Handicapping

  • Week Of 5/4 - 5/10
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Track Handicapper Dave Little Bio

 

 Dave Little began a fascination with harness racing while formatting Monticello results at the Bergen Record in 1980, his first of three stops in the newspaper business.

Little got his start as a public handicapper when he joined the race desk at the New York Post in 1986 before moving on to the New York Daily News in 1991, where he began a 24-year run as harness and thoroughbred handicapper, columnist and racing editor.

Little's wife, Debbie, is currently the harness racing handicapper at the Post. They've been married since 1989.

 

 

RACE REVIEWS by Dave Little


 

 

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment makes every  effort to post Race Reviews 48 hours before scheduled post time.  

Race Reviews For Friday, May 09, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 LIGHTNING FORCE Hambletonian-eligible gelding appears to have had a good winter. Trotted 1:55 at Lexington. Clearly has potential.
2 K T BIRD Mare has trouble staying flat. She got around the track while cutting the mile in that qualifier, but still may need a race.
3 O NARUTAC PERFETTO Tough trip last time for another Hambo-eligible. Respect the gameness he showed last time. Exotics contender.
4 MISTRESSWITHMUSCLE Hambo Oaks-eligible filly made a break in the Lady Suffolk. Showed some promise at Lexington. Mixed signals.
5 GREAT SOCIETY Also Hambletonian-eligible. Was a bit slow off the gate and broke before getting into the race. Needs to see a flat start.
6 MARTINIWITHMUSCLE Hambo-eligible winner of his most recent start is in against a tougher group this time. Still merits win consideration.
7 SOUTHWIND POSEIDON Half-brother to Southwind Pepino ($298k). Cost $20k at Harrisburg and his making his first lifetime start.
8 ACADIA AS Thought her last mile was disappointing. Some will say she was blocked, but it appeared McCarthy was chasing her along.
9 GENERAL BILL BROWN He was OK last time, but did burn some cash as the 8/5 favorite. Also faces a stronger group, but is a contender.
10 MAN OF MUSCLE Could not duplicate his winning form at Pocono. Note that his win was against nw1 company. Tougher task from post 10.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 LOTSA MATZAH Added Lasix for that qualifier and she responded with a 26.4 final quarter. Still has ground to make up on ‘Toes. Including.
2 SANDBETWEENURTOES Seems to be over her breaking issues. Her qualifiers have been excellent. Not enough to lure Tetrick though.
3 PITA Simpson got more aggressive with her last time and it didn’t work out. Seems best off a helmet. Expect a return to those tactics.
4 EVIL FIGHT I really liked her last effort and this filly has been OK since arriving her. Seems to be moving in the right direction too. Using.
5 BOLT OF THUNDER Obviously she will have to turn the tables on ‘Blush. She cut some solid fractions there. Prepping for NJSS next week.
6 UP FRONT ELIZABETH It is not easy to make the lead from post 7 at YR. Winner of that mile was good 2nd here last week. Things to like.
7 BLUSH HANOVER What is there not to like about a filly that starts her career 3 for 3? Ultra impressive thus far and the one to beat again.
8 BETTOR BUSINESS Likely to have to come from last again. She passed a few in the stretch but will have to kick it up a notch here.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 10-4-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 WELL BUILT Hambo-eligible colt made a break as the odds-on chalk in the Dexter. Chalk that up as a rare mistake and include him here.
1A WALK THE WALK The horse he beat has been racing well, not missing the board in 6 starts this year. Tough task from the second tier.
2 SARCASTIC MAN Put in tough spot from post 8 in the Dexter Cup Final. Draws well for this and I can see him bouncing back this time.
3 IT REALLY MATTERS Caught a horse with a lot of speed last time. Has to contend with Trixton and others again. Needs to step it up.
4 LUKAS HALL That was not a bad mile at all in his 2013 debut. This horse is Hambo-eligible, so connections like him. Sneaky play here.
5 DEWEYKEEPUMNWHY Keep in mind there were 2 horses in that qualifier. That said, he did show promise in the ONSS circuit. Maybe.
6 KEYSTONE WASABI Not bad last time and he made some money on the PASS circuit too last year. Still has some ground to make up.
7 WHO WANTS SOUP Good to see him pass the 2 leaders in that QUA for his first time back on the track. That said, this is a tough spot.
8 HOT TYPE Looms a longshot after finishing a not-so-close fourth against a softer group. He will need to step his game up to contend here.
9 FLYHAWK EL DURADO The NYSS champion from 2013 got a good start under his belt. Catches a tough draw but he has speed. Player.
10 TRIXTON It is hard not to like him off his monstrous stretch drive last week. Perhaps post 10 will neutralize him a bit. But he will be tough.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 QUEEN OF MORE Shows a history of breaking issues and is a tough play off a 2:02 qualifier and a 32- final quarter. Watching this one.
2 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY Made a big move from that outside post last time at 9/5. Right back at the C-2 level and he looks like a handful.
3 THE TRAVELER Definitely like the progress he showed in that second qualifier. He catches a light group here and is a win contender.
4 SINA Making her second start back off the layoff, so she figures to improve. Pompano shippers have struggled a bit this meet. Still a player.
5 MR RIDGETAKER Added Lasix and put forth a strong effort off the bench. Has every right to improve in his second start back. Contender.
6 CULTURED PEARL This mare also merits consideration in her second start off the bench. Imporvement is likely. Might offer a square price.
7 ALL MUNKY BUSINESS She seems to have tailed off since being mixed in with the boys. Would need a reversal of form to contend here.
8 PLAY FAIR His form has really struggled over his last few starts and it is tough to recommend him given that current form. Longshot.
9 OVER AND OUT Given some time to freshen up and his qualifier wasn’t bad. He is one to watch closely, as I am keeping tabs for later.
10 SUPER DUKE Has not won in 13 tries this year which is a concern. Post 10 will not help the cause either. Appears to be a longshot now.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 LIL MISS SNOWFLAKE Appears to have tailed off in her last three starts. She moves to a new track in hopes of a turnaround. Longshot.
2 CHAROLETTES MAGGIE Moved up off the win and now moves right back down. She was a 5/2 chalk when winning at this level. Tough.
3 SIR LB’S Z TAM Mare has started the season 0 for 10. She was a 2-1 favorite when last seen at this level. Would demand more value now.
4 BELLE BOYD You can see her starting to turn the corner. She was out-paced to the wire last time, but is improving. Looms a contender.
5 PARDON I am never a fan of this mare on the win-end, but is a constant exotics use. I can also forgive the last mile from post 10. Include.
6 THISTHATNTHEOTHER Exits the same C-2 Final as Pardon and ‘Aventure. Prior effort was OK. She fits at this level and can be included.
7 ODDS ON AVENTURE Out-raced her inflated 30-1 odds last time as she continues to race well. Drops from a tough C-2 final. The choice.
8 ALWAYS ON A ROLL Overcame a break before the start to hit the board last time. Her lack of speed is a continued concern from this draw.
9 IDEAL GINNY Coming off a lame scratch and has missed a couple of weeks. Gets a touch of class relief, but draws poorly. Not this time.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 A LA NOTTE HANOVER Did what she was supposed to last time at Pocono. This filly has stakes potential. Note, Gingras did choose off.
1A I NEED HOTSTUFF Gingras also chose off this Burke-trainee. Made a break just 3 days ago at Pocono. Must step up her game a bit here.
2 MCVITA BELLA Won a minor stakes last time at The Meadows in her first start back. Tetrick chose off, but this filly is worth a look at value.
3 BLIXTRA Not a bad qualifier and we should see what Sandbetweenurtoes did in the 2nd to gauge this filly. Still appears to be a longshot.
4 GETTINGREADYTOROLL Made a break last time as the 6/5 favorite. Based on her qualifiers, I would chalk that up as an aberration. Use.
5 MANTICIPATION She exits a good race behind an undefeated filly. Seems to have come back very well as a three year old. Things to like.
6 ROCKINGCAM PARK Strong effort in The Simpson to start her season with a stakes win. That makes her the horse to beat in this group.
7 JK MOLLY I was a bit disappointed in her first start back and note Gingras chooses off. Still, this filly has the most earnings of this field.
8 TABLE TALK The 2013 Matron winner catches the widest of the draw. That last qualifier is better than it looks on paper. Rallied for a share.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-7-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 MARINADE HANOVER This mare is stepping up into a tougher spot off a disappointing try. A rebound wouldn’t shock me. Brings value.
2 OUR ELS DREAM Campbell gives this mare a big call by landing here off that 26.2 final quarter. Likely to take play and is a serious player.
3 MACHAROUNDTHECLOCK Getting some class relief after exiting a better field than this. Might offer more value than you would expect.
4 JANIE BAY Recent win came at the C-1 level and with some sharp mares and some class droppers, this looks like a very tough spot.
5 UF DRAGON’S QUENN Chased after the mare to her outside last time. That was a solid effort. Believers should get a square price again.
6 MATTIE TERROR GIRL This mare continues to race well every week. This is a bit of a move up, but her 4/18 mile says she can handle it.
7 HOT LIST Took a lot of money last time and to be 8/5 against that tough field says something. She is a definite bounce-back candidate.
8 MOMMA ROCK Really had no chance in a very tough race. Camphell chose off, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Zeron get aggressive.
9 SPEND IT ALL Saved ground and was able to earn a minor award last time. Catches another good group and the draw makes it tough.
10 SHINE N SHIMMER She has offered monstrous value in her last 2 starts. Given post 10, she just might again. Form is very sharp now.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 WORLD CUP That was a solid effort against a horse dropping in class. Catches that same horse though again. Still looms a win contender.
2 HIGH BRIDGE Gingras chooses off following the even try and subsequent sick scratch. Also missed a week since the scratch. Watch one.
3 TIRADE HANOVER Nothing wrong with his first effort off the bench. This particular field came up really strong, so he will bring value.
4 WHATA DONATO This mare has a good history here. Her last pair of starts at Pocono were very good. Adds to the depth of this group.
5 COFFECAKE HANOVER Moves into a rather tough group off an even effort in her 2014 debut. In this field, she looks like a longshot.
6 REAL BABE She seems to have really kicked things into gear. Beat a good horse last time in Money On My Mind. Contender from the start.
7 HERE COMES NUMBERS Stayed trotting last week and that was enough to win. Moves into a tougher field. Staying flat remains the key.
8 DRIFT AWAY Moves back up a notch, but note he was 3rd against similar in March. Last pair of miles are faster than the rest of these.
9 WIND OF THE NORTH Two starts back he finished just ¾ of a length behind Modern Family. That makes him tough. Could be one to beat.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 WOMAN OF TERROR Dominated that C-Notes mini-series. Now moves up a level. Loses Gingras in a tougher field. Not sold on 3-peat.
2 MISS MACHQUEEN She was somewhere between a C-1 and C-2 when last seen here. She seems to like this track though. Interesting.
3 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Her only poor recent effort came in a tougher spot last time here. Recent form is good. Contender in a good race.
4 ARIA J This is the right level for her and she raced well despite being out the entire mile. Better draw will keep her closer. Win contender.
5 LEAVEUMLADY Was moving well at the end of that last mile from an impossible spot. A little concerned she is over-bet here. Logical here.
6 BEST BOSS Exits a very fast qualifier but moves into a tough field. I want to see a start and gauge if she flashes her best late kick.
7 MYSTRA Coming off a sick scratch and then missed a week. Usually, I like to watch a start under those circumstances. Callahan chose off.
8 TOP BRAND Takes another move down the ladder and that 1:50.4 clocking will attract play. Not the fastest off the gate. Potential underlay.
9 TWIN B ELITE Also dropping in class. Note the winner of that race stepped up against tougher and finished 2nd. Winner last time at a C-1.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 MCKENZIE’S STAR I can forgive the break on the half-mile track. She fits at this level. That said, this is a rather salty C-1 trot. Consider.
2 UPFRONTSTIKESGOLD Tough trip last time at Pocono. Faced better than this 2-starts back. A winner when last seen at this level. I like.
3 HANDOVER BELLE She took a step forward in her second start. Another move forward puts her right on the wire. Short price looming.
4 MARCH AWARENESS Stepping up after sweeping the C-Notes mini-series. He has the class to go with these. Figures as a win contender.
5 BROADWAY ROCKS He was good in his first start back. Figures to improve this time. Perfect post to give Pierce options. A lot to like here.
6 CELEBRITY STIMULUS Very consistent as he seems to always pick up a check lately. This field is tough and he loses Callahan. Tricky.
7 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE He won the C-2 consolation, so this is a pretty good move up the ladder. Backers will get the value they want.
8 COE LEADER Drops in class and is a candidate to improve in his second start back off the layoff. Zeron does choose off. Very tricky read.
9 RIVERFEST Big effort against softer last time. Perhaps that could get her on the right track. Still, this is a much tougher group. Not sold.
10 JERSEY BOY I think the field was coming back to him at Philly and this is a much stronger group. Post 10 doesn’t help either. Longshot.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 DROP THE BALL Was dead on the board and then put forth a disappointing effort. Was out the mile, but had perfect cover. Must step up.
2 FEELING YOU Recently joined the millionaire ranks in the tough Matchmaker series. This mare never shocks me and will offer value.
3 SCANDALOUS HANOVER Respect this mare, but there is a big difference between what she just beat and this group. Needs A+ effort.
4 SOMWHEROVRARAINBOW Won when the big money was down. She did have a perfect trip that night. Still, this is the mare to beat.
5 AMERICAN IN PARIS She might have gone a bit too fast in the Artistic Vision final. Likely to force the pace early and is a logical contender.
6 JK LETITGO She was pacing over mares two back, then turned in a great effort in the final. Can she pace by ‘Rainbow? Toughest test yet.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 WHEELS I thought he would race better last time with Lasix. He was compromised by the trip. I am expecting a much better effort tonight.
2 MR FENWICK That qualifier was OK. He has speed and this is the right level for him. Typically I let him beat me if he is good enough.
3 LINDY MCDREAMY Winless through his first 12 starts of the season. He did pick up checks with regularity here, but not sold on the win.
4 BLUEBIRD KIDSQUEEN She just isn’t as sharp as she was earlier. Note, she was given a week up so maybe we will see a better effort.
5 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU Went from awesome to empty. I admit, I am guilty of never guessing right on him, but I think he fits very well in here.
6 PAISLEY The class drop should help. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from when Mr. Fenwick caught him earlier. I will use underneath.
7 JURGEN HANOVER He improved last week. I thought his gait looked smoother as well. He could be ready for a big mile. Taking a flyer.
8 FOUR STARZ SPEED When he finds the right spot, he can land a share. We know we will see speed. Stamina is the question. Maybe.
9 LAD PINE He was better last out. Callahan chooses off and I think this field is better than what he faced last time. Leaning against here.
10 KING’S CAVALIER Not a bad try last time and that was a strong C-Note final. This post makes things very tricky. Too much left to do.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 SEA CRUISE HANOVER Yet to hit the board in six tries this year. This is a field filled with question marks. Improvement wouln’t shock me.
2 KZ BEACH GIRL She hasn’t been close in her last pair of starts. The move to Tetrick might entice a few. But note MacDonald chose off.
3 ALITTLEEASTERMAGIC Mare seems to be at the mercy of the trip. That last race just went too fast for her. She will be better this time.
4 LEXUS ARTIST Now 0 for 13 on the year and her last pair at Saratoga do not inspire much confidence. Will need a form reversal now.
5 BROWNSVILLE BOMBER When we last saw here, she paced in 1:50.4. I expect that to jump off the page to the bettors here. The pick.
6 IDEAL A LITTLE Drops out of the C-Notes final which is much tougher than what she faces here. Expecting a much better effort now.
7 SAM SWIFTY Tried speed last time and it didn’t work out. Perhaps a change back to taking her off the pace will help her rally into it here.
8 EXPRESS JET If you toss out the break, she clearly fits. Pierce does choose off though. Still, she looks like the type to hit the board here.
9 LIZ’S LIL K K Surick in the bike again and she really didn’t fire at all last time. Retains her longshot status until she shows improvement.
10 FRONTIERPAN Now 0 for 11 to start the year and catches the toughest of draws as well. I will watch a start from this wide draw. Longshot.