Monday harness preview

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Ted Black

October 5th, 2014

While many sports enthusiasts will focus their attention on the weekly National Football League contest that will take place this evening, serious harness racing fans will turn their attention to a pair of half-mile tracks that offer some genuine value plays tonight.

The Monday cards at Harrington Raceway are typically their strongest of the week and tonight is no exception. Granted, the opening round of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund eliminations for two-year-old pacing fillies appears to offer more questions than answers right now - it will get sorted out quicky - the overnight races appear appetizing.

In the opening race on the card, a non-winners of $80,000 lifetime event for younger pacers, look for Laughing Matters (Art Stafford, Jr.) to make amends this evening. Last week he raced first over into a brutal back half and settled for third, but there appears to be plenty of speed to insure an honest pace this evening and that should enable Laughing Matters to prevail.

Then two races later on the card give Cruising West (Jonathan Roberts) a chance to post an 8-1 upset in a non-winners of $7501 last four class for pacers. Granted, he does double jump in class following a 1:52.4 score here last week, but Cruising West may have the fitness edge of several rivals who missed last week.

Then  in the fourth, the other half of the non-winners of $80,000 lifetime split for younger pacers, look for Tauranga (Roberts) to continue his winning ways for trainer Doug Lewis. A winner twice in three starts over the local strip - both in an excellent 1:51.3 - Tauranga could be one of the emerging stars on the local scene and expect him to lead throughout in his first try in this class.

Then two races later in the Open II, expect Sunshine Superman (Toby Lynch, Jr.) to take advantage of the absence of Just A Jolt - who will be competing at Rosecroft on Tuesday - to capture this event. Sunshine Superman can leave quickly and he will look to control the tempo from the outset with railbound Bettor's Arena (Victor Kirby) following him throughout.

Then in the seventh, a $15,000 claiming event, look for Sir Jonathan Z Tam (Bret Brittingham) to continue his winning ways despite jumping up from the $10,000 claiming ranks where he has won five straight, all as the odds-on choice. Give railbound Chester Fitch a good chance to complete the exacta.

Two of the later races on the Yonkers card could offer plenty of value. In the 10th, the first half of the split, non-winners of $12,000 last six starts class, give Gallant Seelster (Jason Bartlett) a chance to upset and then take Bartlett again in the 11th behind Lucky McTrucky, who weakened after setting wicked fractions in a one-mile and one-sixteenth event here last week.