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Dave Little’s Road to the Meadowlands Pace Week 2 – May 9, 2024

Thursday, May 9, 2024

There is one new name in the second weekly edition of Dave Little’s “Road to The Meadowlands Pace” Top 10 Poll, as Clever Cody debuts at No. 7 off a sparkling outing at Miami Valley Raceway.



Week 2 (of 10) – Thursday, May 9

The Meadowlands Pace is on Saturday, July 13, 2024

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

Finished sixth and last in his Meadowlands qualifier Friday morning. Time to hit the panic button? Daley: “I was OK with it. It was his first week. We’ll obviously look to do a lot more this [Friday in a Meadowlands qualifier].” Daley prefers a more patient approach. “There’s plenty of guys who train in [1]:53 or [1]:54 and have success. I don’t do it that way.”

Breeding: Captaintreacherous-Angelou

Last Race: 5/3/2024 – M1 – Qualifier – 6th (1:55)

Better Is Nice
($517,620 – 1:50.3)
A. McCarthy, T. Alagna
Alagna Racing LLC,
Pryde Stables Inc,
Birnam Wood Farms
Rallied well to finish second to Pace ineligible Arbitrage Hanover in what was a solid effort in his first start of the season Saturday. Alagna: “I was really happy with him. We were working on a foot issue and got it resolved. He’s got the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes Saturday night.”

Breeding: Bettor’s Wish-Thatsoveryverynice

Last Race: 5/4/2024 – M1 – NJSS – 2nd (1:52)

Captain’s Quarters
($389,143 – 1:49.3)
J. Jamieson, H. Holland
Rich P Stiles
Qualified well at Mohawk in his second outing of the year. The first did not go very well. Holland: “If you don’t hook wheels, it makes a big difference. [In Monday’s qualifier] he was awesome. Ear plugs in, and was never asked to go. We’ll take a week off and race in an overnight on the 18th. I don’t want to be too hard on him. I’m looking toward September and October.”

Breeding: Captaintreacherous-Prescient Beauty

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

Captain Luke
($332,109 – 1:51)
T. McCarthy, T. Alagna
Robert J Leblanc, Pryde Stables Inc,
Bradley J Grant, Steven Head
Scratched out of his qualifier last week due to some bloodwork that wasn’t quite right. Alagna: “All good. He had room in his schedule to skip last week. This Friday will be his second qualifier. After that, we’ll look for an overnight at The Meadowlands. With only two wins, he’s got some room on his card so we should be able to find something.”

Breeding: Captaintreacherous-Bodacious Hanover

Last Race: 4/20/2024 – M1 – Qualifier – 1st (1:52) 

Gem Quality
($438,940 – 1:50)


D. Dunn, C. Ryder
Let It Ride Stables Inc,
Odds On Racing, Bradley J Grant,
Enviro Stables Ltd
Came from just off the pace to take his second consecutive “Q.” Races Saturday in The Poconos. Ryder: “All good. The horse seems right on target. We’ll head for the Somebeachsomewhere. It’s exactly where we wanted to be, having three or four starts before the North America Cup.”

Breeding: Captain Crunch-Twinkle

Last Race: 5/3/2024 – M1 – Qualifier – 1st (1:52.4)

Legendary Hanover
($303,114 – 1:50)
J. MacDonald, A. Beaton
Eric K Good, West Wins Stable,
Mark B Dumain
Paced his back half in :53.2 to win his second qualifier last Friday at Mohawk. Beaton: “He was super. He did it so easily. [Driver] James [MacDonald] said he was unbelievable. We’re going to face older Saturday at Mohawk. We’d have liked a 3YO open, but there’s not enough of them around here right now.”

Breeding: Huntsville-Lillian Hanover

Last Race: 5/3/2024 – Wbsb – Qualifier – 1st (1:50.4)

Clever Cody
($415,872 – 1:50.1)
A. Merriman, Dr. I. Moore
Clever Cody Stable
OK, it’s early in the season, but Clever Cody gets into the Top 10 off a win in the Ohio Sire Stakes that was the best effort I’ve seen thus far in the 3YO male pacing division. Were you surprised at how good he was, Doc Moore? “I was not amazed. We have a lot of anticipation for him. I was very pleased. If they let me in that winners-of-4 non-winners-of-7 at Mohawk next Saturday, that’ll give me two weeks to prep for the June 1 Somebeachsomewhere. If not, we’ll find a race in Ohio.”

Breeding: The Panderosa-Cams Van Go

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

($247,565 – 1:49.4)
D. Miller, J. Holloway
Val D’Or Farms
His first appearance of the season comes Friday when he takes on Captain Albano and Captain Luke in a Big M qualifier. Holloway: “The goal is to get around the track, finish strong and go a decent mile.” With 7 wins on his card, it’s possible this one’s first race will be the Somebeachsomewhere.

Breeding: Always B Miki-Well Hello There

Last Race: 11/25/2023 – M1 – Governor’s Cup – 7th (1:52.2)

Boston Rocks
($357,922 – 1:53.4)
T. Miller, S. Elliott
Peter R Blood, Rick Berks
Made a big move to take command on the way to three-quarters at Tioga before going on to a dominant score in a soft spot. Elliott: “We’re going to give him the week off, then race again next week to get ready for the [New York] Sire Stakes at Saratoga at the end of the month.”

Breeding: Boston Red Rocks-Scirocco Sarah

Last Race: 5/4/2024 – TgDn – NW6 – 1st (1:53.4)

($21,360 – 1:50.3)
Y. Gingras, N. Takter
3 Brothers Stables,
Caviart Farms,
Joe Sbrocco, JAF Racing LLC
Last raced on April 27, but having already raced four times this year after being unraced at 2, a week off was likely a good thing. Takter: “I trained him [Wednesday] and was very happy. [The PA All-Stars on Saturday at Pocono] is a good spot for him. I’m happy with his progression.”

Breeding: Captain Crunch-McGibson

Last Race: 4/27/2024 – M1 – NW2 – 1st (1:50.3)

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



5/11 Pa All-Stars PcD
5/11 NJSS M1
5/18 PaSS PcD
5/25 NJSS Final M1
5/26 PaSS Phl
5/26 NYSS Stga
6/1 Somebchsomewhere Wbsb
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