Harness Preview for 9/30/2014

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Ted Black

September 30th, 2014

While Tuesday might represent the last day of the month of September, it also presents harness racing fans with several good chances to make some value plays at a trio of tracks offering competitive cards on the night - Harrington, Rosecroft and Yonkers Raceways.

Perhaps two of the most intriguing and most competitive races of the night occur toward the midway point of the card at Harrington. In the fifth, a non-winners of four races lifetime event for pacing fillies and mares, look for Hit By Lightning (Allan Davis) to maintain her winning ways for trainer Wayne Givens. In three starts at Harrington, Hit By Lightning has recorded a pair of victories and a second-place finish. In her most recent start last Tuesday, Hit By Lightning led throughout to score by a length in 1:55.4, one week after finishing a game second following a long, first over journey.

Then one race later in the sixth, the $18,000 Filly-Mare Open handicap in which all five posts were assigned, any number of the handful of talented, durable distaffers could prevail in what could be the best race of the night at any harness oval this evening.

Although she ascends to the top Open following a sharp score in the lesser Open II last week, Jeremes Sweetheart (Victor Kirby) certainly merits plenty of respect in here. Last week the Eric Ell trainee set honest fractions throughout to capture the Open II in 1:52, which would eventually rate a full second faster than the top F-M Open. Jeremes Sweetheart was assigned post position two in this event, but that could certainly play to her advantage. She is no stranger to facing the top mares on the Delaware circuit and her latest victory indicates she is ready to rejoin this group.

Starting just to her outside in post position three is the gritty Embassy Seelster, who dead-heated with Springforth for the place spot in the Open last week. Embassy Seelster may lack an abundance of early speed, but she can race parked out first over for a long duration. She has finished second twice and third twice in four starts since winning the top class here on August 26. Despite her lack of early speed, it seems difficult to leave Embassy Seelster off any of the exotics.

Just to her outside in post four is Springforth, a newcomer to the circuit this summer for owner-trainer Jeff Clark. Springforth has already recorded a pair of victories in the top open here on Sep. 2 and Sep. 16 and last week she dead-heated for the place spot with Embassy Seelster after racing from well off the pace and second over. If she leaves to get good early position, Springforth will be a factor late.

Completing the field from her assigned post five on the outside is last week's winner, Monochromatic (Jim Morand). A fixture in the top Open here and Dover Downs for trainer Dylan Davis, Monochromatic led throughout to score last week in 1:53. One week earlier when assigned the outside post seven, Monochromatic did not leave and raced from well off the pace and barely earned a check. This evening all eyes will be on the gate when the wings fold since any trio of these mares could look to control the tempo from the outset.

Although Rosecroft offers only limited live racing for both its spring and current fall meets, the track has recently put the emphasis on its Tuesday cards which have become more and more competitive this year. Tonight's card, which features a trio of consecutive Open events, is certainly no exception.

In the seventh, the $10,000 Open 2 Handicap for trotters, give Fiorenza (Cory Mumford) a chance to topple the boys while being fortunate enough to draw post two. In a race where Bossy Volo, the runner-up in this event last week behind Mandabra, looms as the logical 8-5 choice, give Fiorenza a chance to post a 4-1 upset. The four-year-old Glidemaster mare has been fifth and third in each of her two starts in this class since arriving from Pocono Downs and should be able to sit a pocket trip behind the speedy Beau Joe (Bill Long) in this event.

One race later in the ultra-competitive $13,000 Open I for pacers, again any number of horses could prevail. Shady Breeze (Tony Morgan) won last week's event in 1:51.4 as the 3-2 choice, but catch-driver Jonathan Roberts opted off this Judy Welty trainee to take Toms Titan, who drew post seven and faces older rivals for only the third time. Real Impulsive (Tim Offutt) was a sharp, 1:50.4 winner here opening week but faded to eighth after uncorking a blistering 53.4 half last week in this group. Meg's Boy (Frank Milby) rallied from far back to finish second in this event last week, while Beavercreek Artist (Art Stafford, Jr.) rallied to finish fifth last week in his first start in three months and figures to improve second start back.

Movie Idol (Corey Callahan), who led throughout to capture a conditioned event in 1:52.2 here last week for his first score of the season, joins the Open and drew post six. Toms Titan (Roberts), one of the best Maryland-bred sophomore pacers, qualified smartly for owner-breeder Tom Cooke and enticed Roberts to make the switch from Shady Breeze, a pacer two years his senior. I Wanna Go Fast finished third behind Shady Breeze and Megs Boy last week after winning a lesser conditioned event here on opening night in 1:52 for trainer Brian Callahan, but drew the outside eight hole this evening.

One race later in the $10,000 Open 2, which also includes the best mare on the grounds, a handful of horses could win this event and then find themselves in the top Open next week.

Clear View Hanover (Henrik Lundell), the one mare in the field gets assigned the rail but figures to be tough despite missing a week. She won the F-M Open 2 by three lengths in 1:51.4 in her local debut on Sep. 16. Both Fancy Colt (Morgan) and Booze Cruzin (Jared Moyer) exit the top Open where they had finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Jeremes General (Stafford) steps up following a win against conditioned foes in 1:51.2 last Tuesday, a clocking that was faster than the one Shady Breeze posted in the top Open. Varsity Hanover (Kim Vincent) closed out the Tuesday card last week with a 1:52.3 score against much lesser and loses Morgan.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $5000 last five class for pacing fillies and mares, look for either Together Again N (Morgan), Raquel (Vincent), O'What A Stunner (Callahan) or Rocket Rosy (Milby) to score here and then earn a berth in the F-M Open next week. Both Together Again N and Raquel won in identical 1:53 clockings in a split condition last week, while Rocket Rosy overcame post eight to set the tempo in one of those splits before settling for second behind Together Again. 'Rosy' could certainly reverse the outcome this evening.

Typically the Tuesday evening cards at Yonkers Raceway have little to offer, but tonight the program has a trio of playable events.

In the third, a non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime class, look for Slam Dunk Hanover to make amends for his third-place finish as the 1-4 favorite in this class. Last week Thereisapaceforus overcame post eight to gain the early advantage and got a soft half before settling for second, but an honest tempo this evening should favor Slam Dunk Hanover and Great American, who was also victimized by the slow early tempo and excess cover in this group last week.

Several races later in the sixth, a non-winners of four races or $40,000 lifetime class, look for Neat (Brent Holland) to maintain his newfound winning ways despite missing last week. In each of his last two starts since getting Lasix the Erv Miller trainee has notched back-to-back scores here in the identical clocking of 1:53.2 against non-winners of two foes. It can be difficult to make the jump to non-winners of four company, especially after missing a week, but Neat could be among the developing rising stars on the overnight circuit here.

Then one race later in the other half of the split, non-winners of four or $40,000 lifetime class, look for Sir Jake's Z Tam (Jordan Stratton) to rebound from two narrow setbacks against similar to forge an 8-1 upset despite drawing post seven. Owned and trained by D. Benny Eggers, Sir Jake's Z Tam has raced well while second and third, respectively, in each of his last two outings and he should be able to make amends - at a decent price - despite drawing toward the outside in this group after favorable posts in each of his two previous tries.