Harrington and Rosecroft Kick Off the Weeknight Cards

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Ted Black

October 17th, 2016

Harness racing enthusiasts are already eager for the two nights of Breeders Crown eliminations this Friday and Saturday evening at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, but they will open the week by looking to pad their bankrolls by playing overnight events at Harrington Raceway on Monday and Rosecroft Raceway on Tuesday.

In the opening race on the Monday card, which kicks off the Delaware oval's final week of live racing of 2016, much of the focus will be on two horses that drew toward the outer portion of the gate. Hustings Hanover (Montrell Teague) will make only his second start of the season and will leave from post five, while Cloud Speed (Bret Brittingham) will start alongside him looking to atone for consecutive near misses as the post time choice. Railbound Da Chief (Jonathan Roberts) and Alway'syourway (Ross Wolfenden) both drew well and loom as upset players.

Two races later in a conditioned event for younger pacers looking to climb into the Open ranks, Nuclear Dragon (Roberts) will look to make amends for a dull outing at Pocono Downs as the 6-5 choice when he leaves from the coveted rail in his first try against non-winners of $80,001 lifetime foes. Nuclear Dragon made quick work of his rivals in the non-winners of $50,001 lifetime class and posted final times that suggest the mild elevation will not pose a tremendous difficulty.

But those not willing to excuse Nuclear Dragon for his poor performance at Pocono Downs last week will have several logical options. New York Town N (Pat Berry) won his first attempt in this class in late August, but has been second once, third once and fourth once in three tries since. The eight-year-old Falcon Seelster gelding draws post two for this event and could pose an upsetter along with White Rolls (Russell Foster) and Triple Seelster (Victor Kirby).

Two races later in a tough, non-winners of $7501 last four starts class for older pacers, Totally Kissed (Teague), Bad Boy Matt (Allan Davis) and Simon's Artist (Ross Wolfenden) drew the three inside slots, but Soto (Art Stafford, Jr.) takes a steep drop in class off the layoff for trainer Eric Ell, while Special T Rocks (Jim Morand) also departs from his usual spot in the Open Handicap to get post seven at a level where he should be tough.

Then one race later in the $17,700 Open Handicap for older pacers, Arque Hanover (Roberts) looks poised to regain his status as the top pacer of the meet after a runner-up effort in the Open I at Batavia behind former three-year-old star, Limelight Beach. Remember Me VK (Teague) drew the coveted rail and owns three easy wins against conditioned foes at the meet for trainer Robert Wyatt, while Little Ben (Kirby) and Singing Saint (Tony Morgan) will both seek their second wins at this level.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $5001 last four conditioned event for pacers, Leyden (Wolfenden) gets the nod to prevail for owner-trainer-breeder William "Doc" Moffett courtesy of an inside draw after finishing second as the 7-5 choice in this class last week following a game, first over try. Just to his inside is Gallic Beach (Teague) who trounced lesser by four lengths in 1:53.4 for trainer John Wilkerson last week. Three Day Forecast (Foster) gets a drop in class and will be a factor early.

Then on Tuesday night at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland, the latter half of the card offers several interesting plays.

In the seventh, a non-winners of $4000 last five class for older pacers, Arpeggio Hanover (Foster) looks to regain his winning way for trainer Arty Foster, Jr., owning just one win at the current meet after being selected as the spring meet champion by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. Brody (Sean Bier) returns from Harrington and gets some serious class relief and will be a serious factor late despite getting post seven in this spot.

Then one race later in the $10,500 Winners Over class for older pacers, Diamondkeeper (Roger Plante, Jr.) gets some serious class relief after competing in the $12,500 Open here for the first five weeks and will no longer have to face the likes of Handsome Henry K and Rock'n Roll Jet. But the classy aged campaigner Hi Sir (Foster) also exits the Open and gets post eight, while I Wanna Go Fast (Jason Thompson) won handily last week in 1:52.2 for trainer Tony Sapienza.

Then two races later in the 10th, a non-winners of $6000 last five starts class for pacers, Rocktavius (Roberts) will look to continue his solid sophomore season for trainer Megan Roberts despite getting post eight in his second try against this level of rivals. The three-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding sports a solid 7-6-5 slate and $36,000 bankroll from 27 starts this season, including a 1:52.1 score two starts back in his first outing on Lasix.

But those who favor the older pacers to the rising sophomore will have several good options. Rock On The Hill (Frank Milby) gets a favorable draw for trainer Bruce Saunders, while Chesapeake Bay (Kim Vincent) gets his fourth try at this level after rallying the score in 1:53.3 on opening night. Real Impulsive (Foster) proved no match for Open foes last week, but he thumped much lesser by 14 lengths in 1:54.3 two starts back, while Dancing Rusty (Plante) was third as the 7-5 choice at this level last week.