Saturday Rosecroft card offers some value plays
With the Rosecroft Raceway fall meet winding to a close, this Saturday's card should offer players a chance to pad their bankrolls heading into the last two nights of live racing on Tuesday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 19. The track's two horse of the meet winners will be honored on Tuesday, while the driver and trainer awards will be presented the following Saturday.
In this Saturday's seventh race, a non-winners of $2500 last five starts class for pacing fillies and mares, look for railbound Scirocco Lauren (David Hill, III) to regain her winning ways. A five-year-old Allamerican Native gelding owned and trained by Gary White, Scirocco Lauren has won five of 25 starts and banked over $15,000 this year and she set her lifetime mark two months earlier while crushing similar foes by 12 lengths in 1:53.3. Her recent form against much tougher has not been good, but serious class relief here should prove an ideal remedy for that.
Then one race later on the card, a full field of eight will go postward in the $12,500 Open 1 Handicap for pacing fillies and mares. Valerya (Jonathan Roberts), Rhapsody Rose (Donald Dancer) and Springforth (Frank Milby) drew the three outside slots and either of them could prevail in this ultra-competitive event. All three mares own wins at the meet in the Open 2 class. Valerya looks like the play in this spot, however, having won 14 of 31 starts and banked nearly $150,000 while taking a mark of 1:51 at Harrah's Philadelphia.
Then one race later in a non-winners of $5000 last five starts class for pacing fillies and mares, look for Dragon Ruffles (Ken Weckstein) to regain her winning ways for trainer Ken Schlotzhauer. A five-year-old Dragon Again mare owned and trained by Weckstein, Dragon Ruffles has spent much of the meet in the Open 2 facing the likes of those mares now in the Open 1. Her last win came at this level on Nov. 7 and she should be able to regain her winning ways here against similar, including the rapidly improving Wickedwithofthewest (Jason Thompson).
Then one race later in the 10th, a non-winners of three races or $20,000 lifetime class for younger pacers, look for Elusive Point (Donald Dancer) to continue his newfound winning ways and his growing reputation as one of the budding sophomore stars on the circuit. Elusive Point, a three-year-old Art Major colt out of a Western Hanover mare, has won four straight races and five of 10 starts at the meet for Dancer. He also appears to be geting better with each start and the former Ron Burke trainee has plenty of room to climb the condition ladder at Dover Downs over the break and then later some potential as a sire in Maryland or Delaware.
Next Tuesday evening Rosecroft will honor a pair of horses who spent much of the meet facing one another and making frequent trips to the winner's circle. Rosecroft track management has tabbed Varsity Hanover as its choice for horse of the meet. The six-year-old Modert Art gelding owned and trained by James Whalen, Jr. of Crumpton, has won four of 11 starts and banked over $28,500 at the meet heading into next Tuesday's Open Handicap. Four years ago at age two he was also selected as the Rosecroft fall meet champion and dubbed "The Crumpton Crusher" for his ability to beat older rivals.
Also on the Tuesday card, Hi Sir will be recognized as the Rosecroft fall meet champion in voting conducted by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. A seven-year-old Sir Luck gelding owned, trained and driven by Russell Foster, Hi Sir has won four times and finished second four times and banked $36,000 from nine starts at the meet heading into the Tuesday card. He has been previously selected as the horse of the meet at Rosecroft by track management and as the Ocean Downs horse of the meet two summers ago by the local scribes.