Numerous Changes in the Third Edition of Dave Little’s weekly “Road to The Meadowlands Pace 2024”

Thursday, May 16, 2024

There were numerous changes in the third edition of Dave Little’s weekly “Road to The Meadowlands Pace” Top 10 poll, but one thing remained the same: Captain Albano, who makes his seasonal debut Saturday, stayed in the top spot.


Rank Horse

(Earnings – Mark)  

Driver, Trainer


Dave Little’s (and trainer’s) Comments
Captain Albano
($445,680 – 1:49.2)


T. McCarthy, N. Daley

Patricia Stable,

L A Express & Sjoblom Inc,

Michael E Dolan

A high-octane final quarter of :25.3 finished off a winning qualifier last Friday morning. Daley: “In the first qualifier, he went less than I wanted him to go. But in the second qualifier, I was real happy with him. I would love for him to win every start but he’s not going to be 110 percent these first couple of starts. He’s going to race Saturday in The Poconos.”

Breeding: Captaintreacherous-Angelou

Last Race: 5/10/2024 – M1 – Qualifier – 1st (1:52.3)

Captain’s Quarters
($389,143 – 1:49.3)
J. Jamieson, H. Holland
Rich P Stiles
Hasn’t been out since his qualifier on May 6. Holland: “He trained very well and is in to go Saturday night at Mohawk. Our tentative plan is to go in the Somebeachsomewhere. You have to get them stretched out, and you don’t do that until you face the good horses.”

Breeding: Captaintreacherous-Prescient Beauty

Last Race: 5/6/2024 – Wbsb – Qualifier – 1st (1:53)

Gem Quality
($453,940 – 1:50)
D. Dunn, C. Ryder
Let It Ride Stables Inc,
Odds On Racing, Bradley J Grant,
Enviro Stables Ltd
Unleashed a powerful extended rally on the way to an easy win at Pocono Downs. Ryder: “He was good in that race and is doing well. We are racing on Saturday in The Poconos. We just want three or four starts in him before the North America Cup.”

Breeding: Captain Crunch-Twinkle

Last Race: 5/11/2024 – PcD – Pa. All-Stars – 1st (1:53)

Better Is Nice
($521,220 – 1:50.3)
A. McCarthy, T. Alagna
Alagna Racing LLC,
Pryde Stables Inc,
Birnam Wood Farms
Raced well again but could not deal with Pace ineligible Arbitrage Hanover for a second straight start. Alagna: “Arbitrage gets home in :25 and change, it’s tough to make up ground. Brett’s [Pelling] horse is very sharp right now. My horse did bleed, so he’ll race with Lasix in the NJSS final a week from Saturday. The adding Lasix does not concern me.”

Breeding: Bettor’s Wish-Thatsoveryverynice

Last Race: 5/11/2024 – M1 – NJSS – 3rd (1:51.1)

Legendary Hanover
($311,509 – 1:49.4)
J. MacDonald, A. Beaton
Eric K Good, West Wins Stable,
Mark B Dumain
Season’s debut was a superb-looking score at Mohawk against conditioned stock. Beaton: “He was exceptional. James [MacDonald] had him shut down once he made the front. He just let him pace. When he moved him and asked him, he was well in hand. As we go forward, there will be tougher tasks. This Saturday, we are in an overnight at Mohawk against Clever Cody.”

Breeding: Huntsville-Lillian Hanover

Last Race: 5/11/2024 – Wbsb – WO4-7RL – 1st (1:49.4)

Captain Luke
($332,109 – 1:51)
S. Zeron, T. Alagna
Robert J Leblanc, Pryde Stables Inc,
Bradley J Grant, Steven Head
His qualifier was better than it looks on paper, as he closed in :26 while Captain Albano was winning. Racing Saturday at The Meadowlands in a 3-year-old conditioned race. Alagna: “A nice effort, :26 on the end, and it was Scottie’s [Zeron] first time with him. Scottie’s checking out the gears a little bit. And he’s a big-money guy. I’m good with everything.” Zeron is the new pilot with Todd McCarthy committed to Captain Albano.

Breeding: Captaintreacherous-Bodacious Hanover

Last Race: 5/10/2024 – M1 – Qualifier – 5th (1:54) 

Clever Cody
($415,872 – 1:50.1)
B. McClure, Dr. I. Moore
Clever Cody Stable
Took last week off after his huge 1:50.1 effort at Miami Valley. Moore: “The race on Saturday at Mohawk, he’s facing a couple of good 3-year-olds. It’s time to have some competition. I trained him a single trip last Saturday and he came his last quarter in :26.”

Breeding: The Panderosa-Cams Van Go

Last Race: 5/4/2024 – MVR – OHSS – 1st (1:50.1)

Funtime Bayama
($238,247 – 1:49.4)
S. Filion, R. Moreau
Bayama Farms Inc
Breaks into the Top 10 off a second consecutive win in Ontario SBOA action. Filion: “My father [Yves] took care of him all winter, then sent him to Moreau to race. I don’t like comparing horses, but I think he’s a mixture of Goliath Bayama and Runnymede Lobell.” Funtime is not in this week.

Breeding: He’s Watching-Tymal Sugrbabydoll

Last Race: 5/11/2024 – Wbsb – Ontario SBOA – 1st (1:49.4)

Mirage Hanover
($173,613 – 1:49.3)
T. Tetrick, J. Leamon
Marvin J Rounick
Used remarkable late explosive pace up the inside to beat conditioned foes at The Big M, taking down some solid older stock. He’ll take this week off. Leamon: “He can fly off a helmet. It was a tough spot for him, but it was the best I could do to get him a race. We are looking for another race.”

Breeding: Bettor’s Delight-Mayhem Seelster

Last Race: 5/11/2024 – M1 – NW10,000 – 1st (1:49.3)

Total Stranger
($82,085 – 1:49.1)
Y. Gingras, N. Takter
Judith S Taylor,
Caviart Farms,
Chuck Pompey
Did you happen to catch his effort at Chester? WOW!! Three :26.4 quarters to start things off led to a dominant win in 1:49.1. Failed to win a race in 11 tries a year ago. What’s different? Takter: “The horse has always had ability, but he never wanted to pass horses, so I told Yannick to put him on the front and roll him. He’s going to race back on Sunday at Chester. He’s [2020 Horse of the Year] Tall Dark Stranger’s full brother.”

Breeding: Bettor’s Delight-Precocious Beauty

Last Race: 5/9/2024 – Phl – NW1 – 1st (1:49.1)

MEADOWLANDS PACE ELIGIBLES IN CAPS – Supplements are permitted per the conditions of the race

Date Stakes Site Winner Trainer Driver 2nd Horse 3rd Horse Time
5/4 PaSS Mea Rush In

Booming Economy

Captain Fear Not

L. Toscano

R. Burke

K. Troy

D. Palone

M. Wilder

J. Indof


Tenacious Hanover


Solid Character

Hugh Heston

Solar Solution




5/4 NJSS M1 Arbitrage Hanover


B. Pelling

D. Dilloian Jr.

T. McCarthy

T. McCarthy


Royal Desire


Ain’t Nostopn Time





Pa All-Stars PcD Solid Character



Women Layer

R. Burke

C. Ryder

N. Takter

B. Pelling

D. Miller

D. Dunn

Y. Gingras

T. McCarthy

Target Aquired


Armada Hanover

Southwind Celcius

Solar Solution

Dream Bird

Captain Fear Not






5/11 NJSS M1 Arbitrage Hanover


B. Pelling

D. Dilloian Jr.

T. McCarthy

T. McCarthy


Mr Three O Five


Royal Desire



5/18 PaSS PcD            
5/25 NJSS Final M1            
5/26 PaSS Phl            
5/26 NYSS Stga            
6/1 Somebchsomewhere Wbsb            
6/5 NYSS BR            
6/8 N.A. Cup eliminations Wbsb            
6/14 NYSS VD            
6/15 N.A. Cup final Wbsb            
621 Messenger elims YR            
6/28 Messenger final YR            
7/6 Meadowlands Pace elims M1            
7/13 Meadowlands Pace Final M1