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Race Reviews

  • Week Of 5/21 - 5/27
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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, May 27, 2017

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-1-8-5
H Horse Comment
1 D M REACHER Down from Canada and first time into the Nik Drennan stable with first time Lasix. Failed to win a race last year at three and so far, it looks the same as last. At least he flashed improved speed in Mohawk finale. Trainer: Trained great. 1st Lasix. Expect a good effort.
2 FRANZ MIA for a couple of weeks since Freehold closed. He's just three, but also didn't win last year at two, or so far this year. I would be hard pressed to make a case that he can pace fast enough here. Will have to prove it first with Corey now on board.
3 LONG BEACH Did not make it to the race as a freshman last year for Jimmy Takter. We can all see the pedigree, by a champion out of a champion, but I still see issues here. It took three qualifiers to get him ready. Trainer: Progressing slowly as his manners have been a problem. Last qualifier encouraging, but still a work in progress.
4 POP'S ROMEO Didn't show much in either try here at Club Med. Retains longshot status until I see more. Trainer: Lightly raced big horse that likes the big track. Hung last week, should be competitive if he gets decent trip and race goes between 52-53.
5 ONE TOUGH NUT Didn't make it around Yonkers and then got stuck with a post 10 start here! Almost not fair. Tonight will be the time to show a little more and I do expect some improvement. Midpack post gives Marshall options and he won a race here driving last week. Maybe.
6 STRAIGHTOUTACONSIN Another that had the obligatory "trip over the track" from a bad post. Now gets Lasix. You can always forgive those. And, it was a much better field than this. Tyler gets a return call and I definitely expect more from this fella tonight. Usable at any fair price.
7 THINKIN BIG Jean Drolet shelled out $18,000 for this gelding at the Tattersalls Mixed Sale a few weeks ago. I would have liked one qualifier or real race before this, however. Horse has just been off too long to be tight and ready for knockout effort. Watch, and tab for later on.
8 ROCKET J Yes, he's got a bad date too! Scratched sick and off since May 8. However, he was technically facing better over at Yonkers and might fit the big track better. Barn is capable of winning in spots like this, so very hard to dismiss with Andy now aboard. Your call?
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 SHE'S WATCHING Absolutely crushed the NW2 field, given a perfect trip and drive by Scotty Z. I think that's exactly what connections wanted. A trip off a helmet and good burst home. That was from outside post. Trainer: Scotty Z worked out perfect trip to get win. Steps up vs. more experienced fillies, but her best makes her a player.
1A TORI HANOVER Pari-mutuel partner to the fave was just okay in those return qualifiers, and she was a little rank and fighting her driver in last one. Was good enough to make the Breeders Crown final last fall, but I wonder how well she's come back. Might need a race or two.
2 WINDSUN BROOKLYN Moves back inside, so her chances immediately go way up. Owns a pretty wicked kick in a mile, provided she's in position to utilize it. I'm anxious to see if in same league as the likes of #1,8. We'll find out tonight. Good chance to hit the ticket.
3 SHESAROCKER Up from Delaware and sent to Team Buter for some big track tries. Homebred has improved a lot from age two to three and deserves this chance at the big time. That's why she's here. Still has to prove it, and obviously did NOT find an easy spot. Tough call.
4 JAYE'S A LADY Her first start on Lasix was a strong brush and crush, but she did cruise through easy fractions. Clearly was a lot stronger and she can probably improve off that. However, Yannick did opt for #8 here. Trainer: Raced well last start, improved w/Lasix. She took a few starts to get going last year and it looks to be the case this year. Been training nicely.
5 ANGEL'S PRIDE Tough to get a real read on this filly right now, off that odds-on miscue, and sick scratch. Based on her rallying tendencies, I would suspect she'll like the mile track. In sharp hands here, but Timmy did opt for #7. Not good sign when he opts off a Scotty D horse.
6 RISKY ROMANCE Showed a touch more speed in the PA sires stakes and look who she was in against! Agent Q will be favored in tonight's Lismore over at Yonkers off convincing elimination win. Is this filly getting better? Not 100% sure, but the price should be right. First Lasix too!
7 PLANET ROCK Failed to make the Lismore final in her first start as a three-year-old. That's asking a lot, so I won't hold it against her. Didn't make any mistakes and even passed a few late. First Lasix. Timmy chose, so that's extra plus in her corner. Might have to invent some speed.
8 SAPPHIRE BREEZE That's a VERY good try in the Philly stakes race. Agent Q is a super filly, so don't be too tough on this lass. She packs plenty of speed to overcome the bad post. Clearly one of the ones to beat in what should be entertaining race. Can't leave out.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-1-8
H Horse Comment
1 CREAMPUFF MACDADDY Missed a start while scratched "sick." (Eight-hole-itis?) No doubt about the best weapon here: speed! Corey knows how to control a race here and I'll add that 7YO did win here with amateur pilot last month. Looking for live longshot? This could be it.
2 STITCH IN TIME I guess he's simply tailed off. Not in good form right now and that last start at Pocono was really disappointing. Set a slow pace and still got passed without much fight. I would have a tough time making a strong case for big bounce back tonight.
3 GENIUS AT WORK Yes, he probably needed that first start after the ship from Florida and month off. But, he would still need a LOT more trot than that to get any closer. There are several other question marks in here, and a couple dropdowns. Nothing less than best will do.
4 LATOKA Just 1-8 this year so far, and well-traveled to a bunch of different tracks. With that said, this is a slight class drop and gelding does pack a turn of speed if pilot wants to use it. I just wonder if a small track specialist? Can he go fast enough here? Maybe. Maybe not.
5 MONTALBANO BI I do know this fella can go fast enough here! As evidenced by multiple wins at M1. Suffered some tough trips while up and down the class ladder lately. This is a spot where he's supposed to do some damage. Trainer: Should be a lot tighter this week.
6 BETTER CALL SAUL That's a 2-37 record over two years, and two straight breaks in Pennsylvania. Not exactly a recipe for success, right? Only win did come here, however. Maybe he "needs" the big track? I guess we'll find out. Demand fair value if you fancy. Risky.
7 FOX VALLEY STEFFEN Took one shot over at Yonkers against a better group and probably had no shot from post seven. Was doing good work here prior to that in the amateur races. Has shown speed before. I can make a case that he gets a lot closer tonight. Usable.
8 MOONLIGHT COCKTAIL Continues to plummet down the class ladder, and is probably the biggest question mark in here. Is she a true mile track horse? The outer post won't help, but an easy trip to the lead would improve her chances greatly. Tough call, if price is short.
9 LUV AT FIRST SITE Not sharp right now and slammed with another bad post. Hard to recommend from out here.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 ART SCENE Gets stuck in against Sam again, after a needed first start back. Can we make a case for strong improvement? Maybe. Scotty Z can be a bit more aggressive with him from this spot. Trainer: Good effort in needed start. First time he raced four quarters without much of a breather. Should benefit from that start.
2 MAC ATTACK Not bad so far. Flashed decent speed in both races, last from outside post. Was still going forward behind Sam last week. Gets the nicer starting slot now. Snyder homebred is turning into a good racehorse. Should continue to improve with more experience.
3 ROCK N BLUE Finding this non-winners of two level a lot tougher! Yannick put him in play with the speed last week and he was keeping up, but not exploding late. This trip could be a lot different with inside speed pressure, and I still don't think he's good enough to beat Sam.
4 VALRHONA Not exactly lighting the world on fire over at Yonkers. Might as well take a shot here. Wasn't Corey's choice tonight, but that was a no brainer. I guess I'd need to see some mile track speed before I could endorse here. A longshot vs. better bunch tonight.
5 BOLD AND BRASSY Talk about the bad post blues! Look at last month over at Yonkers. This should be like a picnic compared to that! Great drive by Stratton to overcome post seven in last and homebred is from high profile connections. I expect a lot from this fella now.
6 STEAL N GO Did nice work last year, down in Maryland. Must have been sires stakes. So far this year, it's been a much tougher go. Will have to prove that he can pace faster than 1:54 and we simply haven't seen it yet. I will pass for now, and let him prove it.
7 HALLIE'S COMET Used pretty hard early last week and paid the price late. Now, the post is the big problem with Sam just outside. If he doesn't fire out, faces the reality of getting away last in race that will go in 51 or 52. Trainer: Acting good and should race well.
8 SAMS TRIPLE CROWN Has clearly proven that he belongs here! Two exceptional efforts at Club Med so far, and if anything, this field might be a tad easier than that last one. Corey's job is simply to get him into the race and grind. Packs a vicious kick. Nice horse!
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 LIGHTNING RAIDER N Inches up in price tonight and is one of the many possibilities in a wide open race. The improved post will make a difference, allowing him to save a little something for late. I can easily make a case for the 12YO hitting the ticket here.
2 TO BEACH HIS OWN Used pretty hard last time and it cost him dearly late. With that said, he's always up close and threatening. I wouldn't key him solely in the top spot, but I sure wouldn't leave off the ticket in underneath slots. A big threat, with one solid turn of versatile speed.
3 CHEROKEE RANGER Almost paid instant dividends off that claim, and a fine effort it was! Twincreeks Jack is just razor sharp right now. His best races come in "grinding" mode and I imagine that's the plan here. Trainer: Better trip this week gets it done. Sharp right now.
4 UF FAST FEELIN Not really sure what to make of this guy right now. Last two just weren't sharp and nothing less than an A effort will win this race. Draws same post as last time, but needs a better journey. Trainer: Made nice move in last, but didn't quite finish it off. Needs bigger kick.
5 ISE THE BY BOY Kind of clogged up the outer flow last week, so that's a problem. Seems to race only one way, in rally mode, so he's at mercy of pace and trip. The post is ideal, so let's see if any hot pace develops. That would aid his closing chances.
6 WORLD PEACE 0-12 so far this year out of town. Looks like a couple of "no chance" trips recently at Saratoga. It's a long drive to New Jersey for a longshot chance, so maybe pilot will change up the strategy. Take a shot and send him! He's not going to outkick the other closers
7 DAYLYN HORIZON The last of the stone closers in here, and he's got the worst post of them. Gelding is actually on the improve of late, finding his form again, but I don't envision enough pace to set a horse up from that far back. Trainer: Starting to come back to form. Needs bit of luck.
8 WORKANDPLAYHARD 0-16 so far this year and coming off a bit of a clunker. Hung a little last time he was in position to deliver a kick. I don't think he's got much blast out speed right now, so gelding is clearly up against it. Must rate a big longshot tonight.
9 HONEYS DRAGON Ahhhhhh. A $25 winner for me last week! I don't get too many of those. Was good to see Team Iordan snapping their slump and good to see Jim Marshall back in winner's circle here. Unfortunately tonight, they get stuck with worst post. Must fire out.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 JJ FLYNN That was a very tough race to make a first seasonal start in! The 1:48.3 sparkler by Lyons Snyder. This should be a "bit more manageable." JJ is the kind of horse that jumps up with a big mile every now and then. I can make a case here at decent price.
2 PREPARTY Gelding showed his class deep in the stretch last week, surging by in the final strides. With that said, this is much, much tougher assignment. Against these, he's liable to get the sit in, save ground, and try to get lucky trip. That could earn him a check.
3 GOKUDO HANOVER I actually liked his race here a couple of weeks ago. Had to need that after missing a month. Went back to home base and endured a tough trip from a bad post. Fits this group very well and I would consider using him at the right price. Very usable here.
4 BETTOR'S EDGE What do we do with this guy? I just can't get image of that nasty break on 5/13 out of my mind. Was just cruising along and broke for no reason. "Toured" the oval last week to avoid steward's list. I expect an aggressive try here. Hopefully, no miscues.
5 ONTARIO SUCCESS Another of the big possibilities in wide open race. Freshened up with a little time off. Exits same key race as his stablemate, #1. Charged home in a sharp 25.3 and keeps Yannick in the seat. Those are ALL positives. Hard to ignore this fella.
6 JET AIRWAY A legitimate Open pacer that's been freshened up and had a very useful qualifier at Philly. This is a pretty cozy spot for connections if he's primed and ready to roll. Corey knows him well and he is clearly the one to beat if ready to go in 50 or so. Trainer: Should be okay, but may need a start off the layoff.
7 IWILLMAKEYOUSAYWOW This is not a cozy spot for Wow. Forced up in class and stuck outside the main foes. Look at the race from April 29. That's about what we're going to see tonight, unless Tyler handicaps a lack of early speed and decides to send. His call?
8 ELRAMA N From the eight hole, it's all about trip and pace for the New Zealand gelding. If things "get a little western" then he has decent rallying chances. If not, he'll pass any of the tired ones. Demand fair and square value if you fancy.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 POINTOMYGRANSON Lone three-year-old in field is making first start of year and this doesn't look like the right spot. I will pass from the pole, and watch closely for future consideration. Let's see if he keeps up with his elders. Trainer: NYSS bound. 1st start of season. Doing well.
2 JACKSRLUCKYTOO Forced back up the class ladder, but without any recent wins. Moves inside to help a bit, and he usually packs one decent move in a mile. Hoping that the favorites mix it up a little and then he can come charging. A big maybe for tonight.
3 ALEXIE MATTOSIE Never really got rolling last week, but we've often see this guy bounce back in a big way. This is the ideal spot for his best punch and now Yannick takes a turn in the seat. If he's ready to roll, he's probably the one to beat. But, we all have to guess.
4 CALVIN B Perfect trip and drive from The Bomber up at Tioga. The slingshot pocket rocket to a very nice score. Now, doing it there, and doing it here are usually two different things. Gelding has won here before, but this is tougher. Trainer: Coming off nice win. As honest as they come and gives his all. He should be okay in there.
5 GOOD DAY MATE No factor at long odds against similar bunch last week. Same boat here. Can't really recommend tonight.
6 MILLENIUM WHEEL Took full advantage of the plunge in class, but Andy was "lucky" with him too! Gelding will have to be a LOT stronger than that effort to jump up and beat these on the hike tonight. As much as I loved him last week, this isn't quite the same thing. Your call?
7 JUMBO JET N Small track specialist is taking a turn here, in just his fourth start of year. It is a class drop, but will his speed carry any further here? That is a BIG question and until I see it, I can't endorse. Let him prove it first.
8 WEGOTTATRUCKYEA Threw in a bit of a clunker last time, as the back of pack and outer flow never really got rolling. Trainer calls him an improving sort and I agree. Unfortunately, tonight, he looks buried from this post, since he doesn't leave. At mercy of pace and trip again.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 FAT MANS ALLEY Never really got into the race two weeks ago against War N Munn. That foe came back with sharp effort last week. This is a serious drop in class. It's a move inside to pole position. I guess if the Fat Man was going to wake up, this would be the spot!
2 MR JULIAN Didn't utilize his speed last week, but every once in a while you have to do that from a bad post. Totally different situation tonight. The pole sitter is a slow starter and Merton will be firing out. Any kind of smooth journey increases his upset chances. Wide open race!
3 JETSKI LOUIE Well-traveled gelding invades for Billy Mann, who also picked up some catch drives tonight. This is ideal spot for the 5YO, who's been burning betting money of late. I know he's 0-12 this year, but somebody has to step up and win this. Could be Louie!
4 GREYSTONE CASH Ships up for a big track try and there's not much on view to recommend. I will have to pass in this spot
5 WILD SHOT HANOVER Barn just hasn't had much luck here, but that will change eventually and this could be the spot. Andy knows him now. The post is a LOT better. Will try to get the jump on #7,8 and I think he can. Only needs to finish it off just a tad better. Upset shot!
6 DENVER DOLLY It's been a while since this 9YO was in position to have a shot. It came at a similar level down at Freehold. I can't promise that he's ready to pace in 53 or 54, but that's what it's going to take. Not much early zip, so probably at mercy of pace and trip.
7 VICTORY AT LAST Gets tabbed as the fave, simply because he paced much faster than most of these last week. Dave M not here, so Yannick gets penciled in to a live catch drive. No doubt he'll be pointing gelding towards the lead. Clearly the one to catch and beat.
8 THISGUYSAROCKSTAR Not exactly on fire lately in New York at Yonkers or Monti. But, he was clearly tackling much stronger foes. Will he be any better here on the big track? I can't answer that right now. Have to see one first. Scotty Z will have to "invent" some speed.
9 PRANA Actually enjoyed a pretty smooth trip last week from Joe B and simply hung the entire length of the stretch. Victor Kirby takes the task of trying to "motivate" the 9YO and I'll simply wish him luck from way out here. Not an easy task.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-4-10
H Horse Comment
1 LOVE TAP HANOVER Gelding is 0-9 so far this year, but best tries came at a level like this. Gets a nice, cozy post and Tyler hops aboard again. Certainly has the speed to protect the inside post. I can make a positive case at a fairly square price. Chance to end skid.
2 HEY DALI Woke up in a BIG way last time down at home base, and the tote board told the story! I imagine if he's that good again, he fits with these. Barn doesn't ship to waste toll and gas money. Let's see if he takes betting action, and use if he does. Your call?
3 MISTER TRUTH Just 1-17 this year, so that doesn't inspire much confidence, but his best recent races came at this level. Kirby takes a turn with a versatile sort and it's his job to get the gelding a smooth trip. Not completely out of the question in wide open race.
4 LAST DRAGON Squeezes in for the condition by $75, and that's okay. Makes for a better race anyway and full field. Yannick gave him every chance last week, rolling along at a strong clip. Trainer: Getting better and better. The late scratch last week had him really wound up before the start. Just got tired at end with big fractions. Good post tonight, plus Yannick.
5 CAMTURO BEACH What do we do with this guy? Was beyond belief good in that little claiming series. Got claimed in the final and has been MIA for three weeks. Right back in for the $10K tag, so that's very mixed signals. Might try against. Trainer: Missed a few weeks.
6 MOONLIGHT RANSOM Been just fair at this level lately. At least the starting slot is better. Still a longshot in my eyes. Trainer: Training well and has been showing signs of regaining his back class and form.
7 ALWAYS A DIAMOND Recent form is flat out dull, so in need of big wakeup call on class drop. Is it coming? I'm going to say no.
8 VICTORYDAZE WILWIN Got off the yearlong schneid with a gutsy and grinding professional win last week. Now, it's up in class and a switch to a much tougher post. That's not usually a recipe for success. Hoping for hot pace, or some sort of mayhem to set up the closers.
9 TOTALLY DREAMY Another Saratoga shipper with a lot to prove over the mile track right now. At least this guy shows some early speed, and a win here last year in 52. If he's ready to deliver that kind of effort, he could threaten at a huge price. Usable in gimmicks.
10 TWINCREEKS JACK Absolutely razor sharp right now, and reclaimed by Nick Surick. That's always a positive angle. Last time he faced Camturo at this level, he fired out and chased in vain. I have a feeling it might be different tonight. Still has to gun out, for any chance.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-7-9
H Horse Comment
1 THAT'S MY HARLEY Maryland invader gets huge post relief and sure finds the right spot to take a shot here. Billy Mann probably knows the horse and his speed. There are no "killers" in here, so he's got as good a chance as any. Won in 53 last year. That would win this.
2 SUPER S YZERMAN Barn snapped the year-long drought last weekend with a nice win. This horse certainly doesn't look sharp right now, but it's a pretty big class drop. If he were to be primed and ready for tonight, he certainly fits too! Absolutely wide open race.
3 TOSSIES FLASH It's usually all about the stamina for this gelding. We can't question his early speed, because it's good. But, we can question that finishing ability. Sometimes, races like this become "no passing zones." That would definitely aid the cause.
4 RUSTY TANK Not a lot of positive in Tank's recent races. 12YO warhorse has back class, but it was a long time ago. Eric A gets the call, and knows the horse. The post relief alone should give him a much better chance. If he were to be ready for more, he could threaten in here.
5 DEBT OF HONOR Gets the extremely "lukewarm" call as morning line fave, simply because Corey is driving and he comes off a much improved effort at odds of 39-1. Will be nowhere near the price now, and it's still a 1-20 slate this year staring at you. Your call?
6 BOLDER Not exactly delivering any knockout punches of late at this level. First time Andy aboard now and I've seen him work miracles before. IF you think that can happen, make sure you get a fair price. Long time since hit board. Trainer: Taking longer to round into form than expected.
7 SIZZ MATTY Yes, that's 0-33 over last two years, but I must note his subtle improvement since arriving at Club Med. Rallied willingly in 56 two back. Went a little faster last week, coming home in 28 flat. Trainer: A puzzle this year. Paced in 53 last year at Dover. Showed more pace and desire in both Med races. Expect him to race well and be close if he's more in play this week.
8 OK GALAHAD What got into this horse last time? A 17-length blowout win. BUT, it was three weeks ago! Where's he been since? Recovering from the effort. Barn has raced here each of the last several weekends. They could have brought this guy. Is he ready for big mile???
9 SOME POWER I actually thought he had a shot two weeks ago, but couldn't sustain the grind. Not exactly "rewarded" with the move to this post. I do see that he left in 28 in the Freehold qualifier. He won't be winning from last, so take a shot, Rick! Send him!
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 POWDER KEG Talk about a Monti money burner! How bout those last two, at 1-2 and 3-5! I just about guarantee a bigger price here, but the Corey fans might send it in. Couple of two-week gaps between start isn't inspiring. Very mixed feelings about this fella tonight.
2 STORMIN RUSTLER 13YO shows up each and every week, delivering decent tries. The tough trip didn't help chances last week, and he gets another new driver tonight in Kirby. Versatile enough to do it either way. I don't think I could leave off the ticket entirely.
3 LIGHTNING STRIKE Kyle listed on ONE drive tonight. If he shows up for this one, he's well-meant! Lost a heartbreaker photo to #6 last week and we're going to see same effort here. Probably the one to beat if he can steal a fraction or two. Revenge time on Walks Of Life!
4 ROCK THE OFFICIAL If you want a live option other than #3,6, this is probably it. Decent rally behind uncatchable winner in Jack last time. That would be good enough, especially if the pace up front is hot. Post is ideal for a closer of his type. Only knock is 1-17 record this year.
5 TOP OFFICIAL Backed through the field at odds of 85-1 last week. Would be hard to recommend now.
6 WALKS OF LIFE The classic "bridesmaid" type stuck his head in front to a rare win upon arrival. Snapped skid for barn too! Let's give Andy credit for the proper motivation. With that said, if you didn't get the 6-1 then, I can't advise you to take 3-1 or lesser now. It's up to you.
7 BRIGHTON BAY ONE See how barn's other starter did in the 10th. If that fella raced well, maybe we can make a case for this guy. 11YO must prove that he can pace fast enough, but maybe he can. I've seen stranger things in races like this.
8 ELLE'S BOY That was a rough trip in debut here, but I'm still going to rate this 10YO a longshot. Biggest problem here is the bad post.
9 TYRON MY GIGOLO Found a bit more stamina in second local try. Picked off some of the tired ones, but was definitely going forward at the end, unlike first try here. With that said, it's his worst post in a long time. Jimmy will have to find a way to get into this one. Not easy.
10 FLY'N WITH ROYALTY The last of the longshots, after squandering a fairly good trip with Yannick last week. Now it's post 10 and a likely impossible trip coming. Not my type.