Harness preview 1/5/15

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Ted Black

January 4th, 2015

With the Wild Card round of the National Football League playoffs having been finished the night before, standardbred racing fans will look for an ideal way to kick off the upcoming week and many of them will do so by playing the solid Monday evening card at Dover Downs.

The Monday cards at Dover typically highlight the best pacing mares on the circuit and this evening's program is certainly no exception. Form usually holds on these cards, but there is always the chance for several upsets.

In the ninth, the winners over class for pacing fillies and mares for those distaffers either exiting the top Filly-Mare Open or looking to earn a spot in that event, look for Jeremes Sweetheart (Victor Kirby) to dictate the tempo throughout and then hold safe the late bid of Mystra for the victory. Last week in this class, Jeremes Sweetheart cut the fractions through the first three calls before being overhauled late by the pocket horse, but this week the Eric Ell trainee should be much tighter and able to prevail. Mystra raced very well last week in the non-winners of $12,001 last six class and draws post eight on the step up, but should be a major player in the lane.

Then one race later in the featured $18,000 Filly-Mare Open, look for Mach A Wish (Corey Callahan) to make amends this week following an unlucky second-place finish in the top class last week. In an event that features Handsoffmycookie, the Scott DiDeminco-trained Maryland-bred mare who is making an early case for horse of the meet honors, Mach A Wish sat a tight pocket last week and did not get carried to the passing lane until the late closers had already been afforded the chance to get in high gear. Mach A Wish should get another ideal trip this evening or perhaps even set the tempo and she should be able to outlast Handsoffmycookie to garner the winner's share of the top class for local distaff pacers.

Then one race later in a non-winners of five races lifetime class for pacing fillies and mares, look for Hidden Land to repeat in upset style. Last week the John McIntyre trainee led throughout to capture a slightly lesser condition, but she displayed enough early speed and late ability to score handily last week and signify her readiness to step up in class and prevail again.

Then two races later in the 13th, the other half of the non-winners of five races lifetime class for pacing fillies and mares, give Hit By Lightning a chance to repeat while also making a modest class hike. Last week the Wayne Givens trainee delivered a stellar, wire-to-wire effort and looks capable of duplicating that effort while starting from the rail. She will also likely be a decent price in the 4-1 to 5-1 range thanks to the presence of McArma who has always done well over the Dover strip in the winter months.