Tuesday harness preview

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Ted Black

October 27th, 2014

While many of the sport's best pacers and trotters of all ages competed last weekend at Yonkers Raceway and Woodbine Racetrack and many of them will be heading to Dover Downs early next month for the Matron Stakes on Thursday, November 6, the Tuesday card at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland comprised of competitive, overnight events will give standardbred fans plenty of good wagering action in the interim.

In fact, the latter half of the Tuesday card offers at least a handful of playable contests. Beginning with the sixth, a non-winners of $4000 last five class for pacers, give Rebel Soldier (Steve Warrington) a good chance for the mild upset. A four-year-old Quik Pulse Mindale gelding owned, bred and trained by Warrington, Rebel Soldier returns from Harrah's Philadelphia after a pair of decent outings against tougher. He should be the 4-1 third choice in a field that includes railbound Dalhousie Dave and I Wanna Go Fast, who drops out of the Open 2.

One race later in the seventh, a non-winners of $5000 last five event for pacing fillies and mares, look for Happy Feet Too (Roger Plante, Jr.) to maintain her winning ways. A four-year-old daughter of Art Major trained by John McIntyre, Happy Feet Too won her last start in this class as the even-money choice and should repeat here as one of the few distaffers who raced last week. Real Passing Lady (Brian Burton) also merits respect here despite starting from post seven.

Then in the eighth, the featured, $13,000 Open 1 Handicap for pacers, racing secretary Peter Hanley should be commended for putting together the best race of the meet thus far.

Although Shady Breeze (Tony Morgan) was assigned the outside seven hole, much of the attention will likely be focused on Delaware invader Badolito (Daryl Bier). A talented four-year-old Ponder stallion owned and trained by Bier, Bandolito has won five of 12 starts this year and banked over $75,000 and boasts a stellar 1:48 mark taken at Dover Downs last spring.

After being parked the mile in the $140,00 Molson in late May, Bandolito was given a summer vacation and returned fresh and fit. He won his second qualifier at Rosecroft in 1:51.3 and three starts later returned to the winner's circle by capturing the Open II at Harrington Raceway in 1:52.4 as the 1-5 favorite in his most recent start. That race should have him primed for another good effort here and Bandolito could become only the second horse to post a sub-1:50 clocking at the current meet.

Just to his outside is Adventure Bound (Art Stafford, Jr.) who has enjoyed a solid campaign for trainer Eric Ell and longtime owner Kenny Wood. Second in his most recent start at Harrah's Philadelphia against non-winners of $12,500 last five conditioned foes, Adventure Bound beat that same class two starts back in 1:51, just above his 1:50.4 career best score at that oval in August. He sports a solid 3-4-3 slate and $65,000 bankroll from 22 starts this year.

Shady Breeze already boasts two wins in the Open 1 here for owner-trainer Judy Welty and the five-year-old Nuclear Breeze stallion seeks his third score in the top class despite missing a week - the race did not fill last Tuesday - and being assigned the outside slot. Shady Breeze owns a 3-4-5 slate and $37,500 bankroll from 17 starts this year and 15 victories in 59 career outings with lifetime earnings just over $260,000.

Starting from posts three and four, respectively, are two pacers in good form that are both joining the Open 1 ranks for the first time at the meet. Caviart Tyler (Jonathan Roberts) has won two of his last three outings, including a sharp, 1:52.2 score over the slop in the Open 3 last week, while Varsity Hanover (Kim Vincent) has won his last two starts, last week in 1:52.3 in the Open 2 and two starts back in a career best 1:51.2 against upper level conditioned foes here for owner-trainer James Whalen, Jr.

One race later in the ninth, the Open 2 handicap for pacing fillies and mares in which all seven posts were assigned, expect the outer two distaffers to garner most of the attention.

Last week Rockin Belle (Roberts) posted a mild upset as the 9-5 second choice in this class when she sat a pocket trip throughout and edged favored Clear View Hanover (Henrik Lundell) in the lane. Clear View Hanover will look to attain immediate revenge this week. She had won the earlier F-M Open 2 handily, tried the boys once then was scratched sick on Oct. 7 and did not race on Oct. 14 either. She likely needed her last start and should move up off the second-place effort.

Then one race later in the 10th, a non-winners of $6000 last five starts class for pacers, look for Manhattan Rusty N (Justin Vincent) to maintain his winning ways despite the moderate jump in class. Last week the eight-year-old Artsplace gelding notched his first win in three starts at the meet when he crushed non-winners of $3000 last five foes by six lengths in 1:53.1, a clocking that would have been good enough to win comfortably at this level for owner-trainer Gary Ewing of Ge's Romanero fame.

Then in the 11th, the $10,000 Open 2 for pacers, certainly any number of horses could prevail in this event. Fancy Colt (Morgan) has faced Open 1 and Open 2 pacers twice and has yet to have a good trip here. Meg's Boy (Roberts) was third in this class last week after four tries in the Open 1. Hi Sir (Russell Foster) has won at this level at the meet, while both Game Day (Corey Braden) and Come On Ridge (Bier) own sharp local scores in the upper-level non-winners events.