Friday harness preview 12/26/14

Ted Black

December 23rd, 2014

Many standardbred racing owners, trainers and fans alike probably welcomed the brief respite to celebrate Christmas Day on Thursday, but many of them will be looking to get back to the races on Friday night to enjoy the holiday cheer that only cashing a few nice tickets can provide and perhaps the best place to do that will be the Meadowlands.

Friday's card at the Meadowlands offers a good blend of overnight races for trotters and pacers and several of them include a likely favorite that looks very vulnerable and worth playing against. Such is the case with the opener, a non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime event for two- and three-year-old filly pacers where Baby Remind Me (David Miller) looms as the odds-on favorite despite starting from post 10 on the far outside.

But Baby Remind Me has failed to deliver on an odds-on promise in each of her last two starts over the track and she has not raced since December 5, a brief vacation that could enable several of her rivals to overtake her. In fact, World Of Rock (John Campbell), Rollatini (Andy Miller) and A Wild Money Maker (Brett Miller) all look worthy of backing. A Wild Money Maker raced very well while widest of all in the lane at Rosecroft Raceway in her last start and could reward her backers with a $50 win mutuel.

One race later in a non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime class for two- and three-year-old filly trotters, look for Maximus Deo (David Miller) to post a mild upset. Last week she was second to favored Opulent Yankee in that one's return, but Maximus Deo raced well in defeat and should improve off that effort. Her main foes will be Oneida (Andy Miller) and Annapolis (Tim Tetrick) who finished one-two in third class on Dec. 12 but then missed last week. Annapolis cut fast fractions for the first three calls that night before being overhauled late by 4-5 choice Oneida in the lane.

Several races later in the sixth, a B-2 class for trotters, give It Really Matters a chance for redemption for basically the same reason. Last week in her local debut for trainer Larry Remmen, It Really Matters set the tempo for the first three calls before being easily passed in the lane and settling for second while five lengths back. But that race should only benefit It Really Matters and his second outing over the New Jersey one-mile oval should end with a quick visit to the winner's circle.

One race later in the seventh, a B-2 event for pacing fillies and mares, look for Delightful Dragon (John Campbell) to post the mild upset. Last week she raced first over for most of the mile and then gave way late to finish third, but that effort should prove a serious tightener. Carolsideal (Scott Zeron) looms as the favorite two starts after winning at this level as the 8-5 choice and she did not race poorly while seventh in the tougher B-1/A-2 event for distaffers last week. But at even-money or less, she is worth playing against.

Three races later in the 10th, a non-winners of four races or $75,000 lifetime class for trotters, expect Chocolate Delight (Tetrick) and Tactful Way (David Miller) to settle the issue in the lane. Last week in this class, Tactful Way rallied from far back after being parked the entire mile to finish second, beaten just a neck as the 3-1 third choice, while Chocolate Delight raced parked-the-mile from post 10 and faded to sixth as the 2-1 second choice. Expect Tactful Way to garner the favorite's role this evening, but don't be surprised if Chocolate Delight turns the tables on that one.

Then one race later in the 11th, a non-winners of three races or $40,000 lifetime event for three- and four-year-old filly pacers, look for Empress Deo (Brett Miller) to continue her winning ways for trainer Wayne Givens. Empress Deo has now won four straight races, including a gritty, 1:54 score last Friday at this level in her local debut. Blixtra (Tetrick) benefited from a pocket trip and won the other half of this split condition last week by five lengths in 1:53.3 and will likely be the favorite here despite starting from post 10. Somenicebeach (Zeron) poses an upset threat after second-place efforts at Harrah's Philadelphia and Yonkers despite missing last week.