Thursday Harness Preview for 7/24/2014

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Molly Jo Rosen

July 24th, 2014

by Ted Black
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Its not often that the Thursday evening card at any track will take center stage for the week, but such is the case this evening as Harrington Raceway presents its annual Governors Day program featuring total purses worth $600,000, highlighted by four, $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund finals for sophomores of both gaits and genders.

In addition to the four DSBF finals for trotters and pacers, Harrington will also present the $40,000 Governor's Cup for Delaware-owned aged pacers, the $30,000 Legislator's Cup for pacing fillies and mares and the $20,000 President's Cup for older pacers, as well as the $30,000 Charles D. Murphy, Jr. Memorial for trotters. The entire card will be contested in front of a packed grandstand this evening at Harrington amid the Delaware State Fair.

In the opening race on the card, the $100,000 DSBF final for three-year-old filly pacers, a trio of sophomore ladies will garner plenty of support, while three others have legitimate upset chances.

Jonigold (Corey Callahan) won both of her DSBF elims for trainer Bart Dalious by a total of a dozen lengths as the odds-on favorite each time. But the Headmaster filly has been idle since winning the second round of elims on June 23, while each of her seven rivals has made at least one start in a race or qualifier since.

Seboomook Fool Yah (Allan Davis) was second on June 16 then won her second DSBF elim by four lengths in 1:54.2 for trainer Wayne Givens. The Gamblers Dream filly has also since won a conditioned event over the track by four lengths in 1:52.2, so that tightener, coupled with the fact that she drew inside of Jonigold could make her the favorite.

Another sophomore filly that won both of her DSBF elims, I'm Won Rum Wiser (George Dennis) got thumped by Seeboomook Fool Yah in a conditioned event but rebounded to win a qualifier at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:54.3. This homebred Headmaster filly had posts one and two for her two elims, but she drew post seven for the final and may find it difficult to get involved in the action early.

Crushed Again (Victor Kirby) won an opening round elim as the even-money choice in 1:55.3, but proved no match for 'Seeboomook' in the second round and she has since been thumped in two overnight events, but she did draw the rail and cannot be totally discounted. Megginspin (Jonathan Roberts) has been the proverbial bridesmaid for owner-trainer-breeder and petite blacksmith Leigh Louthan, while Fashion Guru (Ben Stafford, Jr.) who won the first final at Dover Downs in April, drew the dreaded eight hole for this event.

One race later in the $40,000 Governor's Cup, a trio of top Delaware-owned pacers merit respect. Just A Jolt (Kirby) has been the dominant horse of the spring meet, boasting an impressive 1:50 score over the oval on June 30. But the Jim King, Jr. trainee had the misfortune of drawing post position eight for this event which gives two of his main rivals a chance to upset.

Getitoffyourchest (Allan Davis) raced well in his last two tries at Yonkers Raceway against tough foes on the New York half-miler and draws the rail for owner-trainer David Banks of Rookery fame, while defending Governor's Cup champ Malak Uswaad N (Ron Pierce) will start from post two in quest of his first win in 19 starts this year for owner-trainer Peter Tritton. He overcame post eight to win this event one year ago.

Then one race later in the $30,000 Legislator's Cup, My Ideal Hanover (Kirby) will seek to maintain her winning ways following sharp scores in the F-M Open here for trainer Ed Gannon, Jr. of Looking Hanover fame. Defending champ Monochromatic (Callahan) tuned up with a determined tally against conditioned foes at Harrah's Philadelphia for trainer Dylan Davis, but she may yield a sharpness edge to 'My Ideal' in this event.

One race later in the $20,000 President's Cup for Del-owned pacers, look for Framed Art (Art Stafford, Jr.) to be able to overcome post seven and post an 8-1 upset. Like two of his rivals who drew inside him, Allstar Preview and Ahdougnolum, Framed Art had earned a spot in the Open Handicap here by virtue of successes in various overnight races. He raced twice at Yonkers over the break and performed better than it looks on paper.

Then in the $100,000 DSBF final for three-year-old filly trotters, named in honor of Jack Walls, the late former track president at Harrington, the two best horses drew on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Overnight Hit (Art Stafford, Jr.) won both of her local elims easily, two months after winning the first DSBF final at Dover on April 8. The Giant Hit filly drew the rail for the final and will likely leave from there as the 4-5 favorite.

On the extreme outside is Kelsey's Commando (Kirby) who won her opening round elim as the 1-9 favorite before settling for second behind Overnight Hit in the second round. The Cr Commando filly has ample gate speed, but she will have to use it wisely in order to be a factor early and then again late while leaving from post eight this evening.

Several races later in the ninth, the $100,000 DSBF final for three-year-old colt trotters named in honor of the late Hal Belote, a local trainer-driver who was killed in a horrific accident on the first turn at Harrington a decade ago, looms the most likely successful odds-on favorite of the evening

I Like My Boss (Roberts), a sophomore son of Don Boss Vita owned and trained by Robert Shahan, has been absolutely perfect throughout his career. The 'Boss' has won all eight of his starts this year and all 11 of his career outings for Shahan and then stayed sharp for this event by taking a pair of qualifiers at Harrah's Philadelphia earlier this month.

Then two races later in the $100,000 DSBF final for three-year-old colt & gelding pacers, the last lucrative final of the evening is also the most contentious.

Among the favorites are Elite Awards (George Dennis) who has been exceptional in his elims only to see final tallies elude him thus far; Casino Bags Carlo (Vince Copeland) who has won four of seven outings this year, including the first DSBF final at Dover; Lewiebyalength (Jim Morand) a consistent sort trained by John Wilkerson for owner-breeder Joan Hamstead, and West Star Director (Ben Stafford, Jr.) who was the beaten favorite in his last two outings but draws the rail for the final.

That same evening at Yonkers Raceway, the New York half-mile oval will offer two lucrative New York Sire Stakes events for three-year-old colt trotters.

In the first of those splits, carded as the second race on the program, expect Expressive Action (Mike Simons) to rule as the 3-5 favorite from post five for trainer John Grasso. The sophomore trotter owns a 3-2-1 slate and $182,000 bankroll from six outings this year, but has been facing the likes of Gural Hanover recently. Flyhawk El Durado (Mark Macdonald) draws the rail and sports the same lifetime mark (1:54.1) as the favorite, while Zoey De Vie (Jim Morrill, Jr.) has only been worse than second once in five outings this summer for trainer Heidi Rohr.

Three races later in the second, $109,500 NYSS division, look for Gural Hanover (Jim Morrill, Jr.) to rule as the solid favorite. Trained by Ron Burke, Gural Hanover has won four of six starts this year and earned over $105,000, including a recent 1:55.2 score in a NYSS split at Monticello Raceway in upstate New York. Despite drawing post six for this event, Gural Hanover should prevail as the odds-on choice in what could be a tuneup for next week's Hambletonian elims at the Meadowlands.

But one of his foes who drew favorably will be primed for the upset. Cash Me Out (Michael McGivern) owns a solid 4-4-0 slate and $103,000 bankroll from nine tries this year, including a 1:56.4 tally against NYSS rivals. Cash Me Out drew post two for this event, well inside of Gural Hanover, and will be seeking to use that favorable draw to work out a trip that could eventually lead to an upset score.