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Handicapping

  • Week Of 11/19 - 11/25
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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, November 25, 2017

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Dropped back down to this level last time and didn't exactly have a good start. Pass.
2 QUALITY BUD Also pretty disappointing on the drop last time, but that effort wasn't really indicative of his ability. This field does look a little tougher, though. I wouldn't advise taking a short price again. Only at proper value.
3 JUSTA CAMILION Up and down the class ladder with some inconsistent efforts. Looks like he's got one move in a mile, so timing and trip from this inside post will be critical. I would consider using underneath in some gimmicks.
4 ALONEINSPADES Not really sure what to do with this guy. He's had a few starts to acclimate. He did have a difficult journey last week, so I can give him a pass for that. It's time to step up with more, please. Must prove he belongs.
5 EVER AGAIN Back off a five-month freshening for Noel and Troy. They've done good work with this horse this year, and he is also versatile. Post is perfect. Qualifier was very good. Not easy to leave out, even with missed time. Trainer: Happy with the qualifier, but may need one start.
6 ROLL N CATCH Continues his descent down the class ladder. Have to believe it's prime wakeup call time tonight! Had NO chance grinding after the 3-5 Western Joe last week. No excuses accepted against this bunch, folks.
7 MAJOR WAR Fires back on short rest after a somewhat flat effort at Yonkers on Tuesday. Sat the pocket with no real punch. Drew outside the major contenders tonight, but he certainly has speed. Will McNair fire him out? Why not?
8 VICTORYDAZE WILWIN Didn't come with his usual rally last week, so that was disappointing. Now he's stuck with another outside post. Completely at the mercy of pace and trip and I don't see it working out for him tonight.
9 WOODMERE ULTIMATE Kind of clogged up the outer tier last week and faded late. Moves further outside. Pass.
10 EVERY INTENTION Only due to a barn change should we take another look here. But, I'm also looking at horses overall record past two seasons and I come to the conclusion that if he beats me....I can live with it.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 AMBER FELLA 3YO filly is not in an easy spot here, plus I'll note that she hasn't won a race this year. She looks like a finisher, so the inside post will help. I suspect another conservative trip here, with a late burst of speed for a share. Trainer: Raced well her last few starts. Post will help
2 FRONT STREET On the comeback trail after a few months off. Not ready for this kind of test just yet.
3 FUTURE SECURED The "other" sophomore filly in here makes second start for new barn. The look of that last try at Philly is "intriguing." Shows promise. I guess I'll take a good, long look at her on the track before I decide.
4 BROADWAY CONCERT Been stuck in some real tough races lately in Pennsylvania. If anything, she should appreciate a softer spot like this. I'm not going to promise that she's a true big track horse, but record is pretty consistent.
5 RAISE THE CURTAIN Ships in to try Club Med, but still seems to be in a bit steep with these. I would probably need to see more speed, or a big effort here, before I could endorse. Not an easy spot.
6 IT REALLY MATTERS Back on short rest here, after trying to roll down the road at Pocono on Tuesday. Held off all but one, but at low odds of just 1-2. This is similar spot, but I don't think I'd want a short price again. Your call?
7 HILL I AM Another to a new barn tonight. The win against weaker was pretty solid, but I will say this field looks a lot tougher than that one. Pilot liable to be a bit "careful" after last miscue. Let's see a good one again, please. Trainer: Racing good. Adds hopples this week.
8 SOUTH SIDE HANOVER Took a real shot at the leaders for Mark Mac last week and didn't exactly pack it in. She's got some talent, but stuck with a bad post. At the right odds, I'd be more willing to include her on the ticket. Usable.
9 MASSIVE LIGHTNING I must admit, I am now convinced about this guy. This horse is good! Finished up loaded with trot last week in a VERY strong race. I do HATE this post, however. Plus, a possible short price. Not an easy call.
10 PRINCE OF MINTO Looked rough two back. Regressed into a break last time. Post 10 now. Not a lot to like.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 BARN DOLL Guaranteed a nice check tonight, due to the short field and her natural ability. Mare is a great finisher, so if the faves were to tangle up for some reason, watch out! She might get closer than you think. Trainer: Racing good again after a summer break getting over sickness. Was hoping for a short field and we got our wish.
2 CAPRICE HILL It's been a long season for this mare, chasing #3,4, with only one win to show for it. She is a true champion in her own right, well over millionheiress status. If the fave due mix it up, she's an eligible upsetter.
3 EMOTICON HANOVER Hasn't started since her dig-in Crown win, just like #4. This is the matchup we've been waiting for, and if this lass isn't tired at this point, will give Hannelore ALL she can handle. Remember, she did beat her up at Tioga, so consider that.
4 HANNELORE HANOVER Beat the boys in the Open Crown Trot out at Hoosier. Perfect trip and drive that night too! Rested up nicely since and she'll continue to "stake her claim" for Horse of Year title. A loss here, certainly wouldn't aid that cause. Expect her to be A-1 ready.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 LOOKSLIKEACHPNDALE I watched that race at Yonkers on Sunday and that should serve as the perfect prep. The winner was well-rated and about 3-5 in odds. Has shocked us here at the Big M before! Be warned, he'll be ready.
2 MAMBO LINDY I just never know what to do with this guy. Plenty of talent, for sure. A bit inconsistent, though. With the smallish field here, I don't envision a red hot pace. He needs one to set up that rally. Very tough call. Trainer: Ready for his big win!
3 PINKMAN Was good enough to make the Crown final and finished up full of trot. I actually think he's probably about to peak in what will be just seventh start this year. Qualifier was strong. I wouldn't talk you off the Hambo champ. Trainer: Ready to go!
4 CRAZY WOW Gotta hand it to this guy! Been solid just about all year, with five wins to show for it, plus that more than $2 million bankroll. Was very good in finishing behind Hannelore in the Crown. Might be the one to catch?
5 WHAT THE HILL This is important race for "Bob." IF Bob wins, it will go a long way towards locking down the Dan Patch trophy for top 3YO trotter. BUT, it's never easy to beat the older horses. Used hard at Dover. Needs a BIG one.
6 DAYSON Looks like the odd man out, having drawn the outside post tonight. However, he also jumps up with a big one at times, but I believe he'd need a few things to go his way to have a chance. At a large price only.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 10-3-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 PYTHON BLUE CHIP Sears gave her a chance last week, firing out and getting a trip, but didn't have enough. Pass.
2 KISSIN IN THE SAND One of the night's "Marquee Matchups!" Has a huge post edge on #10 here, and Tetrick got a good feel for her in the elim last week. Couldn't possibly have looked any better last two. Big chance to beat the Girl. Trainer: Raced awesome last week and very happy how she trained back Wednesday morning.
3 ALEXA'S POWER Hasn't had much luck in the trip department last few, but she's been deceptively good! If you were searching for a live longshot to jump up and shock them late, I wouldn't talk you off this lass. She's good right now.
4 ALDINE HANOVER It's been a long season for this filly and I think it's starting to take its toll. With that said, I actually liked her elim effort, purposely from off the pace. She's got big check chances tonight, but needs a smooth trip.
5 STRONG OPINION It's been a while since she won, but let's not be too hard on her. Has done a fine job of chasing the two faves and she seems overdue for a bit of a good break. The midpack post is ideal. Matt gets the drive back.
6 REIGN ON ME Been solid from the get-go for Nifty and co. She's another in here that will hope for some sort of hook-up between the two faves, and that's not out of the question. Can finish as fast as any of these. Needs a trip too!
7 PUEBLO BLUE CHIP Hasn't really been a threat to these at any point recently, so I must rate a big longshot.
8 MAJORSSPECIALLADY Took the bye, and that's probably a good thing. Did NOT get lucky at the post draw, and it hurts even more due to her style. Matt opted for #5 and I would do the same. Needs to get very lucky out here.
9 RAINBOW ROOM Perhaps the key to handicapping this race. She HAS to fire out aggressively and that makes for a very interesting sprint into the first turn. Raced better than most on that wet Hoosier track. BUT, off since? No qua? Trainer: Popped a quarter crack in the Breeders Crown, the reason she didn't fire. Time off helped. Should be good.
10 YOUAREMYCANDYGIRL No matter what happens tonight, she's done enough to earn the Dan Patch division championship. Yes, when you take the "bye" you sometimes don't get lucky at the draw. Can't wait to see who prevails in this incredible rivalry. Could be good for a long time to come.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 SMOKE AND MIRRORS Did a nice job of towing along and saving ground in the elim last week, and guess what? Same thing coming. If the trip is smooth, her check chances increase. Usually finishes well.
2 SWING IT CATHY Can't be enamored with those two breaks on view. With that said, I'll probably just pass here.
3 HEY BLONDIE That effort in the Kindergarten final still rings loudly! It was a top notch effort. She's been good, sound and strong all season, so no reason to think she won't be primed and ready. Inside post gives Andy Mac options too!
4 VENUS DUHARAS Did not race well in her elim either, so she must be considered a big longshot against these.
5 PIRANHA FURY She's had the odd miscue a few times this year, so that always worries me. On other hand, she does have talent. This is the kind of race where I can see some serious action up front. That would help her closing cause.
6 PLUNGE BLUE CHIP Proved she's not JUST a NYSS horse last week. That was visually impressive, but also well-rated and unchallenged early. I don't envision her "cruising" along on the front now. Will have to earn this one, folks!
7 DAB HANOVER Was bothered a bit in the lane last week, but that was because she lost ground when they started sprinting. I'm not going to worry about that. Provides an important speed touch in here. Almost HAS to fire out. Trainer: Raced good, just outsprinted.
8 SEVIYORUM This is one good filly, folks!! Rock solid and strong all season, and that's not easy to do. I HATE that she drew this bad a post, but she WILL get into the race and will provide a strong challenge at some point. Watch out!
9 BELLA GLOS Hard to believe that Takter has four in here, and they're ALL longshots. Has regressed a touch recently, and drew a very bad post. Not sure I can hop back into the bandwagon tonight. Needs a little luck here.
10 LILY STRIDE Talk about the bad post blues! Really?10-8-8-9 posts drawn over last four races. That's almost not fair! Tetrick has been very careful with her, and I get it. Hoping for some sort of mayhem to set up her wicked kick.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 NIKE FRANCO N After missing three weeks, she used last week's race strictly as a prep, and she was very good finishing. That was all they were looking for. With the rail now, expect a much more aggressive go. One to beat?
2 PURE COUNTRY Just throw out last week's race. Mark aborted the leave attempt and then just took back. She's MUCH better than that. Likely to be out and grinding, or attacking early. Either way, a big upset chance. Trainer: Too far behind last time, closed great though!
3 LADY SHADOW I leaned against her chances last week and she did disappoint. I guess I'd be surprised with a total bounceback, strong effort. She's just not sharp enough right now to beat these. Even as the "defending champ."
4 BEDROOMCONFESSIONS Turned in her usual sterling rally last week. Been very, very good over past several starts, and she almost seems "due" to beat these one night. I know it wouldn't shock me. Your call at whatever price.
5 DARLINONTHEBEACH Capped off the big night for the barn, with a super effort, given a Super Brett drive. I don't see this one setting up quite the same, plus the price will be a lot shorter. Can she do it back-to-back? We'll find out. Trainer: Raced great last week and is in good form right now.
6 MEDUSA Curious spot for this mare, but I guess why not? Only has to pass a few for a check, and there could be some serious action up front. Still a longshot, in my opinion. Will have a lot to prove against these.
7 WINDSUN GLORY Came flying home again last week, from an impossible spot, but won't it be the same again tonight? Unless you tell me she'll take a shot and fire out, I'd tell you she's on the outside looking in. Tough spot.
8 BLUE MOON STRIDE My co-host (Mr. Horowitz) loved her last week. She changed tactics and tried speed. It simply didn't work. Got the worst of the post draw. I will wish my co-host good luck with her from out here tonight.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-9-5
H Horse Comment
1 ROCK LIGHTS Still doesn't look like a match for these, but got lucky at the post draw. Can he keep up late?
2 CLOSING STATEMENT Set a pretty solid pace last week in the elim and got run over late. Seemed to be better in "closing mode" before that. Interesting spot from post two for Sears. What will it be? Can step right around #1.
3 LOST IN TIME Was deceptively good last week in first start for Takter. Horse needed that race, and that's exactly what they were looking for. I fully expect him to give #5 ALL he can handle here, especially with the better post and start.
4 DORSODURO HANOVER Did a good job of towing along last week. Seems to be a stride or two behind the top colts in here and it will probably be the same tonight. It'll be up to Matt K to get him a trip, and possibly a check.
5 SPRINGSTEEN Yes, that was an eye-opening effort here last week. Simply exploded by in hand, and in salute from Simon A. Drew the ideal post for a horse of his style, but I guess I need to see it again to believe it. Talented colt!
6 GRAND TETON His stock seems to have fallen a notch or two recently. Can't take away what he did earlier in season, with five solid wins. Can't wait to see what Super Brett does here. Fire out, or sit and follow #5? Interesting strategy.
7 AMERICAN HISTORY Was out into the flow last week, behind #5 and charged home willingly as well. That was only first try against stakes level horses, so let's not be too hard on him. Will get better with more experience. Needs a trip.
8 NUTCRACKER SWEET Could be the key to this race, because he possesses blast out speed potential and it's not in Timmy T's nature to take back in a spot like this. Colt was VERY good last week behind #5. Sets up interesting race.
9 STAY HUNGRY The Crown champ took the bye and didn't get lucky at the draw. Been brought along nicely by Tony A and I love the way he finished up at Hoosier. He'll need that kind of kick again to get past #3,5. Tough call out here.
10 FASHIONONTHEBEACH Made no impact last week. Gets stuck with post 10 now. Not sure I can recommend.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 MEADOWBRANCH RICKY Goes from post 10 to the pole, which definitely helps. Might need another second or two in the tank to threaten these, but he has picked up checks before. Not out of question tonight.
2 WOLFGANG Was out into the flow last week and trotting home willingly behind an uncatchable #5. Could be stuck in same situation, plus he's still got a bit to prove against the top level players like this. I still need to see a bit more.
3 SAMO DIFFERENT DAY He's the "wild card" in here, after taking the bye. Can't fault his speed, or his effort in the Matron. That same speed will serve him well for a very good trip tonight. Let's see if he can pass any in the lane. Trainer: Feeling good in his last training.
4 MISSLE HILL Hopples went on last week and he wasn't much of a threat. Same situation here. A longshot.
5 FOURTH DIMENSION Bounced back nicely, with a solid, controlling effort down the chooch! It might be a little more difficult tonight, but I think he's the best colt in here. Also helped by fact that biggest challengers drew outside. Trainer: Raced very good last week. Came out of the race good, and I expect another good effort from him.
6 BANKER TWENTYFIVE Did not have a very good elimination here last week, so it's hard to hop on board tonight.
7 FASHIONWOODCHOPPER I really like this colt and feel he will develop into a top trotter for Jim C and Jules. Don't be fooled by elim last week. He was fine and that's all they were looking for. Will be within range to launch a rally.
8 HAT TRICK HABIT Hopples went on for the elim and he was okay. The big knock here is the post, but he has left the gate strongly before. Have to feel that will happen again, at least for position. Any of his "better" efforts gives chance.
9 TITO Love this fella too, but he's in a bad spot out here. We saw him show speed in the one Vernon race, so it'll be up to Marcus to somehow work out a trip. It's not going to be easy, but horse has plenty of talent to overcome the slot.
10 KINDA LUCKY LINDY Nice drive by Scotty Z in the elim, but this colt was no match for #5 and was lucky to hold second. His "luck" ran out when they drew the posts. I don't see him overcoming this spot and start.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 DEALT A WINNER He's missed three weeks since the Rosecroft race, so that's a concern. Tries yet another new driver in Andy tonight, but the rail will keep him in position. Gelding owns a wicked late kick when on his game. If they set it up for him.
2 LYONS SNYDER Was just okay in that qualifier, after that crunching pocket rocket win over weaker. Nothing less than his A-1 best will win this, and I don't know how the trip will go for him. Interesting test for the new connections here. Trainer: Qualifier was okay last week. He needed the work. Making a few equipment changes. Should improve off that.
3 ALL BETS OFF Same boat as #1 as relates to missed time. Did a LOT of the dirty work at Rosecroft and didn't exactly quit. He's good right now, and always a threat to these, since he tries very hard. Will it be speed, or grind? Not sure.
4 CHECK SIX Returns to the scene of his big win, the Sam McKee Memorial. It's been a little bit of a rough ride since, but after useful qualifier, back on favorite track, he could easily wake back up. Don't be shocked if he does.
5 MEL MARA Another who's stock has fallen a couple of points over past few months. He's battling some "issues" so let's not be too hard on him. We all know his game is speed, so if Corey fires out, we'll know he's good tonight.
6 MACH IT SO Speaking of speed, that's this fella's best weapon too! Had a nice tuneup down at Dover and he'll be going forward when the gate snaps. Sets up for a very interesting race, and I don't see him crawling on lead here.
7 MCWICKED Couldn't possibly have looked any better in a wicked qualifier. Best I've seen him look. BUT, from this post, what's going to happen? Will he be forced to launch from too far back? That's a legitimate question. Tough call. Trainer: Qualified like a gorilla! Didn't plan to go so fast, but Brian said he did it easily. Trained a light trip Tuesday, was very sharp and feeling great. Wish he drew a little better, but he's sharp and on his toes. Ready to rock!
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 IWILLMAKEYOUSAYWOW Invades from Pocono for Team Buter. He's been here before, and did take his mark here this year. This is a level where he can usually threaten, but he's also running into dropdowns, #3,4. Demand value.
2 MANNY One of two for barn in here. I feel the other one has better chance. Manny did win on the big track up at Vernon, so there's chance he could move up on mile. I do need to see it first, before I can endorse, however.
3 JACKSRLUCKYTOO I know barn is off to rough start this meet, but here's a prime opportunity to get off the schneid! Jack loves the Big M. Jack loves class drops like this. And, Jack loves inside posts. All of that says GO!
4 CALVIN B If you don't like Jack, then you have to like Cal in this spot! He's been a little flat over recent starts, but he caught some VERY tough fields. This is likely when they were waiting for. Time for him to step back up and deliver. Trainer: Should be good with the class relief and a good trip.
5 ELRAMA N Here's a horse that had a needed start off a layoff. He was certainly going fast enough here earlier in the year. I do fear that it might take one more start before we see his best. I'm gambling that's the case. I will wait.
6 MAJOR LEGACY Gave Artie his first Big M driving win last week, so we congratulate him for that! With that said, I'm going to be a Debbie Downer and say I doubt he gets his second here. These look a little too tough for him.
7 MR BAILANDO Continues to outrace his odds, so he's very sharp right now. I actually loved the way he dug in last time, so I won't hesitate to use him now. He's proven to me that he belongs here on the mile track.
8 MORE DRAGON Likely used that first start back here as a prep. I will note that he finished with a touch of sneaky pace, so I wish he'd drawn a better post. If pilot can get him into the hunt, he does have big upset chance.
9 MADIBA MAGIC N Not sure I can make a strong case for success out of this post. Recent form is just dull.
10 NEPTUNE Fills out the field here in what looks like an impossible spot. Pass for now, and watch for a class drop later on.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 IAMMRBRIGHTSIDE N Didn't have much chance in the race here two back. Scooted over to Pocono for a similar situation. We know he loves the long stretch here, but he's not exactly catching a weak field here either. Tough call. Trainer: Is at the mercy of the pace.
1A TULLOW N Billy will drive this one, over his entrymate. That debut at Yonkers is rather enticing, when you see a line like that! This fella made over $100K down under. He's on Lasix now. I will be watching VERY closely, folks. Trainer: Is a new horse that should be getting better each start.
2 TAURANGA Super Brett had a choice, and opted for #5 tonight, so consider that. Really nothing wrong with this grinding gelding who handles all size tracks. If you want to use him at value, go ahead. He might hit the ticket.
3 BAILEYS ROCK N What kind of horse is this? I don't know yet, because he's completely dominated down at home base in Delaware. Either he fits no conditions there, or connections think he might be even better here? Which is it?
4 EXPRESS STRIDE N Very quietly had another very good start from impossible spot last week. Got a lot luckier at the draw tonight, so that puts him firmly back in play. Give him a trip in a live flow and watch out. He will charge home.
5 ART HISTORY Brett's pick of this fella didn't surprise me, given that horse is good right now. Just ran into a bearcat last week and chased home next best. Figures to be aggressive again and probably the one to catch. Fights off #3?
6 K-LEES SHAKENBAKE Somebody's gotta be the odd man out here, and it's probably this one. Off a four month layoff. One qualifier, albeit a fast one. Let's expect that he's not quite primed and ready for this yet. Trainer: Came back after several months off and seems to be fine after the qualifier. Loves the Big M. Just might need a start against horses that have been racing week in and week out.
7 LAWRENCETOWN BEACH I liked his qualifier and that race at Philly looks pretty good from a slow start. That ordinarily should set him up for a big effort here. I don't want short price, but will consider if the value is right.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-9-1
H Horse Comment
1 DANCIN HILL Giving hints that he's about to return to top form, folks. The post relief is immense. As long as he stays pacing early, he's going to have a big chance. Not sure how big the price will be, in a wide open race.
2 FEARLESS LEADER N Invades from Pennsy on a slight class drop. I always hesitate to toss any Daley horse in a spot like this. Gelding is a grinder, from ideal inside post. Any smooth trip will give him a chance to hit the ticket.
3 ROYALE BIG GUY Looked awfully rough behind the gate last week, so that gives me pause. Want to watch one.
4 ULTIMATE BEACHBOY New barn alert here! Versatile sort of gelding, but he's yet to win this year. I don't anticipate a giant price, so I might be willing to swing against if the value isn't there. Let's see how he does for Mr. Burke and co.
5 RING WARRIOR We know he's got speed, but we also know he lacks stamina, and he likes class drops, not hikes. So, with that said, I'll be going against this one in here. Fires to the front, but likely to tire when it counts.
6 NOBLES FINESSE This was Marcus' choice over #8. Gelding had a much needed "trip over the track" and has some back class to work with. I'm looking forward to seeing him get a LOT closer tonight. Expect a bigger return to form.
7 BJ'S GUY Yes, I know these guys (Mann/Annunziata) are doing great work together here. Maybe that's why this felal is shipping down. I just doubt that the big track will pick him up. He'll have to prove me wrong.
8 DAVID'S DREAM Disappointed two back. Just fair when he shook loose last week, in a race won by a 45-1 shot. Now, he moves to a much tougher post and he loses Marcus. That's not a lot of positives, folks. Trainer: Trained good this week. Gets reunited with the Captain Corey Callahan, and those two make a great team.
9 KOTARE YAEL N Gotta be careful here, because this is a significant class drop on a horse that has raced VERY well here before. The knock, of course, is the post. If you think he can be close enough, then go ahead and bet. Use!
10 HIGH OCTANE N Where's he going from post 10? Likely not very far, so demand huge price if you fancy.