Weekend Harness Preview for 2/28/2014
by Ted Black
While spring has hardly made an early arrival, things are certainly starting to heat up at several of the harness tracks along the East Coast this weekend as both The Meadowlands and Yonkers offer solid cards on Friday and Saturday nights.
At The Meadowlands on Friday evening a trio of horses look like solid plays, although not toward the latter half of the program.
In the seventh race on the card, the B-2 class for trotters, look for Bambino Glide to prevail despite another outside draw with post nine. Last week in his seasonal debut from post 10, Bambino Glide was parked the mile and rallied third over behind dull cover to finish third, beaten just a neck. Granted, Bambino Glide will have to overcome some traffic from post nine, but with a race under his belt and an honest tempo he should be able to get the job done late.
Two races later in a C-1 class for pacing fillies and mares, give Lightning Paige a chance at redemption. Last week in this class she showed speed early, got shuffled before the half and was locked in on the far turn and rallied late to get second. She has already won once in six starts this year and with a better trip this evening, Lightning Paige should find the winner's circle for a second time this winter.
Then three races later in the 12th, a C-1 class for trotters, expect Magglio to emerge with his first victory of the campaign. Last week in this class he left alertly from post four and got to the half in a brisk 56.2 then gave way late and settled for second. He will leave from post four again this evening, but Magglio should be able to get to the half in 57 and change and that will enable him to hold sway in the final yards.
At Yonkers on Friday evening, both the Filly-Mare Open and the Open Handicap for trotters should be very interesting events, although not easy to play.
In the sixth, the F-M Open, certainly look for Economy Terror to be better this week despite another outside assignment. She was used hard to make the front in a solid half last week and gave way later, but to be expected after missing the previous week. She is joined by Sir Jillian's Z Tam, Fashion Mystery, Royal Cee Cee N and Swinging Beauty, all of which are making their seasonal debuts and likely pointed for the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series here.
Then two races later on the card in the Open Handicap for trotters, all eyes will be on Dover Downs invader Traverse Seelster, who has won all three of his starts this year for trainer Josh Green. Traverse Seelster has enough early speed to overcome post seven, but he has had the last two weeks off and might be a tad short in his first venture over the New York half-miler this winter. But tough to play against obviously.
Saturday night's card at The Meadowlands gets warmed up early when six quality aged pacers clash in the A-2/A-1/Free-For-All.
Last weekend Golden Receiver made a successful seasonal debut when he gained command in a 26.1 opener and capped the 1:49.2 mile with a 26.3 kicker to hold Easy Again at bay late. Golden Receiver should be even tighter this week, but the race is hardly a walkover thanks to the presence of Easy Again, Dovuto Hanover, Abelard Hanover and Panesthetic, both of which have won their last two starts and the seasonal debut of Annieswesterncard.
In the fifth, a non-winners of four races lifetime event, look for Burkentine Hanover to rebound from a narrow setback to win this weekend. Last week he made the front early and set honest fractions throughout, only to be overhauled late by the talented Wake Up Peter, who tallied in 1:50 in his seasonal debut. With that rival elsewhere, Burkentine Hanover gets the job done on Saturday.
Then one race later in the sixth, the B-1 class for pacers, give Mojo Terror a chance to rebound as well. Last week he was parked the mile and rallied around dull cover to finish second to Abelard Hanover, who controlled the tempo for his second straight win and earned a spot in the feature this weekend. Mojo Terror will need some pace and cover, but he should prevail regardless.
Then in the seventh, a B-2 class for pacers, also give Tarpon Hanover an immediate shot at redemption. Last week he settled into fifth early, made a brush to command past the half, rolled by three-quarters and into the lane before being nailed late while settling for second. An easier trip and perhaps softer fractions are in store for Tarpon Hanover against similar this weekend.
At Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, the middle portion of the card takes center stage and three of those races look playable.
In the sixth, the Open Handicap for aged pacers, Dancin Yankee arrives riding a five-race win streak at Dover Downs and gets post seven in a race that features the return of Clear Vision, who captured several lucrative stakes last fall including the $200,000 Robert Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway in Delaware. Both look destined to meet again in the upcoming George Morton Levy Series, but right now Dancin Yankee has the egde in fitness.
In the very next race on the card, a non-winners of $25,000 last six class for pacers, look for Glass Prince to continue his winning ways despite the presence of two horses dropping out of the Open. Glass Prince has won his last two starts - albeit at the odd distance of one-mile and one-sixteenth - in sharp fashion and in superior clockings to the other divisions of the split conditions.
In addition, Glass Prince draws the rail and is 8-1 on the morning line following his 15-1 upset last week and will face two pacers, Special Forces and PH Supercam, who get class relief while dropping out of the Open. But Glass Prince is still the play, simply because he is razor sharp and looms a price while both Special Forces and PH Supercam have not been on their best game of late and both figure to get overbet off the drop.
Then in the eighth, a winners over $25,000 last six class, look for Aracache Hanover to garner his first win of the season despite stepping up off a narrow setback. Last week in the faster of the split, non-winners of $25,000 last six class won by Glass Prince, Aracache Hanover set the early fractions and finished second as the winner stopped the timer in 1:59.3 for the one-mile and one-sixteenth event. The other half of the split condition at the same distance went 2:02.1.