Highlight Trio of Saturday cards

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

February 6th, 2016

While most sports enthusiasts consider this Saturday night simply as Super Bowl eve, serious standardbred fans will find ample plays at a trio of tracks.

One of the Saturday evening co-features at Yonkers Raceway is the $32,000 Open Handicap for older trotters. Slated as the sixth race on the card the Open trot looks like the ideal spot for Red Hot Herbie to attain his first win of the season.

Red Hot Herbie won the Open trot three times last November, but the Rene Allard trainee has finished second once and third twice in three winless starts this year. He was assigned post five in the field of seven on Saturday night, but should be in ideal striking position throughout.

Then one race later in the $32,000 Open Handicap for pacers, look for Melmerby Beach to notch his first win of the season. This five-year-old son of Somebeachsomwhere has finished second in each of his first two starts this year, but he raced well in defeat in both outings.

Looking to keep Melmerby Beach an early season bridesmaid are Polak A Mad Atta Boy Dan. Polak A has won his last two starts against conditioned foes and steps into the Open, while Atta Boy Dan merits respect having beaten Bushwacker at Dover Downs on December.

Then three races later on the card Yonkers will present an intriguing non-winners of $25,000 last five starts conditioned event.

Railbound Roland N Rock crushed non-winners of $18,000 last five foes last week in 1:52.3. Sunfire Blue Chip stays at this level after finishing second to Polak A as the 1-5 choice, while Casimir Jitterbug has won both of his starts against conditioned foes but has been idle since Jan. 16.

That same evening at The Meadowlands, Rockeyed Optimist makes his five-year-old debut off a pair of good qualifiers. This Steve Elliott trainee posted a 9-3-1 slate and nearly $200,000 banked from 15 starts last year when he took a lifetime mark of 1:48 flat.

But Rockeyed Optimist is not a cinch in his return. Kingofthejungle has yet to win in four starts this year after ending his previous campaign on a three-race win streak. Class Six arrives riding a four-race streak at Dover Downs capped by a 1:51 score, while Real Nice, a former Levy series champ, has won three straight over the Big M oval.

That same evening at Hawthorne Race Track, a trio of horses bear watching in the fifth race, a non-winners of $4000 last five starts or five races lifetime class.

Silver Decil drops out of the winners over class, Coal Harbor exits the 3-5 Open and Control Tower seeks his second win this year and fourth straight overall. He won his last two starts in sharp fashion last March then was idle until last week.

Then three races later in the $12,500 Open, much of the attention will be on Ontario Success, who has won this event three times in four starts including last week's 1:51.1 score.

But looking to upend the likely favorite are Vince Bayama, Ice Scraper, Jones Beach and Sunset Dreamer. Jonas Beach defeated Ontario Success two starts back in the Open, while Sunset Dreamer steps up off three straight wins against conditioned foes.