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Handicapping

  • Week Of 11/11 - 11/17
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Track Handicapper Dave Brower Bio

 

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

 

RACE REVIEWS by Dave Brower


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

Race Reviews For Saturday, November 17, 2018

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 2-7-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 PROSPECT HILL Started his freshman season off great, but has regressed since. Could easily be one of the many horses that suffered bouts of sickness along the way. Would be a tough play, coming off that break in the Crown.
2 SOUTHWIND AVENGER Had a very good qualifier here last week. Should benefit from the brief freshening, and the barn is winning with everything right now. I would not talk you off a bet on this guy with Dave Miller aboard.
3 DIVINE SPIRIT Andy Mac had an option in here and chose this guy over #5. Since the pair of Kindergarten wins, this gelding has flattened out a bit. Can't really say I like that break in the stakes last week. Will need a bit of luck to make it.
4 TRIX AND STONES The bettors got burned a bit with this one at 1-5 last time up at home base. Yes, that was just a prep for this, but how sharp is the colt now? Legitimate question. Would need to turn it up a few notches tonight.
5 QUIKSILVR BLUECHIP Starting to get the hang of things, racing-wise. I would like to have seen a little bit more in that overnight race last week, and he does seem just a tad below this level. Looks like the longshot of the group.
6 BATTENBERG Gotta hand it to Joe Holloway! Having this guy ready last week after missing a bunch of time. With that said, the speed is still strong and colt figures to be even better tonight with that race under his belt. Fires to lead!
7 HUDSON RIVER Finished up smartly for Sears last week, and that was exactly what they were looking for. Now, from an outside post, we get a tougher test. Brian will have to put him in play a bit sooner. Likely to be overbet too!
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 BURKENTINE HANOVER Just keeps marching right up the class ladder, but isn't this too much? I think so. A really good roll for the Burke Brigade, but tonight he'll hit the cones and just try to keep up. He can't be this good!
2 DEALT A WINNER Millionaire did not get any love from the post gods on Breeders Crown night. He does get a much better spot here, plus he keeps his favorite pilot. Do not be shocked if he tries to "steal": this. Not out of question.
3 WESTERN FAME Takter elected to qualify this guy after the Crown, just to get a solid mile into him. And it was a good, dig-in type of qualifier too! I'm still a bit leary about the stop out in Lex. Shuffled in Crown, so that wasn't his fault. Hoping for his best tonight to give the faves a tussle.
4 FILIBUSTER HANOVER Jug champ has been duking it out with these all year. And, he's had a few good moments of his own! His game has always been speed, so expect the aggressive blast out. Let's see how sharp he still is?
5 MCWICKED Likely getting my Horse of the Year vote no matter what happens this week or next in the TVG. He's done more than enough and is the champ until dethroned. Remember, though, he grinds and rallies. It will not be easy to overcome the outside post, but horse "needs" this mile to keep sharp.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-4-2
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKIN THE HOUSE I have to admit, that was a heck of a try last week! 11YO warhorse was very well-meant and if not for the speed duel, he probably would have won. Has the rail now. I don't think they'll catch tonight.
2 AWESUM ACE Comes back down from Vernon for another try. Unfortunately, I didn't see enough in the first go here to warrant the extra look. At least he drew key inside post again. Will have to find more kick to have a chance.
3 MAY I CRUISE WEST Flashed just enough late kick last time to grab attention. Horse does get good every once in a while and this field might be just to his liking. I can make a case for more, but I'd want good price too!
4 DAYLIGHT RUSH Finds his way back to Club Med and his form revived a little out of town. This is now the proper spot to take a shot, but it will not be easy to get by #1. Your best option, if you want to take stand against favorite.
5 TIE YOUR SHOE ED Went the overland route again last time and didn't pack the same late punch. No problem. Back in similar spot here, awaiting a live flow. With #1 in here, it might not be so live. Will need a smoother journey.
6 CLARA BEA Eric A had her in PERFECT position last week and mare came up completely empty. I have no idea why, but I'd be hard pressed to try her again after that. Would need dramatic improvement to get any closer.
7 MORE DRAGON Yes, I know he's always been a good bet on class drops, but unfortunately, horse just isn't good right now. Those breaks have been nasty, and until I see an improved effort, I can't hop on board. Not yet.
8 VICTORYDAZE WILWIN Tried him last week and he had a difficult trip. Now, the problem is the post. I don't envision him blasting, and I don't envision him sweeping either. Not tonight.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 CHIN CHIN HALL Very nice trotter here, and campaigned perfectly with patience along the way. That's how you develop a nice horse. Gets a very key inside post here and Pete will have him closer. Watch for the late kick.
2 REIGN OF HONOR Went the "conservative" route in the stakes last week, but was finishing up strongly too! The raceline on paper doesn't really do justice to the effort. Also moves inside and that helps a lot. Grinds into it.
3 UNION FORCES Looks like he's had his ups and downs this year. Started off strongly. Good win up in Canada. Tried the big boys after that and it didn't work out as well. A little bit outpaced in the Matron. I wonder how sharp he is?
4 SEVEN HILLS Looked like a monster until his inexperience cost him in that last final. Corey was really mad too! Won't make that mistake again, but this field is pretty tough. He'll need every bit of that speed here. Big, big test! Trainer: Training well. Unfortunate miscue last start. Got a little over anxious. Adding earplugs, and fingers crossed.
5 SUPER SCHISSEL 12 starts so far this year. Gotta give credit, because that's a lot. Has held up nicely right to the end, and got a "signature" win in the Matron. Back to big track now where he's just as adept. Expect the speed, folks!
6 NO DRAMA PLEASE As Julie explained in paddock interview last week, some of her horses have been battling sickness. This guy included! With that said, he still raced well last week. Andy had him in good spot. Needs a bit more.
7 FORBIDDEN TRADE First time we've seen this guy here in NJ. Have to admit, he's looked very strong up at home base. But, it's new track and bit of a layoff. It's an outside post. He'll have to prove it to me here at Club Med.
8 GANGNAM STYLE K S Definitely getting the hang of things now, race-wise. But, for tonight's betting purposes, he's probably ruined by this post. Will hope to keep it going and pass a few late stages.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 FRANKANDJOANNE Tough to get a real handle on his form right now,. Has flashed speed a few times, and kept up after that. Has the pole here, with only one confirmed other leaver (#8.) Good chance for a smooth trip at price.
2 GRAND THEFT Loved him last week, and he had misfortune of running into a well-meant foe. Therefore, he got parked out by Rockin The House. I still liked the effort. He didn't quit. I will add even more points if Rockin won 3rd.
3 THREEOFTHEBEST A Trainer told me a while back her whole barn was sick. SO, that's probably why this guy has missed that much time. SO, he's a tough bet tonight, in a race that he HAS to need. I'm willing to wait.
4 SANTIAGO STYLE No, I have no idea what's gone wrong with this guy lately. Continues to plummet down the class ladder and continues to deliver clunkers. Long overdue for a wakeup call. Brett did choose him over #1,5.
5 ROOSTER RABBIT Not a whole lot in his recent form suggests he'll be successful here. I will pass for now.
6 LIVE ON Still waiting on the right spot for this guy, and I'm not sure this is it yet. The outside post gave him little chance last week and this slot isn't that much easier. I can't guarantee he'll blast out, but chances go up if he does.
7 QUALITY BUD I've also been waiting for the correct situation to hop on board this boat. BUT, is this it? It's the final drop to the bottom. If Eric A feels good about it, he will send the Bud. Then, his chances go up too!
8 LARRY KARR The final piece of puzzle in a very hard-to-handicap race. Gets the outside post again. That was a top-quality try in the slop. His journey to the lead might not be as easy this time, especially if we get a few leaving out of there.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKN MOTION That was super and gutsy win last week, and so far, all the Burke Brigade 3YO's have performed well against older foes. BUT, is this colt really in the same league as his triple millionaire stablemate? I say no.
2 SPORTSMANSHIP Really has raced well in his last two tries here, but this is a field full of killers, simple as that. I don't put him in the same category as #7,8. Would be a big surprise to me, if he jumped up and beat this bunch.
3 GHOST PINE Pretty sharp effort here two weeks ago! But, the quality of that field isn't even close to what he's facing tonight. I know he looked good, but this is brand new ballgame. And, he usually wins on drops, not class hikes.
4 HUNDIE N Had a sensational qualifier, charging home right behind his stablemate Pure Country. Simply put, this is a VERY good horse. I do wish he'd drawn into a slightly softer spot, but I'm going to take a shot that he's ready for this.
5 OCEAN COLONY Couldn't possibly have raced any better in his last two. Lost eyelash photos in both, but fighting his guts out. For that, he's not exactly "rewarded" with a class hike to tackle these. These may be too tough right now.
6 K RYAN BLUE CHIP I guess I missed the memo on this guy last week. Brett Miller opted off, and I guess that was a bad choice. Andy took over and steamrolled the field at 3-2. Also hiking way up here. Can he handle it?
7 MUSIC IS ART In this mix of conditions, this guy is eligible simply because he's a 4YO. It is VERY rare to actually get a class drop off a win, but that's the fact here. It's no easy spot, but have to respect form, and earlier win here in 48.
8 ALL BETS OFF And, finally, what do we do with the iron-tough triple millionaire in a spot like this. I don't remember the last time he was in a soft spot like this, if ever. He can leave if Matt wants. Not sure what he's going to do.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-8-3
H Horse Comment
1 ARTIE'S IDEAL Got a few weeks off after Lexington. Came back with good qualifier and sneaky good Matron at Dover. I have to rate him a longshot here, but he does have chance from rail. Sits in, saves ground. Chance!
2 YACHT WEEK I really thought he was in a good spot last week. Couldn't get it done. These are too tough.
3 WATERWAY Gave it a super try in the Kindergarten final. Cut it under some pressure and fought willingly all the way. Week off after that. Good post to go along with that speed and Brett's choice. Maybe a follow trip now? Helps.
4 REIGNING DEO Andy Mac had a tough choice in here, but I understand him opting this way, instead of #10. Deo came up sick for the Kindergarten Final, so that was unfortunate. Almost pulled shocker at Dover. I guess he's sharp!
5 ESCAPETOTHEBEACH What a perfect trip and drive to capture that Kindergarten. The added Lasix is definitely helping, and horse's versatility is added bonus. New driver tonight and he's no slouch! Expect to see the speed.
6 LYONS JOHNNY JNR Was good enough to make the Crown final, rallying nicely in his elim. No luck in the final, and a few weeks off since. I probably would have preferred to see a start. Not sure what we're going to get tonight.
7 MANGOGH Rounded into form very nicely out in Kentucky with a couple of powerful efforts. Not much luck since! Torched down at Dover, so he has to bounce back from that. Hoping for a hot pace to set up that potent kick.
8 CAPTAIN CRUNCH The Breeders Crown champ benefited from a perfect trip and drive by Scotty Z, but he was awfully good that night! Finished up strongly. Rested since. My only knock is the post. There's a TON of speed in here. Trainer: I don't really think that's a tough post. He can leave really well, or races well off the pace if he needs to. Scott can do what he wants with him. Will need this start, so that's why we opted not to take the bye.
9 MAC'S POWER I really like the way this guy is going for Mark Silva. Mr. Snyder elected not to sell him in Harrisburg. This is massive test tonight from a terrible post. I'm not sure how he's going to get into it. Your call, folks.
10 DUDDIE'S LOR Has been pointed for this all along and gets slammed with post 10. Couldn't possibly have been any more impressive, but an impossible task from post 10 for new driver. It will not be easy to make final from out here.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 ASHLEY'S HUSBAND Got caught in a bad spot last week and ran up on a foe, causing the break. So, don't hold that against him. Liable to be ignored by the bettors here due to that and will offer solid price. Usable if that happens.
2 GEEZ JOE Liked him a little last week and so did everybody else! Overbet and pressured into submission. Don't hold that against him. In this spot, I expect better price and different trip. He wants to grind and rally. Can happen.
3 BALLERAT BOOMERANG Usually races pretty well wherever he goes! Have to respect that, as he makes 41st start this year. Also versatile enough to give pilot options. Taking bit of a drop here, but this is no easy spot. What price?
4 DULL ROAR Tough to get a real handle on his current form. Seems like a one-move type, but this race could have a LOT of action in it. That plays to his benefit. Worth including, if the price is right. Only at the correct value.
5 PLAY JET RAY Gave K Ryan a good fight last week and that foe was very well-meant. It's very dangerous to leave the Burke Brigade out of anything right now. All horses racing very well. Gets better post. Has to have a chance.
6 BUSHWACKER The Bush finally got the job done, and paid fair value too! We all know that he'll stay good for a while, so we begin the march back UP the class ladder. He can handle it. Only needs to be close enough to kick in.
7 SAMS TRIPLE CROWN Hate to say it, but Sam seems like the odd man out lately. No real threat in either recent try here. This doesn't look like the right spot either. I think we have to wait for softer situation.
8 MINDTRIP The Wrenn's invade with two tonight. Chin Chin Hall is their stakes star. This guy looks like legitimate upper level pacer. Shows good race behind Crown winner Beckhams Z Tam. He fits perfectly here. Needs speed.
9 ROCK THE NITE It took a big mile by the Bush to beat this guy last week. I give full credit for that! But, I hate this post! It will be up to the Captain to try and somehow work out a trip. Never easy from out here.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 LIFE HAPPENED Dave Miller's had this guy in the right spot twice now and horse has been lacking come crunch time. Has the rail again. We'll see the speed again, but will we see any bigger kick? I have my doubts.
2 DREAMFAIR MESA Had he gotten out a little sooner, he might have won last week! That was very promising Big M debut. Brett Miler chose to stick with him here, over #8, so that's a big call. Unfortunately, he's up in class, though.
3 STILL FRISKIE Back in for the tag here. Squandered a pretty good trip last time, but he was no match for those. This is somewhat softer, and he'll need all of that speed. Corey had option and chose #5. Not a good sign here.
4 NEWBIE Looks like the longshot of this group, Didn't show a whole lot upon arrival. Needs a lot more than that.
5 MAJOR AUTHORITY Here's the key to the race! Why? Because Corey chose him over #3,6 despite this horse showing two straight clunkers. I mean he just stopped! Yes, it's a drop back to level where he won, but is he good now?
6 LONE WOLF TERROR Figured to have a tough time tackling Windsong Jack last week and that's how it worked out. Don't hold that against him. Tonight's problems are: the loss of Corey and the hike up in class. Don't think it'll work.
7 BROOKIES PRINCE N Finally gets the touch of class relief that he probably needs. I still remember that rally on Oct. 13, but not much since. It's an outside post. He lacks speed. That's a problem in a spot like this.
8 JOE'S BID Joe was VERY good last week, storming home from an impossible spot. Unfortunately, the same thing might happen again! Brett didn't stick with him, probably due to the post. Joe will have to get into it earlier somehow.
9 EXPRESS STRIDE N In the past, this veteran has been a reliable bet when he drops in class like this. BUT, he doesn't usually leave too well and it's post nine! How's that going to work? I don't know. It's up to Marcus to get a trip.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-6-10
H Horse Comment
1 ROLL WITH HOWIE Yes, I can see this is a class drop, but Howie really hasn't looked very good lately. That can always change, especially with a rail and Tetrick Would need a complete turnaround to get it done, however.
2 SWEET BEACH Nicely speed tightened off the freshening by Team Cancelliere. Their barn is off to great start here. This IS the right spot for this gelding and he gets Andy Mac. All systems say go for this fella tonight.
3 JACKSRLUCKYTOO Jack has worked his way back into shape, but he did try to leave last time, and that usually costs him late in the mile. He is the classic ONE MOVE horse. This post will keep him close. Only needs be in range.
4 ROCK LIGHTS Odd spot for the 3YO here. Fits via the non winners of five races. Not sure he can hack it here.
5 TERROR OF THE NITE Finally got Husted off the schneid! Perfect trip and drive and horse dug in like he always does. That was good. Now, we begin the ascent back UP the class ladder. This is where the waters get deeper. Tough call.
6 MCTHRILLER Was super when he won from off the pace. Wasn't as solid when he cut the mile. With that said, look for Dave to be more conservative with him tonight. Still has to find a way to get the jump on #3. Not easy.
7 WHATAORSE Gotta love this warhorse! At age 12, he fired out strongly and then kept up. Same thing coming?
8 INDY INGOT Invades from Yonkers with some suspect form. I don't like the post, or his lack of speed. I'll pass.
9 IMSTAYNALIVE Here's the other 3YO and I must admit, it's an odd spot for him. Let into the race via his lifetime earnings, he gets stuck with post nine. That's a very fast mile he comes out of. What's the plan from out here?
10 WHAT'S GOIN ON Every horse the Burke Brigade has shipped here has been live. SO, what do we do with this one? He gets into the race because he hasn't won in last three starts. Otherwise, wouldn't be eligible. Do we expect big one?
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 MAKE AMERICA GREAT Lone 2YO in here, tackling his elders. Obviously, he's got some talent! Homebred took a while to get to the races, but patience has paid off. Let's see just how good he is! Must give #7 a tussle.
2 CAPTAIN AMERICA Stablemate to Western Joe. Did offer an "improved" start here, but that was three weeks ago. Makes me wonder about current form. I'll probably take a pass and watch one more.
3 BARBADOS Not bad last time! That was good trip and drive from The Mann to have horse in position. Top two finishers from that are pretty good. That's a good, useful Big M debut, so maybe horse can handle this. We'll find out.
4 SPORTS COWBOY Certainly hasn't found the right spot yet, and I'm not sure this is it. The barn did get their first win last week, so maybe that will keep things heading in right direction. I still need to see more from this horse.
5 ROLLING SEA Still WAY too unreliable, so he's a pass no matter the price. Has to prove he can just pace.
6 DEWAR N JACK Retains his usual longshot status, with current dull form on view. Can't expect all that much more.
7 JK MUSICMAN Appears to have found a nice, cozy soft spot here. Has faced MUCH better along the way, and it's finally his turn to shine! Fits the condition on lifetime earnings cap. Only knock is that break that he made.
8 ALWAYS A BB Coming off a dull effort and then a subsequent sick scratch. That has me worried. Plus, the post looks like a killer in this spot. Not sure he can leave, and he won't win it from last.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 SHOW ME UP Mr. Marino takes a turn on this hot property at the claim box. Did some of the dirty work last week, setting things up for #4. It kind of looks like the same thing here. Has the rail again. Might need touch more speed.
2 MCCITO Showing some mixed form of late. Firing back on short rest here, after race on Wednesday at Philly? I like the post. I like having Andy Mac back in bike. I can make a case that he hits the ticket somehow. Sits in, saves ground.
3 CHARMBO CURIOSITY Never really got rolling last week. For this guy, it's ALL about pace and trip. This post should allow pilot to keep him close. Not sure he can rally enough with #4 in here, but you never know.
4 MAGNUM MIKE Couldn't possibly have looked any better in first start for new barn. Yes, the trip was ideal, but he was going to win no matter what. Simply put, he faces same group and looks like a lock at short price.
5 CC BIG BOY SAM The Big Boy was out in the flow last week, but lacked his usual punch. That's two straight lack of rallies. Is he tailing off now? Or will he benefit from following Mike? I'm going to lean towards the former. Pass.
6 ITSNOPROBLEMMAN Outside posts and this gelding do not get along. He doesn't leave, so that's a problem. There are several other "finishers" in here, so he's outside looking in. Not sure that's going to work out well.
7 PUMPED UP KICKS Just keeps firing out of the gate. Got roughed up last time and seriously paid the price. Guess what? He'll probably blast out again, but trip to top might be bit easier this time. That helps his check chances.
8 IWILLNOTBEMACHED Can't really make a case for this guy, having drawn bad post again. A trip around the oval.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 E L DARTSMYBOY Picked up a check against this group last week at odds of 42-1, so that's a good thing. Another good thing is the rail. All he has to do is sit in, save ground and try to keep up late. That's the plan!
2 CLOUDED VISION Was a little bit lacking in the stretch upon arrival, but sometimes it takes a race or two to get mile track tight. Also moves inside here, so that gives Mike options. Might take a shot and step right around #1.
3 BAY RUM After all the scratches in his race last week, he figured to win. Paid a decent price too! Even though he beat #6, it was that foe who was flying too late. Therefore, I think #6 will be favored again. Should be good battle.
4 DANISH DILIGENCE We don't often see speed from this guy, but we did last week. And, it almost worked. Will Vinny do the same thing and take a shot? I wish I knew. Or, he could just wait and follow #3. Either way, it might work.
5 IDEAL CANDIDATE Everything worked out perfectly from the second tier last week and he barreled right by the well-meant #9. He was very good that night. Draws ideal post now. Will be pouncing from somewhere. Will it be enough?
6 IDEAL ROMANCE Yes, everybody saw the driver change last week, and fact that he got locked in. Finished up loaded with pace, so don't expect a big price for new connections. IF he gets way overbet, I might take stand against.
7 ABOUT THE BENJAMINS Flashed much improved speed last time, but couldn't sustain it. Tougher spot now.
8 COLONIAL ROAD Retains large longshot status from this very tough post. Hasn't been very good lately.
9 INTHEBLINKOFANEYE It seemed like the whole world bet on this veteran last time. He cruised along at a well-rated clip and STILL couldn't hold on. No excuses. Now, it's post nine. He'll have to be a LOT better than that to win this.
10 NO TEARS BLUE CHIP Basically just kept up from the rail in his first try here. Now it's post 10 and he shows no early speed. I will simply say good luck!