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Track Handicapper Dave Brower Bio


Dave Brower grew up five minutes from the Meadowlands in nearby Passaic, NJ. He served as the Meadowlands morning line oddsmaker, handicapper, and broadcaster for 16 years from 1987 to 2011. He has also co-hosted CBS Sports Network’s coverage of The Hambletonian, Meadowlands Pace, and Little Brown Jug with Hall of Famer Gary Seibel and his new co-host at the Meadowlands, Justin Horowitz. Brower also published "Harnessing Winners, The Complete Guide To Handicapping Harness Races" with Daily Racing Form Press in 2009.


RACE REVIEWS by Dave Brower

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

Race Reviews For Friday, January 25, 2019

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 TEAGAN HANOVER Still a “work in progress” for Team Harmon. Eventually, she’ll get the hang on it, but she’s not quite there yet. Pass for now, and watch for future evaluation.
1A ERIN ISLE At this point, we can assume she either doesn’t like the half, or she just doesn’t like to trot! Either way, that’s a problem. Let’s see if she picks up her game and completes the mile on the proper gait. That would be good.
2 AB’S ROYAL PUNKIN This mare has definitely gotten the “hang on things!” And Happy Birthday to her trainer who celebrated earlier this week. Mare appears to be over the breaking issues. And she’s been solid last two. Must use.
3 HAVEONEFORME Must have been named after me! After a disastrous first go, she fired right back with a high-quality mile. The pedigree is there, and it’s just taken a little while to get her to the races. Stayed right with Misslarose.
4 RUFAS DE VIE One of several racing tonight that were purchased at the mixed sale on Monday! The gelding didn’t exactly light up the board here before, but you never know. Will just have to trot faster. This is softer spot.
5 NO DRAMA DE VIE Hung in that race two back. Unleashed a much stronger move last time, but got tired. Okay. Will need a somewhat softer journey, but that can easily happen. I can easily take positive view, against a field like this.
6 HAMMER CREEK Looks like the favorite, based on his consistency of late. The knock tonight is the move back to an outer post, while will complicate matters since he doesn’t leave all that well. Is he worth play at short price? Not sure.
7 CHIEF JUSTICE What do we do with this guy tonight? Wasn’t bad up in Canada for a master horseman in Bax. Ends up here in Burke Brigade now, and qualifier was just so-so. I have a feeling this one might need another start.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 BACKSEAT TERROR Hasn’t won yet, and has 22 starts, so that’s an issue. Drew a nice inside post again, but isn’t a quick starter. Corey had her out and rolling, but without that knockout punch. I need to see more, please.
2 PARKIN IN HEAVEN Everybody saw this lass come charging home from way back last week, so don’t expect much betting value. She probably “needed” that race too! Gets the post relief, but must deal with #9. Not a walkover.
3 SO SO SWEET MIA for three weeks, so that’s a little problem. When she raced here, took a bunch of money and had nothing. Freehold try a little better. Not sure what we’re going to get tonight. I’ll probably want to watch one again.
4 DRY CREEK GIN Suffering a tough case of the bad post blues right now! Finally catches a break from the post gods here. Finds way back to the big track and might have a longshot look in here. Only at right price, though.
5 DOV’S SONG It’s tough to make a strong case for her in current form. Maybe that last one was a little better? She does have experience here. A smooth trip might give her check chances, but she will have to go a lot faster.
6 LULU DE VIE On the comeback trail. Added Lasix. Had one start to gear back up. She also has a longshot look in here, and Vinny will get her into the game. I would suggest using, if she takes any tote action.
7 GIRL ALMIGHTY Based on her two tries here, she doesn’t look like a mile track horse. Drew outside. I’ll pass.
8 HACK ATTACK Up and down the class ladder lately down at the Hold. Scoots up the Turnpike for a big track try. She will have to prove herself here, but she gets a hot pilot to try and motivate her. Mixed feelings for sure.
9 YOU SHOULD BE HERE Was overbet in her last try here. Yes, she should have been favored, but not 3-5! And, she really had no excuse. Rated nicely, Just got nailed late. Now, the post is a lot tougher. What will the price be now?
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-6-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 DELCREST HOLIDAY Tough to get a real handle on this guy right now. All the Burke horses have been off for several weeks, so that’s a problem for us handicappers. This guy gets away from Derf, finally. Can he beat his partner?
1A MISSLAROSE Unlike #1, this super lass had a qualifier. And it was a very good one! She loves this track. She loves the winter. Her speed is solid, but she is meeting a good group here. She’ll be ready, but will it be enough?
2 OPULENT YANKEE As I suspected, he finally found his top winter form last week. Yes, he was all out, and yes, he did get a break when the other favorite came up no good. This will be the true test of the step back up. Rail a big plus too!
3 MISS RUBY She’s been awfully good lately. Bouncing up and down the class ladder. Have to respect that consistency. The inside post will keep her close again and if she shakes free, she usually kicks in. Usable underneath?
4 BASTILLE Certainly proved his win was no fluke! Came right back in the higher class and chased #2 very willingly. That might be best I’ve seen him go here. 13YO seems destined to fire out again. Tries to get between #1A and #2. Maybe.
5 JUST FOR YOU Super job by The Dob to steal that race last week. They left him alone and he rated a nice mile with a good finish too! Got the barn off the duck for the meet. In THIS race, he won’t get away with that again. Must earn it.
6 TWO AM Ordinarily, I hate when this guy draws an outside post. Was raced conservatively last week, but finished full of trot. That’s exactly what they want. Likely to employ the same strategy and hope they mix it up, up front. Maybe.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-7-10
H Horse Comment
1 ASHOK ACE Finally gets a break from the post gods, but is transitioning to a tougher level here. Still a longshot.
2 ICOMMANDMYSPIRIT I usually love this mare when she drops to the bottom like this. However, this will be no cakewalk with the likes of #7,10 in here. Eric’s job is to gun and protect. Any smooth trip and she can win this.
3 LIVE ODDS Also moving back inside, which is a big help. Occasionally, she can deliver a decent effort in spots like this. It will take the right kind of trip, though. I would think about including her at the expected long odds.
4 SING ALONG 5YO is back for Team Pelling. And after an 0-18 campaign last year so that’s a downer. I can’t recall if she’s ever been in this cheap and that second qualifier was sneaky good. If she’s ready, she can upset these.
5 NORTHERN SOIREE Tough to get a real read on her current form. It looks flat. Last time she was here, she failed to deliver any kind of winning kick. Have to rate her a longshot in this spot, until we see more.
6 SHE’S MY ROCK Giving some signs that she might be ready to return to form. Overbet down at Freehold. A decent kick here last time. I envision a pretty solid pace up front in here, and that might aid her rally. A chance.
7 NORTHERN SWIFT I’ve chased this mare a bunch of times already. Corey gave her every chance to get it done last week and she still got beat. I see a few others in here that have talent. Maybe it’s time I go against? Good question.
8 ANGEL SPEAK Tough to get excited about her in a bad post like this. Looks like a pass to me tonight.
9 FOX VALLEY BAILEY The Mann fired her out again last time and she came up a little flat late. It’s back to a brutal post and it might be time to give her one from the back. I’ll go with that theory and see if it happens.
10 TEARFUL OF HAPPY And, the key to the race! Why? Because she was super vicious in her last several starts. Yes, that was a MONTH ago, but maybe she’ll benefit from a few weeks off? I wouldn’t leave her off the ticket, even from post 10.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 ALVISI HANOVER That last start was a little bit better. Maybe the added Lasix is helping? Mitch gets the return call and they start from good post. His job will be to sit in, save ground and try to get lucky late. Sometimes it happens.
2 LUCKY SHEILA I really like this mare. She tries hard. She’s got good, solid, reliable speed that always puts her in play. This posts is ideal. Couple of the favorites are closers, so maybe this is her chance to “steal one?” Maybe.
3 PENNANT SEELSTER Debuts here for new barn. I can’t say I’m in love with the look of those races up in Canada. Chronic slow starter. Mix in a few breaks. A LOT of missed time. Guess I’d like to watch one, to see if he belongs.
4 DEWEY HAVA WINNER Another one that’s been MIA for too long. Yes, he was starting to hint at a return to form, but he will surely need this. Let’s see if he can gear up a small rally. Then, we’ll tab for later on.
5 MAGIC N SPICE Was given the conservative “tour of the track” last week, in first start up from Florida, and that’s okay! I completely understand. Now, we can step on the gas pedal a little more. Just to see what we’ve got.
6 CREDIT FRAUD That was pretty powerful, steamroll kind of effort last week. That bad trip didn’t even matter. She definitely proved she likes the big track. Now, the test gets a little tougher. And moves out a few slots too! Not easy. Trainer: Enjoyed the mile oval at the Big M! Came a giant last quarter in a short field. A little tougher this week and it all depends on the trip.
7 MAX VOLO IF you think the lack of early speed from #6 might hurt her, then you can use this guy with the early speed. He’s left the gate alertly a lot lately. Eric C will know that. And, he can trot fast enough to sustain bid. Must use.
8 CHARLIE ONA HARLEY The jury is still out on whether this will be a big track horse. So far, he’s been pretty disappointing. And yes, like all the Burke trainees, he’s been off too long. Drew bad post again. Adding Lasix tonight.
9 CARTIER ZETTE Parlayed a great trip and drive from Corey into a big win a few weeks ago. Yes, that field was softer than this one. Plus, the outside post will give him a test. Will need aggressive handling once again to get lucky.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 AUTEUR HANOVER Off since November. Wasn’t exactly “keeping up” in that qualifier, so that tells me he will need a race or two. A longshot, even from the rail.
2 SHADY MCCOY The ‘ol Shady showed up last week and overcame a rough trip to dominate. So, now he begins the ascent back UP the class ladder. This isn’t too high yet, though. He will make presence felt and can repeat if good. Trainer: Was in perfect spot last week, as I got away 4th or 5th. Was able to collar the leader and won handily. Up in class a bit with a little tougher horses, so we’ll see how the race plays out trip-wise.
3 FINAL DREAM Tough call here, since he finally gets a decent post. That was a solid finish last time, but the switch back to this other level worries me. There are some good ones in here. I have to rate him a longshot vs. these.
4 BLITZ VICTORY Still giving out good efforts at overlay odds. I said he could “hit the ticket” last week and he obliged nicely at 61-1. Will offer lower odds than that tonight and is very likely to leave. I would. Follows after that.
5 CASH FOR GOLD Even I must admit, this guy had NO excuse last week. Followed the winner. Started lugging in and didn’t have enough pop. That effort has me worried. Price won’t be all that big. I’m leaning against now. Your call?
6 LAUDERDALE Yes, the scratch does worry me a little, but even I will admit that Lauderdale has turned things around! In a big way for his new barn. We have to respect that and he does have slight post, speed edge on #7. Threat to wire.
7 HOT SUMMER KNIGHT Draws an outer post tonight, so that always complicates matters. However, if you just tell me Tyler will have him somewhat close turning for him, he should win. He’s a touch better than these most nights. Use.
8 TAG UP AND GO Comes off a needed race where he was just okay. I suspect there will be more in the tank here, but the post is an absolute killer. I don’t think they’re going to blast in second start back. But, you never know.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 FAMILY ROLL CALL Yannick’s choice over the partner has the benefit of a qualifier. Some of these Burke returnees have one, and some don’t. That might be important to your handicapping. This mare probably needed that break.
1A TALBOT CHANEL Really didn’t race badly last month. Stormtracker was huge that night and this lass finished up okay. Gets the tougher post of the two and wasn’t Yannick’s pick. That HAS to tell us something, right?
2 CHILLIN IT DE VIE Super live entry here! Either one can win! This lass now makes third start back and she was tightened up nicely with that difficult trip last week. She will be stronger here, and she gets Corey back. Must use.
2A BELIEVE IN ME When you lose to Penpal, that’s not a bad thing. She dug in willingly and finished up strongly too! Since she gets an additional level of class relief, there is no doubt she’s the one to beat. Only needs to be close enough.
3 FOLLOWTHEWIND N Tried something different last time with the speed and she ended up shuffled in bad spot. Oh well. Tonight’s problem is the strength of this field. She’s meeting some droppers here that just look a little stronger.
4 SILK REED Came bursting home for the King of the Longshots to get a “rare” win. With that said, congrats on that, but she now steps up too high and wasn’t Carlson’s choice. That, I understand. I’d be shocked if she repeated.
5 NARCIAN JEWEL Bouncing up and down the class ladder a lot lately. She’s in good form too! Gets a key inside post to keep her close to the action, but she would need huge kick to outgun the likes of both entries. Not an easy spot.
6 PERSUASIVE HANOVER Tough trip over at the Hilltop and quickly sent back here. She’s in too tough with these.
7 GIVEMEYOURHEART Loses that inside post advantage and is still too high in class. Looks like a pass from out here.
8 FILLY FORTY SEVEN Here’s the key to the race! She has speed if Dex wants. She’s also used to facing better. I’d be shocked if she wasn’t firing out in this spot. How hot will the pace be? And, can the Double D get her a trip?
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-8-3
H Horse Comment
1 STITCH IN TIME This is about the level where he wakes back up. Finally gets a break from the post gods. I think it’s time to hop back on board and use in here. Especially, if the price is right. Others in here will take money.
2 STARSABOVEALLERAGE He’s really been live lately, but hasn’t been lucky. Ran into a very sharp Shady last week and was no match. I might add a few more points if Shady did well earlier on the class hike. Gets new driver tonight.
3 CASINO CUTIE IT Also had the misfortune of trying to fight off Shady. That didn’t work, but do note how well this guy held! That caught my eye. Tells me he’s in pretty good form right now. Would love to see the same speed.
4 DI OGGI I don’t have a very good history of guessing right on this horse. But, he’s in new barn now. He had a VERY good qualifier. This is a touch of class relief, and like #1, this is the level where he usually does damage. Hard leave out.
5 WINDSUN MISSILE It’s funny that he can handle the turns up at the Spa, but not the ones at Yonkers. So, there’s no place else to race! Let’s see if he’s a true mile track kind of horse. I have my doubts.
6 ARCHIBALD Yes, he finally put it ALL together for Fern. Ended up with a super perfect trip and he stayed trotting ALL the way. It’s been a long road to get this guy back in winner’s circle. Will he get same ideal journey? Probably not.
7 CON AIR HALL Looks like a longshot in here, from the outside post. Very mixed recent form, so he’s not for me.
8 RESITA Here’s the BIG question mark in the race. By this point, you’ll know how the Burke horses have been racing off the missed time. Let that be your guide. If they’re ready, then go ahead and use. This guy plunges in class again.
9 ARCH CREDIT Andy back staying loyal to this one. Horse keeps cranking out the checks, despite very long odds. Will be a price again, but this is horrible post. Will need even more to any closer.
10 LENNY MAC Really don’t know what to make of this guy right now. After a few clunkers off the claim, he did show up with more up at Monti. It’s back to the wolves here, and a rough post. Demand big price if you fancy.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 ZETTE STARLING Hasn’t exactly inspired us lately, as she works her way down the class ladder. I can’t predict a total wakeup call, but that’s what she needs. At least she has an inside post again.
2 DAWSON SPRINGS Takes a monster class drop here, and finally gets away from Derf Hanover. Andy was listed, but has to drive his own, so Yannick gets the call. I would have a tough time going against vs. these. He’s just better.
3 KNIGHTOFVICTORY Just when you thought this guy was slightly rounding into form, he got stuck with a couple of bad posts. Just forget about that. This post is a lot more like it, and he can hit the ticket again. Only needs a trip.
4 CELEBRITY BLUECHIP Exits some pretty slow races up at Monti. Would have to go a LOT faster here. Maybe not.
5 EYORE HANOVER That wasn’t an easy trip from post 10 last week, but it wasn’t a horrible one either. Horse simply lacked the needed kick. With Nap still in the seat, he’s liable to be a bit overbet here. Not sharp enough right now.
6 MUAY HANOVER Corey had him in the right spot last week and horse did race well. He doesn’t win all that often, so I won’t hold that against him. Moves out a few slots and might need to invent some speed. Just to get into it.
7 ILLINIMIGHT Here’s the key to the race, folks! It’s clearly been a battle with this one, for Team Orange Crush, Just when I thought he was headed in the right direction, he digressed back to a break. A huge question mark for now.
8 CANT U SPELL Talk about an erratic effort last time! Was off sluggishly, and looked rough early. But, when he finally caught a gear, he trotted willingly. Somebody bet on him that night too! Will he be any better here? Wish I knew.
9 CINNABAR HALL Doesn’t seem ready for this just yet, so he looks like a pass from a tough outside post.
10 QUIET GIANT Appears to have zero early speed, so that’s a problem when you start from post 10. I guess I’d be surprised if he managed to pass them all. I doubt it.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 BELL’S PANACEA Debuts off the claim for a barn that’s strong in that category. So, don’t be surprised if the horse takes big tote action and races better tonight. They’ve done it before. Trainer: First start off the claim. Moves up in class, but has the rail. Hopefully, Vinny can sit him up close and we’ll see what happens.
2 ROCK ON THE HILL Really don’t know what’s going on with this horse right now. Took a lot of betting money last time and produced nothing. Now he drops ominously in price. Will that get us a better effort? Wish I knew.
3 URBANITE HANOVER This was Pat Berry’s choice over #9, so we’d better take an extra look. Wasn’t any good when last seen here on a sloppy track, but that was against the 15’s. This is probably where he belongs. Wakeup time?
4 BULLVILLEBLAST It’s hard to make a major case for success here on the big track. Not quick enough.
5 POP POP JOE I thought Dex might take this guy. He did not, so that worries me. Horse enters off a scratch, but a series of decent efforts. Any of those put him right in play again. I would have tough time leaving off the ticket.
6 SEA STAR Been just fair against this type down the Turnpike. Would need to turn it up substantially here.
7 IN YOUR EYE A “work in progress” for The Mann. I’m watching and seeing some things that might lead to better form. Very eligible to wake up and shock us one night soon, but I’m going to wait one more week. We’ll see.
8 NO TEARS BLUE CHIP Unplayable in current form. That, plus an outside post make him an easy pass.
9 WALTZACROSSTHEWIRE Won the MLK Remembrance Pace, given a smart and slick drive by King Solomon. With that said, he was a little “lucky” to hold on. Note that Pat Berry was listed and opted off. Moves to bad post.
10 I’M SID THE KID Dunn opted here over #5,8. A bit of a surprise. Gelding doesn’t appear to own any early speed, so that’s a problem from the outside box. Not sure I can hop into his corner just yet.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 IRON DOME Both parts of this entry blew up again last week. Sorry, Team Harmon, since I picked them. What are we going to get tonight? I have no idea. We all just have to guess and pray.
1A MONTALBANO BI Even the Bi didn’t make it through turn one. That’s way too many mistakes, so I am off the bandwagon again. IF he beats me from this tough post, so be it. I can live with that.
2 JUSTCALLMERONALD Comes off an improved effort, and keep the Double D in the sulky seat. Both positive indicators. Moves all the way inside and I guess I can make a case for him. At least he stays trotting most of the time.
3 BELL A CHICK It’s always tough to get excited about the Chick in any race. Regressed back into old, bad habits last week, while Stevie was trying to keep him together. At least they get a better post here. Will he trot? Wish I knew.
4 SERGEANT SEELSTER He’s an impossible play in my book, at this point. When put to any kind of pressure, he crumbles into a break. Now you know why Andy was always trying to “get away” from the field. I’m against again.
5 GUSTAVO FRING The Nap gave him a big chance last time, with that early speed. Unfortunately, the horse lacked the stamina. Midpack post here. What’s the strategy now? Might go back to the rally, and he can pick off a few.
6 BOYZ N GUITARS Clearly wasn’t ready in the comebacker. I’m willing to pass, and watch a few more. Your call?
7 FELONA Starting to show that she’s not a true mile track horse. It takes a special one to sustain that trot all the way around. Not every horse can do it. Trainer: She trained well, but I think she might be a half-mile track horse. We’ll see.
8 WICKED NICK See how this barn’s other starter did earlier. This one might have a slightly better chance, even from the dreaded post. Can leave, if pilot wants. Will be interesting to see if he goes early.
9 PHOTO KING We know he’s going early! Corey geared him up nicely and he simply overpowered the rough-gaited favorite #4. Same thing coming, on the reclaim by barn? Yes!
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 BIG EXPENSE It looks like he soured down at Freehold. Month off. Back to the mile track, AND on a big class drop. I think he’s going to need one, but I’ll be watching for future evaluation.
2 MARION GONDOLIER Put it all together last week, given a very heady and confident drive by A Nap. The win didn’t surprise me, but a repeat might, on the class hike. I’m not sure he’s as good as these. Your call, folks.
3 FASHION WINNER This guy’s been off way too long. There’s no way he could be ready for this. Pass tonight.
4 PIERCEWAVE HANOVER Had the obligatory “race over the track,” in a spot where badly overmatched. Gets to drop tonight and after Derue listed himself to drive, he switches to Andy. That is a HUGE sign of positive intent. Usable now.
5 ROCK OF CASHEL I really don’t know what to tell you here, folks. Horse has been a huge disappointment lately, and enters off a break down at Freehold. He doesn’t make breaks. Something not quite right here at moment. Tough call.
6 MOSCONI HANOVER Woke up a little last time, and those are the subtle hints for a return to form. He’s not totally out of the question here with Marcus. Now, he knows the horse. It’s probably all about pace and trip in here.
7 SEVEN IRON It is absolutely GREAT to see Sam Bowie down as owner! Haltered this fella out of the sale on Monday. This is now third start back and that’s usually a good one. I can easily make a case he steps up with a big one here.
8 ARRAKIS Starting to get a little “hot” out there, folks. Too many straight guns to the lead. One of these nights, he’s going to take back, but we will have to guess when. Horse has been good for quite a while. Due to tail off a touch.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL ROMANCE Hasn’t paid off on that claim yet. In fact, he’s gone a little south lately. Extra week off will probably help. He is eligible to “bounce back,” but he’ll need a slightly softer trip, and probably a fast track.
2 ONE MORE MIRACLE Failed to win a race all of last year, so you know I’ve got a problem with that. Been knocking on the door up at Monti, but it’s usually a brand new ballgame here. I’m leaning against. Sits in, saves ground tonight.
3 JUST N BERLANDER Had a fairly decent rally here two back. Kind of surprised they raced him at home again, and it was a disaster from the rail. Totally at mercy of pace and trip, but there could be action in here with the faves outside.
4 SPORTS COWBOY Loomed in the MLK Pace, but flattened out. Still, that makes two straight decent efforts since the drop to this level. Same spot here. Will stalk early and probably try to kick in late. Can pass a few for a share.
5 ARTISTIC CRUISER Scoots up the Turnpike for a big track try. Mitch got him to rally for a few checks down there. I don’t like the scratch, but this race might set up for a good rallier. IF horse is sharp tonight, he does have chance.
6 SKIBBEREEN I would have a tough time making strong case for success in current form. A pass for me.
7 ROLLING SEA Just when I thought he might be ready to get good again, he regressed into old bad habits. Would be a tough play until he becomes more reliable.
8 SPANISH ART Bounced back nicely with another top effort last week. The trip-sitting Show Me Up just got the jump on him. Lures Andy off #9 and has enough speed to leave a little and grab position. Clearly the one to beat tonight!
9 ABBEYLARA Had he drawn a better post, and had Andy opted to stick with him, we could make a better case, right? Only chance is to try and “get the jump” on the fave by gunning out. At least, that’s the way I see it.