Harrington begins as Ocean Downs winds down

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Ted Black

August 16th, 2016

Harness racing in the Mid-Atlantic region each summer shifts to a pair of half-mile ovals that occasionally offer a modest reprieve from the hot, humid conditions.

Monday evening marked the beginning of the Harrington summer-fall meet and several horses and one driver earned top billing on opening night.

In the opening race on the card, Fancy Colt (Tony Morgan) lived up to his role as the solid 3-5 favorite when he gained command from along the rail and led throughout to capture the non-winners of $5001 last four event in 1:52.4.

A six-year-old Always A Virgin gelding owned and trained by Tim Crissman, Fancy Colt notched his fifth win from 26 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past $47,000. He should be competitive in the non-winners of $7501 last four class next week.

Several races later on the card, Little Ben (Victor Kirby) overcame post six to gain command early, shook off a challenge from favored Vapour N (Pat Berry) down the backside and edged clear late to score in 1:52.2 in a non-winners of $7501 last four class.

A five-year-old Jereme's Jet gelding trained by Jo Ann Looney-King, Little Ben had been a solid third in the Governors Cup at this oval in late July and notched his fourth win from 23 outings this year and he has now banked over $60,000 along the way.

It was one of four winners on the card for catch driver Victor Kirby, who celebrated his 44th birthday in style. Kirby has had ample success at the Delaware ovals throughout his career and he has also won open stakes at other venues for various local conditioners, including Looney-King.

Then one race later on the card, Arque Hanover (Jonathan Roberts) easily lived up to his role as the 1-5 favorite the $15,000 Open Handicap when he led throughout to score in 1:52.1.

A four-year-old Rock n Roll Heaven stallion trained by Dylan Davis, Arque Hanover has won two of three starts since Davis took over the conditioning chores and now owns three wins in 11 starts overall.

One night earlier at Ocean Downs, Rock N Roll Jet (Jason Thompson) took full advantage of his inside draw and gained command soon after the start and led throughout to capture the $10,000 A-3/A-1 Handicap in 1:53.

A seven-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding owned and trained by William "Buddy" Bright, Rock N Roll Jet has won three of six starts at the seaside oval and sports a 6-3-0 slate and $37,000 bankroll from 25 starts overall this year.

Several races earlier in the card, Dalhousie Dave (Frank Milby) benefited from a pocket trip behind Bobbies Power Play (Bryan Truitt, Jr.) and angled inside late to capture a C-1 class by a neck in 1:54.

A nine-year-old Astreos gelding trained by Ken Schlotzhauer for owner Kelley Rogers, Dalhousie Dave owns a 4-4-2 slate and $20,000 bankroll from 23 starts this year. He is rapidly approaching the $625,000 mark in career earnings and sports a 1:49.4 mark at Mohawk Raceway in Canada at age three.

In a pair of Maryland Sire Stakes eliminations for two-year-old colt pacers, Mr Ham Sandwich (Russell Foster) and Toms Tarzan (Brian Burton) both posted sharp scores, while Goodfridaymiracle (Eddie Dennis) led throughout to capture the lone MDSS event for freshman fully pacers.