Tuesday harness preview

Ted Black

October 6th, 2014

While many standardbred tracks tend to offer their best cards on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, Rosecroft Raceway has recently joined the growing list of harness venues that have compiled their best programs early in the week to take advantage of the numerous simulcast outlets and the Tuesday cards at Rosecroft have gradually become stronger and more competitive.

In the opening race on the Tuesday evening card at Rosecroft, a non-winners of $3000 last five starts class for pacers at least one-third of the field of horses has a legitimate chance at victory. Cracker Pullet (Tony Morgan) drops down to a level where he can succeed after being parked the mile in a non-winners of $5000 last five group last week, while Harrington invader Manhattan Rusty N (Roger Plante, Jr.) also drops in class and figures to be tough in this spot despite drawing the six hole for owner-trainer Gary Ewing of Ge's Romanero fame.

But the action begins to heat up at the midway point of the program. In the sixth, a non-winners of $5000 last five class for pacing fillies and mares that appears to be wide open, easily a handful of pacing distaffers could prevail.

Shaker Rei (John Gazzerro), the track's selection as its horse of the meet last fall, finished a sharp second behind Together Again N last week and certainly has a right to triumph here. Real Passing Lady (Brian Burton) steps up off a sharp win against non-winners of $3000 last five company, while Raquel (Corey Braden), a winner two starts back against similar, will look to regain her winning ways. Rocket Rosy (Frank Milby) scratched sick last week, but was second in her three prior outings and merits respects every time she goes behind the gate.

One race later in the $10,000 Open 2 for trotters, last week's Open hero, Bossy Volo, meets the previous week's winner, Mandabra (Milby), who missed last week after equaling the all-age track record for trotters of 1:54 on Sep. 23. But the play here is Fiorenza, who was second last week after finishing third the week before for trainer-driver Cory Mumford. The four-year-old Glidemaster mare should sit a pocket trip behind Beau Joe (Bill Long), who drew the rail after overcoming the eight hole to set the fractions last week en route to a solid, third-place effort.

Then one race later in the featured, $13,000 Open for pacers, a race that is becoming more and more contentious each week, all eyes will certainly be on Harrington invader Just A Jolt. A four-year-old Village Jolt gelding trained and driven by Jim King, Jr. for owner John Dayton, Just A Jolt has won 15 of 29 starts this year and clearly been the dominant force at Harrington where he has scored twice in 1:50 flat, including a wire-to-wire effort from post eight in the Governor's Cup on July 24.

But the locals are hardly going to concede to the talented Delaware invader. Beavercreek Artist (Art Stafford, Jr.) won last week's Open in a snappy 1:49.4, while Shady Breeze (Morgan) won the week before despite a long, first over journey in 1:51.4. Movie Idol (Milby) finished a sharp second in the Open last week after winning a conditioned event the week before, while sophomore Toms Titan (Roberts) will look to make amends for a dull effort as the 9-5 choice last week.

One race later in the $10,000 Open 2 for pacers, a handful of horses appear capable of winning this event and then ascending to the top Open. Game Day (Braden) moves up off a sharp, 1:52 score in last week's finale against conditioned foes. Hi Sir (Roberts) gets a class break after finishing sixth and fourth, respectively, in the top Open the previous two weeks. Clear View Hanover (Henrik Lundell), the best mare on the circuit, tries the boys for a second straight week. Jeremes General (Stafford) was a game second in this class last week after posting the fastest mile (1:51.2) of the night on Sep. 23, while Fancy Colt (Morgan) will look to overcome post eight in his second attempt at this level.

Then one race later in the tenth, a non-winners of $5000 last five class for pacers, a quartet of horses appear to be sitting on winning efforts. Beammeupscottie (Branden Henley) steps up off a sharp, 1:53 score against non-winners of five company for trainer Shaun Callahan and gets the rail. Upbyfive (Plante) overcame a first over journey to win in 1:53.4 last week against non-winners of $3000 last five company last week for owner-trainer Merle LaFountaine. Show Stopping (Roberts) stays in the same class but is on the gate tonight after having the nine hole last week, while Pocono Downs invader Native Lightning (Sean Bier) makes his local debut.

Then in the 11th, the penultimate race on the card kicks off the late daily double and is well worth the wait as again a handful of horses could prevail in this non-winners of $5000 last five conditioned event for pacers.

Osceola Gold (Morgan) gets some class relief after making his fall meet debut with a gritty, third-place effort following a first over trip in the Open 2 for trainer Jeanmarie Kurowski and gets the rail. Dalhousie Dave (Milby) was used hard while making two moves in this class and faded to sixth as the 9-5 second choice, but certainly has the right to atone here. Beginner's Luck (Plante) steps up off a sharp, 1:53.1 score against non-winners of $3000 last five company last week for trainer Ron Dixon, Jr. of Matter Of Opinion fame.

But also among the serious contenders in the 11th are Caviart Tyler (Roberts) and Varsity Hanover (Justin Vincent) who start right alongside one another and have something else in common. Two years ago Caviart Tyler was the Rosecroft fall meet champion according to the members of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association and the year before Varsity Hanover took home that honor when he won seven of nine starts and earned the nickname "the Crumpton Crusher" for his ability to defeat older rivals. Both are logical contenders in this spot and both should be in contention when the serious racing begins turning for home.