Wednesday harness preview

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Ted Black

October 14th, 2014

While a series of severe thunderstorms is expected to impact the entire Mid-Atlantic region on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening hours, standardbred fans are hoping that calm conditions return prior to the post time for the program at Harrington Raceway in Delaware this evening.

Typically the Wednesday cards at Harrington focus primarily on the trotters and such is the case again this evening although this time the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund eliminations for freshmen trotting fillies joins the usual mix of overnight events. If a sloppy track ensues, the juveniles could be unfamiliar with the elements and potentially several odds-on favorites could be toppled.

In the opening race on the card, a non-winners of $3001 last four starts/optional $10,000 claiming event for trotters, give Giant Clash (Jack Parker, Jr.) a chance to upset despite starting from post seven. A five-year-old Mutineer mare owned and trained by James Atkinson, who has battled through serious health trouble to resume his career as a conditioner, Giant Clash finished fourth last week in her first start back in 10 weeks and should be poised for a better effort this evening.

Two races later in the third, a non-winners of $5001 last four starts/optional $15,000 claiming event for trotters, look for Nidaros (Ross Wolfenden) to benefit from her inside draw and prevail in this group for trainer Jeff Clark. A four-year-old daughter of Muscles Yankee out of a Striking Sahbra mare, Nidaros has been burdened with outside posts in each of her three previous starts but finally gets the coveted rail this evening and should end a prolonged drought dating back to the winter meet at Dover Downs.

Then in the fifth, the first division of the second round of DSBF eliminations for two-year-old trotting fillies, give Sparkling Rosie (Jim Morand) a chance at redemption this week. This Don Boss Vita filly trained by Les Givens made a break as the 2-1 second choice in her first round of elims after a pair of promising qualifiers. She will leave from post two this evening and should be in an ideal spot to upend favored Penny Paratrooper (Wolfenden) who won an elim division last week as the 4-5 choice by five lengths in 2:04.2.

Several races later in the eighth, the second division of DSBF second round freshman filly trotters, look for Sign N Drive (Victor Kirby) to maintain her winning ways after a sharp 2:02.3 score in last week's opening round action. This Maryland-bred daughter of Cr Commando trained by Duane Wagner for owner and prominent amateur driver, Scott Woogen, Sign N Drive easily prevailed last week as the 6-5 favorite and should be able to duplicate that effort this evening.

Then two races later in the 10th, the third division of DSBF freshman trotting fillies, give Miss Jocelyn (Vince Copeland) and Sparkle Pants (Eddie Dennis) a chance to complete the exacta despite starting from posts six and seven, respectively. Railbound Call Memza (Jonathan Roberts) overcame post eight to win last week's opening round as the 19-1 outsider, but she will likely be overbet after drawing the inside slot and is worth playing against in this event.

Then two races later in the 12th, the fourth and final division of second round DSBF action for freshmen filly trotters, look for Political Cash (Allan Davis) to make quick work of her rivals from post four, although likely as the 4-5 favorite. A juvenile daughter of Political Briefing trained by Robert Shahan of I Like My Boss fame, Political Cash cruised to a 12-length victory in 2:01.4 last week in an opening round elim and has already earned the status as future book favorite for next week's $100,000 final.

Then in the finale, coincidentally a non-winners of five races or $25,000 lifetime class for younger pacers, give railbound Art Retreat (Wolfenden) a chance for the mild upset. Burdened with outside posts in his previous three outings, Art Retreat draws the coveted rail for this event and should be able to upend J J Nitro (Roberts) and Cheyenne Outlaw (George Dennis) in tonight's 15th and final event.