Monday Harness Preview for 1/20/2014

Molly Jo Rosen

January 21st, 2014







While much of the nation was glued to the televsion for the NFL conference championship games on Sunday, stout racegoers will begin the two-week wait until Super Bowl 48 by seeking to cash several tickets on the Monday and Tuesday cards at Dover Downs.

Since most of the Monday cards at Dover are dedicated to the top-level filly and mare pacers, the top tier of which are competitive at any major circuit, many of the races are formful and often chalky. But the quest here is always to find a few value plays and this Monday card at Dover appears to offer a trio of them.

In the fifth, a winners over $45,000 lifetime class for some of the younger, unproven distaff pacers, give Lloyd's Lady (Montrell Teague) a chance at an upset. In a field that features four mares that have already won at least once on the season and one, Grandview Hanover, that has won twice, Lloyd's Lady has been unlucky in her two outings and could finally attain that elusive first victory of the campaign while overcoming post seven at a generous price.

Then in the ninth, a non-winners of $12,001 last six starts condition for filly-mare pacers, play Melissa's Fancy (George Dennis) right back off the win against lesser last week. In a race that was better than it looked on paper, Melissa's Fancy was able to prevail despite racing second over behind dull cover into a quick back half. She is listed at 12-1 on the morning line, but should be able to work out another good trip behind what should be much livelier fractions up front and that could enable Melissa's Fancy to prevail at a nice price.

Then two races later in the 11th, a $15/20,000 claiming handicap for the lady pacers, take a shot on Magic Card despite her outside assignment. One of only two mares in the field in for the $20,000 tag, Magic Card has been very good and somewhat unlucky over the past month and raced superbly last week while third over. She does not have much gate speed, but after facing tougher conditioned foes this spot looks ideal for Magic Card to get her first victory of the 2014 campaign.

A glimpse at the Tuesday Dover card did not appear to offer much, but one pacer is definitely worth a play tomorrow evening. In the 10th, a $15,000 claiming event for older pacers, give Chester Fitch a genuine chance to attain his first win of the season. Last week he was third over and still rallied to get fourth into a fast back half while starting from an outside slot, but draws post two on Tuesday and should be able to work out an ideal trip. Chester Fitch does not hail from a prominent barn and has been known to light up the toteboard on occasion.