Day At The Track

New names on Road to the M'lands Pace

04:56 AM 03 Jul 2020 NZST
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East Rutherford, NJ - With just one week until the eliminations, there are two new names on Dave Little's Road to the Meadowlands Pace. While the top six are unchanged from a week ago, Allywag Hanover and Captain Kirk make their debuts in the poll at Nos. 7 and 10, respectively. Second-ranked Papi Rob Hanover makes his seasonal debut Saturday.



(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 

Any doubts about how ready he is were squashed after his 1:47.4 dismantling of older foes Saturday night. The time equaled the fastest of the year in the sport. Takter: “I knew he had that in him. He did it very easily without much effort. The fact that he did it in his first start, that surprised me.” Next stop: The Pace Elims on July 11.

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


Papi Rob Hanover

($754,774 – 1:50)

D. Miller, B. Pelling

David McDuffee 


Will make his 2020 debut Saturday night in a tough spot in the Big M’s 11th race. Has drawn post 10 against a good field of upper mid-range conditioned – and with one exception, older – foes. Pelling: “I’m looking for a nice clean race Saturday. There has never been a glitch [in his season]. The only glitch has been the schedule. My horse will thrive [racing for several weeks in a row]. I don’t have to protect him. He’s going to recover well naturally. Racing will turn him on.”

Last Race: 6/27 – M1 – Qualifier – 1st (1:50.3)


Capt Midnight

($299,038 – 1:49.4)

A. McCarthy, T. Alagna

Marvin Katz, Ken Jacobs,

Brad Grant,

Capt Midnight Racing 

The only other 3-year-old in the 11th race Saturday did better at the post draw than Papi did, getting the 4. Alagna: “It’s always tough for 3-year-olds to face older. But he’s had a good week and we are looking forward to getting that first start in.”

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


Catch The Fire

($258,547 – 1:49.4)

M. Wilder, J. Ackley

CT Stables 


Four of the Top 10 are in the 5th race Saturday at the Meadowlands. Catch The Fire drew best of the lot, leaving from the 6 hole. Ackley: “He’s aggressive and loves what he’s doing. He loves to compete and he’ll probably go more than we hope for him. The plan is to race him some but we just want to get a real good tightener in him.”

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

Will depart from post 10 in Race 5 Saturday. Alagna: “We took last week off by design. We need to get another nice start in him. He had a good week but the 10 hole is a pain.” Barbossa was a good second in his last race on June 20 after being pushed three-wide off the turn.

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


Major Betts

($153,390 – 1:49.1)

D. Dunn, M. Harder

Joseph Jannuzzelli, 

Mark Harder,

Deena Rachel Frost 


Sped past Schnittker standout – and 2-5 favorite – Splash Brother at Tioga to win in 1:49.4 by 3 lengths on Sunday. Very impressive! Harder: “The colt raced right up to expectations. It looks like we are right on track. I think he’s pretty much spot on.”  

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


Allywag Hanover

($38,233 – 1:48.2)

D. Miller, B. Pelling

Allywag Stable 

Burst onto the Meadowlands Pace scene with an eye-popping 1:48.2 score at the Big M last Saturday after flying home in :26.2. He’ll be the favorite from post 8 in Saturday’s 5th race. Pelling: “[I was not] at all surprised by his mile last week. He was sensational in his qualifier the week before. He’s got sheer speed. He’s the real deal. If he’s not one the best five [horses] in the Pace, I’ll give the game away.”

Last Race: 6/27 – M1 – NW4 – 1st (1:48.2)



($179,710 – 1:52.2)

D. Miller, B. Saunders

M and L of Delaware,

M & M Harness Racing 

Distinguished himself for a second straight start, this time sprinting home in :26.2 to grab second to Allywag Hanover Saturday night. Leaves from post 7 in Saturday’s Race 5. This horse is a bon fide closer. Saunders: “I expect him to race well this week. Next week [in the elims], I hope he’s in a spot from where he can qualify for the [Meadowlands Pace] final. There are four or five horses that have a much better resume than him, but if he gets the right trip, anything can happen.”

Last Race: 6/27 – M1 – NW4 – 2nd (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. Cullipher: “I know my horse won’t be favored facing some of the better horses, but after the win back home last week, he’s earned the chance to race in The Pace. I was very pleased with his performance. We’ll train him up good Saturday and ship to the Meadowlands Sunday.”

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


Captain Kirk

($60,228 – 1:51)

D. Dunn, T. Alagna

Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz,Brad Grant, Captain Kirk Racing 

Rounds out Alagna’s threesome in the Top 10. Lone pari-mutuel start this year resulted in a second-place finish – featuring a :25.2 kicker – at the hands of Splash Brother, who was winning in 1:48.2. Alagna: “I think [Captain] Kirk has talent like [Capt] Midnight. We quit with him early last year, after the Metro. So far, he’s paid us back for that extra time off.” Scheduled to qualify Friday morning. Will Alagna have 4 in the Pace? More? “You never know,” he said.

Last Race: 6/20 – M1 – NW2 – 2nd (1:48.3)

From the Meadowlands Media Department

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