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  • Week Of 12/24 - 12/30
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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, December 30, 2017

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 STIRLING CADET Had a fairly good qualifier here after that scratch from earlier this month, but I think he's stuck in an impossible spot tonight, Even with the rail! Just hoping to sit in, save ground and try to keep up late.
2 ELYSIUM LINDY 4YO uncorked a powerful kick to win handily upon arrival. The trip worked out nicely and this is a huge step up in class. At least Brett chose this one over #5, so that's a positive. Is he really this good? We'll find out.
3 IRON MINE BUCKY Set a pretty solid pace last week and only got tracked down by one. It was a good effort and showed that horse can flash speed if need be. Like the way he's going right now, so very hard to leave out.
4 MUSCLES ON FIRE No match for those tough customers in the Open over at Yonkers. Okay. This spot isn't easy either! Also a bit unproven here on the mile track, so I'll probably have to prefer others. Must show me something.
5 CASH ME OUT Found a nice spot over at Yonkers and zipped around the track to an easy win. That was couple weeks ago, and Yonkers isn't back open yet. Why not take a shot here? Consistent sort has won here before.
6 ROCK OF CASHEL Boy was I wrong about this guy last week! Showed up sharp and VERY ready off the layoff and was bet off the board down to 2-1. They got the cash! Horse showed his class and benefited from perfect trip and drive. Trainer: Raced great off a strong qualifier. Expect him to be good again.
7 OPULENT YANKEE The gaps between starts are a bit of a concern. Fact that he couldn't hold on down at Philly despite rated pace is a concern. It's supposed to be extremely cold tonight. Will the stamina be there? Big question.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 LONG BEACH Just okay last time, in that race with a mad scramble of longshots. Gets a key inside post again, but was not Brett's choice. That may be telling us something. Horse still needs to find more to finally win one.
2 MAJOR ACTION The 2YO was Brett's pick and that surprised me. It's taken a long time to get him to the races, but both qualifiers were decent. Is there more in the tank tonight? Might need to be. Not sure what the price will be.
3 RECORD MACHINE Mixed sale bound colt is the other 2YO in here, and after a decent debut, he turned in bit of a clunker. Not really sure what to expect on the bounce back try, but Corey will try to get him a trip from inside post.
4 STONEDUST Upset the applecart with a huge rally at big price last week. Impressive! Things did work out nicely, and it was a strong drive from Dobson. Will they be that lucky again? At shorter price? Tough call, folks. Your call?
5 BET THE DRAGON Gets the very tepid call as favorite, in a wide open race. Both efforts here were solid, and Jimmy is still driving lights out. I love the midpack post drawn and he figures to sit just off the pace. Might swoop 'em!
6 SNEAK ON BYE I feel bad if you took the short price last week and that was a disastrous trip. I'm not going to be too hard on him, and I will still respect the speed. Liable to get a much nicer journey tonight and could pay off. Trainer: I don't want to be five deep going to the 1/4 pole this week.
7 ROCKME SOCKS OFF Invades from Monti, but off a sick scratch. Recently on Lasix, so that's probably helping, but is he really quick enough for these? That's where I have my doubts.
8 DRINKIN AGAIN Another newcomer to the Big M, with questionable speed. Seems like a longshot to me.
9 CUZ I'M HAPPY This guy also hasn't had a lot of luck lately, and it continues with this post drawn. I'm a bit tired of chasing this horse, especially at the low odds lately. I guess I'll let him beat me, if he can.
10 BAG PIPE MAJOR Took a more aggressive try from the better post in last and it still didn't work out. Now slammed with the bad post again and that's not going to work out well. A pass for me from this slot.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 BASS PLAYER A Nap chose this fella over #8,10, and it's a serious case of post relief, moving from 10 to the pole. Is the horse good enough for here, though? I have my doubts, but let's look for a better effort tonight.
2 HEADLIGHTS ON Showed up sharp and ready for Brian Cross, and Marcus put a real nice drive on this guy for new lifetime mark. Takes the appropriate step up, but I always caution, if you didn't get the 10-1, why try at lower?
3 IMPRESSIVE ART Also moves in a few slots to a much better post. I still remember the night he won here, given a perfect and patient drive by Kyle. It's going to take that kind of effort again, but he'll probably be live in here.
4 VINTAGE GRAND A little bit "dated" since he hasn't raced since the 4th, but we'll trust the Burke Brigade to have him ready. Brett opted here over #6. First start for new barn and he had been facing better. Have to like him here.
5 BANK SEA Outraced his odds for a spot on the board last week. The race did set up for closers, but his kick was still good. Was it a fluke? I guess we'll find out tonight. Should still offer very big odds. Drew nice midpack post.
6 DEEPFAVE HANOVER Took an aggressive try last week, attacking on the rim. It was actually a better effort for the gelding, so maybe he's finally ready to deliver a top effort. Gets hot hands too! Some reasons to like.
7 WHATA TWIST Also coming out of that mad scramble race where the closers came charging. This fella was over 100-1 that night! At least he proved he could hack it here. At mercy of pace and trip again from an outer post.
8 WILDMAN Recent form a little flat for my taste, plus I see that break at Philly. I guess I'll pass off that. Watch one.
9 VALRHONA Suffering a good case of the bad post blues right now and he's failed to get involved when he gets a post like this. I don't have any reason to expect that to change. Not quite for me.
10 SCHOLZ Made no impact from the pole position twice. Now, it's post 10. That doesn't add up to a win.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 LUKES COWBOY Not a whole lot on view since arriving here. I can't exactly predict a wakeup call, but that's what this gelding needs. Moves all the way inside, but still a longshot in my book.
2 MASTER OF PUPPETS Now owns 10 wins this year, so let's pay him a little respect! Taggart put a picture perfect steer on him for the big upset last time and horse is sharp! Drew a key inside post. He can be part of this again. Trainer: This group is tougher, but he's good right now.
3 GLASS PRINCE Had to need that first start back up at Monti. This may still be asking too much for now. Pass.
4 TERROR OF THE NITE Finally paid off, given the aggressive drive to dig in and hold on last week. Takes the one notch bump up in price, but he's probably the one to catch again. Expect the same speed from Austin.
5 WORKANDPLAYHARD Racing pretty well right now, so we'll give credit for that. Seems versatile enough to do it either way, which is added bonus. The knock is that A Nap chose #7 tonight. I still think he'll get involved. Usable. Trainer: Feels good and trained good.
6 SKY IS THE LIMIT Seems like a one-way rallier, so timing and trip are essential. Didn't really have much mile track punch in the first go here. Not sure we expect a whole lot more, but I have been wrong before. Maybe.
7 I'M THE REAL MAJOR A Nap's choice gets the price drop tonight, and that could be the key for a wakeup call. Not sure what the price will be, but I don't suspect it will be very big. If too low, I might swing against. We'll see.
8 CITY PIE Making start #45 this year, so gelding deserves an award. Things set up perfectly for him last time with Brett, and it might be tougher with the switch to post eight. Another that I may go against, if price is too low. Not a lock,
9 MAGIC TRICKS Just missed in first start for new barn off the claim. That effort caught my eye, and he renews the rivalry with #4. I don't expect they'll both cruise around the track unpressed, however. Horse will still need a trip.
10 E L DARTSMYBOY Can't like 'em all, so I'll just take a pass on this Saratoga invader. Lots to prove here in post 10.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 BUD BAY Not bad in that first try here. Drew same key inside post and plots for a very similar trip. With that under his belt, maybe we can expect a touch more punch? We'll find out. Sits in and saves ground early.
2 EVER AGAIN I still remember that sharp win here a month ago. It did come against a weaker field, but the horse sure went fast enough. Tough trip in that Philly finale, so he's back here on the mile. Expect speed, and a top effort!
3 SUNSHINE WEST He sure had every chance to hang on last week, when well rated by Brett. Same boat here, possibly at a little bigger price. Might also have a few others to deal with in early stages. Not sure I want short price again.
4 BIG STRETCH MARK Just can't find a way to get lucky and win one of these. He's in razor sharp form right now, but sometimes, horses just don't like to win! A must use underneath in any gimmick, but not on top for me.
5 ROCKIN HANK Made no real impact in the first start here at Club Med. Will have to turn up the jets a few notches.
6 FRANKY'S BEACH BOY What a trip this guy went last time! A monster mile, uncovered, and at odds of 32-1! Will he be that good again? This class is pretty similar to what he was facing. Don't expect a big price this time, folks.
7 LOTS OF LOVIN Loses A Nap tonight after an attacking, but tiring effort upon arrival. With that said, new pilot will have to make the trip easier, and that's not so easy with all the power on the inside. Your call, folks.
8 MT STERLING MAFIA The pride of Gabe Prewitt is gearing up for the Mixed Sale on Jan. 15. He's raced well at every place he's been, and I do suspect that he's better here on the big track. Let's see if good enough to go with #3,4.
9 OBSCENE BLUE CHIP Yes, that was an obscene price on a Harris trainee! He thinks it's biggest price ever on one of his winners. Not exactly "rewarded" with this post drawn and he'll need another miracle to sweep the field again. Trainer: Had bad posts at Yonkers, but when he drew inside he showed ability. Clearly likes the big track, so his grinder speed has time to kick in.
10 OFFDAHOOK BLUECHIP Also headed to the sale as hip #170. Not exactly the most successful horse in the Burke Brigade, so they're unloading him. Post 10 looks like a killer for betting purposes tonight.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 TORRID BROMAC N Forced back up in class here, so that's a problem. Seems to have trouble at this level, so I will most likely pass, even from the pole. Sits in, saves ground and tries to get lucky late. A big maybe.
2 K-LEES SHAKENBAKE Pretty sharp right now, and I still remember that big win two back. That was a pretty "salty" bunch he faced last time, so this is definitely a little easier. I expect a better result, from the good inside post.
3 ELRAMA N Stepped up a notch and showed some class to win again last week. That showed me something. This is another big bump up, but Corey did choose him again. That's a vote of confidence. Can't totally leave out now. Trainer: He's getting his legs under him and that's great news! Big jump in class, so that's the bad news. He's beaten better for me this time last year, so big test tonight.
4 DAVID'S DREAM Just when I thought Dave was tailing off again...wham! A monster rally for the upset. With that said, the trip worked out nice, and now Corey sees fit to opt off. That's not a vote of confidence. Your call, folks? Trainer: Feeling great and is in great racing form.
5 MAJOR LEGACY Things haven't worked out lately for this big-time closer. But, that can always change. This is a bit better post. There could be some action in here and if so, this one's rally is strong. Price should still be right too!
6 DON'TCALLMEFRANCIS Back for another Big M go, after quick trip up to Batavia. Raced well up there and returns in the ideal spot here. I would not talk you off this guy, if you want to bet. Has versatile speed. Only needs a trip.
7 VANQUISHED N I liked this guy last week and simply put, he wasn't all that great. Yes, that was probably a tougher field, but now he loses the inside post advantage. Will have to earn it, and I'm probably off the bandwagon.
8 BRIGADOON Comes up with a big one every now and then. Barn has shipped in a bunch of horses this week, so if some of them have done well, expect this guy to race well too! Price should be okay, if you fancy in this spot.
9 SHOREVIEW Barn on fire right now, and that last win was clearly a soft spot. This will be infinitely much tougher, and the post won't help. 4YO has some talent, but will have to prove it to me on the big track. Need to see it first.
10 E STREET PLAN Struggled home with a dull effort last time. Would be very hard to like after seeing that.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 CHEVALS CLIVESDALE Note the added condition of this race, which allows him into it. Non winners of $100K life. Just toss that last race when he had NO chance from post 10. This is a LOT more like it. A must use for me on all tickets. Trainer: Trained well and ready to go!
2 STARZNHEAVEN Couldn't be any sharper, but taking another big hike up in class. I will note that Brett did stick with him, so that's a big plus. It's hard to ignore sharp horses, so we probably have to include him too! Tough test.
3 PHIL YOUR BOOTS Here's a pretty honest racehorse here! Goes fast. Has some speed. Doesn't throw in clunkers. Will he fit here on the mile track? The answer is probably yes! Wasn't Brett's choice, but still a threat here. In the sale 1/15.
4 MELMERBY BEACH Was sneaky good last week from impossible spot in a high-quality race. With that said, Brett did have the option for reride and did not choose this fella. I still think he's got a big shot in here from the better post.
5 JACKSRLUCKYTOO Kind of the same boat as #4. Had NO chance the way race went. Gets a much better starting slot and keeps Jimmy in the seat. If things were to flow just right, he could have huge rallying chance. Your call?
6 ARTISTIC MAJOR Out of the same race as #1,4. Made no real impact that night. The class drop is critical, but this is clearly no easy spot. Would need A-1 best, like we saw down at Philly. Not sure I can expect that tonight.
7 DIAMOND COWBOY Worked his way right up the class ladder down at Philly, but that doesn't mean he'll be able to do it here. Seems to lack speed, and drew outside the other big closers. That's not a recipe for success.
8 ALLBLACK STRIDE N Had his "needed" race over the track, so we can probably expect a bit more tonight. I hate the post and feel the horse might just need one more. If I'm wrong, so be it. Will be ready soon, but when?
9 WESTERN JOE Excellent effort for the win two weeks ago. Had the trip you needed on that particular night. Since things "went his way" then, they might not now. Loses Jimmy and gets slammed with the worst post. Very tough call.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 MCCLINCHIE N Suffered a bit of the Meadowlands shuffle upon arrival, but he was pacing strong late. Gets the same post now, so Vallee might put the gas pedal down early. One more chance to shine here, at a decent price.
2 AMERICAN VENTURE That was SOME qualifier, folks! Brett "loses" the drive, because he has to take #3. Was it the free-legged thing that made the difference? I wish I knew. Has some back class. Fits this field perfectly, if he paces.
3 MR D'S DRAGON Gaps between starts can sometimes be a concern. Brett has to drive this one, over #2, so don't let that affect you. I do wonder if this is the right level for him, or if he needs one more drop to get it done. Tough call.
4 OH JONNY B GOOD N Hard-trying horse raced okay in both recent tries here. Really had no chance last time, with that front-running, winning favorite. This fella flashed a nice kick. Could be in prime position here for Nap.
5 SUPER IMPOSED N Jumps up with a big one every now and then. Raced a lot better in the second try here, than the first, so that shows improvement. I love the post and he is versatile. I don't expect a huge price, however.
6 WINDSONG JACK Squandered that good trip two back. Rolled along at a quick clip against better. Didn't exactly quit badly, either. Gets Andy again, so will we see same strategy? Maybe. There are no other blasters in here.
7 TRACK MASTER D Saratoga invader appears to be a one-way closer, so he might be at mercy of pace and trip. This is first tough post in a while. I guess I need to see one here first. Your call?
8 SPEED AGAIN Corey chose this fella over #9. I thought he might go the other way, and this gelding has been in pretty salty company lately. This is a much more reasonable spot, so let's expect some speed. Has to get into it early.
9 CENTURY CHURCHILL Had Corey opted here, I'd probably be much more interested. Not sure gelding packs any early zip, so let's watch one to see if he adjusts to the big track. That's a maybe.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-6-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 MACINTOSH N Vallee didn't have much luck here last weekend, so he's due! This is a horse that has faced and beaten much better in the past. Might be time to step up to the plate and deliver that speed again. Expect it!
2 ART HISTORY I hate to say it, but I just don't think this horse is sharp right now. He came to an absolute stop last week and was empty the week before that. I'm going to pass, until I see some sort of bounce back effort.
3 BETTOR'S WESTERN Certainly not an easy spot for the 3YO, but Jimmy chose this one over barn's other starter. That did surprise me a bit, so I'll take an extra look. In the midst of a good season. Only has to prove he likes mile track.
4 MACHAMILLION N Never really got rolling last time. I suspect he's racing himself into shape since arriving in the US. The wakeup call will come one of these nights, but we all might have to guess when. Hard to predict.
5 BIG JER I actually thought Marohn would take Jer. He put a picture perfect drive on him from post 10 last week. I guess he feels this class hike will be too much? We have to let him do the handicapping for us.
6 PONYTA BOY I have to admit, I have been impressed with this fella from New York. He's proven to me that the win was no fluke. Was full of pace finishing against that much better group in last. Have to give him respect!
7 BLAISE MM HANOVER I'm not overly impressed with his form right now. This is strong group. Not for me tonight. Trainer: Trained well and ready to go.
8 BULLET BOB Also the beneficiary of a good trip and drive to win last. Yes, it was against vastly weaker and I truly don't believe he's good enough to handle this kind of step up. That, plus bad post make Bob a pass for me.
9 CHEYENNE SEEBER Made no real impact from similar post upon arrival. I would be hard pressed to expect a whole lot more, and that's what he would need to overcome this spot. Demand big price if you fancy in here.
10 BIG TOP HANOVER Working his way back down the class ladder. Filled that field last Saturday and isn't exactly "rewarded" with this post. I think I'll wait for a softer spot somewhere down the road.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 MY MIND IS MADEUP One of several class droppers in here that is in sneaky good form. The inside post should keep him close enough, so beware. Don't be shocked if he comes up with a big effort.
2 SIR MACHALOT Had a much tougher trip when hiked up in class and paid the price. Inches back down to a more proper spot and it's dangerous to leave these connections out. He could be sharper than Cal right now. Speed! Trainer: I thought with the trip he had, and the way he raced before, he should've been right there.
3 CALVIN B Still burning the bucks right now. Had things go his way despite the post 10 start, but still couldn't hang on. That was two weeks ago. Corey sure had the hot hand here last Saturday, though! Very mixed feelings.
4 BB'S HARLEY Freshened up a month. Got nipped in the qualifier, so I don't feel he's fully cranked and ready.
5 LACHIE MAGUIRE N No real pop in the Big M debut, but sometimes it does take a race to get mile track legs back. He's faced some pretty good groups along the way. My other knock is the 1-27 record this year. Your call?
6 STIRLING ESCORT Failed as the fave with that speed try last Saturday. Loses the catch driver. I will pass.
7 SETTLEMOIR Ended up with a decent trip despite post 10 last week, but lacked that needed kick to get closer. Since he's worked his way steadily down the ladder, I feel a wakeup is imminent. But, we will have to guess when.
8 SOVEREIGN BANNER N Looks like a one-way rallier, so I have to believe he's at mercy of both pace and trip. Could it work out? Maybe. But, if price isn't big, I don't want to take that shot. Hoping for that hot pace scenario.
9 MEETYOUATMIDNIGHT Brett Miller had some options in here and chose this guy. Yes, that was some rally from a long way back last week, but are we getting that same trip again? Might be too far back to do any damage.
10 MORE DRAGON Took ALL the money last week and took a very aggressive try. Almost got the job done, but I don't know if he can overcome this post right now. Would need a giant mile. Demand fair value if you like.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-10-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 MR BLISSFULL One of the many in this class drop Derby. His form doesn't appear very sharp, but Greg gets along with him and hops back in the seat. The rail should keep him close. A big fat maybe, at a decent price.
2 SISKEL Had a rough trip to close out the Saratoga meet. Was just okay from some tough posts here before that. I do think he's one of the possibilities in here, especially with the hot hands driving. No big price, though.
3 WILD AGAIN Didn't exactly overwhelm me with that effort after the freshening. He took a ton of betting money too! Not sure I'd be willing to go back to the well if the price is short again. It might be with Brett back aboard.
4 ROCK ON THE HILL Doesn't this look like the right spot for Rock? Class drop. Good inside post. A Nap's choice. Will be grinding his way into it, and might be tough to deny. That effort here three back would be good enough. Trainer: Drops down to a level where he should be tough.
5 SOUTHERN PURSUIT N Not exactly going great guns right now, and he probably needed that race after the sick scratch. I can't predict a complete turnaround, but that's what he would need tonight.
6 PERSEVERANT Had A Nap chosen this one, I would probably be much more interested. Should be tighter, after that needed race. He roughed it on the rim and got very tired. Will need a much smoother trip, but that is possible.
7 QUALITY BUD Finally found a field that he could beat. Did it willingly, but this is big step back up in class and he loses Nap as well. That's probably not a recipe for success tonight.
8 J T Yes, he's just 1-34 this year, so this is last chance to shine. A tad dull in the return try here, so I'll just pass. Trainer: Drops in class and hopefully will be able to sit a little bit closer. He had a good week of training.
9 ENDEAVOR Can't really make a strong case for success in this corner either. Drew another bad post and Pat didn't even see fit to come drive him. That's not a fact I like.
10 IWILLMAKEYOUSAYWOW Draws second straight post 10, so that's almost not fair! We have seen this guy blast out before, however. If you tell me he's leaving, I would tell you to put on your ticket. Price should be fair.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 SPIRIT OF TRUTH Went off at more than 100-1 against these from an outside post and was no threat. Will it be same from the better post here? Unfortunately, it might. This may still be too high in class for him. We'll find out.
2 DASHBOARD I didn't see much from him in first try here. Can't expect a whole lot more. Not for me just yet.
3 DEMOCRACY N In a prime spot to drop and pop tonight for Brett. Didn't have an easy trip against that better field last time. That race under his belt here should help. The post is perfect. No reason not to like in this spot.
4 LORD OF MISRULE Gave it a pretty good speed try here last week, but couldn't hold off the classier, trip-sitting foe. No problem. It was a good effort. Tonight's problem is the hike up in class. This will probably be tougher. Trainer: Raced well last time and fits well in here.
5 TRAVEL PLAYLIST Are we ready for an Orange Crush wakeup call here? Those first few for new barn weren't exactly great. Were they waiting for a softer spot, because this may not be it. Very tough call on what to expect tonight.
6 THAT'S MY HARLEY This barn has surprised us once or twice before here. The gelding does have speed, so he could get a very nice trip in here. Not sure he's good enough to win, but he could be part of the ticket at nice price.
7 JUSTIFIED I thought he had decent chance last week and he lacked that usual knockout kind of punch. Needless to say, this post will make the task tougher and I'm not sure I can go back to the well again. Would need a lot more.
8 DIAL OR NODIAL Now an 11YO warhorse. Back after a couple of months off. His qualifier was certainly good, but is he A-1 cranked and ready to deliver the goods on a very cold night? I'm going to guess no. I'll watch one.
9 NOBLES FINESSE Looks like a longshot again, having drawn poor post tonight. Not quite my type.
10 BELIEVE THIS BOB I am not a believer in Bob on the ship in and big step up in class. I would be very surprised if he stepped up to beat this bunch from post 10.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL MATTERS Brett chose this guy over #3 and that didn't surprise me. But, he found these claimers a tad too much two weeks ago. It's a switch to the rail, so we might see more speed come into play. Won't be big price.
2 OUR JERRY LEE N Gets some much needed post relief, but is it enough to revive his sagging form? I'd probably have to say no. Need to see it first, so I will pass and rate him a longshot again.
3 ROCKET J Mixed sale bound as hip #236. Did a fairly good job of chasing last week. It was a better effort than I expected, so I might have to pay more attention now. He even flashed some speed. Needs all of that again.
4 DURANT Had the obligatory trip over the track, so it might be time to turn up the jets a notch. Has flashed speed before and somebody will want that ideal trip right behind #8. Should be interesting sprint to first turn.
5 FLEM N EM N Did pretty well last week, chasing #8 home after a bit of a shuffle. Looks like similar trip and try coming here for Greg. Has to fire out and establish good position. Might work out well again.
6 GIVEN UP TERROR Did not race well when forced up to this level. Has to be a longshot again.
7 INTHEBLINKOFANEYE We've all seen him here before. Now a 12YO warhorse that shows just fair form from up at the Spa. Back in the day here, he used to have speed. Not sure what to expect in this tough spot.
8 COPPER COAST A Dominated these last week on cruise control and might be able to do it again. He was "assigned" the outside post to possibly make things a bit tougher. In reality, it might still be easy. Clearly the one to beat. Trainer: Couldn't be happier with the switch to the mile track last start. Bad post tonight, but should be at the top of his game.
14 Fourteenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-9-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 MARTIAL BLISS Left the Spa on a nice winning note, but he's forced up in class here. Should be a big test for this horse, transitioning to mile track. Is he a fit at this level? I'm going to guess no. We'll see.
2 BEACHCHIP HANOVER Coming off a much improved effort. Chased a heavily favored winner last time and did it willingly. Drew another key inside post to aid the cause, but he was not Brett's choice tonight. Interesting.
3 CHEYENNE REIDER Found these claimers a tad too tough last time. That was two weeks ago. Same spot here. Pass. Trainer: He caught a tough winner last out and didn't have enough pop. I thought he would be finishing. I think he will be better this week.
4 INVICTUS HANOVER Simply cruised around the oval to dominate these at 3-5. Is there anything preventing that from happening again? Probably not. Drew good inside post. Has more than enough versatile speed. One to beat.
5 CARDIAC FASHION Brett chose here, so let's take an extra look. Hasn't won yet since the Burke Brigade took over, but he has some good starts. May not have liked off track last week. I can make a case for a bit more tonight.
6 STEUBEN MAGIC RIDE Same boat as #1. They were both good up there, but they are both in tougher down here. This fella also loses the inside post advantage. He's got something to prove on the mile track. Liked Vernon, though.
7 R M BLACKHAWK Grinded with a tough trip in first start off the Bobo claim. That showed some heart. I can't guarantee he's going to like the mile track and I must note that Brett opted for #5. Not exactly vote of confidence.
8 BONFIRE BLISS Not in sharp form right now, so I'll take a pass and see if any improvement is coming. Maybe not.
9 STIMULUS PLAN Here's the key to the race! Looks like the one most likely to apply pressure to #4. More than enough speed to overcome the post. Should be recovered after that tiring effort down at Philly. Have to use.
10 INTRIGUED INTENDED Suffering a terrible case of the bad post blues. I just don't see how he reaches from way out here.