Tuesday overnight card proves revealing

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Ted Black

April 30th, 2015

In the week leading up to the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby, horse racing enthusiasts always look for ways to pad their respective bankrolls before the pending "run for the roses" at Churchill Downs and several of them just may have done so on Tuesday evening at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland.

Through the first two months of the Rosecroft Raceway spring meet, only two horses have attained four wins at the meet and both are mares - one trotter and one pacer - from barns that have typically been just below the radar in recent years. In fact, both Brilliance Hanover, a trotter owned and trained by Gerald Kelly, and Little Miss Woohoo, a pacer conditioned by Clyde Oglesby, Jr., notched their fourth wins of the meet on Tuesday to stake an early claim to horse of the meet honors.

In the third race on the card, Brilliance Hanover (Timmy Offutt) got away third as an overlooked 7-1 shot in a non-winners of $4500 last five starts class for trotters, angled out first over down the backside, wore down I Got Spunk on the far turn and then held safe the late bid of 58-1 longshot Coco Count to score by a length in 1:55.4. It was the fourth win in seven starts at the meet for Brilliance Hanover, a seven-year-old Sj's Caviar mare that Kelly owns and trains.

Then in the last race on the program, a non-winners of $6000 last five starts class for pacing fillies and mares, Little Miss Woohoo (Bier) got away well but raced parked past the finish line the first time before clearing, rolled by the half in 55.1 and then by three-quarters in 1:23.3 then held safe even-money choice Happy Feet Too (Roger Plante, Jr.) to score in 1:53. A six-year-old Cam's Rocket mare trained by Oglesby for owner Denmar Stables of Florida, Little Miss Woohoo also notched her fourth win in seven starts at the meet to join Brilliance Hanover on the short list of horse of the meet contenders.

Several horses competing in the $9000 Open 2 Handicap earlier on the card will have to been considered for meet honors as well. Toms Titan (Jonathan Roberts) kept his hopes alive with a gritty, wire-to-wire score in 1:51.4 on Tuesday. It was his second win in six starts at the meet, but his first in the Open. Manhattan Rusty N (Art Stafford, Jr.) the Open hero one week earlier, closed well to finish second and sports a solid 3-1-2 slate in eight starts at the meet. Hot Art (Frank Milby), who owns three wins in seven outings in the top class, rallied for third on Tuesday and remains in the hunt for meet honors.

One race later in the $9000 Open 2 Handicap for trotters, Chinese Cuisine (Bier) regained his winning ways with a pocket trip score in 1:54.2. A seven-year-old Revenue S gelding trained by John Duer for owner Tina Duer, Chinese Cuisine notched his first win in three starts at the meet and his second in 12 outings this year. Chinese Cuisine holds the all-age track record for trotters courtesy of a 1:53.4 triumph here last fall. BWT Taj (Stafford), the Open hero on April 14, settled for second for the second straight outing.