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Race Reviews

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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, March 17, 2018

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-9-7
H Horse Comment
1 MAJESTIC SUNSET Simply showing too many breaks for my liking right now. Looks like a pass on the pole.
2 IRON DOME After a couple of difficult spots, this looks a lot more reasonable for the Dome! Should be close enough to the Rose to have a shot when they turn for home. Chance at the upset if he kicks back good tonight.
3 MOTOWN JACKPOT Down from the Spa with some good-looking lines in the comebackers. Has the pedigree to handle the mile track, so let's see what he's made of! Wasn't bad when last seen here. Chance to hit the ticket.
4 PRICELESSPOSSESION Liked her first start back, and then not-so-much her second. If anything, this should be most potent try, third off the layoff, but you never know. Has to bounce back with more stamina. Not sure about that.
5 OSVALDO BLUE CHIP Also shows the speed and fade type lines last few. That's simply not good enough to get it done here. Midpack post is ideal, but maybe it'll be back to the closing mode. Seemed to do better that way.
6 MISSLAROSE Completely dominated that last one, coasting along on the lead. It might be a touch harder to get there tonight, but I would have a tough time playing against her right now. Confidence is swelling. She's pretty good!
7 CHAPTER TOO Mare came storming home last time to post the mini-upset. Outkicked one of the faves to do it too! I can't guarantee this race will set up for a closer, but if it does, she's the one to fear. Stuck with another outside post.
8 ACES AND EIGHTS Still working on his game trying to stay trotting. Gets toughest post in a while and I don't see him leaving. Likely at mercy of both pace and trip and it might not work out tonight. Let's watch another one. Trainer: If he stays trotting, he should be good. Had a good week.
9 THE LAST CHAPTER Might be the key to the race! Why? Because he does have speed. That was a pretty good try against Rose off the layoff last week. If anything, he should be stronger. Have to hope the trip will be smooth.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 RODEO ROMEO Andy Mac opted here over #4, so that's a little vote of confidence. That was super aggressive drive by Nap last week, popping the pocket to attack. Should be fully raced back into shape by now. Possible upsetter?
2 ARTFUL WAY Rounded into form nicely up at home base. Connections take a shot and send him here, knowing he won't get stuck with a terrible post. Is he this good? I don't know. His mark was taken on 7/8 at Vernon. He's fast.
3 MIKE'S Z TAM First start back here and Mike is probably going to need a few. Trying to make that difficult transition from 3YO stakes horse to the Free-For-All ranks. It ain't easy, folks. Let's watch a few first.
4 ARCHANGEL THREE Freshened up by the Burke Brigade, and that's been their pattern with many horses lately. With that said, his qualifier was pretty good, but I would have preferred to see one more. This will be his second qualifier.
5 WESTERN JOE Joe got a much deserved week off, after a race that didn't figure to set up for him. No worries! This is completely different. Expect Jimmy to be aggressive in this spot and fire out. That's only way to stay close to Edge.
6 BETTOR'S EDGE If you would have told me that this guy would win last week coming from last, I would have laughed at you! But, he did! Tonight, it'll be back to the speed, folks. The one to catch. Let's see if he can hold on.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-4-2
H Horse Comment
1 SANTIAGO STYLE Kind of got buried inside last time and made a surprising break late. I'm willing to forgive that, because it did look like he was going forward. That would have been step in right direction. Is he ready now?
2 SPAGHETTI EDDIE Definitely a threat here, if he can get a better trip than last time. That was disaster, so just forget about it. Post relief. Out of claimers. Could be the biggest threat to likely pacesetter #8. Not easy to leave out.
3 ROOSTER RABBIT Down from Monti and into our mid-range class. Simply put, is he quick enough for this? I'm going to lean towards no, until he proves otherwise. Not sure about that.
4 NORTHERN VIRGIN Firing back on short rest here, after finishing a decent third at Yonkers on Tuesday from post seven. He's "eligible at time of entry." He's also had a few good miles here in past. Going well for new barn.
5 HOPE FOR BADLANDS If they manage to mix it up a little on the lead, this could be the winner. We all know he does best work from off the pace. Post is okay. So, it's all about pace and trip for the Badboy! He needs a hot pace.
6 FOX VALLEY HERBIE Has worked his way down the class ladder. Did a fairly good job of keeping up from the rail last time. Tonight's problem is the post. Moves to the six slot and figures to get away at the back. Needs a little luck now.
7 VICTORY AT LAST Back up the Turnpike from Freehold and probably back in too tough. Looks like a longshot.
8 LODI MACHETTE MAN Sports three straight solid races since showing up at Club Med. That first time was very good, against a bias. No doubt what Andy's plan will be, and I figure they'll be tough to catch if left alone. That's the key. Trainer: Has been racing well. Looks to be well-placed in there.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-5-10
H Horse Comment
1 WORKANDPLAYHARD Gelding is actually pretty good right now! I am a bit surprised by the drop in price here. I would imagine somebody would be interested for that tag. Will have to fight off #3,10, but can do it with a trip.
2 MCCITO Not really sure about his current form, but I do recognize the post relief here. I think it's been a long time since he did any good here, but that can always happen. Let's see if he's a true fit at this level or not.
3 JOJO JOVE Liked him last time and he had a pretty tough, grinding trip. Still fought on willingly, which always catches my eye. If you bet him last week, there's no reason not to try again. The price might even be better tonight.
4 DANISH DILIGENCE Hasn't done much since that shocking sweep of the field. Still a longshot, in my opinion.
5 MASTER OF PUPPETS Seems a little overdue to get lucky and win one of these. He owns one solid move in mile, but timing and trip are critical. If they somehow mix it up early, you can watch for this guy late. He'll be coming!
6 ZAMPARA Down from Canada and into new barn. Missed some time since last race, so that is concern. I have a feeling he just might need this one to acclimate, so I'll take the wait-and-see approach. Likely waits for the flow.
7 TERROR OF THE NITE Never really had a chance in that last one, stuck in dull flow. Wasn't exactly great in start before that. It might be time to go back to the speed with this fella. Expect it. And let's see if he's any better.
8 GLASS PRINCE Ordinarily, I might like him in spot like this, but tonight, I'm not so sure. He's a one-way closer, and this field has several of them. He's got the worst post. Not sure he can fly by them from way back in the pack. Trainer: Needs a hot pace up front to pull his trainer around the track. His last win came in this class. Will need some luck.
9 THE FIRE WITHIN Probably in need of a drop back to the bottom level class. This looks a little too tough.
10 DRUNKEN TERROR Obviously the key to the race. Last go was best I've ever seen from this guy. Change of tactics with that blast to the front. New driver tonight, with Nap not here, so let's see if it works out same way. Post 10.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 BERING SEA HANOVER Has that race under his belt on the comeback trail. Have to believe he'll be tighter and ready for this. That's been the pattern for this barn lately. Gets a drop, the rail and Andy Mac! What more do you need?
2 BARIMAH A Figured to "need" that first go back here. Merely towed along and kept up okay. Eventually, he'll probably win at a level like this, but I'm opting for not tonight. I could be wrong, however. Be careful.
3 KINGS BARNS Coming out of some very tough races in those claimers. Just throw out the race from Yonkers. Last time he was in good spot like this, he raced very well. I give him huge chance tonight with that grinding trip.
4 NOCTURNAL BLUE CHIP Seems to have raced back into decent shape. Andy's been sending him out of there and he still finishes okay. One night soon, he'll probably get lucky and win one of these. Price might be shorter tonight. Trainer: Been knocking at the door. Working on getting that W!
5 MORE DRAGON We've all seen his act here before, and this is exactly the level where he can do some damage. No, I don't like to see those breaks, but they were at Yonkers. He tends to be more reliable here. Another with big chance.
6 ALTA LEROY N Ordinarily, you would think this is big class drop, but in reality, it's not. Leroy usually needs a few things to go his way to win one. I'm not sure I see it working out tonight. Demand value if you fancy.
7 I LIKE DREAMIN Like #1, he's got that one race under his belt. No problem. Most of the time, this would be the spot to give him a bigger chance, but I don't know about coming from last. That's where I see him coming from.
8 EVER AGAIN Yes, he won last week, as the 'International Good Thing," The trip worked out perfectly, however. He's the one stepping UP in class tonight and that could be an issue. I'm just anxious to see if he leaves or not. Key to race.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 FEARLESS LEADER N Freshened up a couple of months. Has two starts under his belt now, and it might be time to take a shot now. Draws rail. Gets Andy Mac. Meets some questionable foes. I'd have to think he has big shot.
2 ROCK POWER Liked him a little last week and he raced okay, but not great. That race was won in blowout by pocket-sitter. This race figures to go a little differently. He definitely is a fit at this level, and only needs a smooth trip.
3 TWINCREEKS JESSE One of three tonight that raced at Yonkers on Tuesday. I'm not usually a fan of the short rest thing. Gelding has been up and down the class ladder lately, with just one win this year. Demand value if you like.
4 HOME JAMES Another one that has to be about due to show more. Should be sufficiently raced back into shape. Been stuck in some tough spots. This is not one of them. Drew well and should sit up close. Time for more, please.
5 GOLD STAR ROGER Very interesting claim here. I'm hoping Mr. Lounsbury tells us about him on "In The Sulky" tonight. I want to listen! I can't predict total turnarounds, but ya never know in a race like this. Your call?
6 QUALITY BUD Doesn't win very often, but does sneak into the gimmicks at times. This is that kind of race. It's all about pace and trip for him, however. Needs both to go his way.
7 ENERGY SHAKES Tough to get a real read on his form at the moment. He was very good in that win a while back. Stepped up and found the waters a little too deep after that. This is no easy spot, but it's lesser field. Time for more!
8 GIVEN UP TERROR Chased the uncatchable Walks of Life down at Freehold, so that wasn't a bad start. Prior efforts here weren't very good, but they came against tougher fields. Is it wakeup call time here? I wish I knew.
9 FOREVER WORTH IT Another NY shipper that lands into a difficult situation. I hate the post and just don't feel he's up to the task anyway. A pass for me.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 NATIONAL SEELSTER Off the layoff here, with just one qualifier under his belt. I usually prefer to see two, but this could easily serve as a follow-up. Drew the rail, so seems destined for a sit-in kind of trip. I'll wait for later on.
2 ARTSMAH Went a BIG mile last week! Kind of eye-catching too! Begins the ascent back up the class ladder now, but sharp horses are always tough. Gets post relief and keeps Pants in the bike. That's significant choice here.
3 LATE NIGHT JOKE Same boat as #1. So far, the pattern for this barn is that they've needed a start first. No worries. I'm willing to wait, and will be watching closely for future consideration.
4 JACKSRLUCKYTOO Got bet off the board last week for some reason and never really got into the fray. This will be different. Better post. Somewhat softer spot. If #6 comes up a little short, this is the one that can go by. Your call?
5 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY Raced pretty well last week, in a spot where he definitely had a shot. Did get a little tired late, but battled most of the way. That's not bad. Gets a new driver here, with Pants sticking to #2. Chance to follow Jack.
6 SUNFIRE BLUE CHIP Easily the key to the race. Owns a pretty good class edge on most of these, and unlike #1,3, he had TWO qualifiers. Last one was solid too! Held off two legitimate Free-For-Allers. I think he's ready! Bet! Trainer: Happy with his qualifier. Should be a factor in here.
7 QUALITY CLOSER Not having much luck at the moment, and trust me, he's better than that form shows. A live drive here for Victor if he can get the gelding into the game. That won't be easy from this post, however.
8 MEETYOUATMIDNIGHT Another racing very well right now, but without a win to show for it. He loses that key inside post, so Andy will have to send him out of there. Let's see if he can get past #6 early. That won't be easy.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 7-9-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 STARZNHEAVEN I can still remember that sparkling win from early February. He's been stuck in some real tough spots since, both here and at Dover. McCarthy had choice and took the partner. They're both buried in bad posts.
1A VORACITY This was Andy Mac's choice and it's significant. Horse shows only one qualifier, but it was a good one chasing All Bets Off. BUT, is he ready? It's post 10. It's a field full of speed. If price is short, do we swing against?
2 THEREISAPACEFORUS BIG mile last week to beat up on lesser on a big night for the barn! Also proved he definitely could handle the mile track. Gets the rail here and should be in prime stalking spot. Is he good enough to handle hike?
3 SAMS TRIPLE CROWN Sam has been victimized by some bad posts and slow starts lately. Tonight, the excuse might be the step up in class. This is a pretty salty bunch and nothing less than his best will get him close. A price.
4 MAJOR WAR Actually got a check in a race where he was overmatched. That's a good thing! Same situation here. He looks buried, so Eric A will just try to get him a good trip and fight for minor share. Trainer: Been off a couple of weeks. Probably going to need a tightener.
5 BRUCE'S MAGIC Bruce had a no chance trip down at Freehold. He actually seems stuck in pretty tough here as well. Usually does his best work at a level lower than this. I have to take the negative view for tonight.
6 GRIFFON HANOVER Barn hinted that he would be ready last week, with the trainer comment. He was right! Nice trip and drive from Marcus too! He's not here tonight, so Andy takes a turn. Takes big step up. Very tough call.
7 PONYTA BOY Game gelding finds his way back to NJ and opted for this spot, instead of another Monti race. He races well here too! My only knock is the post. To have any shot, he HAS to leave in here. Could be hot pace coming.
8 ENDEAVOR I really don't know what to do with this guy tonight. Pat hinted that he had tailed off. Last start was not a good one. BUT, this is big-time class relief. If you think he'll wake back up, go ahead and bet! Trainer: Was sick last week. Gets a class drop and should be good.
9 DURANT Remains razor sharp, folks! It took a BIG mile to beat him last time, in under 1:50. I'll be listening when Bob talks about him on "In The Sulky." This has been a very good claim for him. Now in for the $50K tag. No takers.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 MAAJAACKKOBE Takes yet another drop here, so it's getting to be now or never time. Drew the pole, which should aid his speed. Looks like the one to catch, and the one to beat tonight. Won't offer much price, however.
2 SPORTY REDHOT Freshened up by barn and came back with a typical "tour" of the oval. No problem. It wasn't a very good effort, but don't be shocked if he wakes back up a lot better tonight. I expect a return to form very soon.
3 BUPA BRUISIER Very interesting claim here. Pants put a good trip on him last week, but horse had no serious kick. He's out of claimers now, but this is no easy spot. Guess I'd like to see more before I invested at the windows.
4 STRATOCASTER Also firing back on the short rest. Had the eight-hole Tuesday at Yonkers, so let's not hold that against him. Simply put, is he ready yet? I'm not so sure. Also don't like the short rest thing. Must prove me wrong.
5 MR CENSI Down from Canada for the top barn up there. Burned a bit of cash as the fave in last two. How will that form transition to here? I don't know. It might be time to give him one from off the pace too! We'll see about that.
6 WHATAORSE Been rolling along with even efforts down at Freehold lately. Some good, some not that great. He has won here before and this might be ideal spot to use him. I think the price will be big. In live flow, he has a shot.
7 DR C'S Z TAM Hasn't done much since that claim and I can't guarantee this class drop will be enough. Your call? Trainer: Have had no luck so far. We're hoping for the luck of the Irish!
8 DAVID'S DREAM Got rolling from a little too far back last week and could be stuck in same situation. It is ALL about pace and trip for this fella, so I wouldn't advise taking low odds again from this post. Demand value if you fancy.
9 PREPPY ART "Toured" the oval from post 10 in just second start for new barn. He probably needed the race after the scratch anyway. Unfortunately, gets stuck with worst post again. But, he's also dropping. Could be live tonight.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 JEREME'S GENERAL Didn't show a whole lot in that first try here, but it did come from an outside post. This is the rail, but there's no class relief. Still has to prove he can hack it here, and I need to see it first.
2 DOREL Should be raced back into shape by now, and I will point out his prior success here. Andy Mac had a choice, and opted here over #5, so that's significant. I'm guessing we're going to see a very "live" Dorel tonight from pp2.
3 RATHER SWELL Got shuffled a little last week, so let's not be too hard on him. Definitely has proven he belongs here. I suspect the price in here will still be good and if he gets to follow #2, watch out! A chance to upset the applecart. Trainer: Raced okay last week. Just no room till too late.
4 MISTER TRUTH Doesn't win all that often, but does sneak into the gimmicks a lot. Chased a standout performance last week, and I will add a few points if that foe did well on the class hike. It's all about the trip. Will he blast again? Trainer: Got a great drive last week to be second. Needs a similar trip to be a threat. Always gives it his best.
5 MAROMA BEACH See how the rest of the barn's starters did earlier tonight. They all fit the same profile of one qualifier. If they've been going well, then add points here. If they've been short, then discount. A Mac opted to #2.
6 SIX GUN Going great guns right now! Part of a big night for the barn last weekend. It took a strong mile to get past him, but he fought tenaciously all the way. Would be very, very hard to leave out in current form. A must use.
7 SOUTHERN PURSUIT N Still stuck at this higher level and still stuck with an outer post. Therefore, he's still a longshot that needs to get lucky to beat these. I doubt it.
8 SISKEL The key to the race here! Why? The post. He doesn't usually show much speed, but if he takes back to last, I doubt he can win. Has to float out a little and then he becomes a big factor. Still pretty sharp at moment.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 FOX VALLEY CADET Perfect trip and drive to eek out the win over #7 last week. Needed every bit of that trip too! With that said, he might be an underlay on the odds board with the rail. I'll probably swing against him here.
2 FREE LOVE Retains longshot status, having shown little here lately. Needs to turn it up a notch or two.
3 CHARMBO CURIOSITY Another tough trip for this fella last week. Did a lot of the dirty work, while #1 just sat and stalked. Seems very overdue to have one go his way, so let's take a shot and use him. The post will keep him close.
4 FLY'N WITH ROYALTY It took the length of the stretch to get past him last week. Another game and gusty performance. Gets a better starting slot here, so no reason not to expect same speed.
5 DANISHDUJOUR Once he got rolling last week, he finished up pretty well. That was from tough spot too! Another one in here that just hasn't gotten lucky yet this season, but can change anytime. Give him the trip, watch him fly.
6 MI SIX Up the Turnpike from Freehold. Endured a rough journey down there last week, and it was a race he had to need. Had nightmare trip when last seen here, so don't hold that against him. Should offer square price if you fancy.
7 OUTCRY I don't really know what to do with this guy tonight. Yes, we all saw him sneak through and charge home, but tonight's trip might not be that smooth. I see him getting away at back. At mercy of pace and trip again.
8 BAY RUM Another Freehold invader, with very mixed form. Doesn't seem to be a blaster, so how's he going to outkick the other closers? I don't know, so I'll rate him a longshot here.
9 CARD RUSTLER Off the layoff here, and so far, starters from this barn have needed one. I will add that Mitch chose to stick with #4, so that HAS to tell us something, right? Yes. Gelding will need this.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 LIFE HAPPENED One of the possibilities in here tonight. Drew a nice post again. Comes off a nice effort vs. #3 couple weeks ago. He was game all the way to the line. They rematch, with a few new shooters to group. 3YO has talent!
2 LYONS STEEL That's actually not a bad line for Freehold out of the eight-hole. However, back here, in too tough.
3 LONG BEACH Everything worked out perfectly for him two weeks ago to finally break his maiden. Unless you guarantee me that same great trip, I would probably tell you to bet against. However, confidence builders help.
4 SPORTS COWBOY We all liked him last time and he was way overbet. Raced like he was just a little bit short. I would suspect we get a different strategy now, with new driver. Marohn opted to #5, as expected. Chance to hit the ticket.
5 HEAVENLY SOUND One of several in here coming out of the tougher NW3 race. That is significant! The gap between the two classes is usually a large one. Keeps Jimmy Jr., so that's sign of confidence. Should be very ready for this. Trainer: Got a great trip and drive the first try. Hoping he can advance from that.
6 ROCKIN MACHINE Chased the 1-5 shot to the stretch last week and didn't have enough when he got out. The top two did get the jump on him, though. Same boat here. Figures to show speed and then stalk. Chance for it all.
7 YO APOLLO CREED Just keeps making breaks, whether it be dry or wet track. Unless you promise me mayhem amongst the leaders, he's a tough play coming from well off the pace.
8 WHATA TWIST Outside posts and this fella don't usually mix too well. He doesn't exactly blast, so completely at mercy of both pace and trip. I just don't see it working out for him in here.
9 SPANISH ART Back from Yonkers where he broke. Loses the catch driver again, so I will simply pass for now.
10 JOE'S BID Okay. Now what do we do here. Had an excellent start two back, in a race he had to need. Figured to have no shot last week and never really entered the fray. Trust me, Joe is better than that. If live, Andy will have to leave.