Tuesday Harness Preview for 4/15/2014

Molly Jo Rosen

April 15th, 2014

by Ted Black

With another round of inclement weather expected for much of the Mid-Atlantic region on Tuesday, standardbred drivers and bettors will have to adjust their skills accordingly when Rosecroft Raceway and Yonkers Raceway offer their live cards this evening.

While the Delaware circuit is in the midst of a 10-day hiatus as the racing scene shifts from Dover Downs to Harrington Raceway beginning on Monday, April 21, a number of Delaware trainers and drivers will make their presence known at Rosecroft on Tuesday. Their trotters and pacers certainly bear watching.

Although most tracks save their best cards for the weekend, Rosecroft typically showcases its best trotters and pacers on Tuesday evening when its signal is actually more receptive to outside simulcast viewers. The track's Saturday cards tend to get overlooked amid the competition from other tracks whose programs are of much higher quality on the weekends.

In the opening race on the card this evening, look for The Principle to earn immediate redemption in the winners over class for trotters. Last week The Principle attempted to rally from well off the pace and second over into a quick back half as Dnieper reached the midway mark in 58.2 and then sprinted clear in 1:55.2. Dnieper will be the logical favorite tonight, but The Principle could turn the tables on him at 4-1.

Several races later in the fifth, a non-winners of $5000 last five starts class for filly-mare pacers, give Scarlet Pandemic a chance to atone for a fourth-place finish last week. Sent out as the 2-1 second choice a week ago, Scarlet Pandemic got used hard to the half in 55.3 and then gave way in the lane. But she should be much sharper tonight and her price should actually float up to 4-1 or so.

Two races later in the seventh, a winners over class for filly-mare pacers, look for either Shaker Rei or Itz Cherry Ripe N to prevail for the first time this season. Shaker Rei finished fourth in a promising effort in her seasonal debut last week for trainer-driver John Gazzerro, while Itz Cherry Ripe N has faced considerably tougher this fall and winter at Dover Downs and could notch her first win in seven starts on the campaign for trainer Jeff Clark.

One race later in the featured, $11,000 Open Maryland Preferred for top older pacers, any number of horses could prevail in this genuinley wide open event that will be worth the wait for those on hand.

The group includes Caviart Tyler, Dalhousie Dave, Varsity Hanover, Bad Man Sam, Star Recruit and Shady Breeze, who is making his seasonal debut for trainer Judy Welty. Five of the eight starters own a seasonal mark of 1:52 or better and Shady Breeze has a lifetime mark of 1:50. This race will be enjoyable to watch and may be too evenly matched to be playable.

Then in the next race on the card, a non-winners of $5100 last five starts class for older male pacers, look for Benns Shotgun to notch his second straight score here. Last week he raced first over into a solid 56-second back half and drew off to win by five lengths in 1:53. If he can sit off of faster fractions this evening, Benns Shotgun will go rolling by the leaders in the lane.

Tuesday evening at Yonkers Raceway in New York, much of the focus will be on the second leg of the SOA of NY Bonus trotting series. The cream appeared to rise to the top in the opening leg one week ago.

In the second race this evening, look for Bambino Glide (Andy Miller) to continue his winning ways, albeit at a very short price in the first SOA of NY division. Last week the Yankee Glide gelding  led throughout and cruised home nearly two lengths clear in 1:55.3 in easily the fastest of the divisions. He has already won three of six starts this year and sports a mark of 1;52.2 at The Meadowlands and will be the 3-10 favorite from post two.

One of the better trotters in the series, Rock Of Cashel (Jeff Gregory) drew into the same split with Bambino Glide and merit respect, having won four of five starts and taken a mark of 1:57.3 over the NY half-mile oval. He does his best racing from well off the pace and will have to do so again, but Rock Of Cashel looks poised to complete the exacta in this event.

Two races later in the second SOA of NY division, look for Wisenheimer to score at a short price from the rail, although he will have company late. Last week Wisenheimer chased Bambino Glide throughout and settled for second in a good try and deserves the favorite's role here, but Monroe County delivered an effort that was better than it looked on paper while fourth in a later split and will be doing his best trotting in the lane.

One race later in the fifth, the third division of the series, give Pounce Hanover (Victor Kirby) a chance at the upset in his Yonkers debut. He has already won three times in 10 starts and owns a mark of 1:54 at Dover Downs, which rates favorably in comparison to favored Itzaziam whose 1:54 mark came at The Meadowlands. At times this winter, Pounce Hanover looked destined for the Open Handicap on the Delaware circuit.

Two races later in the seventh, the fourth and final split of the series, look for first round winners Little Bitty Lies and Born To Fight to control the tempo throughout and complete the exacta. Little Bitty lies led throughout to score in 1:57.3 last week, while Born To Fight set all the fractions en route to a 1:58 tally. Either one could prevail in this event, but both will have to improve to overtake Bambino Glide or Wisenheimer in later rounds.