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Handicapping

  • Week Of 3/10 - 3/16
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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 16, 2019

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 WILLIE BOOTS Did a fairly good job of keeping up behind Stonedust last week. Overall, Willie has rounded into form and the pole post is a huge plus. Can fire out and hope for similar trip. It might work out for a bit more at a price.
2 TALK SHOW Hasn’t shown much of late, including the qualifier. Would need a big turnaround to make this happen, and those are hard to predict. There IS some back class here, however. Let’s watch for some improvement here.
3 EXIT CAM Slowly working his way back into shape and I’m not sure the transition to the big track will do it. Might take a few here to get used to mile track racing again. I’m willing to wait.
4 MORE DRAGON He has reached top form again, and that was a tough beat if you got nailed by the longshot last week. He’s forced up a notch in class now, but that won’t hurt him too much. Very hard to leave off the ticket now.
5 SPORTS VISION Raced better in his first go for the new barn off the claim. Horse hasn’t been all that consistent over last few months, but they’ve found a nice spot for him here. Out of claimers. Perfect midpack post. The one to beat?
6 SANTIAGO STYLE Technically fits a lower condition. This is second start back off a short layoff. He was very sharp at times here last year, but then tailed off. Andy takes a turn in sulky seat and we might see more late. Watch board.
7 SI SEMALU Still not going well enough, so let’s rate him a longshot again. Would be a big surprise.
8 IDEAL SON Talk about inconsistent. I have NO idea where this horse is at. That was surprising bounce back rally last time, so will he continue to get better? Wish I could answer that one! Post won’t help. Needs a hot pace to rally into.
9 BB’S HARLEY Not exactly lighting the world on fire of late, here or at Yonkers. Gets slammed with another bad starting slot and I can’t be too positive just yet. I need to see a lot more.
10 FRANKIE BOY Loses that inside post help. Retains longshot status, especially with those chronic slow starts.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-8-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 TO THE MAX Not bad for a first start back. Was also first race on Lasix. It was a very fast and key mile. Gets another inside post, so there is room for improvement here. It helps that all the power is on the outside too!
1A THEDOGINTHEFIGHT Was just okay in his qualifier here. I wouldn’t pronounce the Yonkers race a real special effort. I guess it’s going to take a little more experience before we see serious speed. Have to wait for that.
2 ONEMILEBRIDGE Clearly needed his first start back and it looks like it will take a few more. Not ready yet.
3 PAPA BLUE CHIP Here’s one of the 4YO’s in here, and very much a “work in progress.” Miscued in the return try, so let’s prefer others for now, and watch for any improvement.
4 S MCKEE Looking very much like a longshot here on the big track. We’ll see if he can go any faster here.
5 BLISSFUL ROAD Clearly struggling right now, so let’s check for any equipment changes, or something that might aid the cause. None of those races on paper will get him close.
6 ODE TO GRAY Here’s a VERY nice young horse! After a VERY good run of races last fall, they gave him some time off. That’s probably a good thing! Look at those two tries against Rebel Rouser! Expect continued racing from off the pace.
7 AMERICAN WORLD Had the great misfortune of showing up in that uber-talented race last week. And he wasn’t bad, considering it was his debut. I’m not in love with the post here, but feel he should take a step forward and threaten.
8 DUNDEE HANOVER Might be the question mark in here. Yannick was very aggressive with colt in his debut and he may not have been ready for that. This move to an outer post will be further test. There is talent in this tank.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 SUPERIOR RAVEN Arrives at Club Med after the long ship up from Florida. Most of the times, these horses will need a race, and I will go with that until proven otherwise. This fella won at the bottom level. This will be a lot tougher.
2 AMRCANBOOTSCOOTA A The only horse dropping in class in this race. So, that lands him the “tepid” role as favorite. Barn has yet to connect here, but they just took over this fella. I have a feeling this is a good spot for him.
3 BYBY LANDON On the slow and steady path back to work. That last could easily serve as a hint of further things to come. I don’t think I’d want a short price, but a strong mile by this guy wouldn’t exactly shock. Wide open race.
4 DRAMATIC POINT Took a bunch of betting action in that last try here, but wasn’t well meant at all. Slow start and offered very little kick. Looking very much like a “work in progress” for top barn. Let’s look for a little more now.
5 EXOTIC MATTJESTY Tough to get really excited about him here on the mile track, after tiring down at Freehold.
6 SKYWAY BILLY He’s had a couple of tries here. One okay. One not so good. Gets a better post tonight, so that has to help a little. Still looking like a longshot, but so do man of the others. Somebody has to go forward.
7 BET THE DRAGON Maybe this is finally the spot for the Dragon to make a move? He’s basically been plodding around here for a while. Some tougher spots. Needs to find some of that old speed again to have a chance.
8 BOOGIE NIGHTS Barn starting to catch fire here, and they take over on this Meadows invader. This is exactly the kind of horse they do good work with. If he’s live tonight, he might even end up the favorite. Have to expect big things.
9 HEARTLAND REVENUE Chronic slow starter. Outside post. Hasn’t hit board yet this year. A longshot.
10 LEGION OF BOOM Catch driver was listed tonight, so that is always a sign of positive intent. Just forget about the last one when he got parked out. Similar outside post, so I don’t know what to expect. Your call, folks.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 MR CARROTTS Going pretty well right now, so let’s give credit for that. The pole post is a plus, to go along with his newfound speed. This is a VERY tough bunch for this level, however. He will need even more to win again.
2 CLOUSEAU HANOVER Yes, he let us down last week. Off at 4-5 on a class drop, he didn’t have enough. Now, it’s another class drop and another good post. Do we give him another chance? I think we have to. Must earn it though!
3 BETTORS GLASS IF you were searching for a live longshot, maybe this veteran could be it? Has now had two starts back after the freshening. Plots for an up-close kind of trip and his best finish would put him right there. Maybe.
4 YUPPER Clearly, Yupper is having a bit of trouble at this higher level. No relief yet, so he’s still a longshot.
5 BIG STRETCH MARK Stretch is firing on all cylinders right now. Eric A driving the gelding with confidence. So, let’s expect another speed show from the gate. Any smooth trip after that gives him major chance again. At a price.
6 ALL WEEK Inches his way back down to the more proper level. Found that last field a bit too much. Horse has been live on several occasions for PB and this spot isn’t out of the question. I’d like to see him take some tote action too!
7 BELL I NO The outside post basically ruined the Bell’s chances last week. Andy had to take a tuck turn one, instead of going to the lead. Tonight, it should be completely different. I have a feeling it will be full blast to the top. Goes a ways.
8 IMSPORTY Over from Yonkers in search of a softer spot and this isn’t it. Stuck outside. Needs mayhem up front.
9 SOCK IT AWAY Might be one of the keys to the race! Because he packs pretty good speed if pilot wants. But, I will say after two straight tiring efforts, it might be time to give him one from the back. We’ll find out tonight.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL CHILL Part of a pretty good entry here. Both have talent, and both have rounded into form nicely. One night soon, one of them is going to get lucky and win one of these. Will need a bit more than he showed last time, though.
1A ANNIHILATION I really like the way this guy is going, but even I recognize that this post is going to hurt. He can leave, but so can all the others inside. Just might be a tad too far back to do any damage.
2 RIGGLE WEALTH Off a much longer layoff here for the Burke Brigade. For tonight, have to prefer the partner.
2A FORDHAM SIXTY TWO Well, he really turned things around with a monstrously-improved effort last week. Was it the Lasix, or the class drop? Probably doesn’t matter, because he was loaded. Takes a BIG step up and Yannick opted off.
3 SPORTS LEGEND Couldn’t possibly have been more impressive in his Big M debut. That was a super-fast race for the night, and a very talented field that he just crushed. Anxious to see what we get in the comebacker. YG’s choice!
4 ART DANCER Finally gets away from Rebel Rouser, but must now deal with two other talented foes that just destroyed fields in their wins. Is it finally this one’s turn to win? Good question. I’ll give him the slight edge. Must earn it.
5 KEY ADVISOR Exits a superb second qualifier. That was one of the faves in the Levy that got by him late. But, how bout that monster back half and sprint home. This horse is ready, but could not have found a tougher spot. Your call?
6 YOU GOT TRUMPED Left Florida on a strong note, but he’s really up against it tackling this group in Big M debut. Nothing short of the best race in his career would beat these. Figures to need an acclimating mile anyway.
7 ALTA SHELBY N Another that finally gets away from the Rebel, but he’s just buried in this spot tonight. The switch to the outside post is the kicker. Nothing short of absolute mayhem will bring him into the mix.
8 DUCKIES DYNASTY Duckie was hurt by the post last week and will be hampered by it again. I just don’t see how he can get into the game from the 10-box.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 TIE YOUR SHOE ED Tough trip here, and then tough beat down at Freehold. Overall, horse has rounded into better form and possesses good speed. Kyle will be firing out trying to protect. Still needs a trip, but has a chance.
2 TALENT SOUP The Soup was bet like he already won the race two weeks ago. Still wasn’t quite ready to deliver the knockout punch. He finally gets the post he needs, but will the better early speed be there? That IS the question.
3 PONYTA BOY Once upon a time, Ponyta beat a NW15,000 field here. Seems like a long time ago. The 10YO has lost a step or two along the way, but back class can rise at any moment. Consider that before you toss him. May be usable.
4 VICTORYDAZE WILWIN Ordinarily, this is the spot you’re waiting for on this guy. The drop back to bottom level. However, this bunch came up pretty strong for the level. So, I’ll probably take a pass and hope for softer spot next time.
5 LETJIMMYTAKEOVER Like #2, it was same thing at the betting windows last week! Got absolutely pounded and ended up the favorite despite post nine! He “hung” a little in crunch time, so that worries me. Needs bigger kick to win.
6 SWORD OF THE SPIRIT Just 1-35 over two years, so I probably wouldn’t consider him for the top spot. However, the right kind of trip does give him check chances. Horse does jump up with a big one, every now and then.
7 MIKE’S POWERHOUSE Tough trip and beat in last try down at Freehold. Was a big favorite that day too! Won’t be favored here, so you can take a chance on getting your money back. Still, it’s a tough spot off the sick scratch.
8 TWINCREEKS JESSE Common theme in this race is “beaten favorite.” Jesse flattened out at 2-5 down the Turnpike. So, he’s quickly back to Club Med and not in an easy spot. The post is probably biggest issue. Needs a little luck.
9 HUDSONANDBERNARD Just 1-34 over two years. Yes, I see the barn change and see that horse can leave, but I will take a stand to watch one here. Let’s see if he can hack it on the mile track.
10 BUD BAY The Bud moves from the pole to post 10, and off a disappointing try. Not my type tonight from out here.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 STONEDUST It took a while, but the Dust finally got it done last week! Seemed like Tetrick got along with him perfectly. Tim’s over at Yonkers tonight, so we get another new driver. Slight bump up, but the one to beat again.
2 LIFE HAPPENED Been suffering a case of the bad post blues, so this is finally a touch of relief! It will help. And I’ll add that horse has rounded into form nicely. He’s an eligible price play in here. Plots for a much better journey tonight.
3 SPORTSMANSHIP He finally moves inside as well. But, somebody has to be a longshot in here and this is it. The tote board usually tells a tale with this horse, so if he takes some betting action, then he might be live tonight.
4 BACKSTREET LAWYER Recent form is simply dull. Can’t say much more than that. Needs big wakeup call.
5 HEAVENLY SOUND Another horse last week that was bet like he already won the race! And Stevie gave him every chance with multiple moves. He seeks revenge on the Dust here and I can’t guarantee he will get it. Your call?
6 TACT TATE N He wasn’t bet at all last week. I guess that should have told us something. Took the conservative route from the back of the pack off the scratch. I suspect he’ll be a lot more “live” tonight. Has to get into it earlier.
7 TWOMACSONESHADOW Makes second start here on the big track. The first was okay, but not great. He’s not getting any class relief here and he moves to much tougher post. That’s not exactly a recipe for success here.
8 WILDCAT HILTON We know he’s got speed, since he was in those half-mile dashes down south. Toured the oval at Freehold last week and now shows up here. I have a feeling he’ll get one more tour before we see best.
9 BRIGHT FUTURE Not enough either here or at Yonkers. It’s back to a bad post, and I can’t be too positive.
10 SWIFT AS A SHADOW Where’s he going from post 10? Right to the back. This isn’t the right spot.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 CAVIART LUCA Had the eight-hole “tour of the track” in first start back off the layoff. Shows up at Club Med now in the Preferred. This looks like impossible spot and he’s probably not ready yet anyway.
1A TAKE IT BACK TERRY Gets the tougher post of the duo and he clearly wasn’t ready for his comebacker either. Same boat here and let’s wait for some eventual class relief.
2 CASTLE FLIGHT The Castle got a week off, after getting torched in the pace battle last time. Probably needed the week off. Shows up with the rail here and it’s his pace to control. Needs to bounce back, but was Corey’s choice of 4.
3 NEW TALENT It took a class drop for his form to resurface. But, it was a BIG mile! And sometimes those confidence builders are just what the doctor ordered. Knocked on the door at this level before. Gets cozy inside post. Consider.
4 PHOTOBOMBR HANOVER The Bombr was definitely in need of his comebacker. Gets a break from the post gods here, but I just have a feeling he might need another. I’ll go with that theory for tonight. Not on top. Maybe under.
5 K RYAN BLUE CHIP After a week off, K Ryan showed up in a race won in blowout fashion by Beckham. Let’s not be too hard on him. Moves one slot inside tonight, which is key for him. IF there’s any pace at all, watch for him late.
6 ALOTBETTOR N Continues his march right up the class ladder. Credit for the extended good form spree. BUT, is this really a Preferred type horse? I have my doubts, but we’ll get our answer tonight. Get the right price if you think so.
7 TUXEDO BAY No, I have no idea what’s going on with this guy. Never really got rolling last time. Bad post now. Pass.
8 SAMS TRIPLE CROWN That really was an exceptional rally unleashed by Sam to sparkle last week at 25-1. But, he’s not exactly “rewarded” for that with the huge bump up in class, and the switch to a bad post. Unlikely repeater.
9 SPORTS COLUMN Over from Yonkers and into an impossible situation from post 10. Have to pass.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 FATHER SARDUCCI One of seven class droppers eligible to wake up and win this, so let’s call it a “Dropdown Derby!” The good Father just missed at a nice price vs. these a while back. Gets the rail and gets Corey. Interesting.
2 MCERLEAN This is horse’s fifth straight class drop, so his wakeup call seems imminent! With a couple of others in here likely to take most money, I’ll guess that this one might offer some value. If yes, go ahead and use.
3 ROCK STAR He’s also dropping, but in rather lackluster form overall. Wasn’t Yannick’s choice, but I expected that.
4 GRIFFON HANOVER Yes, he let us down a little last week, tiring on the lead. Needless to say, he’s faced far better in the past, but last week’s race left a sour taste in my mouth. Maybe a change of tactics with his new driver tonight?
5 THAT’S MY OPINION His last try here at Club Med was nothing to write home about. Yonkers races just fair. I guess I can’t be too positive about his chances here. But if you do, you’ll get nice price.
6 MACH DEJA VU Yannick sticks here, but I still have mixed feelings about this guy. After the stop at Yonkers, he came back here and raced okay, but not great. In fairness, nobody was catching winner that night. If he wins, he’ll beat me.
7 TJ BLAST Had Corey opted here, I would probably give a longer look. Just one out of his three tries here was good. He does have speed and there isn’t all that much of that in here. Still needs to find a tad more mile track stamina.
8 PRETTY BOY SWAG Finds his way back over from Yonkers and I do have my doubts that he’s a true “big track” horse. Marcus back in the seat, so that’s a plus. It’s just that he keeps drawing bad posts here. Very tough to get excited about.
9 PEPPER GUY I think the fans are definitely expecting a wakeup call on this guy soon. Maybe even tonight. BUT, he gets a bad post again and faces mostly class droppers. Hasn’t shown any speed. Be careful if price is short.
10 STREET BOY Another Florida shipper that got no love from the post gods. Have to pass.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-9-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 DUBIOUS CLAIM Ended up with a rough trip in that very tough race last week. This isn’t exactly a cakewalk either, but he does have a betting partner too! The inside post should keep close enough. New driver, with Corey on #2.
1A NASCAR SEELSTER While his partner grinded, this guy ground-saved. It was good enough for a board spot, so that is a step in the right direction. Moves out one slot further tonight. Also gets a new driver. Will need a live flow.
2 MCTHRILLER Drops back down to the level of his last win. Been tackling some real toughies since and he was speed tightened two weeks ago. The extra week off will probably help. Corey’s choice, speed and the pole position.
3 MR CENSI He’s found these waters a little too deep lately, so let’s pass again and wait for some class relief.
4 THREEOFTHEBEST A Battled away with the Bad Dude two weeks ago and that horse is in the Levy series. If Three can find any of that power he had towards end of the year, might be tough to beat in this spot. Rounding back into form.
5 BILLY BADGER N I’m sure there will be plenty of betting action for Billy tonight too! Several “live” horses in here, and he’s definitely one of them. I thought he was well-positioned last week, but clearly outpunched home. Needs a bit more.
6 HIGHLANDBEACHYCOVE Over from Yonkers with no recent wins. Wasn’t Dexter’s choice, so wont be mine yet.
7 DASH OF DANGER Was aggressively handled again last week, despite the class hike. Hit the ticket with a decent try, but he’s forced up the ladder again and this might be too much. Also moves back to outside post. Tougher spot.
8 SOLO STORY Parlayed a perfect trip and drive from the Double D into a very nice win last week. Paid 6-1 too! However, this guy will be hurt by both the added class hike, but more the move to tougher post. Dex opted off too!
9 ODDS ON LAUDERDALE I guess I didn’t get the memo he was taking back in that return try. Never really entered the fray. I can’t imagine it will be the same thing here. Has to take a shot and go forward off the wings a little tonight.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-7-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 SUNSET DREAMER Did good work down at Freehold off the claim. Finds his way back up the NJ Turnpike for a big track try again. Knows his way around here and gets a nice midpack post to give Andy options. Solid entry!
1A SPAGHETTI EDDIE Eddie was used pretty hard in the pace battle for his new barn and paid the price late. Now, you see he’s “assigned” post 10. That will make for different strategy. He’ll leave, but probably stalk after that.
2 BAY RUM The Bay still having issues, so let’s pass on him again and see if we get anything better tonight.
3 OHIO LARRY Woke up a little down at Freehold, but his prior efforts here just weren’t good enough. Have to rate him a longshot, until we see a better mile track try.
4 WESTERN REDHOT Been outracing his odds lately, with three spots on the board. That’s a good thing. Tonight, however, he steps UP the price ladder. This is where the water gets a little deeper and he’ll have to prove it again.
5 WYNBERG COURAGE N Newcomer to Club Med for barn that hasn’t had any success here yet. With that said, I’ll probably pass on this guy and see if he belongs here. The recent scratch has me worried too!
6 NORTHERN SPY Fresh claim here from Nick Surick to Team Ginsburg. They “protect” him with a slight rise in price. Horse has a distinct off-the-pace style and I can’t guarantee this race will set up for him. Several have that style.
7 POP POP JOE Pop Pop loses Dexter to #8, off an okay try. He was in the live flow, but lacked the knockout punch. Tonight’s problem will be the move back outside, but he does have enough speed to fire out. I think he’ll have to.
8 FOUR STACES Been a little “unlucky” lately, but that can always change. Early speed not really his best weapon, but he’ll have to float out at very least. Any smoother journey after that gives big chance as Dexter’s choice of four.
9 ROCKIN THE HOUSE Trainer listed Yannick to drive, but didn’t get him tonight. So, he will drive himself from post nine. I imagine this will be unaggressive try from the bad post. Wait for a softer spot in better post.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 ROUGH ODDS That was some flying finish, along with the winner last week. Horse has remained solid, with a scratch mixed in. His partner is probably the stronger half here, but I like that he gets Dexter back. Good midpack post too!
1A BUSHWACKER The Bush just keeps showing up every week and delivering steady and solid efforts. Chased a buzzsaw that was very well-meant last time, so don’t hold that against him. Now, he might be in against another in #3.
2 WINNING LINC That wasn’t a bad mile all things considered last week. Plots for a bit different trip from an outer post now, but he’s also got a solid betting partner here. Either one of them could be dangerous, with the right trip.
2A OCEAN COLONY Also had a very good start last week, behind strong winner up front. Full credit for closing the gap a little. But, this is worst post yet and they never help. How’s he going to get into the game from way out here?
3 MINDTRIP Had the really rough trip in the Preferred and couldn’t sustain his move. Gets both post and class relief with this assignment and was Corey’s choice of five. Isn’t that all we need to know? Clearly the horse to beat.
4 NO EASY DAY Now makes his third start back off the layoff and he’s getting closer to being ready. However, I think he’ll need a notch or two of class relief before we see winner’s circle again. I’m willing to wait for that spot.
5 ROOTIN TOOTIN What a difference a week makes! Went from awesome to empty on the huge hike up to this class, and there’s nothing different tonight, except for better post. Has to use that speed to grab early position. That helps.
6 EVER AGAIN After staying loyal for a long time, we finally see Corey opt to another tonight. It’s not a knock on this horse, because he’s been very good. It’s just business and simply put, Mindtrip has better chance of winning this race.
7 MISTER DAYTONA N Barn has three in tonight. Two from bad posts. They’re probably ALL going to need a race.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 DOWAHS BOY Picked him last week at 58-1 and he rallied respectably to be third. It was a decent finish, and probably exactly what they were looking for. Good step in right direction. Let’s see if any more in tank on rail again.
2 BACKSEAT TERROR Figured to be good in that spot two weeks ago, but he was more than good! Pretty strong mile and this horse seems to be getting better and better. Will likely meet more of a test here, but will be tough again.
3 PANTHER SEELSTER Pretty much stopped in the qualifier over at Yonkers, so he’s not ready for this just yet.
4 WOOLWORTH Took a LOT of money from the bad post in race behind #2 last time. He raced okay, but had no chance of catching. This post might make things different. But, I will say I don’t want a short price. Risk is bigger.
5 AMERICAN MUSIC Last time we saw Burke take over on a horse that looked like this, it was a blowout win. The gap between races didn’t matter. If he takes any action at all, we might have to hop on board. Or, at least consider.
6 JACKAMINO Dex had a choice and took this guy over #3. I can understand that. Gelding rallied nicely from tough spot two back. The Yonkers line doesn’t impress me. Maybe he likes it better here? Let’s go with that.
7 ROLAND ONTHERIVER Just how good is he? That’s the question, because this is serious bump up in class to tackle tougher foes. And, he didn’t get help from the post gods. Only fourth lifetime start. Needs more experience.
8 SMART TALKER That was shockingly good try vs. #2 two weeks ago. I do wish he’d drawn a better post, but he did not. Gets new driver with Eric C not here. I wonder if tactics will be the same. Has to go forward a little off gate.
9 IN ROCK WE TRUST Didn’t use his speed last time and got shuffled along pylons with just minor pop. This just doesn’t look like the right spot for the Rock. Have to be patient and wait.