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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 Friday, January 12, 2018

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 ISE THE BY BOY Gets key post relief to go along with his speed and that should put him in play tonight. I like some of his recent efforts on the mile track, so watch out! Might be tough to catch from the pole position for Abel.
2 DANISHDUJOUR What a great drive that was by The Mann to overcome post 10 last time. Apparently he's over that sickness that plagued him a month or so ago. The inside post will help him too. The race goes through inside pair.
3 HASH-TAG CHROME It would be tough to make a strong case for success in here. Form is flat. Post is decent.
4 DRACO Turned in a slightly better effort last out, but he was merely chasing and no match. Also stays inside, so I anticipate a similar journey. The 'ol sit in, save ground and try to keep up. It might work for a minor share.
5 ENERGY SHAKES I can't really make a strong case for much in this corner right now. Too many scratches.
6 WINDSONG GORGEOUS Montrell hops aboard the 11YO here and I would say he's the most "accomplished" of these drivers. Horse sat right behind #2 last time and made a race of it late. That's the blueprint for victory tonight.
7 IDEAL DANNY Another that's simply been towing along and not providing much of a threat. Since he moves to an outside post now, outside the power in here, he's clearly up against it. Will need a lucky trip to put pressure on.
8 CUNDALINI Didn't show a whole lot in first start off the claim. I thought he had plenty of room, but no pop. Doesn't appear to be a quick starter, so I would be hard pressed to bet from this post. Might need a little mayhem up front.
9 BIG BAD JASON Could be the key to the race! Why? Because he's got speed, and he's dropping a bit in class. That spells forward try, and I guess I'd be surprised if he didn't fire out of there. Not sure about mile track prowess.
10 FORTY CARROTS Just forget about that first try here when parked out. I'm sure horse is better than that, but he didn't get very lucky with this post drawn. Plus, he might need an easy trip after that brutal one. Not for me.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 FOX VALLEY STEFFEN Clearly weakened in his last two tries against these, but that dangerous speed must always be respected, especially from the rail. Will fire out of there, but I don't think horse can hang on all the way.
2 O'DOYLE RULES Definitely looks like one of the longshots again. Has clearly been struggling here. Pass.
3 ANGEL ASSAULT If you just give her a "pass" from the post 10 tour of the track, then maybe we can make a case for this mare. Several of those Saratoga efforts would be good enough. Might offer a price. I can envision a trip here.
4 KEYSTONE THOMAS We all know about his speed too! BUT, he also lacks the stamina to be successful here at the moment. Should be interesting sprint into first turn, along with #1. But I suspect, they will both tire to set it up.
5 BOLD FRESH Definitely a big chance tonight, provided he comes from off the pace! Did much better in rally mode last out and this is perfect post to get jump on some of the others. Would be hard to leave off ticket after last one.
6 ARUBA VACATION Not really sure what to do here. I wasn't overly happy with last try, when he squandered a golden trip behind the winner. Simply could not keep up and got tired. Not in line to get a good trip now. I will pass.
7 REAL DJ HANOVER Last chance to impress for the sale-bound Hip #214 on Monday. BUT, speed has always been this gelding's best weapon and he faces severe pressure early from #1,4. I just don't think it's going to work out well.
8 DRAMA FREE Fresh claim here for Camp Harmon and this is the perfect spot, I think. Gelding has clearly faced better along the way. Seems versatile enough to sit and stalk the potential hot pace. Just might swoop them with a trip.
9 ROCKIN REDFORD Has now missed more than a month of racing, so that's a big problem, along with post nine. With that said, pilot has had a LOT of luck here lately, so who knows. Get a fair price if you fancy and want to bet.
10 URIEL No, I cannot explain that monstrously improved effort last time for pilot's first win. But, I will say I'd be surprised if horse even made the lead here from post 10 in field full of speedballs. Plus, gelding won't be 64-1 this time.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-8-7
H Horse Comment
1 ODDS ON MAGIC Ships up from Maryland off a couple of flat efforts and is definitely taking a big jump up in class. Guess I'd need to see a good one first before I could consider. Not just yet for me.
2 SAM Sam was pretty flat in that lone recent try here. Went back to Freehold and overcame a tough post to get a check. I just don't think she's quick enough on the mile track anymore. Will have to prove me wrong.
3 CASA MIASA In for the tag here, so that's why she fits the race. Comes out of a tough spot with Charming Hill, who would be 1-9 in here. This mare wasn't particularly good, but she could improve off the acclimating mile. Brett on.
4 DUNESIDE LIFE If not for that scratch, I'd probably give this mare a bigger chance. She's now missed considerable time, however. Had definitely been giving signs of life and speed. Don't be shocked if pilot take a shot, sends.
5 CICELY HANOVER Failed to win a race last year and form doesn't look very good currently. Have to pass.
6 MOJARRA HANOVER Thought she was in a much better spot last weekend when we canceled. There just doesn't seem to be a whole lot of speed to set up her rally. But, she certainly turned in better effort last time. A maybe.
7 SWEET BET A 9-time winner last year, but recent form is pretty puzzling. Never really made a move in that better field last time, so I suspect she needs a wakeup call and they are hard to predict. Your call, at potential decent price.
8 FIRE N DIAMONDS Here's one with a big chance. She's in decent form, but this post looks like a problem. Not sure she packs any serious early speed and that will be needed, just to get into the game. That's up to Mr. Carlson.
9 MISS DEFIANCE I can't make much of a case here either. Just not good right now, and stuck in horrible post.
10 ELECTRICITY Gaps between races are a concern. But, then again, weather around here has been bad. This is a class drop, but it's also post 10 and she seems to lack speed. Very mixed feelings, but probably going against.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 10-7-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 FORTUNES ONE Now 0-26 and counting. Slated to add Lasix tonight, but unless you're expecting a complete transformation, these are just too fast for him. Let's see if there's any improvement at all on mile track.
2 PRESIDENT ZETTE Coming off a better effort, so that's a good thing. Drew another key inside post, which helps, but he does lose the services of Mr. Miller. I expected that. Tends to lag early, so hoping for a hot pace up front.
3 HOUSETHATJOEBUILT Had a trip over the track and it wasn't very memorable. Will need a lot more than that.
4 LOTHARIO Still not getting the job done and still just about unplayable for me. Trainer keeps putting him in the box, so let's check for any equipment changes. Also, take a long look to see if he acts up on the track. Tough to like a lot.
5 BROADWAY GABRIELLE Simply put, she struggled to keep up in last try here. Now 0-28. I have to pass again.
6 RECEIVERSHIP Needless to say, he's the key to the race. Didn't even come close to the gate last time. Trainer said horse was way too "keyed up." That spells trouble for me, so be very careful before you risk hard-earned cash. Trainer: got way too hot in the post parade last start. The key to this horse is to keep him totally relaxed, and I spoke to Andy about this. If he can relax, his qualifier shows what he can do.
7 BREAK FREE This was Brett Miller's pick Chased a pretty standout winner last time, and there's no such killer in here. Seems to be more reliable right now, so he'd be tough to leave off the ticket. Should still offer fair price.
8 FLAMINGO PETE Failed as the favorite in the Saratoga finale, and that feels like forever ago! Prior try here with Brett Miller was poor, and he opted off tonight. I can't be overly positive, since he may not be fast enough.
9 I'M DONE Gets slammed with second straight tough post. Launched a move and flattened out in first try here. Not helped much by potential pace scenario in here. Maybe some changes from the new barn? Not sure, but I'll pass.
10 ELEVENTEEN Probably the key to the race! Trainer implied he'd be making some equipment changes after last start. He flew out of the gate on that night, but just got tired. Could go a LONG way in here, if he makes the top. Trainer: Was okay two weeks ago. Almost rolled over the whole last quarter, and I couldn't let her finish the way I wanted. I will change shoes this time and I expect a good effort.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 ITS CHOCOLATE TIME Did a fairly good job of keeping up from this post upon arrival. That's the goal again, folks! Just sit in, save ground and try to offer some better stamina. Is that a lock? Probably not. Has to go faster here.
2 HEAVENLY ZETTE Seems to have regressed of late and didn't have a particularly good start here. Have to pass.
3 MARION GONDOLIER On the comeback trail after that lame scratch of November. The two tries since weren't very good, so I'd need to see a whole lot more before I could consider.
4 CAULFIELD Yes, I know he disappointed last time when he did all the dirty work, setting things up for Lauderdale. But, this looks like a softer spot, with the exception of #8. Jimmy will have him in position to deliver a bigger kick. Trainer: Disappointing in his last start, but should be okay.
5 A JERSEY CONTRACT Another unraced since the Spa's closing day. That's a problem in spot like this. Horse is somewhat unproven anyway on the big track. Can't hop on board until I see something here.
6 TWO HIP DIP Had a pretty good qualifier, so that's a step in the right direction. On the comeback trail, having made only four starts last year, but one of them was a win here. This is the right spot off the layoff. Have to consider w/Brett.
7 TEASIN N PLEASIN Mare suffered from eight-hole-itis over at Yonkers. No worries. Prior to that, she had some good rallies here. Back on mile track and hoping for some sort of hot pace amongst the faves. That can always happen.
8 NEW JERSEY VIKING Hip #167 in Monday's sale, so this is last chance to impress. Gets a huge break with the class drop and comes off a nice speed tightener. Will play catch me if you can and they just might not. Have to use.
9 PARTY ON THE RIVER Pulled off two shocking upsets in the amateur divisions, getting great trips BOTH times. So, credit to Mr. Marohn for that. Now, gelding moves to tougher post against better field. Not sure about that.
10 LONG STORY SHORT Awfully good up at his home base. 13YO war horse takes a big track try after missing the time. Gets slammed with a post 10 "introduction" to Club Med and I guess I'd like to see one here. If he belongs.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 1-10-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 KEYSTONE I WISH Clearly outraced her ridiculous odds last time, given a strong steer by Eric A. This mare's game is speed and now she has the rail. Don't expect that huge price, but do expect the blast off from pole. Must use.
2 RELENTLESS SPIRIT Didn't make much of an impact against that better group upon arrival. BUT, she probably needed that race to find those big track legs again. I wouldn't be shocked with a better effort in this spot.
3 FINA PATINA Drops back down a tick. Gets some much needed post relief, but I'm still wondering if she's true mile track quality. I haven't seen it yet, so I will rate her a longshot again.
4 JADED DREAM Closed Philly on a sour note, as a beaten favorite. Overall, she's been an underachiever of late for this barn. Yes, the wakeup call can always come, but they are hard to predict sometimes. Good post will keep her close.
5 LITTLE MISS WOOHOO Up from Maryland and into a seemingly tougher spot. I need to see one. Pass here.
6 MISQUED She's hip #128 in Monday's sale. She's been pretty flat overall of late, so I don't know what to tell you. Facing similar group where she hasn't picked up a check since mid-November. Would need big turnaround. Trainer: Missed two weeks of racing, but trained good this week and hoping for a good effort.
7 BEAUTIFUL LADY Faced better fields in both her Big M starts so far. Is it time to turn the lightbulb on now vs. a weaker bunch? I'd say yes! I'd also like to see some speed. She's done that before. Has also won here before.
8 LUCKY PLAYER Hasn't been going great guns for this barn lately, so she remains a pass for me, until we see even softer spot or big wakeup call.
9 DANDY'S BEAUTY Still waiting on something more from this mare. In the past, she's done well in spots like this, but not over past two starts. Slammed with another bad post. That's probably not going to help. Your call, folks.
10 FREE SHOW And finally, the key to the race! Jimmy chose here over #7,8. Flashed some good speed last time and then got shuffled a bit. Have to expect the same strategy on the drop here despite post 10. Can't leave out.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 DOWNUNDERMATTER That was a really solid try last time. Almost unfair to lose. Didn't know the gelding had that kind of early speed, so credit Marcus for finding it. The rail gives many options here, but horse is sharp! Use.
2 STITCH IN TIME Can't really say much for those last two here, but we all know horse is better than that. Lightbulb will go on soon, but we may have to guess when. I'm not ready to dive in just yet, but I'll be watching closely.
3 TYCOON SEELSTER Just a two-time winner from last year. Gets a touch of needed class relief tonight, and he wasn't "bad" in last few. He just wasn't great. Inside post will keep close. I guess I could make a small case for more now.
4 ALEXANDER HANOVER Simply worked his way too high in class, and now begins the descent down the ladder. This is no easy spot, however. Seems to be a one-way rallies, so a lot of things would have to go his way.
5 P L ICABOD Just can't find a way to get lucky and get over the hump and win one! The efforts have been there, and tonight the post relief is a plus. It's hard to leave out sharp horses, so I wouldn't advise doing that. Even at low odds.
6 WATKINS This guy's adapted nicely to Club Med. The perfect trip win for Brett two back was good. Race didn't set up for him last time, so we can excuse that. Brett did have option, and stuck with #5, though. Telling us something?
7 ROSSINI What a mile that was last time! I can't even describe it. Carlson somehow keeps these horses alive through the lane. Gelding is now forced up in class, against some droppers. I don't usually like that. Post may hurt as well.
8 CASH LEEBROOK Not really sure what to do here. That was big wakeup call kind of effort upon arrival. Was it the trip? Was it Brett Miller? He opted off the gelding tonight, so that's a question. This post won't help either.
9 BROADWAY CONCERT I haven't guessed right on this mare yet. However, with the switch to a brutal post, I'm not hopping on board now. Would need to get very lucky to overcome this slot with all the speed in here.
10 LAUDERDALE And finally, what do we do with this fella? Hiked up to this level last time and wasn't bad. Gets stuck with another brutal post and loses Brett Miller. Horse isn't one of my faves, so I'll simply leave him out. Your call?
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 KEYSTONE WANDA Uncorked an overpowering win upon arrival for Brett Miller to beat up on weaker last time. Now it's the step up, with Brett sticking over four others. In sale on Monday, so let's expect another big one, folks! Trainer: Couldn't have been more impressed with her last start. She's a big, solid mare and I knew she would appreciate the big track. Steps up in class, but Brett sticks with her, which is a huge plus. Last start before sale. Looking to go out a winner.
2 NORTHERN FIESTA Off the layoff here, with a less-than-stellar qualifier. I don't think she's ready for this.
3 BARYNYA A She's sharp, I'll say that! But, this is fourth straight hike up in class. Eventually, she's going to run out of steam. On plus side, she's versatile enough to give pilot options. That always helps. Pilot good with longshots too!
4 CHEYENNE ROBIN One of three in here headed to the sale on Monday. Robin is Hip #109. She was in perfect spot last weekend, when we were forced to cancel. This HAS to be the spot again. Brett did choose #1, though. Concern.
5 VEGAS IN STYLE I don't really know what to do with this mare right now. Inconsistent may be word to describe her form. I know she's overdue to wake back up, and has beaten better, but I just don't like what I've seen lately.
6 DRAG N SAND Closed Philly on a winning note, but that seems like forever ago! This is a pretty big bump back up in class, so I'll probably want to watch one. If she beats these off layoff, I'll be impressed.
7 SPILLING THE BEANS Used pretty hard last time and paid the price late. Might be same boat here, or this is just too high in class. Wasn't Brett's choice and won't be mine until she drops again.
8 SHEEZA SHARK N Hip #318 in the sale. Perhaps a supplemental entry? Taking fourth straight class drop, but for new barn, so VERY mixed signals here. I don't really know what to tell you. I wouldn't be surprised either way.
9 BESTGIRLFRIENDEVER This is still too high for her, plus the move from post three to nine is terrible. Pass.
10 AREYOUREADYGIRL N Another unraced since Philly closed. That's a month ago! Drew post 10 on the slight drop, but Brett didn't choose, and neither will I for now. Will be watching closely for future consideration.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 MORE THAN TALK That was pretty impressive debut here, in first start since acquisition. That field was weaker than this one, but I think I saw enough to handle the class hike. Clearly the one to beat from the better pole position.
2 IRON DOME Going great guns right now, and picking up confidence with each race. Jimmy knows exactly how to handle him, and it's working like a charm. If #1 were to falter in any way, he will make a race of it. Only needs trip. Trainer: Has been perfect since we bought him, except for one little hiccup. Nice, honest horse. What you see if what you get from him.
3 CASAUBON Been a project horse for this barn for a while. Qualifier wasn't overly impressive. She's in the sale on Monday, so that tells me they've given up. I'll be watching this one.
4 HE'S GONE Offered big time improvement last start! That always catches the eye. Finished full of trot right behind #2. Facing same situation here. Pilot will try to keep gelding close and then deliver that kick. It may happen.
5 ZETTE STARLING I didn't get a real gauge of ability in that first try here. She seemed overmatched, and might still be in this spot. Wasn't Brett's choice and I expected that. I'd need to see a better effort, before I could consider.
6 ANOTHER CHAPTER One of the possible upsetters in here, with Brett aboard. Showed ability up in Canada before being bought by Jim Campbell. The qualifier was good. But, is he A-1 primed and ready for this? Good question.
7 KI KI CANOLLI Also sale bound on Monday as Hip #124. Was entered here last weekend when we canceled and I wish she'd gotten to race. Would probably have needed that and been more ready here. Very tough call out here. Trainer: Off a month, but has been training well.
8 FLAGSTAFF Over from Yonkers on a bit of a layoff. Tough beat in that last one, but it was much improved effort. Is he ready for that kind of effort here from post eight? I'm going to guess no, but I have been wrong before.
9 HIGH GLIDER That was super effort and great drive from Marcus last time. Unfortunately, horse isn't exactly "rewarded" for that with this post drawn. There is other speed in here and he'll need a lot, just to get into the game.
10 SIGNAL HILL Hip #176 on Monday in the sale, but somewhat unimpressive here last time. Mann got him around the track onstride, and it looked like that was the goal. Maybe the same goal here, from dreaded post 10?
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 ZANE HANOVER Uber impressive winner last time, rocketing out of the pocket. It was a sure confidence builder, considering her overall record. "Lightbulb on" angle? Or was it switch to big track. Either way, must use on hike up. Trainer: Missed two weeks and up in class. Driver and post work. Need some luck.
2 PIRAEUS Turned in two nice races here recently, but I must note that she loses Jimmy here. Still, if you want a legitimate price play, go ahead and use her. Hasn't disappointed yet. Going well for Eddie Sager right now.
3 BLUE GROTTO Hip #93 in the sale on Monday, but I was pretty disappointed with her effort last time. As good as she was on 12/15, she was that flat on the hike up. Was she sick? Either way, this is last chance to impress. Better be good.
4 LOTUS SEELSTER Loves to run second, as you can see by her overall record. With that said, she's another possible longshot to use in the gimmicks, but I won't be putting her on top. Needs a smooth trip to get close.
5 SING ALONG Definitely has "come to hand" for Pelling right now. I'm a bit concerned about the missed time, but Jimmy chose this lass over #1,2,8. That has to tell us something. In perfect midpack post, so let's expect her ready.
6 PETAL TO THE METAL Was "sneaky good" last time, and I was prepared to use this mare in a softer spot, but since she's forced up in class, I will hesitate. Needs a little mayhem amongst the favorites to have a chance.
7 BRAIDA HANOVER Didn't show me a whole lot in the Big M try, so that's a problem. this spot isn't exactly easy, and she still didn't land an inside post. No early speed, so probably at mercy of pace and trip. For longshot players only.
8 DON'T STOP BELIEVIN Also in the Tattersalls sale on Monday, so keep that in mind. Turned in pretty good try for Jimmy last out, but was given a good trip too! Jimmy opts off here. Post is much tougher. Mixed feelings. Trainer: Can't say enough about this mare. She had been super on the half, and put forth a great effort here. If she shook loose earlier, I think she would have been right on the wire. Last start before sale and she trained awesome.
9 MONICA GALLAGHER Took aggressive tries in both starts here thus far. Seems to have fallen out of that "winning habit," so that's a concern. The post is even worst and there's plenty of speed to the inside. Might need a trip now.
10 GUSSY'S DRAGON Endured a tough trip in her first go here, and it'll probably be the same from dreaded post 10. She does pack blast out speed, however. But, so do some others in here. Will need to get lucky to have chance.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 10-4-8-5
H Horse Comment
1 GUESS WHOS BACK Invaded and showed up sharp for Dobson/Krist! Can't fault that in any way, but this is a double jump up in class for the gelding. I'd want much bigger price to try him against these. Will have to go faster.
2 ON THE PODIUM Back from Monti, off a somewhat disappointing effort. The race here was also okay, but not great. Can't fault the speed, but horse will need a bigger kick to get the job done. I'm not so sure about that.
3 ROUNDTOWN ROCKER One of the many in here, hoping to bounce back off disappointing efforts. Didn't exactly fire big shots in any of the tries here, so I'm hesitant. Those were tougher fields, though. Mixed feelings tonight for sure.
4 ASHES CASH I see that race on Nov.21 at Pocono and I think that's what he needs. With a lot of "hikers" in here, this guy's dropping. Also gets key inside post to stick close. Will his kick home be the best? Very possibly. I will use.
5 KEEGAN HO Barn has been flat here over past month or so, so I'm kind of waiting for some of them to wake back up. It will happen, only a matter of time. This particular gelding needs to prove his mile track prowess, though.
6 SHADY MCCOY Picture perfect and patient drive from Eric A to get the cash couple weeks ago. Now, horse is forced back up the ladder, and that's when the luck usually runs out. We'll find out. Demand value if you think repeat. Trainer: Responded to a perfect trip following the dueling leaders to a fast first half. Up in class, but he's been sharp of late.
7 LOU MAN If not for the trip-sitting #6, this fella would have won last week. They're both up in class, and this one will likely be the shorter price. Is he good enough to go with this group? At low odds, I might swing against. Trainer: Raced well in last and should be a factor.
8 RAISE THE CURTAIN He's raced well against better. This is clearly a softer spot, but from a tougher post. I can make a case for success, but he will need to show at least a touch of speed to get close. Good shot for Vinny here.
9 ABBIE'S CELTICLASS Off three weeks, and it was a dull effort. Gets slammed with same bad post. Can't like a lot.
10 SWEET JUSTICE I absolutely loved this veteran last time, and unfortunately, he got parked out for his lungs. Didn't even catch a break at the post draw here, while also back up in class. I just think he's overdue for something better.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 9-8-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 MR MONTGOMERY Broke in first start for new barn off the layoff. Would be hard to like off that tonight.
2 ZETTE MINX Off almost a month, so that's always an issue for me. Recent form isn't very good either. Pass.
3 MISS OLIVIA MAE Andy did a nice job of rolling along on the lead with her last time for the win. Race was filled with breakers and she never got tested. I doubt that happens this time. Will have to earn it tonight.
4 BROADWAY FANTASY Brett chose this one over #2. Exits a paceless race where she merely kept up, but that was a better field, in my opinion. She acclimated. Liable to get a whole lot closer to this group from inside post. Consider. Trainer: Gave a good effort two weeks ago, and hoping she improves on it.
5 LITERALLY Just 1-21 last year. Didn't make much of an impact in either start here, sandwiched by a scratch. Wasn't Nap's choice tonight, so I guess I have more negatives than positives. Let's see if mare improves tonight. In the sale!
6 PASSTHECROWNAROUND This was Nap's choice and he has driven her to some success before. However, I really don't like the gaps between starts and last two lines show her stopping. Needs a complete turnaround now.
7 MAJESTIC SUNSET Been off since May, and I know hopes were high back then. Comeback qualifier saw him tiring, so I just don't think he's quite ready. I will be watching closely, though. Talent is there, if he's over his problems.
8 ALL THIS COMMOTION Gets the tepid call as fave, since he just looks better than these right now. I'm not guaranteeing you he'll like the mile track, but I see some versatility and Marohn aboard. Those are both plusses.
9 OSVALDO BLUE CHIP This one, and #10 come out of same qualifier, and they were both pretty good. This guy finished up full of pace, pretty much on own. But, this fella has shown gate problems before. Big test here.
10 ACES AND EIGHTS Went right by in the qualifier and also seemed to have something left. BUT, like #9, they both show issues at gate, and they both have the worst posts tonight. What do we do with that? I really don't know. Trainer: Qualified good, but got a bad draw.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-10-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 GOLD MEDAL SWAN Simply put, folks, I have NO idea what to expect tonight. Burned us twice last month at super low odds. Just wasn't very good. Has had a month off to figure things out. Take a good, long look at him on track.
2 HAILEYSGONEDANCING Wasn't exactly "exploding" upon arrival here, but he does get Nap again, from another inside post. I guess I'm saying I wouldn't be shocked with some improvement. Lots of question marks in this field.
3 SONG OF THE VALLEY Has shown a clear lack of mile track stamina thus far. I rate her a longshot again.
4 MUAY HANOVER Brett opted here over #10, so that's understandable. That was an improved effort last time, second start on Lasix. We can definitely make a case for more here. Gelding shows no breaks, so that's a plus too!
5 ELUSIVE ACTION Only two wins last year and recent form is flat. I can't get too excited about him in here.
6 DULUTH Raced a little bit better in the second try at Club Med, so that's a step in the right direction. Also shows a poor recent record with no wins all of last year. Do you really think he's going to get one here? I don't.
7 NEW YORK ATTITUDE May have some "attitude" but he doesn't have the trot to get it done here. Lots of tinkering with hopples on, off. Literally stopped in that qualifier, so I'm not predicting much tonight.
8 DRIVING MISS CRAZY Give her a pass for that last one when parked out. Her qualifier was better than that, and think she's got decent chance in here. As long as she gets away onstride for Austin, she will be a factor with these.
9 MUSCLESANDMARTINIS The last of our "sale" horses going under the hammer on Monday. Gelding shows nothing but dull recent lines, but I do caution, this barn "lit one up" a couple of weeks ago. It gives me pause in blank field.
10 A PENNY EARNED Was in a much better spot last weekend when we canceled. Now, it's post 10 and Brett didn't take. That's just bad luck! Decent behind uncatchable winner in last. Let's expect another solid try. Only needs a bit more.
14 Fourteenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 LAST SHOT LEETON A Maryland invader that lands into a pretty good spot here, provided 10's ready to handle the mile track. Gets the rail. Gets The Mann! Has versatile speed and there are no killers in here. Slight drop? Maybe.
2 HELLO HOT SHOT In a very hard-to-handicap race, I thought this was a good option. Horse has faced better along the way down at Philly. Lands a key inside post to keep him close. My only knock: Brett Miller opted to #10.
3 THE ROCK Now makes third start back off the layoff, and this is a great spot for a big wakeup call, provided he's ready. We all know it's just a matter of time until we see the real Rock! Tonight could be the night. Watch the board.
4 LAST DRAGON We know he's got speed, but he very rarely has the stamina to stick around late. However, in field like this, that speed could go a long way. Just no speed duels, please. Usable underneath in the gimmicks.
5 APOLLO SEELSTER Didn't make a great impact in his first try here. But, he gets a better post, meets a blanker field and may have acclimated back to big track racing. Another capable of a wakeup call tonight. Just hard to gauge.
6 CAROLINA HURRICANE Suffered some interference upon arrival, so we can't hold that against him. Was also well bet that night, so that gives us a hint he may have been well meant. Gets Nap now, but still looks like a longshot to me.
7 RING WARRIOR Rarely wins. Doesn't appear overly sharp right now. Gets stuck with another bad post. Would be hard to endorse until we saw a more forward effort. I don't think it's coming just yet. I'm willingly to wait.
8 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL Went off the favorite for Austin last time, and he gave him every chance. The wicked hot pace cost him any chance. Will have to find a way to slow it down, or change tactics. This post will test them for sure.
9 BAGGAGE CLAIM Gets the very tepid call as fave, in a very wide open race. Mostly due to the combo. His form is okay, but also not great. Has enough speed to leave and grab some position. No luck, but definitely big chance. Trainer: I absolutely love this horse, but he just doesn't feel that way about racing. Nice horse that doesn't like to try too much. I've trained every baby out of the dam.
10 HOPE FOR BADLANDS Still a bit mystified by Brett Miller's choice of this one over #2, but oh well! He usually knows a lot more than me. Horse is on comeback trail, after making only five starts last year. Is it wakeup time? Trainer: He was too far back in his last race. Hope we can somehow get in it tonight.