Day At The Track

Dave Little's Road to the Meadowlands Pace

06:04 AM 10 Jul 2020 NZST
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East Rutherford, NJ - The top three in Dave Little's Road to the Meadowlands Pace were unchanged from start to finish. Making the loudest statement during the five weeks was Allywag Hanover, who went from unknown at the start of the poll all the way to No. 4 in the final Top 10.



(Earnings - Mark)

Driver, Trainer, Owner

Dave Little’s Comments


Tall Dark Stranger

($726,889 – 1:47.4)

Y. Gingras, N. Takter

Crawford Farms Racing, 

Marvin Katz,

Caviart Farms, 

Howard Taylor 

Took last week off after his incredible 1:47.4 win at The Big M on June 27. Has been top-ranked
in the Top 10 every week. Departs from post 3 Saturday night in the lone Meadowlands Pace Elimination. Takter: “He trained well Wednesday morning. He’s happy, fresh and ready to go.” Will those who raced last week have an edge on your horse? “Maybe for this week, but not the week after that.”

Last Race: 6/27 – M1 – NW$22,500 – 1st (1:47.4)


Papi Rob Hanover

($758,274 – 1:50)

D. Miller, B. Pelling

David McDuffee 


Went a big mile in his seasonal debut July 4, finishing a close second after a troubled-trip from post 10. His pill-drop luck remains lousy: He has drawn post 10 for the elim. Pelling: “He did everything he could. He paced home in :25.1 and i don’t think he got pacing until he was in the stretch. [Now that he’s had a race] I can tell he’s in racehorse mode.”

Last Race: 7/4 – M1 – NW$14,000 – 2nd (1:49.3)


Capt Midnight

($306,038 – 1:49.3)

A. McCarthy, T. Alagna

Marvin Katz, Ken Jacobs,

Brad Grant,

Capt Midnight Racing 

A sharp McCarthy steer led to an inside-route 1:49.3 winner’s circle visit holding off Papi Rob. Can a third-ranked horse fly under the radar? Given the press clippings of the top two, this one has. In the elim, he leaves from post 9. Alagna: “I was very happy with the way he raced. Saturday, he’s going to have to float out of there a little bit, and you hope he doesn’t have to overdo it. It’s a tough bunch of horses.”

Last Race: 7/4 – M1 – NW$14,000 – 1st (1:49.3)


Allywag Hanover

($44,483 – 1:48)


T. Tetrick, B. Pelling

Allywag Stable 


If you did not see it, do yourself a favor and watch Allywag Hanover’s win last week, where he was shot out of a cannon in the stretch to win in 1:48. Trainer opted to take the bye and go straight to next week’s Pace final, but surprisingly, this horse is racing this week, in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action at Philadelphia on Friday. Pelling: “He’s light on the ground and has high speed. And now, he’s manageable. I got him January 15 and he went from wearing the kitchen sink to being rigged up like a good horse.”

Last Race: 7/4 – M1 – NW4 – 1st (1:48)


Captain Barbossa 

($133,313 – 1:51.2)

B. Sears,, T. Alagna

Robert Leblanc, 

David Anderson,

Alagnafrankinthegym Stable

Missed a head to Allywag after McCarthy opted to go the short way (like he did with Capt Midnight) in a sharp mile, his second straight second-place finish of the season. Alagna: “Andy dropped down to the inside and did not have the momentum of the winner after having to check twice in the stretch. I think the two were comparable.” Has post 2 Saturday night.

Last Race: 7/4 – M1 – NW4 – 2nd (1:48)


Catch The Fire

($260,047 – 1:49.4)

M. Wilder, J. Ackley

CT Stables

First outing of the season was a constructive one, finishing third to Allywag Hanover. Meadows regular Mike Wilder will pilot the horse from post 8 in the elim. Ackley: “I was impressed with my horse, it being his first start. Once he saw horses in the stretch, he took off. It’s going to be tough, but i think he’ll be fine.”

Last Race: 7/4 – M1 – NW4 – 3rd (1:48.1)


Major Betts

($153,390 – 1:49.1)

D. Dunn, M. Harder

Joseph Jannuzzelli, 

Mark Harder,

Deena Rachel Frost 


D. Miller, B. Pelling

Allywag Stable 

Trainer opted to race instead of taking the bye as the high money-earner this year in the field.
Has drawn post 1 for the elim. Harder: “Maybe he’s a bit ahead of where I thought he’d be. I probably should have entered [Thursday] at Vernon in the Sire Stakes [instead of racing in the Pace Elim] just to race in a little easier spot, but I’m OK with what happened. If we can’t finish in the top 8 [in the elim], we don’t deserve to be in the final.”  

Last Race: 6/28 – TgDn – NYSS – 1st (1:49.4)


Chief Mate

($65,507 – 1:50)


G. Napolitano Jr., T. Alagna

Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, 

Brad Grant, Captain Kirk Racing 


Makes his debut in the Top 10, but don’t look for him at the Big M Saturday. He and Allywag
Hanover are the two horses who opted to take the bye and this one will also race in PaSS at Philadelphia Friday. Alagna: “It was easier to get him raced in Pennsylvania, that’s why he’s been there. I think he’ll be fine moving back to the big track for The

Last Race: 7/4 – PcD – NW6 – 1st (1:50)



($180,335 – 1:52.2)

J. Stratton, B. Saunders

M and L of Delaware,

M & M Harness Racing 


Three starts, three good efforts in 2020. Bona fide closer will prosper whenever there is action
up front. From post 4 Saturday, he should be able to finish in the top 8 to get a spot in the Pace Final. Saunders: “There is going to be some action up front [in The Pace Final], being a horse who can come from off the pace can be advantageous. Hopefully, we will be there.”

Last Race: 7/4 – M1 – NW4 – 5th (1:48.3)


Roll With Jr

($176,516 – 1:50.4)

T. Tetrick, J.Cullipher

Pollack Racing,

Jeff Cullipher 


Won a 3-year-old event at Cullipher’s home track, Hoosier Park, in speed fashion, in a very
encouraging first betting start of the season before taking last week off. Cullipher: “He is at The Meadowlands, we made the payments and we entered him. Went a trip with him Wednesday and he went very well. We are pointed in the right direction.” Has post 6 Saturday.

Last Race: 6/26 – HoP – The Star Destroyer – 1st (1:51.2)

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