Trotters dominate Wednesday card at Harrington

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

August 26th, 2015

While many harness racing tracks often find it difficult to card more than a pair of races for trotters on any given night, Harrington Raceway in Delaware has taken an extra step for that gait on Wednesday as it offers nine consecutive races for trotters before ending the program with its lone event for pacers.

Many bettors are often skeptical of playing trotting races - that gait is not only slower than the pacers but also tends to go off stride far more frequently - but occasionally they can offer plenty of value. A good example was last weekend when Hambletonian winner Pinkman made an early break in the $500,000 Colonial at Pocono Downs which paved the way for Crazy Wow to post a 9-1 upset.

In Wednesday's opener, a non-winners of $85,001 or eight races lifetime class for trotters, much of the attention will be on Callmemza (Jonathan Roberts). The three-year-old daughter of Great George Two tackles the boys and unrestricted company for the first time this season.

Two older male trotters could be poised to upset the recent Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final champ and Maryland Standardbred Race Fund winner. Adrenalin Junkie (Jim Morand) arrives from Harrah's Philadelphia, while Sweet Ben (Pat Berry) returns to a class and track he won after two modest efforts at Pocono Downs.

Then one race later in the $12,500 Open II for older trotters, Chinese Cuisine (Daryl Bier) arrives following a sharp, wire-to-wire score in the split B Handicap at Ocean Downs. This John Duer trainee toured the seaside oval in 1:56 for his fourth win of the campaign. Last fall he set the all-age track record at Rosecroft Raceway when he won there in 1:53.4 and posted a similar 1:54.2 score at that oval earlier this year.

His main opposition will come from Keystone Orion (Victor Kirby), Cash On Delivery (Vince Copeland) and Deacons Valley (Ross Wolfenden). Keystone Orion won the C-1/B-3 at Ocean Downs two starts back, while Cash On Delivery is a regular in the Open II at Harrington for his trainer-driver.

Then one race later in the third, the other half of the split non-winners of $85,001 or eight races lifetime class, Winbak Charles M (Kirby) will be the solid choice for owner Ed Gannon, Jr. of Looking Hanover fame. But he has not raced in over a month and could be prime for an upset at the hoofs of Man Of Muscle (Allan Davis), Holiday Spirit (Berry) or Political Foe (Eddie Dennis).

Then just past the midway point of the card the track will offer the $16,000 Open for older trotters.

This group includes a quartet of horses that have won at this level before. Tough Mac (Roberts) will leave from post three, Classical Belisima (Berry) from post five, Powerful Charger (Kirby) from post six and Traverse Seelster (Wolfenden) will leave from post eight.

Having drawn the most favorable post of the quartet, Tough Mac is the tepid play here as his driver chose him over Prayer Session (Tony Morgan). But any of the other three could prevail in this wide open event that may seem better suited for watching than playing. On his best day, Traverse Seelster is the class of the bunch.