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Handicapping

  • Week Of 6/20 - 6/26
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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. 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, June 26, 2021

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 SPLASH BLUE CHIP Team Svanstadt has four of the six in here, so they have a hammer-lock on the race. Splash has shown ability throughout her career, but a bit spotty at times. I think she likes the big track better. Sarah gets the call.
2 WET MY WHISTLE Hasn’t raced since that very sloppy, rainy night in the Sires Stakes final. She did well until the very end, tiring near wire. Still, everybody gets a pass for that night. Will probably need this, but Yannick did get listed.
3 DUCHESSPEDIA Was a pretty convincing winner here a few weeks ago. Obviously, that sick scratch has me worried a little bit. Too much of that going around nowadays. This is a big step up for her. Is she this good? Not sure yet.
4 ADIRONDACK Finished up very nicely behind #3 when they squared off. Both fillies raced well and move on to stakes company now. Had just a couple of starts last year to gain experience. Seems ready to deliver more tonight.
5 FLAWLESS COUNTRY Of the Svanstedt foursome, this appears to be the best one. She’s been rock-solid since day one, and ended her season with a strong placing behind the division champ. I hope she’s over that sickness too!
6 QUEEN TILE NO Maybe a step or two behind her stablemates? I’ll go with that until proven otherwise. Pass.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 CAPTAINS PRINCESS Homebred second foal of an unraced dam, so there must be a good story there. Finished up both miles strongly, under stout restraint, so there’s plenty more in the tank. Barn’s got a pair of nice fillies here.
2 DONT FENCE ME IN Third foal of this mare, and first two made it and took marks. Was deceptively good in the first go, with that solid last quarter, and then they let her coast on the lead. She did it willingly, and very easily. Talented.
3 MAX CONTRACT From Huntsville’s first crop and only started once down at the farm. It was also an easy coast-around for Team Orange Crush. She’s a sis to Ima Big Deal, who banked over $328K. She cost $200K in Lexington. Nice filly. Trainer: We gave a lot of money for her, but she’s really blossoming now! She was a May foal and gained good confidence when Andy tripped her out and let her pace on the end of that qualifier. This is a good spot for her. It will be an educational first start and we’re looking for a good experience for her. Plenty of talent.
4 KELE KELE Got around Pocono okay, but had a minor miscue here. I did like the way she came back from that misstep. Has ability, but this is an extremely tough spot for the debut. Will try to follow and keep up late.
5 BEAUTIFUL CANDY First foal of an unraced mare here. She weakened just a bit at the end of those miles, so I think she will need a little more experience before we see best. Eventually, it will come.
6 ALWAYS GONNA B YOU Homebred second foal of mare that earned just $5,200. But, both of her baby races were solid, with good finishes. So, that’s why Dave took this one. Tonight’s problem is the post! Will she leave, or take back?
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-1-8
H Horse Comment
1 LOUIE THE LOOPER Barn’s got a pair in here, and they’re both medium longshots. Both homebreds too! I wonder if either of them train with Ruthless Hanover? Maybe not. This colt’s rounded into better form at Philly. Tries M1 now.
2 ART SCAPING Overall, not bad lately! He’s performed well, against mostly older foes in that Trackmaster race. To me, this seems like a big step up, but maybe he can handle it? He does lose Dexter, though. Mixed feelings.
3 TWIN B FIGHTER Definitely looking like a “project horse” for the Burke Brigade. Not sure what’s going on with the gaps, but eventually they will get him right. Comes out of strong field for this level. He wasn’t bad. Maybe more?
4 SHORE OF HIMSELF It appears he’s come back a little better at three. There’s more speed in the tank. But, he shows up here with something to prove. There are some faster foes in here, so he will have to step up his game.
5 TORONTO Just can’t find a way to win! I’m sure its frustrating. Blew a big lead when he probably got a little lonely on the lead last week. With that said, regular driver is back in the bike now and he probably won’t be setting the pace.
6 EL’S DISCO JOHNNY Looks like a recent acquisition for the barn. Shows one slow qualifier up at Tioga. He’s not going to be primed and ready for this kind of test yet.
7 SOUTHWIND PETYR Did a lot of the dirty work in that monster field for that class last week, so don’t be too hard on him. He’s probably the most talented pacer in here, and overdue to snatch a win. Would be first one of the year.
8 A FEARSOME HANOVER IF you want to play against the favorite, I guess you could try this guy. Team Orange Crush has kept racing him in PA lately. So, a big track try tonight. The post hurts, but he does pack decent speed. A maybe.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 I’M VERY SPECIAL Seems to have rounded into good form for Pete P. He took her to Yonkers for a couple of decent races. She’s worked her way right up the class ladder, but she’s running into killers in here. Let’s see if good enough.
2 STONEBRIDGE SOUL I thought she would win that race last week, and she did. Maybe not in style, but she hung on gamely. Confidence builder. This is the big step back up the ladder, but also a better post. Dex still aboard too!
3 SHE’S NUN BETTOR N They put a “maintenance” mile into her, down at home base a few Monday’s ago. Not bad. Didn’t really have much chance in last start here, vs. Machnhope. This is better spot. Should be ready for this. Use.
4 SWEET LUCY LOU Since that amazing rally a while back, it does seems like she’s tailed off a touch. Had to need that last one at Pocono, after missing a few weeks. Burned some betting dollars, but oh well! Will hope for a hot pace.
5 TREACHEROUS REIGN Todd just brushed and crushed ‘em with this very talented distaffer. She needed that kind of confidence booster too! Will benefit from that a lot and will give these all they can handle. Would be no surprise.
6 BRONSKIMACKENZIE A Bronski’s been doing good work over at Yonkers, but Tah opts for a big track try again. She’s had a bit of success here before. I guess my problem tonight could end up being the post. Doesn’t usually gun.
7 ROCKNIFICENT Easily the “key” to the race tonight, but be careful. After a few flat efforts, she seems to have rounded back into her better form. Any repeat of last speed and effort would be good enough. Scotty will have to send her again.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 DRAGON ROARS AGAIN Turned in another strong effort here last week. Kind of unlucky that he got outkicked late. But, every try here on the big track has been okay. Runs into a very strong bunch tonight, but will do his best.
2 CAPTAIN KIRK They paid a lot of money for this guy, so I’m sure hopes are high! Had a couple of nice preps out at home base in Ohio and now he shows up here. Not exactly catching an easy spot, but he should be right there. Trainer: Was really sharp in last start. Took the ship great. Trained good. Wanting to stretch him out before next week for the Roll With Joe. I look for Scotty to put him into play.
3 PIRATE HANOVER Barn’s got two in here and I was a bit surprised at A Mac’s choice of this one over Rouser. Kind of threw me for a loop. I do have a good note on Pirate from last week, that he had pace. But, I felt Rouser was better.
4 CAVIART LOTUS Nice late burst here last week. But, Dexter was being very careful with him and conservative. When the gelding finally did level off, he charged home nicely. Exactly what they were looking for. Takes a step forward.
5 NATAMERI I liked him when he won here last month, but even I will admit, Timmy stole that race. They gave him a little time after that, and then revved up in qualifier and easier spot. It’s back to the wolves here! A lot to prove.
6 ROUSER HANOVER Couldn’t possibly have been any more impressive in his comebacker. Yes, I told you this is an extremely talented horse. He’s a 4YO too, facing many 3YO’s. Big edge. Skies the limit for this guy going forward.
7 STONEBRIDGE REEF When last seen here, he was chasing South Beach Star. And doing it well! Since then, the posts have been bad, but his speed is good. Draws between two killers here. What’s the plan? I wish I knew. Dex sticks ov 8.
8 BAYFIELD BEACH Sometimes, qualifying lines in the program are VERY deceiving. This horse was LOADED at the end of that mile. That was exactly what they were looking for too! Hoping to move on to bigger and better things next.
9 THE GREEK FREAK What do we do with this guy tonight? Drew outside the main players. He’s been overmatched in a lot of his races. It took a 48 mile to beat him in that one lower conditioned race. I guess he’s overdue for better luck.
10 ALWAYS B SWEET Barn’s got a whole bunch coming up tonight, but this one got no love from the post gods.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 GOTTHEGREENLIGHT Fifth foal of the mare and the first four took marks. Not bad! Nifty is never one to rush any young horse, but this lass showed up willingly. I think she’ll need a few more before we see best, though.
2 ONECROOKEDLEG Not exactly a great name for a horse, but I guess that tells us a little story about the $9K yearling price? She sure didn’t look crooked in those qualifiers! Very nice efforts both times. She has major ability!
3 VALAR DOHAERIS Didn’t quite seem cranked and ready for that first appearance. Will need a few more.
4 SWEET HELLO Third foal of mare. Not the most expensive buy at just $27K. But, the Burke Brigade supports their sire, Sweet Lou and they latched onto a nice one here. Blew by a few weaker foes, but in fine style! This is the real test now.
5 JK I FEEL FINE A homebred fourth foal for the Katz’s. Mare’s thrown all fillies too! Sis to Jk Finendandy, who’s earned over $195K. She was much, much better in the second prep. Blew by them when asked. A very nice sprint home. TT to 4
6 SWEET OMEN Team Bittle have two in here, but this one they paid a LOT more for! She’s fourth foal from millionaire mom, and a sis to Breeders Crown winner, Someomensomewhere. She’s not big, size-wise, but has some go! Coasted.
7 DON’T GO THERE Another fourth foal here. First three took marks. Didn’t cost much for barn that’s sneaky-good with its youngsters. I don’t really like this spot for her tonight. It looks a bit too tough, and post hurts too!
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 SKYWAY KON MAN Gets “assigned” the rail here, so you know the Kon Man will be a longshot. Tough spot.
2 NO DRAMA PLEASE We haven’t seen this guy here in quite some time. Did win earlier this year. Been stuck in some pretty tough races down at Philly. Maybe the change of scenery will produce more? He’ll have to trot faster.
3 NO MAS DRAMA The Drama’s start side-by-side, but they both longshots. This mare gained some valuable confidence with that win over at Yonkers. She was simply overmatched in the Miss V. This is no easy spot either.
4 LOVEDBYTHEMASSES I really don’t know what to do with him tonight. They’ve aimed very high with him since he hit that good form spree. And he didn’t disgrace himself in those very tough spots. This is supposed to be easier. TT to 5.
5 AB’SATTITUDEXPRESS Was loaded at the end of her last stakes try. She’s come back really good this year for Wallin too! I like her versatility. Pilot can do whatever he wants. With power stuck outside, we might see big early speed.
6 CHIN CHIN HALL Like #4, he’s been a touch hard to gauge at times. He was okay last time, but not great. It’s pretty hard to make up any ground when they’re sprinting home in 26. Midpack post. What will the plan be? Wish I knew.
7 PLAY TRIX ON ME Another one on the fringe of stakes-player so far this year. Did win the night he was supposed to, but has been buried since. They can’t all win, so something has to give. Scotty Z likely to be patient with him again.
8 JL CRUZE The Cruze just keeps showing up and earning checks. He’s kind of gotten out of the winning habit a bit, but that’s okay. He’s been in some real deep fields. This is another. I see he gets his regular driver back. Speed coming!
9 SORELLA Was she just a tad flat two weeks ago? Yes. When Doves and Stuff started sprinting, she wasn’t able to stay close. Prior effort was better. This is a tough post, against a decent field. Will need her very best to get it done.
10 DOUBLE ACCOUNT The Cullipher’s have the bookend posts, but with two longshots. Need a little luck.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 2-7-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 PREMIER ROCKSTAR Got freshened up off the Philly win, so that’s a little odd. Maybe it took a lot out of him? Shows back up here off an even qualifier. Probably way over his head. So, I will pass and wait for a better spot.
2 SAVE ME A DANCE I guess they just bought this guy? That was an awesome qualifier against his younger stablemate, but they both raced well. If #7 wasn’t in here, I would consider it a soft spot. But, this won’t be easy.
3 ROCKIN THE ACES He’s had some bad luck nights, and some good luck nights! Last week was the good luck! Mark Mac put the perfect and patient steer on him, and he just exploded home to measure off a win. Sears takes over.
4 BETTER TAKE IT This guy has only raced here once, and you see who he was in against. Allywag! Then he chased a couple of standouts down at Philly. Tonight, he runs into Dance and Eight. Will he ever catch a break? Maybe not.
5 JOESSTAR OF MIA A Will maintain his status as a “longshot” at this level. Been in some real tough spots too!
6 HEZA REAL DIAMOND No, I don’t know what happened last time. I guess he just didn’t want to play at that higher level. This is no cakewalk either. Would have to bounce back with a huge one. Those are hard to predict.
7 ONE EIGHT HUNDRED Could he possibly have been any more impressive last week! That was huge charge up the inside to get past South Beach. A real eye-catcher! Very interesting spot for tonight. Will need big speed again.
8 GRAY DRAGON Both of John B’s Ohio invaders have been sharp since they got here. Just toyed with those fields over at Pocono, but he’ll get a real test tonight. And a bad post, which never helps. I guess he’s used to bad posts!
9 GOOD ROCKIN That appeared to be a pretty rough spot last week and he scratched. Gets stuck in same brutal spot.
10 FILIBUSTER HANOVER It’s not often you have to choose off a $1.8 million earner, but Yannick had to. Uber respect for the horse, but we may have to leave him out from post 10 tonight.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 STARS ALIGN A Turned in yet another strong effort here two weeks ago. That was good, mad scramble finish by all of them. The pole is intimidating with his speed. And Tetrick will get a turn in sulky seat. He can make speed too!
2 TIVO HANOVER This is just an outstanding field he’s up against for Big M return. I guess I’d just like to watch one, to see if he can compete. I’m a bit skeptical.
3 WES DELIGHT I know he’s good right now, but isn’t this asking a lot? This is a standout bunch and nothing less than his A-1 best will come close. Dave Miller did stick with him, but they need a trouble-free trip, and one huge kick.
4 MACH N CHEESE The Cheese has done extremely good work for his new barn. I give credit where due! Coasted around Yonkers to an easy win last time. This will be the test! We know he likes the long stretch here too!
5 THIS IS THE PLAN Jaws became the fastest half-mile track horse in history with a magical demolishment of the Battle field. That was fun to watch! And Yannick said after that he expected it. Got beat one inch last time here. Revenge!
6 AMERICAN HISTORY Just got a little tired near the end of his last try two weeks ago. Hey, they don’t stay good forever! If anything, he could end up with a very nice trip maybe stalking Jaws? Hasn’t had that kind of trip in while.
7 ANGERS BAYAMA Was a pretty unlucky “loser” if you want to call it that last time. Raced his eyeballs out. So, he’s back in top form, but he now loses his favorite driver. That’s mixed signals. Drew outside. What’s the plan tonight?
8 HESA KINGSLAYER N He’s just hoping they go at it early. IF that happens, you can watch for the streak down the stretch. Just an awesome horse, but he needs a little help in the setup. If they don’t battle, he’s too far back.
9 TATTOO ARTIST It’s hard to look any better than he did two weeks ago! Sprinted away from them like a killer in 48 flat. So, that’s back-to-back 48 miles. Not many horses can say that. But, I hate this post. Field is really strong too!
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 LINDY THE GREAT Lindy had a nice, easy cruise in that Philly race. And he probably needed it too! He’s been super sharp in every start but the Cutler this year. His early zip has been better as well. Will need that from the pole position. Trainer: After only winning once last year, I think he’s got three already this year! He got a little sick in the Cutler, but we cleaned him up after that. He was great in last two at Philly! He’s one of the biggest horses I’ve ever been around, but he’s like a Teddy Bear. I love that about him. He’s one of the reasons I love my job so much.
2 ATLANTA She’s back! One of the greatest trotters of all-time had a nice winter off. She’s come back roaring good, based on those two qualifiers. This is certainly not the ultimate goal, but a pretty good starting point. She’s ready.
3 CRYSTAL FASHION I will admit, I was a tad disappointed with his last effort. He was supposed to have a little more fight when #5 came calling. So, it’s a huge jump back up the ladder. I really don’t know what to expect.
4 WHEN DOVESCRY The Oaks champ, faces two Hambo champs in this epic matchup tonight. Dave Miller should take a bow, after literally “stealing” two straight. Do you really think he can get away with it again? No. Must earn it.
5 CHAPTIAMA That was truly a breakout performance last week. I didn’t see that coming. I guess I have greatly underestimated this 4YO up to now. But, he’s got to prove it against the best field possible. Let’s see if he’s up to it.
6 FORBIDDEN TRADE He’s only had three starts so far this year, but they’ve all been good! With the faves on the inside, Bob M will have to be aggressive again. I wouldn’t talk you off, especially if price is right. Great race here!
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-10-7
H Horse Comment
1 RESITA Grinded out a check last time at this higher level, so that’s a good thing! That’s the goal again on rail.
2 THANKFUL NO What do we do with this one? When the entry sheet came out, Trond listed himself to drive. At change time, he switched to Dexter. That is a very good sign of positive intent. We can all see the pedigree. What kind of horse is she? I guess we’ll find out.
3 GOES DOWN SMOOTH Freshened up a little bit, but this is way too tough a spot to come back in. I’ll wait.
4 ST JAMES GATE I really don’t think he’s a match for these either. Definitely in need of class relief down the road.
5 KENZIESKY HANOVER It’s been a rough year for her so far. That can always change, but I need to see it first. Even though she’s technically dropping out of a stakes, this is like a stakes race with #2,6,10 in here. Good luck!
6 VENERATE All trotting fans have patiently waited for this guy’s first sophomore start. He’s just an amazing-looking trotter that grew up a little and looks even stronger. This is first step on the Road to the Hambo for Team Orange Crush. Trainer: We’re taking the gloves off! His first qualifier was great, and his second one was even better. Andy’s in great synch with him right now. He’s strong. This is a stepping stone to what we hope will be a great season. He’s one of the best horses I’ve ever been around.
7 BEYOND ORDINARY Overall, doing great work lately. I feel he’s an overachiever lately. Gets stuck in another brutally tough spot, but somehow, someway, he’ll probably pick up a check.
8 GLOBETROTTING She’s been through a few different barns over past year for The Stable. Still pretty lightly-raced, with just 21 trips to gate. She’s got ability! This is extremely difficult spot for first go of the year.
9 GOTWUTEVERITTAKES No, I don’t know what’s going on with him. Totally regressed back to bad habits.
10 DANCINGINTHEDARK M Nothing will test out a good horse quite like post 10. And, against a field that includes the Hambo favorite. Plus, he’s not exactly a fleet-footed gate leaver. So, it’s up to Tim just to get him into the hunt.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 JUSTIN CREDIBLE In for the optional tag again. But, probably in too tough again. Still a longshot to me.
2 ANA MALEK N Showed up here sharp! Have to give full credit for that. Plus, he beat good field, and paid a nice price. I’m a little surprised that Tetrick opted for the barn’s other starter. Maybe that tells us a little something? Not sure.
3 FATHER NUNO IF there was ever a spot for the good Father to show up and win one, THIS is it! Endured yet another tough trip down at Philly last time. Was buried in brutal spots here before that. It’s time to wake up and sizzle one!
4 BULLVILLE TERROR First starter of the year here for Steve C. He’s surprised us once or twice in the past, but I doubt it’s going to be with this guy tonight. This is a salty group for this level and I need to see one first anyway.
5 MONTEFALCO N Gave Mr. Slendorn his first driving win in over 30 years a few weeks ago. Got cooked in decent pace battle in GSY final. No worries. But, doesn’t this look a whole lot tougher? I will go with that and pass for now.
6 IMA REAL LADYS MAN Seemed like the whole world bet on this guy last week. He got to the front, carved out his own pace and still couldn’t last. SO, why did Tetrick choose him over #2? I guess we’ll find out. Overbet again? Maybe.
7 UNLOADED N Was very good two back. Was absolutely empty last time. Yet, Todd sticks with him over #10. I still think this level is too high for him, but I have been wrong before.
8 FUNATTHEBEACH N Fresh face to Club Med and into the Bongiorno barn. That last sick scratch has me worried a little bit. But, I see by Ohio record can he can go fast enough. Very mixed feelings about this post. Your call, folks?
9 SUGARTOWN Yes, he’s in for the optional tag too! But, it’s just not working for him right now. Needs relief.
10 STATEMENT MADE A Seems like there are some sickness issues here. That, plus post 10, make him a pass.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 ROJAN’S WAY Had a pretty tough trip in first go for new barn. But, he did pick up a check! That ain’t bad. Moves all the way inside now and it could make a different. Not an easy spot, but they took him out of claimers. Interesting.
2 STONEDUST I liked him when he scratched. So, now I don’t know what to do. It’s the same class. It’s an inside post edge, with power stuck outside. Tetrick still on. Will he be A-1 ready? I sure wish I knew.
3 PATERNITY SUIT A Finds his way back to Club Med. Been duking it out in PA for a while now. His lone win this year came here, so that’s a plus. Technically, it’s a slightly softer spot, and second back after freshening. Lots to like at price.
4 A MAJOR OMEN His younger sister is racing in the sixth tonight, on debut. Could be interesting night. Maj was finishing fast last week, from a pretty tough spot. He also moves inside and needs it. I wouldn’t talk you off.
5 VASARI N As stated earlier, he’s earning his keep with checks, but not really coming close to winning. Needs more.
6 WESTERN REDHOT I don’t think I’ve ever guessed right on this horse. So, I better just surrender. Beat the Trackmaster group with a dead-game and gutsy try. Moves to tougher conditioned level here. Needs better journey.
7 NORTHERN ROCK Threw in a clunker in the GSY final and that’s too bad. He’d been racing very well for most of the season. So, the question is, is he tailing off? Or will he bounce back? This may be too tough for him.
8 GODS SPIRIT N Gave it a great try last week off the sick scratch. If anything, he could be a lot better tonight. I will add a few more points if Ana Malek did well in the 12th. Todd got along with him nicely too. Reasons to like.
9 THE DEVILS OWN N He’s on the comeback trail too! Was a bit overbet in that last one and couldn’t overcome tougher journey. Now, it’s post nine, and another potential short price. What should we do? Good luck on that.
10 WALLEYWALLEYINFREE Not a whole lot going right in this corner right now. That, plus post 10, make him a pass.