Day At The Track

Dave Little's Road to the Meadowlands Pace

05:51 AM 26 Jun 2020 NZST
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Captain Barbossa, harness racing
Captain Barbossa
Lisa Photo
East Rutherford, NJ - While the top three remained unchanged with the Meadowlands Pace Eliminations just a little over two weeks away, Catch The Fire and Captain Barbossa made their way into the harness racing Top 5 in Week 3 of Dave Little's "Road To The Meadowlands Pace." 



(Earnings - Mark)

Driver, Trainer, Owner

Dave Little’s Comments


Tall Dark Stranger

($717,514 – 1:49.1)

Bettor's Delight

Y. Gingras, N. Takter

Crawford Farms Racing, 

Marvin Katz,

Caviart Farms, 

Howard Taylor 

Saturday (June 20) morning Big M qualifier was of the eye-popping variety, hitting the wire 8 lengths to the good in a lifetime-best 1:49. Gingras: “He’s ready to go. We wanted to get one good run in him. He had plenty left [at the finish of his qualifier].” Faces Western Joe and other older tough customers Saturday in the 7th race at the Meadowlands.

Last Race:: 6/20 – M1 – Qualifier – 1st (1:49)


Papi Rob Hanover

($754,774 – 1:50)


D. Miller, B. Pelling

David McDuffee 


Pelling: “I would have liked to have raced this week but didn’t want to race against aged horses. He’s fit. He’s good. I’m pretty much assured of a 3-year-old open week. We’ll qualify this Saturday and then race next week.”

Last Race: 6/12 – M1 – Qualifier – 2nd (1:51)


Capt Midnight

($299,038 – 1:49.4)


A. McCarthy, T. Alagna

Marvin Katz, Ken Jacobs,

Brad Grant,

Capt Midnight Racing 

Alagna: “He raced against the top two last year and did well for himself. He qualified well last week. He’ll need an overnight next week [before The Pace Eliminations].” It must be nice to be Alagna. In addition to Captain Barbossa (See No. 5 below), he also has Captain Kirk, who Alagna says might be in the same talent category as Midnight but without the resume. He also has Chief Mate, who won at Philly Sunday in 1:50.2. Don’t be surprised if Alagna puts four in the Pace elims.

Last Race: 6/22 – Gaitway – Qualifier – 1st (1:51)


Catch The Fire

($258,547 – 1:49.4)


M. Wilder, J. Ackley

CT Stables 


The trainer loved the qualifier. Ackley: “That’s right around what we wanted to go. He was fantastic. He came out of it good. Our plan right now is to head for New Jersey [from western Pennsylvania] Sunday and starting him in an overnight at the Meadowlands on July 3rd or 4th. We’re excited about [The Pace] and we think we’ll be competitive.”

Last Race: 6/18 – Mea – Qualifier – 1st (1:52.1)


Captain Barbossa 

($130,188 – 1:51.2)


A. McCarthy, T. Alagna

Robert Leblanc, 

David Anderson,

Alagnafrankinthegym Stable

Alagna: “He went a good trip [when he finished second on Saturday]. He was three-wide off the last turn and got beat by a horse who went a ground-saving trip. He’s getting this week off. We’ll look for a 3-year-old open or a non-winners of 5 or something like that the week after. I’m very happy with him.”

Last Race: 6/20 – M1 – NW4 – 2nd (1:50.4)


Major Betts

($134,274 – 1:49.1)

Art Major

D. Dunn, M. Harder

Joseph Jannuzzelli, 

Mark Harder,

Deena Rachel Frost 


Easy 5½-length score in a qualifier at Philly was his third time on the track this year, but none as of yet in a real race. Harder: “I told Dexter [Dunn] to go [1:]53 and he went 52 and 4. He was very handy.” Harder did not want to race four straight weeks, but in this strange year, what are you going to do? “On Sunday, we’ll be at Tioga in sire stakes,
and then we hope to go again the week after, then it’s The Pace Elims. We’re going to face these [super tough] horses sooner or later. We might as well get started.” 

Last Race: 6/19 – Phi – Qualifier – 1st (1:52.4)



($313,423 – 1:50.3)


Y. Gingras, R. Burke

W J Donovan 

Finished an even third after drawing poorly at Pocono after kicking home in :28.2. Burke: “He’s getting this week off. I’m not thrilled with the way he’s progressing. Horses cycle [in terms of form] and right now he’s not in the best cycle. We’ll get a race in him the weekend of July 3-4.”

Last Race: 6/20 – PcD – NW6 – 3rd (1:52.1)



($176,585 – 1:52.2)

Western Ideal

D. Miller, B. Saunders

M and L of Delaware,

M & M Harness Racing 

Drew the 10 hole for the 5th race at the Meadowlands Saturday, so his trainer wasn’t thrilled, but he remains optimistic. Saunders: “He had a good week. Much of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races clash with the bigger events, and for us, the logic is, the money is the way to keep score. my people like to go in big races and we have a colt who can compete
at that level.”

Last Race: 6/13 – M1 – NW4 – 3rd (1:51.3)


Roll With Jr

($166,516 – 1:50.4)

Roll With Joe

T. Tetrick, J. Cullipher

Pollack Racing,

Jeff Cullipher 

Racing Friday at Hoosier in 3-year-old series action. Cullipher: “I want him to go a good mile Friday. He likes to be forwardly placed, which will permit us to see where we are really at. [As for The Pace] We are going to give it a shot.”

Last Race: 6/9 – HoP – Qualifier – 2nd (1:53.2)


Father Nuno

($205,472 – 1:52.4)


B. Sears, T. Canciellere

John Canciellere 

Not in this week. In early July, won his highlight-reel race of 2019 at the Meadows in 1:52.4 in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Thus far this year, has a pair of qualifiers under his belt. Tom Canciellere: “we are happy with the way he’s coming back.”

Last Race: 6/9 – Chfld – Qualifier – 4th (1:54.4)

Meadowlands Media Relations
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