Tuesday harness preview

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Ted Black

November 16th, 2014

While this upcoming weekend's Friday and Saturday cards at the Meadowlands featuring a dozen Breeders Crown finals will decide numerous divisional honors and potentially horse of the year, the Tuesday program at Rosecroft Raceway will impact that track's horse of the meet title.

Although the Tuesday programs at Rosecroft have produced a bevy of fast clockings and nearly a handful of track records, including the all-age track record for trotters of 1:53.4 posted last week by Chinese Cuisine for trainer-driver John Duer, the race for fall horse of the meet honors will help get decided in this evening's eighth and ninth races, respectively.

In previous weeks the $13,000 Open 1 and $10,000 Open 2 have often been a showcase for trainer Eric Ell, with Beavercreek Artist, Adventure Bound and Lord Terror each winning at least once here. Ell will send out Aled Hanover (Mike Beaver) this evening in his local debut, but since the aged pacer will likely only make one or two more starts here even a win would not catapult him onto the short list of horse of the meet contenders.

But four of his rivals already have a case for the title and a win by either of them would go a long way toward helping Rosecroft Raceway track management and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association - each of which select a meet champ - toward finding a logical candidate.

Shady Breeze (Frank Milby), who boasts two victories in the Open 1 class for owner-trainer Judy Welty, has also been second twice and third twice in six local outings. He has also fared well against Ell trainees Beavercreek Artist and Adventure Bound and was stunned as the 1-5 choice in the Open 2 here two weeks ago.

Just to his inside is Lyons Meandragon (Roger Plante, Jr.) who owns three wins at this level for trainer John McIntrye and owner William Sartin. Lyons Meandragon finished second last week to Lord Terror, but one week earlier he upset Shady Breeze. The five-year-old Dragon Again gelding also prevailed at this level as the 8-5 choice on October 14 and at 36-1 n September 30.

Leaving from post three is Caviart Tyler (Jonathan Roberts), a former horse of the meet choice by the local scribes who sports two wins at the meet for trainer William "Bib" Roberts, but none at this level. Game Day (Donnie Russell) has a 2-2-2 slate from nine prior starts at the meet for trainer Duane Wagner and owner Clarissa Coughlin and owns a tremendous closing kick.

Then one race later in the ninth, a non-winners of $6000 last five starts condition for pacers, a pair of aged geldings still have an outside chance at attaining a horse of the meet title.

Cowboy Artist (Mike Beaver) has clearly been the best claimer of the meet, posting four wins and two second-place finishes in eight outings against $5000 claimers. The five-year-old Blissfull Hall gelding trained by Ell for owner William Still saw his modest three-race win streak come to an end last week when he finished second while starting from post nine.

After a slow start to the meet, Anotherbugga (Corey Braden) has won his last two outings against conditioned foes and could join the argument with a third straight score here. A five-year-old Allamerican Ingot gelding owned and trained by John Bell, Anotherbugga rallied from far back and widest of all to beat non-winners of $4000 last five foes in 1:53 last week, seven days after leading throughout to capture a non-winners of $2500 last five class in 1:54.1.