Weekend Harness Preview for 3/7/2014
by Ted Black
With one winter storm long gone and the prospect of another close at hand, harness racing fans will likely savor their chance to enjoy a hint of milder temperatures when they venture to a pair of tracks along the East Coast this weekend.
The Saturday night cards at The Meadowlands and Yonkers Raceway are always worth a look and this weekend both cards offer at least a trio of plays.
In the eighth race at the Big M, give Andrew Luck, the horse not the Indianapolis Colts quarterback, a chance to prevail despite drawing the nine hole in the B-2 class. Last week in the same event, Andrew Luck was used hard to make the lead before the half and still lasted for third, beaten just a neck. Despite the nine-hole start this week he should be able to make amends.
Three races later on the card in the Buddy Gilmour Series final, be cautious about getting too eager to play standouts National Debt and Capital Account, since both missed the previous week. National Debt looks like the best of the group, but Capital Account will be a major player. Dinner At The Met benefited from their absence last week while winning at 2-5 and could post the upset if both rivals are short.
Then in the 12th, take another shot at Tarpon Hanover in the other half of the B-2 split. Last week he was used hard down the backside and into the far turn to make the front before three-quarters and weakened late to finish third. He draws the rail this week and should be in good striking position turning for home without having to be used hard in the first half-mile.
Then in the finale, a C-2 class, play That's Justice from the rail. Last week in this group he raced first over into a solid back half, surged to command at the head of the lane and then was nailed late to be second. With the inside draw he should be able to secure good position early and be in an ideal striking spot turning for home.
Over at Yonkers on Saturday, a quartet of horses in a trio of consecutive races on the back half of the card look like solid plays.
In the seventh, a non-winners of $18,000 last six condition, take a swing on Show Me Up despite drawing the seven hole. Last week he romped home seven lengths clear in 1:53.1 in a non-winners of $12,000 last six group and that clocking was good enough to win at this level. The seven hole is always a concern on a half, but it will only help his price.
In the next race on the card, the winners over $25,000 last six class, play Glass Prince right back. A winner of three straight races, Glass Prince thumped non-winners of $25,000 last six foes last week in 1:52.4 despite pacing first over into a sharp back half and having to overhaul a 7-5 favorite to do it. He is simply in top form right now and merits backing despite the modest class jump.
In that same event, give Montana Pablo A a good chance to complete the exacta despite his outside draw. Last week he overcame a quick back half to score and his late kick should enable him to stay close enough to Glass Prince to earn a decent share.
Then in the ninth, a non-winners of $18,000 last six class, take Lettucerocku from the rail. Last week in this class he raced first over into a solid third quarter and gave way late to be third as the winner tallied in 1:53.1. Starting from the rail this evening should enable Lettucerocku to garner good early position and avoid being caught first over.
Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland will kick off its 65th season of live racing on Saturday with a 12-race card, but we'll save selections for a least a week when form begins to settle. Rosecroft will offer live racing on Saturday and Tuesday evenings through early June, with average nightly purses finally beginning to look competitive on a regional level.