Harness Preview for 8/12/2014

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Ted Black

August 12th, 2014

While many standardbred cards early in the week might leave little to the imagination, Tuesday evening's card at Yonkers Raceway in New York offers a good blend of stakes action for trotters and overnight races for pacers.

In the second race on the card, a $110,000 New York Sire Stakes split for three-year-old colt & gelding trotters, a trio of sophomores will take center stage.

Clearly the sharpest horse in the group right now is Flyhawk El Durado (Mark Macdonald), a Conway Hall colt trained by Mark Ford for owner Martin Scharf. Flyhawk El Durado has won his last two starts against similar foes at Batavia and Yonkers in wire-to-wire fashion and draws post position two for this event so his fondness for the half-mile ovals should not waver.

But a pair of talented sorts are looking to upset him. Cash Me Out (Michael McGivern) owns a solid 4-5-1 slate and $137,000 bankroll that includes NYSS tallies at Saratoga and Buffalo and the Cash Hall colt finished a good third against Flyhawk El Durado in their most recent encounter despite a first over journey.

Expressive Action (Mike Simons) made an early break as the 7-5 choice in a NYSS split over this oval in late July and will seek to get back on track for owner-trainer John Grasso. Expressive Action captured both his Empire Breeders Classic elim and $215,000 final at Vernon Downs in June, but has been second twice and third once in four winless outings since then.

Several races later in the other $110,000 NYSS split for this group, much of the attention will be focused on Gural Hanover (Jim Morrill, Jr.), the talented Crazed gelding who has won six of eight starts and won five straight races against similar at five different half-mile ovals. Gural Hanover had the misfortune of drawing post seven, but has the ability to overcome the outside assignment albeit at a short price.

Of course, those looking to upend 'Gural' could find a trio of trotters to play. Royal Max (John Macdonald) was second to him at Batavia; Zoey De Vie (Morrill, Jr.) won a NYSS split at Monticello and was second in four others, only finishing a length behind 'Gural' at Buffalo, and Commission Daley (Dan Daley) steps up to the open company after dominating the NY Excelsior A group at four different ovals.

Three races later in the 10th, a non-winners of four races or $40,000 lifetime event for two- and three-year-old pacers, look for Monologue (Eric Carlson) to improve off a long, first over journey in his local debut and prevail in this spot. The Well Said gelding trained by Wayne Givens recorded two scores at Harrah's Philadelphia in June and gets the nod here over railbound Ricky Blue Eyes.

Then two races later in the finale, a non-winners of six races or $60,000 lifetime event for two-, three- and four-year-old pacers, give Big Art (Daniel Dube) a chance to atone for his fourth-place effort as the 8-5 choice against similar here on July 29. The four-year-old Western Ideal gelding trained by Bruce Saunders got used hard to make the front despite having the rail in that outing, but could benefit from a soft half following a brush move to command from post four in this spot.