Friday, March 3, 2023

The 2022 Roll With Joe for open pacers attracted harness racing’s biggest star, Bulldog Hanover, who was his usual dazzling self in a dominant 1:46 victory.

Fittingly, beginning with this year’s edition, the stakes event held at The Meadowlands will be renamed “The Dave Brower Memorial”, in honor of another standout from the world of harness racing.

Brower, the track’s longtime lead TV personality, morning-line odds maker and program analyst, passed away at the age of 53 while on assignment in Kentucky, during a week when he was the TV point man covering the races at Lexington’s Red Mile.

“Almost five months have passed since we lost Dave Brower,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “But the wounds are still fresh. Dave was so good at his job, I think we took for granted the high level of excellence he brought to the things he did here at The Meadowlands.

“He was such a popular personality. He loved bringing people on our set and letting them take pictures holding microphones. And he knew and loved everybody, and everybody loved him back. We still feel the loss, but now that some time has passed, we felt it was the right time to rename one of our big races for Dave. That way, people will never forget him.”

The 2023 edition of The Dave Brower Memorial, which has an estimated purse of $175,000, takes place on Saturday, July 1, and is one of four stakes events on the card. Also on the schedule that night are the $150,000 (est.) Perfect Sting for open mare pacers, $175,000 (est.) Crawford Farms for open trotters and $150,000 (est.) Six Pack for open mare trotters.

“My mother, Rose, and I are grateful for all of the support we have received from Dave’s friends at The Meadowlands,” said Laura Brower, Dave’s sister. “We haven’t been to the track since the Celebration of Life for Dave (on Nov. 12 of last year), but we wouldn’t miss July 1 for anything.”