Older horses again prove their worth

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

May 21st, 2015

In consecutive nights of racing at Harrington Raceway in Delaware and Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland, a bevy of older trotters and pacers displayed their talents in the various overnight races those tracks offer.

In the opening race on the Tuesday evening card at Rosecroft, Prayer Session (Jonathan Roberts) lived up to his role as the 9-5 favorite when he was able to overcome post position eight and prevail by three lengths in 1:53.4, equaling the all-age track record for trotters set last fall by Chinese Cuisine. A six-year-old Like A Prayer gelding trained by Trish Foulk, Prayer Session notched his first win in three locals starts and posted his fifth score in 16 seasonal outings. His winning time was a track mark, but not a lifetime best clocking.

Then just past the midway point of the program, Three Of Spades (Roberts) regained his winning ways by prevailing as the 1-2 choice in a non-winners of $1500 last five starts class. A 12-year-old Cam's Card Shark gelding trained by William "Bib" Roberts of Trapeze and Yankee Co-Ed fame for owner William DeLodovico, Three Of Spades ended a two-month drought by notching his third win in nine starts this season. He had won his first two outings over the strip to begin the campaign before climbing into tougher company including the Open 2. His winning clocking of 1:53.2 was nevertheless a healthy four seconds above his lifetime mark.

Then one race later on the card, Delaware invader Bandolito (Daryl Bier) easily lived up to his role as the 3-10 choice in the $11,500 Open 1 Handicap when he overcame post eight to gain command before the half en route to a seven-length score in 1:49.4, the fastest mile of the meet thus far. Bandolito has now won six of 16 starts this year for his trainer-driver, although his winning time was no threat to his seasonal best of 1:48.1 or his lifetime mark of 1:48, both taken at Dover Downs.

Then one race later on the card, Brody (Sean Bier) lived up to his billing as the 3-5 favorite in the $9000 Open 2 class for older pacers when he scored in 1:51.2 for his third win in as many starts over the track this meet. A five-year-old Real Artist gelding owned, trained and driven by Bier, Brody has now won four of seven starts this season and now owns a 6-5-6 slate and earnings of nearly $50,000 from 25 lifetime tries. He will make the leap into the Open 1 class next Tuesday, but will not have Bandolito to contend with in that event.

Then one race later on the card Little Miss Woohoo (Daryl Bier) notched her fifth win of the meet to join the short list of horse of the meet contenders when she posted an 11-1 upset in the Open 2 Handicap for pacing fillies and mares. A six-year-old Cam's Rocket mare trained by Clyde Oglesby, Jr. for the Denmar Stables of Florida, Little Miss Woohoo posted her first win at the Open level when she led throughout and scored in 1:53. She owns a 5-2-1 slate and $23,000 bankroll from 17 starts this year, with all of her wins and most of her earnings coming over the strip.

Then one race later in the penultimate race on the card, Lone Raider (Sean Bier) notched his second straight win after a prolonged drought when he posted a 12-1 upset in a non-winners of $4500 last five starts class. Fresh off a 1:54 tally against non-winners of $1500 last five company, Lone Raider made it two straight for trainer Steven Swann and owners Julie & Lois Swann of Denton, Maryland. The four-year-old Nuclear Breeze gelding now owns a 9-8-4 slate and $46,000 bankroll from 40 career outings with his latest tally a new lifetime mark.

One night earlier at Harrington Raceway, Just A Jolt (Victor Kirby) posted a mild 5-2 upset in the $16,000 Open Handicap for older pacers on the Delaware half-mile oval. A five-year-old Village Jolt gelding who dominated the local scene one year ago en route to 16 wins and earnings of nearly $225,000 for trainer Jim King, Jr. capped by a win in the Governor's Cup on Governor's Day, Just A Jolt notched his fifth win from 16 starts this year and overhauled 1-5 favorite Dancin Yankee in the lane last Monday to prevail in 1:52.

Dancin Yankee (Allan Davis) had won the week before in wire-to-wire fashion while strolling through pedestrian fractions for the first half-mile, but last Monday he had to work to make the top and eventually Just A Jolt was able to overhaul the favorite in the lane. Like Just A Jolt, Dancin Yankee was superb last season, boasting 18 wins and earnings of over $500,000 from 29 starts. But this season the Josh Green trainee has yet to regain that form and he was winless until taking the Open on May 11.

In the finale on the Monday card at Harrington, Leyden (Ross Wolfenden) ended a prolonged drought when he delivered as the 8-5 favorite in a non-winners of $3001 last four starts class to score in 1:53. A four-year-old Quik Pulse Mindale gelding owned, bred and trained by William F. "Doc" Moffett, Leyden posted his first win in 16 starts this year, pushing his seasonal earnings past $13,000. In 50 career outings Leyden now owns a 9-5-8 slate and $106,000 bankroll, with a lifetime mark of 1:51.4 taken at Dover Downs last fall.