Tuesday harness preview 12/9/14

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Ted Black

December 9th, 2014

While the weather outside is expected to be frightful, Tuesday's 13-race card at Rosecroft will prove considerably delightful for a pair of trainers whose pacers split the coveted title of fall meet champion and fittingly they will meet again in the weekly feature moments before being recognized for their fall campaigns.

Tuesday's featured $10,000 Open 2 handicap for pacers will include Lyons Meandragon (Roger Plante, Jr.) who will leave from post seven and Hi Sir (Russell Foster) who will start from his assigned post eight on the far outside. Lyons Meandragon, who owns a 4-1-0 slate and $23,500 bankroll from 10 starts at the meet that included four wins at the Open 2 class for trainer John McIntrye, was named the fall meet champion by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association.

Hi Sir, a six-year-old Sir Luck gelding owned, trained and driven by Foster, will actually depart Tuesday's festivities with a pair of trophies. Hi Sir, who is currently riding a three-race win streak that includes consecutive scores in the Open 2, will be honored as the Rosecroft fall meet champion by track management. He will also get belatedly recognized by the USHWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter for being Ocean Downs horse of the meet following a stellar summer campaign at the seaside oval. Three starts back he captured a conditioned event in 1:50.4 to establish a new lifetime mark.

Tuesday evening both Lyons Meandragon and Hi Sir will be looking to put the final touches on their fall meet campaigns at Rosecroft by taking the final Open 2 class of the meet. But several horses will look to foil the party. Toms Titan (Jonathan Roberts), who earned his first win of the meet after dropping into the non-winners of $6000 last five class last week, steps right back into the Open. Hot Art (Plante) whose two-race win streak was snapped last week when third behind Hi Sir in the Open, could regain his winning ways, while Lord Terror (Mike Beaver) second in each of his last two starts here behind Hi Sir, will seek redemption in his final local outing.

In the opening race on the card, a non-winners of $4000 last five starts class for older pacers, give Beginner's Luck (Plante) a chance to atone for his second-place finish as the even-money choice against slightly lesser. The four-year-old Camluck gelding trained by Ron Dixon, Jr. of Matter of Opinion fame, trounced bottom-level conditioned foes two starts back and then delivered a good effort last week before being overhauled late by the pocket-sitting Cracker Pullet (Jared Moyer). Change Your Luck (Donnie Russell) has won his last three starts against $5000 claimers, but steps up in class and will start from post nine in the second tier.

Then several races later in the fourth, another non-winners of $4000 last five starts class for older pacers, look for Meg's Boy (Roberts) to benefit from an overdue class drop to prevail. A six-year-old gelded son of trotter Great George Two trained by William "Bib" Roberts of Trapeze and Yankee Co-Ed fame, Meg's Boy has spent the fall meet competing in the Open 3 or the non-winners of $6000 last five starts class where he has typically tangled with tough customers such as Toms Titan, Hi Sir, Hot Art, Game Day and Varsity Hanover and should enjoy the class relief this evening.

Two races later in the sixth, the $10,000 Open 2 handicap for pacing fillies and mares, look for either Valentina De Vie (Henrik Lundell), Dragon Ruffles (Ken Weckstein) or Rocket Rosy (Frank Milby) to prevail. Valentina De Vie finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in two starts at the Meadowlands after posting consecutive scores in the conditioned ranks here. Dragon Ruffles has shown plenty of ability in three starts for her owner-driver and could work out a good trip here, while Rocket Rosy was a sharp second last week in her first start back after a six-week break and should be much sharper tonight.

Then in the ninth, the $10,000 Open 2 handicap for trotters, look for House On Fire (Roberts) to regain his winning ways despite starting from post eight this evening. The six-year-old Conway Hall gelding trained by Judith Welty finished third as the 8-5 favorite last week in this class after cutting the early fractions, but that effort should have him tightened for this evening. House On Fire won three times at this level during the meet and was on the short list of potential fall meet champions before fading to third last week.