Older horses contend for meet title

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Ted Black

June 1st, 2016

With the Rosecroft Raceway spring meet winding to a close, the chase for horse of the meet honors hinged largely on the Tuesday feature.

Heading into the $12,000 Open 2 Handicap for older pacers, Concert Artist, Arpeggio Hanover, Jet Blue Miracle and Hi Sir all loomed contenders for the title - in actuality two since track management takes one and the USHWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter takes another - and three of them raced well.

When the gate folded in the Open 2, Arpeggio Hanover left best of all to gain the early lead and then got a breather by the half in 57 flat. The closers were at a huge disadvantage at that point but two of them raced well.

Arpeggio Hanover led the way down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:24.2 as Concert Artist launched a first over bid with Jet Blue Miracle second over and Hi Sir third over.

At the top of the lane Arpeggio Hanover still had plenty left in reserve, but both Concert Artist and Jet Blue Miracle were not about to back away. Hi Sir, who had missed the previous week, lacked his usual late kick in the lane and was not a factor.

Arpeggio Hanover dug in and just outlasted the late bids of Concert Artist and Jet Blue Miracle to win by a pair of noses in 1:52.2. Arpeggio Hanover has won four times in 12 starts at the meet, while Concert Artist owns a 3-2-2 slate from 12 local outings.

One race later Real Impulsive made quick work of his rivals when he scored in 1:51.4 against conditioned foes, while One Bad Shot opened the card by winning a similar condition in 1:51.3. Anotherbugga got his first win of the year before the finale.

Rosecroft will offer three more cards through June 11 before the harness racing scene in Maryland shifts to Ocean Downs starting on June 12.

Both Maryland ovals should look to attract some of the sport's best older pacers such as Wiggle It Jiggleit, Foiled Again, Mach It So and various others this summer and likely all of them would arrive for $75,000 Invitationals. Each track could host a Free State Free-For-All that would infuse some life into both aging ovals and perhaps entice a large gathering of fans young and old.