewhere.
2 MICHAEL'S VICTORY Grabbed the final check in the NA Cup after finishing a close-up third in his elimination the week before.
3 MANHATTAN BEACH Not quite as good as the better 3-year-olds in training but fits well with the group he faces tonight.
4 MAJOR WAR In the midst of a rough patch, having raced poorly in four straight starts, needs some class relief.
5 JACKSRLUCKYTOO Continues to have one of the best meetings of any horse whose been at the Big M all meeting long. Trainer: I would like to give him a break but he's so sharp right now, he acts like he just came back from one start, probably, in a couple starts, we will give him some well-deserved time off.
6 VAGUE TRACES Explosive wins in two straight starts came against much easier competition but is a horse who could go on to bigger and better things for Croghan.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 MR LOVER Sports big stats on his card (six wins in 17 starts) but did not race well in last at Tioga and runs with a tough crowd tonight.
2 ALL THE TIME Serious racehorse from Takter faces some good older foes, but this could be the best 3-year-old female in the sport this year and this will serve as a good prep to go back and face her own kind as she hasn't raced in nearly a month. Trainer: Was very good in her qualifier, faces a good group but I think she'll be right there.
3 WINNING DOUBLE Seven-year-old impressed in speed score with lesser in last but is fast enough to be right there at the finish.
4 POSSESSED FASHION Has been right there in four of his last five taking on good older raceway stock, threat from Fanning.
5 KELSEY'S KEEPSAKE Has not shown just yet this year that she can beat a field like the one she faces tonight, but watch out after she improves a bit.
6 DOG GONE LUCKY With over a half-million on his card and a pair of sub-1:54 qualifiers, this talented sophomore might be ready to beat these at first seasonal asking.
7 DETROIT RAPPER Not all that special in return to the races in last but watch for his tremendous late closing kick once he gets his act back together.
8 CLEMENTINE DREAM Dropped to this level and came close to a 10-1 surprise racing on the front end, dangerous.
9 KEENAN Looked good splitting rivals on the way to winning an amateur driver's event but this is a far more difficult task.