Weekend Harness Preview for 3/29/204

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

March 29th, 2014

by Ted Black

While the day might begin with a pair of giant thoroughbred cards from Meydan in Dubai and Gulfstream Park in Florida, harness racing fans will savor the evening thanks to excellent programs at Yonkers Raceway and The Meadowlands.

Yonkers Raceway will offer four, $50,000 divisions of the second leg of the George Morton Levy Memorial Series for aged pacers. Once again trainer Ron Burke is expected to dominate the event - Burke trainees posted four wins and three second-place finishes in last weekend's opener - but several other trainers could have their pacers poised for minor upsets.

In the fourth race, the first division of the Levy second leg, the Burke tandem of Bettor's Edge and Clear Vision is listed at 4-5 on the morning line and will likely dip below that price. Bettor's Edge bested stablemate Sweet Lou last week while Clear Vision finished second in his preliminary and could be rounding into form. The best chance for an upset rests with Fat Mans Alley, an Open winner over the track who starts from post two, inside the Burke entry.

One race later, the second division of the Levy remains largely unplayable except maybe to those bridgejumpers out there if show betting is actually allowed. The three-ply Burke trio of Escape The News, Itustyou and Special Forces drew the inside three posts and will be no more than 1-5 at post time. Itrustyou, a former Colonial Downs star, won his prelim last week and looks destined for the final. Special Forces had little to offer last week.

Four races later in the ninth, the third division the Levy secone leg is unquestionably the best race on the card and arguably the best race of the season to this point and is virtually a preview of the final, sans Foiled Again.

From the rail out this group reads Apprentice Hanover, AJ Corbelli, Dancin Yankee, Sweet Lou, Easy Again, Mach It So and Mr Hasani. Easy Again was the sharpest winner of the opening round and heads a Burke entry that includes Sweet Lou, a leg runner-up last week in his seasonal debut. But the others cannot be overlooked.

Apprentice Hanover was second while first over at 2-5 against Foiled Again last week, gets the rail and will be primed for his best effort. AJ Corbelli was second at 4-5 in his split; Dancin Yankee was third after a long, first over trip last week; Mach It So was a sharp opening round winner and Mr Hasani was second last week. Apprentice Hanover and Dancin Yankee have the best chance to prevent the Burke trainees from finishing one-two here.

The fourth division of the Levy, carded as race 11, features the indefatiguable, ageless wonder, Foiled Again. Already the sport's all-time richest pacer, Foiled Again kicked off his 10-year-old campaign last week with a wire-to-wire score in the opening leg and will be odds-on again with Aracache Hanover Hillbilly Hanover as his entrymates. Here We Go Again has the only chance to unseat the Burke trio.

That same night at The Meadowlands, the New Jersey miler will host the A-2/A-1/Free-for-All early on the card and then offer two series finals for younger horses someday looking to join the FFA ranks.

In the second, the A-2/A-1/FFA handicap for older pacers, look for Golden Receiver, Dovuto Hanover and Allstar Legend to be within a length of one another at the wire. Golden Receiver is the class of the group and gets assigned the outside, while Dovuto Hanover and Allstar Legend look poised for the upset. Panasthetic has the rail and the season's fastest mark (1:48.1) in the field.

Five races later in the seventh, the $83,000 Clyde Hirt series final for younger pacers, any number of horses could prevail in the most intriguing race on the card.

Avatartist narrowly won last week's prelim in 1:50.1 over a game Alexa's Jackpot, who could post the upset. Brees Creek has yet to win in the series but has been good in each start and just missed last week and Dover invader CC Heat Seeker was good in each leg. The two early favorites, Burkentine Hanover and Wake Up Peter, had the misfortune of drawing posts nine and 10, respectively and will be tough if they can work out a trip.

Wake Up Peter won the first two legs easily, but broke stride as the 1-2 choice last week and now gets saddled with post 10 this evening. He has the most ability of any pacer in this group and he will likely be 5-2 or better off last week's miscue, but he will also have a lot to overcome to get the job done in the Clyde Hirt final.

Four races later in the 11th, trotters will take center stage in the $60,000 Horse & Groom Series final. The Burke tandem of Time To Quit and Amigo Ranger will get plenty of support, as will Bambino Glide. Hldontghettyurdrms also looms as a possible upsetter.