Harrington offers solid Monday card

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Ted Black

June 4th, 2016

While Yonkers Raceway will be dark through the Belmont Stakes card, harness racing fans who enjoy half-mile track racing will focus their attention on Harrington Raceway on Monday when the track offers its best card of the week and a final tuneup for pacers gearing up for the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund events and subsequent Governor's Day card this summer.

In fact, the second race on the card will feature one such sophomore destined for DSBF action. Trayvon (Montrell Teague) will have post three in this conditioned event and will seek to end a four-race skid for owner-trainer Brenda Teague, sister of trainer Georg Teague, Jr. of Rainbow Blue and Wiggle It Jiggleit fame. But older foes Live Action, Ace Of Sharks, View Land and Rocknroll Power will look to play a modest spoiler role for their DSBF-bound rival.

Two races later on the card, Options Are Adream (Ross Wolfenden) will look to resume his winning ways despite having post seven in this non-winners of $80,001 lifetime event. Options Are Adream has won 10 of 13 starts this year for trainer Richard Lewis and owner David Banks of Rookery fame, although his outside draw against older foes Sports Bettor and Ima Rebel - who were one-two in this class last week - who also have the two inside posts, respectively.

Then one race later in a non-winners of six races or $55,001 lifetime event for pacers, DSBF bound sophomores Hail To The Master and Next Success  will have their final series tuneups from posts six and eight, respectively, while older foes Dirty Rusty, Cousin Brucie, Weapons Dealer and New York Town N will all seek to regain their winning ways. New York Town N has been the beaten favorite in each of his last two and could earn redemption at a generous price.

Then one race later in the $17,500 Open Handicap, older pacers and youthful standardbred fan and birthday boy, Ryder Skinner, will be the center of attention in this contentious affair. Just A Jolt (Victor Kirby) will look to end a modest two-race skid while starting from post seven, while Getitoffyourchest (Wolfenden) will look to continue his quest for horse of the meet honors after a solid, second-place effort last week after winning the Open the week before for Lewis and Banks.

But there are some serious competitors to their inside. Soto (Allan Davis) gets the rail in his return to the First State after four outings at Harrah's Philadelphia, where he beat conditioned foes three starts back. Papa Ray also returns after two outings at Harrah's, one of which he won, while Coaster and Framed Art will both seek their inaugural Open tallies. Leyden beat much lesser at odds-on last week, while Special T Rocks has been a fixture in the Open.

While many of the older pacers in the Open will continue to prep for the Governor's Cup in late July, the best sophomore pacers and trotters will contest various overnight events this week before competing in their respective DSBF elimination openers beginning next Monday. The best will return for the quartet of $100,000 DSBF finals on Governor's Day, while others will have to settle for the various consolations on a nighttime card that has become one of the best programs in the Mid-Atlantic Region in recent years.