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  • Week Of 12/10 - 12/16
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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 Friday, December 15, 2017

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 DOC'S BOY Now has two Big M races under his belt and they were okay! Therefore, he gets the tepid call in wide open race with Allard aboard again. The inside post will keep him close. Only needs add a bit more kick to score.
2 HEIGHTENED SCRUTINY Newcomer in from Ohio wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire out there. New barn in play, and sometimes a change of scenery helps. He catches the right field, if he can jump up and improve.
3 SIBSON He's got speed, so we can't argue with that. But, what he doesn't have is mile track stamina so far. I don't even think he'll be that big a price, so I'll probably prefer others in this spot. Let's see if he goes any further.
4 LITERALLY Didn't show much in either recent try here, so I can't be too positive until I see more. A pass for me.
5 LORD NELSON 4YO is down from Monti for a big track try, but he's also got a lot to prove here. I'm not guaranteeing he can go fast enough. Didn't go all that fast when up at Tioga, so it takes more here. A tough call. Let's watch one.
6 FRIENDSINLOWPLACES I tried him again last week, and he busted behind the gate. However, he made a monster recovery and was running over horses late. Do I try him for the third time? I won't do that to the connections! Lol!
7 ROADSHOW VIC Comes out of a much, much tougher race than this, so keep that in mind. I know he struggled to keep up, but if that serves as an acclimating mile, this is the right spot for the Maine shipper. I'll hop on board. Trainer: Was raced over his head last start, so I expect him to be a factor at this level.
8 SONG OF THE VALLEY Almost by default, we have to toss this mare into the mix. It's a hot barn. It's Billy The Mann aboard and she is a little faster than some of these. Just don't expect a whole lot of betting value tonight.
9 CYPRESS POINT Little bit of missed time here, but definitely a threat if primed and ready to rock! Super Brett takes the call and there is enough speed to overcome the post. I can be positive, if you tell me he's ready to go!
10 CLIFTON BEACH Slammed with another outside post tonight, but I'm sure there are people who have been chasing this horse. They'll continue to bet, but in all honesty, horse will have to get lucky from out here. Not easy spot.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 BLUE GROTTO Freshman filly had to scratch out of the Kindergarten Final, so you KNOW there was an issue! Came back with an okay qualifier that she had to need. IF primed and ready, she could certainly beat her elders here.
2 ESCAPE AGAIN Field's other 2YO jumped up with a shocker "on debut" down at Philly. That was some effort! But, in reality she went faster here in those two qualifiers. Simply put: I guess they got the money! Congrats. On to tougher.
3 DONATO'S ARTIST Now 0-18 and counting, so that becomes an issue. I guess we could call that last try an improvement and Simon does take the call. I could be persuaded to use underneath in gimmicks. Maybe not on top.
4 LYDIA GRACE This filly has been a "work in progress" for a long time. Let's just see her stay pacing for once.
5 BRIANNA HANOVER Hasn't shown a lick of pace for this barn yet. Will the switch to the mile track be the answer? I have my doubts, simply put. She's going to have to prove it to me first. Allard was listed, and opted to #3.
6 HARPER CHOICE If you take the view that she will improve a bit, after that first acclimating mile here, maybe I could make a case. She did keep up okay last time, in a race where slightly overmatched. Has a touch of speed. Uses it?
7 LOTUS SEELSTER This filly took an aggressive try for Brett last week and kind of paid the price late. Okay. Might not have to be used so far this time. That would improve her chances. Plus, she looks a lot better on paper than some.
8 RICKY'S QUICKIE It's becoming very "risky" to leave this barn out right now. Everything they have is firing. I'm not going to lie, I do hate this post, though. Keep in mind that she's burned money here before as well. Tough call.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 COLONIAL ROAD Both halves of this entry failed to show up here last week. This one sick, the other travel related. 10YO not exactly having a breakout kind of year, so I'll probably prefer the partner, for betting purposes.
1A CHECK'S COMMODORE Woke up a little in that Philly finale couple weeks ago. That signals improvement. They listed Yannick, so that's also sign of positive intent. Not really a fan of this post, for horse with this style. Prob go against.
2 ALONEINSPADES Coming off a better effort, folks. So, that deserves an extra look. I also like that barn "protects" him a little by bumping up a notch in price. Plots for a nice trip again from the pole position. Many possibilities.
3 PARTY JAMMER Tough to get a real read on this fella right now, coming off the scratch and eight-hole. That eight-hole try doesn't look bad, though. If you were searching for a live longshot, maybe this is it? I can go that way.
4 JACKSON BRADY This horse WAS in a decent spot here last week, but couldn't get here due to the snowstorm. This spot looks equally good, so I will expect a solid effort. Gets Jimmy, Jr. and will be part of this. Don't leave out.
5 SHOW ME UP Yes, that was just a four-horse field last week that she completely controlled. This should be a little different, but it was still a great confidence builder. No doubt what the strategy will be. Right to the front, folks!
6 LUKE'S COWBOY Took a lot of money last week and really had no shot to catch #5. Kind of in the same boat here, having drawn outside that foe. Will need a smoother kind of journey to get the job done. Maybe better price.
7 BRICKMAN I don't know what to make of that return try. It was a disaster, so I will watch for any equipment changes, AND take a good, long look at the horse scoring down. Not sure barn has him right and ready just yet.
8 IDEAL SHADOW Invades for Greg White and didn't get lucky at the post draw. There is a LOT of other speed in here, and that seems to be this one's weapon. Is he up against it? I think so. Will need to get a little lucky to have shot.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 LOTHARIO Be very, very careful here, folks! Although not charted, he was briefly offstride behind the gate in that qualifier. Yes, he caught back trotting and caught the field, BUT, at low odds, do you take that risk? I won't.
2 DONT PRESS SEND The 2YO overachieved by picking up a check last week. He did that simply because he stayed trotting. That was improved effort. Is there any more in the tank? I guess we're going to find out.
3 HOUSETHATJOEBUILT Not quite the trotter that Housethatruthbuilt was, but that's another story. This guy is very much a work in progress that keeps getting sick? Have to watch one after the slowish qualifier.
4 MISS OLIVIA MAE Filly finally gets a break at the post draw, and she has stayed trotting last few. Is that a step in the right direction? Yes! Could we possibly see more from her in here? I think so. Must keep up better early.
5 WIRED HANOVER Toss that last one from the eight-hole and this fella is doing good work down at Philly, and much improved from last seen here. Have to like the touch of speed he shows. That might go a long way in field like this.
6 IRON DOME Put it all together in a soft spot couple weeks ago. Not sure why he missed a week, but whatever. Any repeat of that effort and we clearly have the horse to beat. Was overbet last time and probably will be again. Trainer: He should fit right in here. He's ready to go.
7 CAPER K COURT Decent qualifier here, in direct contrast to recent races. Did the big track pick her up? Maybe. I probably need to see one more good one, before I can endorse. Pilot's job is to make sure she stays trotting.
8 LADY EAGLE Suffering a good case of the bad post blues right now. Oh well! She wasn't bad last time, and this is the dangerous driver/trainer combo. Likely that Billy will send her early again. Any smooth trip gives decent chance. Trainer: Should be much stronger with a race under her belt.
9 HE'S GONE Definitely a bit of a mystery horse in here. I kind of liked his first qualifier better than the second, so don't expect pilot to go for the lead. The post stinks too! Very mixed feelings in first start back off layoff, even with Lasix.
10 BREAK FREE Looks like the longshot, having drawn the worst post, coming off a break.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 ABBEYLARA Overall record over two years isn't an eyecatcher. Gelding just seems like a follower right now, so let's look for that from the pole. Sits in, saves ground and tries to get lucky late. A big maybe.
2 BAGGAGE CLAIM Raced a lot more aggressively last time and that tough trip did him in. This same post might allow for different strategy and he's got a big chance with these. Has to stick close to #3. A better price option.
3 ALL IT TAKES Raced well in both starts here so far. Also the victim of a very tough trip in the Dash final, so don't be too hard on him. This is ideal post for a horse that seems versatile. Will probably be favored, and can win.
4 THE ROCK Keep in mind, this fella has won here this year. That's a big plus in his corner. Freshened up by Team Buter and sometimes, they need a start back. Qualifier was okay, though. If primed and ready, he could surprise here.
5 RING WARRIOR Squandered a golden opportunity when perfectly positioned in the Dash final, but came up empty late, as usual. That's the problem. He just can't find that stretch kick you need here.
6 ROGER MACH EM Knew he'd be used hard from that outside post last time, and paid the price late. This is similar spot, especially with faves on the inside. Has to fire out again, at least for position. Not going to be easy to beat #3.
7 HOPE FOR BADLANDS Raced a little bit better when lowered to this level. He got a check! Tonight's problem is the post, and I don't see him firing out here. At mercy of both pace and trip, and needs to get lucky.
8 ELRAMA N Moves from pole to post eight, so that's first problem. Wasn't Brett's choice, so that's second issue. Threw in a real clunker last week, so that's third strike. You're out! Trainer: Dull effort last week. Threw a shoe and had a flat tire on the bike. Not sure if that's an excuse, but I'm expecting a return to his race two back.
9 ROLL N CATCH Simply put, this horse isn't sharp right now. Trying to race his way out of it, and if he keeps drawing post nine, it's going to be a long night. Need to see more before I can endorse again.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 CINNABAR HALL Here's the first, in a race filled with class droppers. Best asset here is the post, because he seems to lack speed. Not sure I can be too positive on the ship over from Yonkers. He will have to prove it here first.
2 PRIME POWER N Rick Dane put himself down to drive and then switched to Corey, so that IS a sign of positive intent. Horse does have some back class, provided he's finally right. But, that's BIG IF, and he has to go much faster.
3 WATKINS Was bet off the board last week and came up completely empty. With that said, I don't know what to tell you now. Something wasn't right, but since he's right back in the box, maybe improvement coming? Maybe?
4 ROUNDTOWN ROCKER This is the drop he's been waiting for, but in reality, it's no easy spot. Had a minor kick behind the bigger one from Bucky last week. Still, not bad. If the trip were right, he would have slight upset chance.
5 FREDDIE MAC Liked him last week and he disappointed a little. Have to think that Jimmy Jr. had the choice between the two Harmon trainees, and he took #6. Should we do the same? Not sure. A Nap is pretty good too! Usable.
6 QUICK DEAL What a perfect trip and drive to score the win last week. Now, he's bumped up in class again, but Jimmy opted here. That's telling us something, but I still wonder if gelding is good enough to beat these. A lot to prove. Trainer: Moves up in class tonight. If he races like he did last week, he should be right there.
7 PERFECT ROAD In from New York with some consistent form, but I'll note that he's competed against lesser. Couple weeks off. A slow qualifier. Could he possibly be ready for this? I'm going to guess no, and watch one.
8 LINDY'S BEST YET Kind of the same boat as #7. Barn shipped in a few tonight and they weren't very lucky at the post draw. For both of them, I will watch one and see if they can hack it here. Need a trip over the track.
9 ON THE SLY Simon had an option and took this gelding over #10. That surprised me a bit, so let's take extra look. Horse raced surprisingly well here, despite the short rest. I guess my problem tonight is the post. Must leave a little.
10 SKATES N PLATES Drops, but gets slammed with the 10, and Eric gets the call, with Simon opting to #9. This guy has the speed to overcome the post, though. Mixed feelings, but if price is right, I would consider using.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 MELANIES SHARKETTE Interesting pair of invaders for Burke Brigade here. This mare has nine wins this year, including last start at Philly. The midpack post is a plus, and she does seem versatile. I can make a small case.
1A MONICA GALLAGHER I can probably make a better case for this lass. A Nap got the call on this one, so that probably tells us something. She does pack solid speed, but remember she's just a 3YO. This is a totally different kind of class.
2 FREE SHOW Good drive by Jimmy here last week on this lass. The blast took the starch out of her, but she was digging in willingly. The move to this post might change up the strategy and she plots for great trip. Very usable.
3 STUDIO ONE Back into the class where she outraced her odds. Last was pretty flat, however. Not sure what to make of her yet, but the recently added Lasix should be helping. Demand fair value, if you fancy in this spot.
4 SAGE N Scotty D has sent this lass all over the place last few months. No wins to show for it, but this is clearly the right class level for her on the big track. She has some back races that are more than good enough. Adds Brett! Trainer: Been racing well and should like the bigger track.
5 WHISKERSONKITTENS Big, big effort from her last week for the win! I mean BIG! Has quickly rounded into top form for Rick Dane and she factors again, even on the hike. It's hard to ignore sharp horses. Eric was a nice fit for her too!
6 CAROLINE HANOVER Sports a real mixed bag of races lately, and I must note that Jimmy opted to #2. I'll pass.
7 OUR ELS DREAM N She's been here before, and won a race with a lifetime mark here. Found two soft spots up at the Spa, so this is a big step back up. I will probably have to prefer others. Would need giant mile once again.
8 COUSIN MARY Went two huge trips here, despite tough trips. I hate the post tonight, but she seems way overdue to get a smoother journey. Plus, the Lasix is obviously helping. Would be very hard to leave out right now.
9 K J'S CAROLINE Can't like 'em all, so I'll just pass on this lady off the short layoff stuck in post 10.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-1-10
H Horse Comment
1 QUEENS LONELY EARL Gelding was just okay in first try here. But, that was a tough field, and this is major post relief, plus A Nap back in the bike. I guess if you were looking for a live price play, this could be it. Still needs more to win.
2 CAULFIELD In a prime spot to drop and pop tonight, and he was very good behind uncatchable winner last week in Not Afraid. Simply put, if he's that good again he should probably win. The inside post is additional plus. Trainer: Much improved start in last race and should be good in this class.
3 LAUDERDALE For a while, it seemed like he found his old speed and class. Then, I guess, reality set in. Got run over late by the closers. I guess if speed is holding up well tonight, you can use, but it's supposed to be very cold too! Trainer: Hoping to get the horse raced off the pace this week, but not sure how horse will adjust to it.
4 HANRAHAN Just okay last time, easily outkicked home by better foes. Same boat here, with Eric opting to #5?
5 BRANDOS MUSCLE MAN In a race with several key class droppers, here's the guy stepping up. That's not one of my favorite angles, but I must note that Eric fit him perfectly last time, and he won with something left. Handles hike?
6 EARL'S SPEEDER Squeezes in for the condition, so that deserves a second look. Also gets Simon for first time, and he's waking everything up lately. Horse raced on big track at Hoosier last year. Gets off half, so maybe more coming.
7 PILGRIMS TIDE Up from Philly off an improved effort, but I think he's in too tough here. We'll find out quickly.
8 MASSACAIA Shipped in and didn't show much upon arrival for solid barn. Moves further outside for second try, and that's going to hurt. I'd need to see a lot more from this one, before I could endorse.
9 MOONLIGHT COCKTAIL Ya know, I really feel she's sitting on a big effort, but these bad posts are killing her! Doesn't have any speed, so completely at mercy of pace and trip. If it doesn't work out this week, maybe next week?
10 SOUTH SIDE HANOVER She IS good right now and almost deserves to get a win here. Corey takes a turn, with Eric opting to #5. I suppose she'll fire out, but probably get caught late again. Usable underneath for me.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 UNBEAMLIEVABLE Sports two pretty good starts here so far. Gets major post relief and Vinny back in bike. Owns more than enough speed to get prime position. Maybe only needs to add a touch of kick to the arsenal? Maybe.
2 MADE OF JEWELS AS Knew she'd be super live last week, but the pace was simply too hot. With that said, the pace scenario in here could be a little "kinder" for her. Or, she might get great trip behind #8. Either way, a must use!
3 FUTURE LIFE Bit of a mystery horse in here, in for the tag up from Freehold. It's also a bump up in class and I'm not really sure she can pace fast enough for these right now. I've been wrong before, but she will have to prove it.
4 MISQUED Had absolutely nothing in a race that set up for closers last week. Not sharp now. Have to pass.
5 DANDY'S BEAUTY Faced a much better group and wasn't bad, but wasn't great either. Has many races here in the past that would be more than good enough to win. Figures to give #2 a real tussle at some point. Top effort needed.
6 NARCIAN JEWEL Fires back on short rest, and it looks like she squandered a pretty good trip at Yonkers. Was also favored, so she was live! Her better races did come at Pocono, though. I guess I can make a case for more here.
7 ORCHESTRA BLUECHIP Odd spot for a 3YO filly, shipping over from Yonkers. That one race at Pocono would be good enough to put her in play here, but I suspect she's at mercy of pace and trip. Not sure how hot pace will be.
8 MCACE OF ARTS There was all kind of action in that race last week, and that's simply not her game. She likes to be out and rolling along on lead. I have a feeling she'll be gunning and play catch me if you can. It might work.
9 SPILLING THE BEANS Connections guessed right and claimed a live one last week. BUT, they are not exactly "rewarded" with this spot and brutal post. Asking a lot to overcome this slot with speed just inside.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 STARSABOVEALLERAGE Finally gets a break at the post draw, so some sort of wakeup call certainly wouldn't shock me. To me, this is an absolutely wide open race, with many possibilities. This is one of them, at square price.
2 SHEER ACTION Also moves back inside, so give him slightly better chance. Will need a few things to go his way, however. You can't bank on that, but you can probably bank on a big price, if you fancy chances. A big maybe. Trainer: Troubled trip last start. Inside post should be beneficial.
3 SWEET JESSE T Brett had three options in here and took this mare over #6,7. That surprised me, so should we look for a big improvement in first start for new barn? I guess we should! Not sure what the price will be. Watch board.
4 MARION GONDOLIER Can't like 'em all, so I'll take a pass on this gelding for now. A lot to prove here still.
5 WILDFLOWER Absolutely had to need that race last week and raced extremely well again. Yes, this is a big bump up in class, but I like this mare. She tries hard. She's perfectly positioned in midpack post. Very hard to leave out.
6 BEE IN CHARGE Yes, a total question mark, coming off the flat effort, but against a much better field. On the positive side, he DID stay trotting, so this is probably his new home for now. Must sustain that move better to win this. Trainer: Off track was not to his liking last start. Hopefully, drop in class will help.
7 TROUBLE RIEU N Had Brett opted here, I probably would have taken a longer look. It's an ideal drop in class back to where he belongs. I know he's 0-26 this year, but I would use underneath in the gimmicks. Should offer some value.
8 CONNIE KEEPER A little disappointing up at Monti. Couldn't catch out of the pocket in a crawled last quarter. It's going to take a lot more than that here, and the post stinks too! Let's watch one.
9 SHADY MCCOY Be careful here, folks. Shady likes the Big M, so I do expect an improved effort, back on mile track again. What I hate is the post! Shady isn't exactly a blast out leave, so we have a problem. Has to get into it.
10 PAINITE Also a huge victim of the post draw. Horse was good, with a nice rail ride last week on the drop. Same level here, but she's got no speed either! How's she going to get into the race? I don't know.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 LAST DRAGON Arguably, this is not one of my favorite horses, but in this spot, he's probably got a big chance. Corey will take the call, so that's a plus. The rail is a plus. The many question marks in here are a plus. Have to consider.
2 STIRLING ENSIGN Down from NY for Mr. Tackley and Mr. Gibson. It's a long ship, folks, and horse is clearly in a tougher spot. Best asset is the inside post, so let's see if he can keep up and earn a little shipping money.
3 YOUDA SHARK Gets the "de facto" vote as favorite, because Brett chose him. It's a slight drop. Those are not easy races down at Dover, so this is ideal spot for a big track try. Barn is usually very dangerous when they come here. Trainer: Been racing well and just needs some racing luck! Expect a good effort tonight.
4 A AND C ARTIST Vinny opted here over #6, so keep that in mind. Horse has been slowly working way back into shape and if there was EVER a spot for a wakeup call, this could be it. I guess we just watch the tote board tonight.
5 DRACO Now 0-19 and counting. Not much time left to get rid of the donut for the year. Still can't like him a lot.
6 IDEAL DANNY Had Vinny opted here, I probably would like a lot more. Picked up a check from a tough post and spot last time. Perhaps proving that he could handle this kind of level. Post is a touch better. Eric might take shot, send.
7 KEEP GOING Another one that just never seems to win. Wasn't Brett's choice after flat mile upon return. Guess I'd be hard pressed to say we'll see a whole lot more. If he beats me, he beats me. I can live with that.
8 PERSONNEL SPACE That must have been some SLOW track on closing day at Scar. Snowstorm and all. I will certainly forgive the horse for odds-on loss. Finds his way to NJ and this is no bargain, either. A lot to prove here.
9 VICTORYDAZE WILWIN What's happened to this fella lately? For a horse that won in 50 on Hambo Eve, now he can't get out of his own way. Has zero speed. Has another outside post. I can't be too positive here, folks.
10 PRAMATIC LIFE As previously stated, barn had NO luck at post draw. This is clearly a decent horse that is consistent, but you tell me how he's going to overcome post 10? Will need to find some newfound speed. I don't see it.