Aged pacers call on back class for wins

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Ted Black

May 13th, 2015

If there was a common theme to the racing card at Rosecroft Raceway on Tuesday it was the ability of several aged pacers to rebound from a series of setbacks to garner victories that many might have presumed would never occur again.

In one of the earlier races on the card, Lone Raider (Frank Milby) easily lived up to his role as the 2-5 favorite in a non-winners of $1500 last five starts class to score by three lengths in 1:54. His winning time was a full two seconds faster than the other half of the split condition one race earlier and perhaps an indication that the aged gelding can still display some youthful vigor.

Then several races later in the weekly $9000 Open 2 Handicap for older pacers, Hi Sir (Russell Foster) regained some of his lost luster when he rallied third over to score by a neck in 1:52.1. Last year's selection as champion fall pacer at Rosecroft by track management and the top pacer at Ocean Downs by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association, Hi Sir rebounded from five straight setbacks to garner his second victory of the meet for his owner-trainer driver.

Then two races later on the card, Booze Cruzin (Milby) gained command soon after the start and never relinquished that advantage en route to a three-length score in 1:52.1 for owner-trainer Merle LaFountaine. An 11-year-old Art's Conquest gelding with a ton of back class - he won the 2007 edition of the Windy City Pace at Maywood - Booze Cruzin dominated the conditioned foes he faced last Tuesday and also showed there is plenty of youthful vigor in his aging legs.

Then in the finale on the Tuesday card, Caviart Tyler (Jonathan Roberts), another former horse of the meet winner, raced parked past the three-eighths to gain command and then sprinted clear of his rivals to score by five lengths in 1:52.2. Trained by William "Bib" Roberts of Yankee Co-Ed and Southern Sam fame, Caviart Tyler lived up to his billing as the 6-5 favorite in the non-winners of $3000 last five class.

One night earlier at Harrington Raceway in Delaware, Dancin Yankee (Allan Davis) regained his winning ways when he cruised to a 1:52.4 score in the $16,000 Open for his first win in seven starts this year. After spending the first month of the year in the ultra-tough George Morton Levy Memorial Series at Yonkers Raceway and then finishing fourth in the Van Rose Memorial at Pocono Downs, Dancin Yankee got plenty of class relief when he led throughout - setting pedestrian fractions - to notch his first tally of 2015 for trainer Josh Green.

But the best performance of the night came two races later when Wiggle It Jiggle It (Montrell Teague) stamped himself as one of the top three-year-old pacing colts in the land when he scorched the half-mile oval in 1:49 while finishing 14 lengths clear of runner-up Bobbies Power Play. Fresh off a score in the Simpson at the Meadowlands, Wiggle It Jiggle It gained command soon after the start of the non-winners of 8 event and led throughout while cutting wicked fractions and drew clear as much the best in a tremendous performance.