Racing in full swing on Monday

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

February 15th, 2016

Two days after many standardbred tracks cancelled live racing due to the frigid combination of chilly temperatures and steady, gusty winds, both Dover Downs and Yonkers Raceway are expected to offer full cards on Monday night amid warmer, rainier conditions capping the Presidents' Day weekend.

Monday' fourth race at Dover is an interesting non-winners of four races or $17,501 lifetime class for younger pacers. Shouldhavebetmore (Corey Callahan) looms as the likely post-time favorite based off his second-place effort as the 2-5 favorite at this level on Feb. 1. But the Trish Foulk trainee missed last week, which may enable Lew's Maverick (Montrell Teague) to have a slight fitness edge on the choice. Lew's Maverick has won his last two against non-winners of three races lifetime company, but he looks capable of making the successful jump in class on Monday.

Three races later in a wide-open, non-winners of $12,001 last six starts class for older pacers in which Jebswesternshake (George Dennis) is the lukewarm 4-1 morning line favorite, look for Go Big Spinder (Callahan) to regain his winning ways in this spot. Two weeks ago this five-year-old No Spin Zone stallion owned, bred and trained by petite blacksmith Leigh Louthan handled similar foes in 1:51.2 for is first win of the season and his chances will improve over an off track.

One race later in a non-winners of $80,001 lifetime class primarily for four- and five-year-old pacers, look for Apollo Seelster (Yannick Gingras) to notch his first win of the campaign. A five-year-old Camluck gelding trained by Dylan Davis, Apollo Seelster has finished second twice and third twice in five winless starts to begin the season, but he gets the nod over Skyway Gladiator, Totally Dreamy, Sectionlike Rock and Casey At Bat in this competitive affair.

Then one race later in the ninth, a contentious winners over $12,000 last six starts class for older pacers, look for Little Ben (Tim Tetrick), Speed Again (Gingras) and Dancin Yankee (Ross Wolfenden) to settle the issue late. All three exit the Open/Preferred Handicap and both Speed Again and Dancin Yankee are past veterans of the George Morton Levy Memorial Series at Yonkers and the Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway.

Speaking of the $30,000 Open/Preferred Handicap for pacers, that race is the 10th on the card. Bushwacker (Tetrick), the best older pacer in the land, has already won five of six starts for trainer Chris Ryder and gets assigned the outside seven slot again after consecutive 1:50.4 and 1:50.2 victories in the top class here. But just to his inside are classy veterans Doctor Butch (Tony Morgan) and Dapper Dude (Victor Kirby) and three-time Delaware Special champion Mustang Art (Sean Bier), who was second to Bushwacker last week in the Open.

Then one race later in the 11th, another non-winners of $80,001 lifetime class for younger pacers, look for Sentencing Memo (Russell Foster) to continue his winning ways for owner-trainer Arty Foster. A three-year-old Western Terror gelding out of an Allamerican Native mare, Sentencing Memo has won six of seven starts to begin his career and he has lowered his lifetime mark with each of his last three victories capped by a 1:52 score here last Monday.

That same evening at Yonkers Raceway in New York, the latter one-third of the 12-race card features a three-way split non-winners of $12,000 last five starts class for older pacers that are often seen on the Saturday night programs. The first split looks largely unplayable since none of the horses raced last week, but the late daily double looks intriguing.

In the 11th, look for railbound Gallant Seelster to rebound from a gritty, third-place effort as the 1-4 favorite in this class to notch his first win in five starts this year by outlasting Regulus N, who was a solid second in his seasonal debut here on Feb. 6. Then in the finale, look for Garnet River A (Jordan Stratton) and Mississippi Hippy (Daniel Dube), another pair of Saturday night regulars, to settle the issue in the lane with longshot Lean On You (Eric Carlson) perhaps rounding out the triple.