Weekend Harness Preview for 12/6/2013

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

December 6th, 2013

by Ted Black

While the vast majority of harness racing's major stakes have been completed for 2013, there are a number of tracks that will offer overnight cards this weekend that will feature horses with plenty of recent stakes experience and others that could be poised to compete in lucrative events next season.

Sweet Lou

Saturday night at Yonkers Raceway, Sweet Lou, fresh off a good fourth-place finish in the $512,000 TVG Free-For-All at the Meadowlands won by the incomparable nine-year-old gelding Foiled Again, will look to regain his winning ways when he starts from his assigned post position eight in the $37,000 Open Handicap for older pacers. The four-year-old Yankee Cruiser stallion has won three of 22 starts and earned $330,000 this year for trainer Ron Burke and he boasts career earnings of over $2 million.

Sweet Lou's arrival for the Open Handicap at Yonkers perhaps indicates that he will likely be pointing for the lucrative George Morton Levy Memorial Series for aged pacers. Burke trainees are usually well represented in the Levy, including Foiled Again, who has won the final twice. Sweet Lou's best performances over the past two seasons have often come over the bigger tracks like Woodbine and Meadowlands, so his outing this Saturday evening at Yonkers will give Burke an indication of how well he will fare on the New York half-mile oval.

That same evening at Rosecroft Raceway, the focus will clearly be on the overnight races for trotters and pacers and one trainer appears to have several two-year-old pacers capable of enjoying long, successful careers on the Maryland-Delaware circuit.

Trainer Brian Malone will send out King of Arts in the third race and then later Terra Terror in the sixth. King of Arts, a juvenile son of Royal Mattjesty, owns a 1-1-1 slate from four starts and was an unlucky second while third over in the same non-winners of two class won last weekend by Scirocco Billy in 1:56.1. King of Arts will again have catch driver Brandon Henley in the bike and could work out a better trip if he can get more pace up front.

Several races later on the card, Terra Terror will seek her second straight tally for Malone. The juvenile daughter of Western Terror has won twice in eight starts and romped home 11 lengths clear in 1:57 last weekend against non-winners of two rivals. She makes the natural step into the non-winners of three event this weekend for pacing fillies and mares, but appears poised to overcome the slight class hike and post position seven draw.

Then Sunday at Dover, one week after Sunshine Beach (John Campbell) cruised home as much the best to capture the $284,000 Progress Pace final for three-year-old colt pacers, the emphasis will shift to the overnight races and several younger pacers could garner the spotlight.

In one of the earlier races on the program, Cheers N Beers (Corey Callahan) will look to rebound from a fifth-place finish as the beaten favorite in a conditioned race at Harrah's Philadelphia when he makes his local debut. The juvenile son of Western Terror has already made 15 starts this season and will look to continue his busy schedule this weekend for trainer Alexander Rice, Jr. in the non-winners of three races lifetime class. In an era when horses typically have very light schedules, Cheers N Beers appears to be a throwback to pacers of yesteryear.