Handicapping

Race Reviews

  • Week Of 4/24 - 4/30
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Track Handicapper Dave Little Bio

 

 Dave Little began a fascination with harness racing while formatting Monticello results at the Bergen Record in 1980, his first of three stops in the newspaper business.

Little got his start as a public handicapper when he joined the race desk at the New York Post in 1986 before moving on to the New York Daily News in 1991, where he began a 24-year run as harness and thoroughbred handicapper, columnist and racing editor.

Little's wife, Debbie, is currently the harness racing handicapper at the Post. They've been married since 1989.

 

 

RACE REVIEWS by Dave Little


 

 

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment makes every  effort to post Race Reviews 48 hours before scheduled post time.  

Race Reviews For Friday, April 29, 2016

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 ARNOLD Career debut wasn't all that notable, bit he did cash a check in that race and may show more here and down the road.
2 THE DISRUPTOR Showed some speed in his April 23 qualifier before wilting to fifth, habitual breaker did stay flat, though.
3 JIMMY WILLIAM Takter trainee scored in his qualifier in 1:58.1, finds soft spot for seasonal debut and will take money. Trainer: This is a very nice horse that is still in the learning stage and I don't think he is ready to go much better than 1:56 right now.
4 TYSON Smedshammer student cashed checks in all minor stakes starts last year and was a dominant winner in a fast qualifier. Trainer: Qualified well, but I usually go twice with them so he might need a start before he's ready.
5 WORK THAT MAGIC Much work to do given the fact she's gone off stride in 3 of 4 career outings, may take to the mile track.
6 COLONEL CANTAB Shows a pair of respectable qualifiers for Staffan Lind, who has plenty of good stock under his watch.
7 ALL NIGHT CREDIT Not much to recommend off a well-beaten eighth at odds of 93-1 in first start of the year.
8 STICK OF BUTTER Mark Ford trainee was way back throughout but showed promise with :27.3 final quarter in 2016 debut.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 8-6-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 SCARED TO DRIVE Has a lot of improving to do based on her qualifier, a nine-horse, ninth-place finish, beaten 20¾ lengths.
2 TONIGHTIMLOVINGYOU Not particularly close in her “Q”, but did finish her mile in a respectable 1:56 for Takter.
3 SKEEBALL Shows a pair of decent tries in the Weiss Series at Pocono Downs, has nine on-the-board finishes in 17 lifetime starts. Trainer: Has some good tactical speed and had a good week.
4 LL JACKPOT Dull efforts in four straight heading into this, may need to find another circuit so that she can be competitive.
5 BEAUTY WITH A BEAT Win two back in 1:55.3 stamps this one as a contender, but would benefit from a driver change for this.
6 HEELS ON THE BEACH Team Remmen trainee showed more with Lasix added in “Q” in which she went 1:54.2, gets Scott Zeron. Trainer: Should be very competitive after the two qualifiers.
7 A LIST HANOVER Another filly who is not in particularly deep yet still appears overmatched, never close in April 23 qualifier.
8 PENPAL Raced with some serious stock a year ago, second qualifier was sharp 1:53.2 clocking, can she overcome this post? Trainer: I expect her to race well.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 MODERN MERCURY Pocono invader almost went all the way in similar spot two but broke stride in last, exotic chance.
2 MOLON LAVE Has been on the improve since finishing seventh here on April 1, another who could sneak into the trifecta.
3 DAZZLING DOLLARS Second best on “Night of Champions” at Yonkers in September but has yet to qualify effectively this year.
4 SUN CATCHER Has yet to display anything exceptional on his card since December 9 win but could improve going two turns.
5 HONOR ABOVE ALL Takter trainee rallied well, came close in last as part of 1-5 entry, figures to make amends in this spot. Trainer: Raced very well in his last start, has talent, but in the past has not been the most honest horse.
6 MUSCLES ON FIRE Came here after slow win at Philadelphia, raced well for second, completing his mile in quick 1:56, consider.
7 WHATAWORKOUT Prolific pair of Pompano practice outings put this one in the mix, $155,000 purchase has huge potential. Trainer: This is a very talented colt that we are excited to get going this year, we shipped the stable up from Florida on the 19th, this horse shipped well and trained Tuesday morning, we are looking for a good start to get the year off on the right foot, Scott has driven before and gets along well with him.
8 MASSIVE CLOUT Obvious contender was a determined winner in last from post eight taking plenty of money (2-1), again?
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 URIEL Doled out plenty of punishment to his foes during two-race win streak at Pocono, sharp sort keeps on rolling shipping in.
2 WARRAWEE PREFERRED Pummeled weaker by 5¾ lengths in last but was subpar when facing this kind three and four back.
3 NATURAL KEMP 10-hole start is a throw out line, prior two at this level were good, keep in mind when playing Superfectas.
4 STITCH IN TIME Another in this field who has competitive lines with this kind on his card, showed speed in last, consider.
5 BELL A CHICK Has had a tough go of it with the NW$5,000 types in last two, no doubt needs return to the NW$3,500 class.
6 WINNING WIZARD Team Burke trainee drops in class again, in good spot, looks like the primary foe for Uriel, Gingras drives. Trainer: Having some trouble with his gait but has the talent to win.
7 FASHION CREDITOR Earned $136,380 a year ago and finished a better-than-respectable fourth with two notches better in last. Trainer: Finds a good spot tonight, trained well.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 9-5-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 LEXUS ARTIST Finished second at Saratoga, his best line in a long time, in last, but this spot may prove a bit too difficult for her. Trainer: Trained well.
2 K J'S CAROLINE Not close at 88-1 facing this kind in last, seems overmatched and may need a trip to the Catskills to grab a win.
3 FULL EXPLOSION Displayed some signs of talent in 3 straight starts until dull effort at 85-1 in last, Freehold shipper is in tough. Trainer: Mare is much better on a big track and the driver change can't hurt.
4 KITTI PLACE Shows a pair of decent attempts at this level in recent history but last two indicate a form cycle on the decline.
5 M A JACKIE Rarely takes money but this 12-year-old, just a month ago a $4,000 claimer, has proven she can go with these.
6 ST LADS MORGAN Off tough-trip fifth at Freehold, faced clearly better in prior four at Yonkers, could awaken in this spot. Trainer: Big mare should like the big track.
7 MOJARRA HANOVER Faced classier foes at Yonkers in four straight starts before coming here for this, should be in the mix. Trainer: I've been happy with the way she's been racing in her last two starts, she had a good week.
8 GIMMESOMEROOM Veteran swung four-wide on the way to beating these on April 8, needs the perfect pace scenario. Trainer: Needs a good trip.
9 ROYAL ENGAGEMENT Lounsbury trainee has been nothing short of superb in three straight starts, leads at every call? Trainer: Draws poorly again but should be tough.
10 FASHION ROCKER Knocked heads with Royal Engagement in last three and more than held her own, 10 hole the lone knock. Trainer: Even effort last start, don't love the post but I expect a big effort.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 SASSA HANOVER This one from Burke has needed class relief and gets it, off a speed try and may head for the top once again.
2 GIRLOFYOURDREAMS Did not show much upon arrival from Dover when facing this type, needs to drop down a notch.
3 SANDBETWEENURTOES Garnered little respect when 8-1, but that was with better, this is easier than what she beat two back.
4 SAGE N Did not display the type of improvement expected when dropped in class to this level and Lasix was added in last.
5 BETTOR BE STEPPIN Uncompetitive with the open handicap types in first start of the season, should show more with these.
6 SHEEZA SHARK N Explosive stretch performances in two straight were of the eye-popping variety, wins another for Harder. Trainer: Still seems sharp after scheduled week off.
7 STACIA HANOVER Faced big stock last year and is in tough for first start of 2016 but could prove ready for this for Steve Elliott. Trainer: Had two solid qualifiers and should be ready to roll.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 WAITING ON A WOMAN Can be forgiven for recent subpar finishes having faced some of the best horses in North America.
2 POSSESSED FASHION Performed well in two straight at Pocono Downs and could carry that momentum into tonight's mile.
3 UVA HANOVER Tightened up in fourth-place finish with similar in last after two months on the shelf, dangerous foe. Trainer: He needed the race last week.
4 YOU ROCK MY WORLD Seeks his third straight win and fourth in his last five starts but his lack of class is a red flag.
5 DANISH DURANGO Bumped up, finished third in solid effort at 13-1, has the best chance of those who figure to be a price.
6 ROCK OF CASHEL Beaten by archrival B Yoyo in two straight, draws a better post than that one once again, gets revenge? Trainer: Racing great, expect more of the same.
7 BUEN CAMINO Had a big year in 2015 racing in New York but his season debut indicates he needs another race or two.
8 BOURBON BAY Big effort when fourth facing NW$25,750 at Yonkers tells me this one could be best in here, missed week hurts.
9 B YOYO One of the better upper-conditioned level Big M trotters may find this post and his lack of speed tough to overcome. Trainer: Back in the class where he has had solid efforts.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 INITTOWINAFORTUNE Has cashed some checks racing with tougher at Yonkers in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series.
2 REQUEST FOR PAROLE Tripped out shipping in from the Blue Chip but only managed a fourth-place finish, needs another?
3 EMPRESS DEO Sharp sort has done good things lately at both Philadelphia and Dover and could bolster the exotic payouts.
4 TABLE TALK Curiously took the money, led to the stretch before wilting to third in last, can last this time with Tetrick driving. Trainer: Needed last week's Meadowlands tightener, trained sharply this week.
5 LOVINEVERYMINUTE Was not up for the task of competing with these when 25-1, return to Yonkers could be just the thing.
6 DIVINE CAROLINE Solid second-place finish came after a tough first-over trip, stakes-type mare is ready to score now. Trainer: Raced well last start and is rounding into form.
7 KATIE SAID Tipped off perfect cover to take season debut in 1:50.4, figures to work out another smooth journey. Trainer: Super in last start, if the race sets up for her, she can pace a very fast last quarter.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 MESMERIZED Don't consider 10 hole start in last, tried hard in start prior before wilting, now drops for Johnson-Bongiorno. Trainer: Draws well after a little break.
2 ICE O LATE Has gone off stride in two straight Meadowlands starts, needs a flat mile before getting serious consideration.
3 SHEER FLEX Might have been 30-1 in last but almost took better all the way, drops in class and is a big threat with these.
4 DREAMS OF THUNDER Has faced tougher and performed somewhat capably of late, class drop should wake this one up.
5 LUCKY MASS Takes the obligatory bump up after winning two straight in impressive fashion but faces some tough customers.
6 HYWAY MARCUS Burke-Gingras charge has faced far better in all outings this year, may come back from his layoff refreshed.
7 SWEET JUSTICE No stranger to racing at this level, beat one-notch below this from the nine hole as the favorite in last.
8 RULES OF THE ROAD Failed to cash a check in either 2016 start but was nowhere near terrible, those were against far better. Trainer: Trained well this week and should be getting sharper.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 KEENAN Flew down the pike in last after taking plenty of money (2-1), in perfect spot for a repeat performance. Trainer: Came out of last week's race well, he never trains between weekly races, feels good out in the paddock and has been jogging well, much more concerned about my driver than my horse.
2 TROTALOT Figures once again to try his luck tracking Keenan every step of the way, finished third doing that last week.
3 FEISTY LOVE Blew his opponents away by 6½ lengths coming from off the pace, in the capable hands of Roy Marohn. Trainer: Raced giant last week, draws well, hoping for luck.
4 MICHAEL'S WILD BOY Came into last with all kinds of class and was a major bummer, finishing fifth at 5-2, rebounds?
5 WOODY Rallied for second to Feisty Love in solid try, not a prolific winner but has been paying his way in these amateur events.
6 CELEBRITY STIMULUS Uncompetitive in three straight outings, this one is tough to give much respect to given how he's going.
7 I'M FABULOUS Came up just a neck short to Keenan when sent to the gate as the even-money choice, obvious chance.
8 NAUTILUS DE VIE Rallied while three wide to get third in last at 55-1, longshot is worth using when calling out numbers.
9 MASS APPEAL Finished far back in two straight and draws a bad post, a lot would have to happen for this one to be close.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 BALLINEEN Flexed her class muscles to beat two notches weaker than this as the favorite but is in very tough tonight.
2 MISS DEFIANCE Has performed well in four straight starts, could hit the ticket but does appear to be in a winning spot.
3 KELLI RACHELLE Fourth or closer in three straight, all with better, paced her mile in last in 1:50.3, should work out the right trip.
4 PURITY Not close in four straight but takes precipitous drop in class and figures to awaken for the Fusco barn.
5 JERSEYLICIOUS Displayed big speed, then wilted against Sheeza Shark, who would be 2/5 in this field, may lead at every call.
6 BETTOR CHILL OUT Only sharp line in recent history was a good-looking win with lesser, but faces tough task in here.
7 BODACIOUS BECKY Failed at Vernon in what was far softer spot, but faced good Pompano foes in three prior outings.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 GLIDING BOY Hasn't accomplished much since dropping to this level three back, may need a trip to Monticello to compete.
2 MEADOWBRANCH WENDY Did not go best of trips, ended up fourth in big try with better foes, this looks like the spot. Trainer: First-up trip last week didn't suit her well, finally draws inside and drops in class. Hopefully, Brett can find live cover.
3 NAUGHTY NOT NICE First start of the year was a good-looking fourth, comes right back facing the same kind, chance.
4 COMMENTARY Went off stride in last when facing better, crushed the type he faces tonight in the start prior from post nine. Trainer: Got mad and broke, you can only grab into him so much and it was too much.
5 THE WAY I AM Difficult to get behind this one, not close in five straight, not first or second in at least nine straight.
6 PARIS PRINCESS N Needs to do quite a bit of improving to be close but might show more dropping to the bottom class.
7 TOO MUCH HANOVER Sent to the gate at odds of at least 40-1 in two straight and did little, needs to find softer field.
8 IMA GOLD DIGGER N Performed capably in four straight, has enough speed to grab a good spot early with Bongiorno.
9 JIMMER Current form says yes but post position says no, tightens up tonight and wins next week at a price?