Thursday Harness Preview for 1/16/2014

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

January 16th, 2014

While the previous two Wednesday cards have not provided much luck amidst the preponderance of trotters to choose from, the Thursday card at Dover Downs offers a wide variety of talented pacers and tonight's card at The Meadowlands features a pair of trotters who deserve a second chance.

Although it was difficult to find some value plays on the early portion of the Thursday card at Dover, there are several pacers from the midway portion on that look playable at decent prices.

In the seventh race, a $25/30,000 claiming handicap, expect Bad Man Sam (Corey Callahan) to make immediate amends for his second-place finish as the 8-5 favorite in this group one week ago. The speedy and durable sort was used hard to make the front in a solid 54.4 half last week, but should be able to reach the midway mark in 56 flat this evening and then edge away from his pursuers in the lane as the tepid favorite or possible 3-1 second choice.

One race later in the eighth, the $27,500 Delaware Special, give Jeremy's Successor the nod while starting from the rail, which is not always a favorable spot on any five-eighths mile oval. An aged pacer with a ton of serious back class, Jeremy's Successor was a sharp, first over winner in 1:50.2 last week in the non-winners of $12,001 last six class and should be able to make the jump in the Special and upend last week's winner, Sunshine Superman.

Then toward the end of the card in the 13th, a non-winners of five races lifetime group, look for Acelo Hanover (Tony Morgan) to rebound from his second-place finish last week to prevail in this group. Last week in his seasonal debut against several rivals who already had a race under their belt on the year, Acelo Hanover gained command before a solid half and then settled for second in a good outing. He should make an appearance in the winner's circle on Thursday.

While a quartet of NFL teams are competing in their respective conference championship games this weekend to earn a berth in the Super Bowl at The Meadowlands, roughly two dozen trotters will go postward in the second leg of the Super Bowl series Thursday evening at the Big M with their sights set on the final later this month.

One week after the race was split into four divisions, the second leg of the Super Bowl offers only two divisions and with each one boasting a solid favorite there is potential for some value in upsetters.

In the first Super Bowl split, Time To Quit (Yannick Gingras) will be the solid favorite for trainer Ron Burke despite starting from post 12 in the second tier. But while the trotter could be the future book favorite to win the final, he might encounter some traffic trouble in this leg due to his poor luck in the draw and that could enable Jcs Jake (Scott Zeron) to post an upset. Jcs Jake was a good second in his leg last week and could prevail here at double-digit odds.

Then in the second Super Bowl split, look for a Burke trainee to prevail but possibly not as the post time choice. Cocotier (Gingras) was used hard in the opening half mile last week and was eventually overtaken in the lane by Home Turf (John Campbell), but his two-move effort was better than it looked on paper. He will likely be sent to the front early this evening and he might yield to a rival, but expect his driver to be more patient thereafter and that should enable Cocotier to outlast Home Turf and garner a leg victory in the series.