Foster completes rare six-pack at Rosecroft

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Ted Black

March 23rd, 2016

Tuesday's 13-race card offered a bevy of competitive overnight events for pacers and trotters, but the highlight of the program came courtesy of driver Russell Foster.

While his top trainee, Hi Sir, was idle again this week, Foster steered home six winners on the Tuesday card, of which only one was favored. He prevailed early with Nanny Boh at 7-2 in 1:58.2, scored with Everyone's Titan at 9-1 in 1:56.4, prevailed with even-money choice Thiswayorthehighway in 1:54.3, posted a 21-1 shocker with Arpeggio Hanover in 1:53.4 and won with 2-1 second choice A Living Legend in 1:54.2 and 9-5 second choice Toms Titan in 1:54.

Foster finished second in the finale to another driver who earned a minor share of the spotlight. Sean Bier steered home a pair of winners, Diamondkeeper in the featured non-winners of $6000 last five class for pacers and Bridge Jumper in the finale in 1:52.4, both of which represented the two fastest miles on the card. Diamondkeeper was very impressive, rolling past pacesetter Caviart Tyler (Jonathan Roberts) in the lane to capture the overnight feature.

Tuesday's Rosecroft card was good, but this Saturday night Yonkers Raceway will host five divisions of the second leg of the lucrative George Morton Levy Memorial Series for free-for-all pacers. All six opening round winners are back, so the pacers that failed to hit the board in last week's opener will have to dramatically improve this weekend in order to keep their hopes alive of earning a spot in either the $450,000 final or $100,000 consolation on April 23.

In the first division this weekend, opening round winner Lucan Hanover will look to keep his perfect start to the season in tact. The Andrew Harris trainee has won all three of his starts this year, including last week's Levy leg in 1:51.3 despite being idle for three weeks. Newcomer Te Kawau N drew the rail and will look to pay immediate dividends on his $100,000 purchase price for trainer Bill Bresnahan. Texican N was a good second last week and drew post two, while Limelight Beach was the beaten favorite in his opener.

Two races later in the second Levy split, ageless wonder Foiled Again will look to improve off his fourth-place finish in his seasonal debut last week. The 12-year-old Dragon Again gelding trained by Ron Burke offered little first over in his first outing of the campaign, but should be much tighter this weekend. Michaels Power drew the rail and will likely be out and rolling early, as will Melmerby Beach, who needs to begin making returns on his $180,000 purchase price last fall.

One race later in the third split, opening round winners Bit Of A Legend N and Mach It So will clash in an interesting affair that also includes a pair of runner-ups last week, Evenin Pleasure and All Bets Off. Santa Fe Beachboy uncorked insane fractions before fading to fifth last week but will be tougher this week with a reasonable early tempo. Sapphire City was unlucky in the draw again with post eight and will have to improve considerably this weekend to keep his hopes alive of defending his consolation score last spring.

One race later in the fourth split, defending Levy final hero Domethatagain drew the rail and will have to use that spot early to protect position, while opening leg winner PH Supercam drew post eight. Burke trainee Always At My Place will have to rebound from last week's sixth-place effort chasing Santa Fe Beachboy and pulling the pocket prematurely and his post two draw gives him a chance to dictate the tempo from the outset. Bettor Rock On N has been very good since arriving from 'down under' and was second last week and in prime position to be around for either the consolation or final.

Then in the fifth Levy second round split, opening leg winner Take It Back Terry drew the rail for Burke and will look to take advantage of the draw and begin securing enough points to compete in the final for a second straight year. The Real One was a solid second in his seasonal debut last week in opening round action and should improve off that effort, while Doctor Butch was second to Take It Back Terry after a rail-enhanced pocket trip. Ideal Cowboy was an unlucky third behind Take It Back Terry and Doctor Butch last week while second over behind a listless Foiled Again and should also improve this weekend.

Then on Monday evening at Dover Downs, defending harness horse Wiggle It Jiggleit will make his four-year-old debut in a $60,000 Invitational slated as the 10th race on the card. Wiggle It Jiggleit prepped for his seasonal debut by winning his second Dover qualifier in 1:50.1 by 20 lengths and looks poised for an opening acid test against Rockeyed Optimist, riding a four-race win streak for trainer Steve Elliott and Bettor's Edge, the Burke-trained former Breeders Crown Pace winner and runner-up twice to 'Optimist' in his only two outings this year.

Looking to spoil the party for Wiggle It Jiggleit and perhaps topple Rockeyed Optimist and Bettor's Edge as well are One Through Ten, Bushwacker, Dapper Dude and First Class Horse. Dapper Dude has won twice over the oval, while One Through Ten and First Class Horse arrive from Yonkers. Bushwacker was an early season star but has since tailed off form.

Two races earlier in the weekly featured $36,000 Open/Preferred Handicap for older pacers, Jeneral Patton arrives from Yonkers riding a three-race win streak, while Atta Boy Dan, Art History and K-Lees Shakenbake have performed well at various ovals. Local stalwart Soto seeks his biggest win of the season for trainer Eric Ell, while Vapour N makes his local debut after two very good efforts against Open rivals at Rosecroft after arriving from 'down under' along with Bit Of A Legend N, Bettor Rock On N and Te Kawau N.