Tuesday harness cards get week under way

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Ted Black

May 24th, 2016

While thoroughbred racing fans may still be recovering from Preakness Day and absorbing the results of Nyquist's first career setback, standardbred racing fans will have plenty of options early in the week to begin padding their bankrolls for bigger events down the road.

Tuesday evening both Harrington Raceway in Delaware and Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland will offer competitive cards filled with younger horses looking to climb the condition ladder and perhaps ascend into stakes company this summer. One such pacer, Next Success, already a $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final hero at Dover Downs, stayed on target for a repeat performance this summer on Governor's Day with a sharp, 1:54.1 score on Monday evening at Harrington for trainer Les Givens.

Much of the Tuesday card at Harrington will center on pacing fillies and mares seeking similar success in subsequent starts. In the opener, Fiftyshadesofrusty (George Dennis) will seek to rebound from a trio of third-place finishes against similar rivals when she clashes with Western Lynx (Montrell Teague) and they should complete the exacta unless split by Tiznow - the filly pacer not the former two-time Breeders Cup Classic hero - in this non-winners of three races or $18,601 lifetime condition.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $50,001 lifetime event for pacing fillies and mares, Miss Read (Victor Kirby) will look to prove that her 46-1 upset tally via disqualification in a break-filled event here on May 10 was not entirely a fluke. But the Leigh Raymer trainee will meet a stern test from Harrah's Philadelphia invader, Art Of Dancing (Allan Davis) who spent all of last month in the Weiss series at Pocono Downs for trainer Dan Coker.

Three races later in the fifth, a non-winners of $5501 last four starts class for pacing fillies and mares, Embassy Seelster (Davis) will seek her third straight at this level for trainer Doug Lewis, but will move outside from the coveted rail to the tougher post seven slot. Railbound Thundernlightning (Ben Stafford, Jr.) looms the main danger off the class drop, while I'm Won Rum Wiser (Dennis) will look to regain her winning ways and Pearl Handlepistol (Tony Morgan) moves up off a victory.

Then one race later in a very competitive $17,500 Open Handicap for pacing fillies and mares, Quotable Quotes (Teague) will seek her second straight tally and third score in four starts in the top class at the meet from her assigned post eight. McArma (Morgan), Purrfect Bags (Kirby) and Springforth (Dennis) were well-backed in their prior effort in this class and will start from posts five, six and seven, respectively, and either could prevail here. Springforth was the USHWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter's selection for Dover Downs horse of the meet.


Tuesday evening at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland several of the pacers will look to keep their hopes alive for horse of the meet honors when they clash in numerous conditioned events. The track did not fill an Open event this week, but several regulars in the top class will be on hand in other events.

In the opening race on the card, a non-winners of $4000 last five starts class for older pacers, give Rebel Soldier (Frank Milby) another chance to prevail at this level. A six-year-old Quik Pulse Mindale stallion owned, bred and trained by Steve Warrington of Sanabelle Island fame, Rebel Soldier has been unable to pick up live cover in his last two starts so look for Milby to be on the move earlier this week.

Several races later in a non-winners of $1000 last five starts class for pacers, look for two of the grand old men of the circuit to perhaps settle the issue in the lane. Talbot Redneck (Kim Vincent), a 12-year-old Misfit gelding trained by Ken Schlotzhauer and co-owned by the trainer and breeder David Donahue, Talbot Redneck won an earlier start here in 1:56.1 and boasts a commendable 47-42-40 slate and $290,000 bankroll from exactly 300 lifetime starts. Chipoffablueblock (Sean Bier), a 12-year-old Tulsa Blue Chip gelding, will make his 300th start tomorrow night and seeks his 50th career score.

Coincidentally, a pair of 11-year-old geldings, Art Simpson (Mark Gray) and Beirut N (Plante) will also go postward in this event. Art Simpson has won 20 of 187 lifetime outings to this point, while Beirut N has only made 73 starts in his career.

Just past the midway point of the card, a full field of nine older pacers will go postward in the non-winners of $8000 last five starts class. Concert Artist (Chris Offutt) owns two victories at the meet, including one in the Open 2 Hcp, while Time Out I'm Tired (Pat Berry) has won twice in five starts since arriving from Dover, including an Open 2 score two starts back for trainer David Rearic.

But several others merit respect in this spot. Thiswayorthehighwy (Timmy Offutt) finished a good second in the Open 2 Hcp last week after winning against non-winners of $4000 last five starts company two starts back. Caviart Tyler (Bier) has won two of his last three starts against non-winners of $4000 last five starts rivals for trainer Megan Roberts but gets post eight, while Arpeggio Hanover (Russell Foster) finished second at this level last week and will start from post nine in the second tier.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $4000 last five class for pacers, look for Hide Me Away (Foster), Real Impulsive (Milby) and Diamondkeeper (Jonathan Roberts) to settle the issue in the lane and complete the triple. Diamondkeeper was the beaten favorite in the Open 2 Hcp last week and should be able to overcome post eight in this group.

Then on Wednesday evening at Harrington, the trot-laden card could offer several value plays.

In the fourth race, a non-winners of $5001 last four starts/optional $15,000 claiming event for trotters, Chinese Cuisine (Davis) draws the rail for owner-trainer Tina Duer and should be able to control the proceedings from the outset. Chinese Cuisine has won twice in eight starts this year and defeated much tougher at Yonkers Raceway last month and seeks his 20th career score here. He also owns the all-age track record for trotters at Rosecroft courtesy of a 1:53.4 score there last fall.

One race later in the $12,500 Open II for trotters, railbound Steel Reserve (Kirby) seeks his third straight tally while climbing the class ladder and will be a generous price thanks to the presence of Open mainstays Spunky Jack (Roger Plante, Jr.) and Six Gun Hall (Davis). Spunky Jack might be the best winless horse on the circuit, having finished second six times and third on four occasions while banking roughly $41,500 for trainer Steve LeBlanc, highlighted by a second-place finish behind defending aged trotting champion JL Cruze in the Open/Prf Handicap at Dover last month.

Then one race later in the $17,500 Open Handicap for trotters, Tirade Hanover (Kirby) seeks his second straight tally at this level for Raymer and only moves out one spot. Theresademoninme (Jim Morand) makes his fourth local appearance for trainer Dylan Davis after spending much of the spring in the Open Handicap at Yonkers Raceway against the likes of Melady's Monet, Luminosity and Major Athens. Somebody As (Morgan) faced that group in his last two starts at Yonkers after winning the last Open Handicap of the Dover Downs meet.