Weekend Harness Preview for 7/5/2014

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

July 5th, 2014

by Ted Black

Anyone who may have gotten their filly of cookouts, backyard barbecues and loud fireworks displays may want to find somewhere cam and peaceful to watch and wager on races at Yonkers Raceway and The Meadowlands this evening where the talented pacers at those tracks will be seeking to provide some sparks of their own.

Midway through the Meadowlands' card on Saturday night will be a pair of eliminations for the track's signature event - the Meadowlands Pace for three-year-old pacing colts. Past winners of the final read like a who's who of the sport's all-time best, including Niatross, Nihilator and Beach Towel and this year's group will be looking to follow in their hoofprints.

In the sixth race, the first of the two consecutive Meadowlands Pace elims, much of the attention will be on JK Endofanera, the Ron Burke trainee who has won four of five starts this year, including the $920,000 North America Cup final at Mohawk in 1:48.4. JK Endofanera emerged on the scene last last fall when he captured the $535,000 Governor's Cup at The Meadowlands in his season finale.

JK Endofanera (Brian Sears) began his current campaign with three straight scores at three different ovals before delivering an absolute dud as the 1-2 choice in his NA Cup elim while racing against the bias. But he bounced back to take the final - at an overlooked 12-1 - and then won a local qualifier in 1:51. He drew post six for this event and will likely be the odds-on choice, but certainly no cinch to score especially with the bigger prize one week away.

Looking to upend 'JK' are several horses that were also aiming for North America Cup glory. Lyonssomewhere (Yannick Gingras) actually upset 'JK' while taking his Cup elim in 1:50.1, but then settled for fifth in the final after getting shuffled down the backside. He then also finished second to 'JK' in a local qualifier and despite drawing post eight for his elim looks poised to make his presence known early and late.

Just to his inside is Always B Miki (David Miller), another colt who looked like a budding star at the outset of his sophomore campaign. A Roll The Dice Stable homebred trained by Joe Holloway, Always B Miki won several overnight races and the Reynolds at the Meadowlands and the Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk, but broke early in his NA Cup elim and failed to earn a spot in that lucrative final. He also failed to earn a spot in the Max Hempt final at Pocono Downs and was a well-beaten fourth behind 'JK' in a local qualifier.

New Jersey Sire Stakes hero Doo Wop Hanover (Corey Callahan) also failed to earn a spot in either the NA Cup or Max Hempt finals, but he did rally from far back to win the Hempt consolation last week at Pocono in 1:49. This Steve Elliott trainee appears to be a notch below the upper tier in this division, but he could earn a spot in next week's final.

Another sophomore looking to regain his early season form here is National Debt (Ron Pierce), a Maryland-bred son of Allamerican Native trained by Ron Coyne, Jr. National Debt won all four of his races last year as a freshman and then the first three starts of his current campaign. But his last official start and three subsequent qualifiers have only been modest and the Winbak Farm product will have to improve considerably to earn a spot in next week's final.

One race later in the seventh, the second Meadowlands Pace elim, much of the attention will be focused on two talented colts who drew outside.

Tellitlikeitis (Brett Miller) won his NA Cup elim in 1:48.4 off a three-week rest then settled for second as the 9-5 favorite in the final for trainer Jimmy Takter. Last year's champion juvenile pacing colt, He's Watching (Tim Tetrick) is still seeking consistency. He was dismal in the Art Rooney elim, but was sharp in his Somebeachsomewhere division tally. He was a good second in the NA Cup elim and a solid third in the final and should be able to overcome post nine and earn a spot in the final.

Several others will be looking to join them. Let's Drink On It (Tyler Smith) has won three of six starts, was third in his NA Cup elim and eighth in the final. Sometimes Said was good in his NA Cup and Hempt elims, but failed to earn a check in either final. Defending Breeders Crown champion Luck Be With You (Pierce) trounced conditioned foes at Pocono Downs for his first win in four tries. Jet Airway (Marcus Miller) has won his last two against softer.

Several races later in the $485,000 Hambletonian Maturity at a mile and an eighth, a full field of 14 four-year-old trotters will go behind the gate in a race that will be extremely interesting but also appears largely unplayable.

Defending division champions Royalty For Life (David Miller) last year's Hambo winner, will start from post six in his seasonal debut after winning seven of 14 starts and nearly $1.3 million en route to being named champion three-year-old colt trotter.

Starting several spots to his inside but in the second tier is reigning horse of the year, Bee A Magician (Brian Sears) who won all 17 of her starts and over $1.5 million last season en route to being the sport's champion. She has finished second twice in three winless starts this year for trainer Nifty Norman and will need to find her sophomore form quickly in order to topple male rivals in this event.

One race later in the Mistletoe Shalee elim for three-year-old pacing fillies, nine sophomores will go behind the gate looking to earn one of seven open spots for the final. Uffizi Hanover, Weeper and Rock N Roll Xample all accepted byes for next week's final, so two of the nine in this group will not be returning.

Last year's champion two-year-old pacing filly, Precocious Beauty (Doug McNair) draws the rail and will be looking to rebound from a dull effort in her Fan Hanover elim when she faded to seventh as the 4-5 choice. The daughter of Art Major won seven of 11 starts last year, but ended the campaign by being thumped in the Breeders Crown final at Pocono.

A trio of sophomore fillies appear ready to return next week. Table Talk (Tetrick) won her Fan Hanover elim before settling for sixth in the final, but has won a pair of NYSS events at Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs. Act Now (Sears) won her NJSS final over this oval before finishing fifth in the James Lynch Memorial elim, while Gallie Bythebeach (John Campbell) will seek her first win in five tries this year for trainer Jim Campbell following a parked-the-mile trip in the Lynch final last week.

At Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night, the $44,000 Open Handicap midway through the card takes top billing and the group came up tough.

PH Supercam (Jason Bartlett) hero of the $567,000 George Morton Levy Memorial series final over this oval in April, finally draws an inside post after a pair of eight hole assignments here and should redeem himself after being fifth at 7-5 last week.

Arachache Hanover (George Brennan) saw his three-race streak snapped last week when fourth as the favorite in the A-2/FFA Hcp at the Meadowlands, but could rebound here. Dynamic Youth gets assigned the eight hole after returning from two starts against serious foes at Pocono. He won this class on May 31 and May 24 during a three-race win streak. Pancetta (Jordan Stratton) won this race last week, while Casimir Jitterbug tries this group having won three times in the non-winners of $32,000 last six class.