Racing through the rain and fog

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Ted Black

March 12th, 2015

Tuesday evening was hardly ideal for man or animal at most harness racing venues throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, but the rain and fog that enveloped Rosecroft Raceway could hardly put a damper on the best trotters and pacers that the oval has to offer.

In fact, a quartet of races highlighted the card as the horses and drivers splashed their way around the Maryland five-eighths mile oval on Tuesday. In the opening race, a non-winners of $6000 last five starts class for trotters, Mohegan Hanover (Corey Braden) benefited from a pocket trip behind 6-5 choice Celia Hall (Roger Plante, Jr) to post an 11-1 upset after covering the mile in 1:57.1. His winning time was over two seconds faster than the second best class for trotters on the card, although being in the first race perhaps helped that considerably.

But four events for older pacers on the card proved even more revealing. In the fourth, a non-winners of $6100 last five starts class, Lyons Meandragon (Plante) left to protect early position, retook before the half and then held safe Main A Dieu Too (Brandon Henley) to score in 1:54.2, a clocking that would prove to be the fastest of the night. But that should come as no surprise considering that Lyons Meandragon won the Open 2 four times at the Rosecroft fall meet in 2014 and was named the track's top overnight horse by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association.

Two races later on the card, Beammeupscottie (Henley) a favorite among local Star Trek fans, brushed to command past the quarter and set all the fractions from there en route to a two-length score over Bellator (Braden) in 1:55.2 in a non-winners of $4100 last five class. But two races later on the card, Three Of Spades (Jonathan Roberts) benefited from a fast early tempo carved out by 2-5 choice Movie Sequel (Frank Milby) and rallied down the center of the track to capture a non-winners of $3100 last five starts event for trainer William "Bib" Roberts of Yankee Co-Ed fame.

Then in the Tuesday feature, the $9000 Open 2, Hot Art (Milby) benefited from a pocket trip behind 6-5 favorite Toms Titan (Roberts) and then easily overhauled that one in the lane to score in 1:54.3. Hide Me Away (Russell Foster) rallied from well off the pace to finish second as Toms Titan faded to third despite having things his own way.

Then on Wedneday morning at Dover Downs, under considerably better conditions, Dancin Yankee (Corey Callahan) continued to progress for his return for the races when he captured his second straight qualifier in 1:55. This seven-year-old stallion has been among the top aged pacers in the region for the past two years and he will likely make his seasonal debut on March 21 in the opening leg of the prestigious George Morton Levy Memorial Series at Yonkers Raceway where he will soon encounter the durable, indefatiguable Foiled Again, who won his initial qualifier last Saturday morning at the Meadowlands in 1:54.3 and will compete in another one this Friday morning at the New Jersey miler.