Monday feature offers plenty of possibilities

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

May 7th, 2015

Both thoroughbred and standardbred horse players tend to avoid short fields, noting that the races often offer little value. But the Monday feature at Harrington Raceway, the $16,000 Open Handicap comprised of only five older pacers, is clearly the most intriguing race on the card.

From the rail out the compact field reads People Are Crazy, Elite Awards, Dancin Yankee, Bandolito and Just A Jolt. While People Are Crazy, Elite Awards and Just A Jolt are well-known among the local players while perhaps not on the radar for anything other than serious fans, both Dancin Yankee and Bandolito have made several travels outside of the First State and both could be pointed for the track's signature event later this season, the $200,000 Robert Quillen Memorial on September 21.

Dancin Yankee won 18 of 29 starts last year and banked over $500,000 along the way, but this season he is winless in six starts while competing in the George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway in New York and then last weekend's Van Rose Invitational at Pocono Downs, won by Levy final hero, Domethatagain. Dancin Yankee raced first over last weekend and faces the prospects of a similar trip on Monday and against a similar foe.

Bandolito, a winner five times in 14 starts this year including a 1:48.1 score at Dover Downs and a 1:51 victory at Harrington on April 20, set the fractions in the Van Rose before being overhauled in the lane by Domethatagain. Bandolito has wicked early speed and he will likely set the pace again on Monday despite the presence inside of People Are Crazy, last week's Open II winner in 1;53.1 and Elite awards, who won the Open II two starts back in 1:54.

While Bandolito and Dancin Yankee will likely vie for favoritism, Just A Jolt (Victor Kirby) could work out the best trip. Last year's champion Delaware-owned and based older pacer when he won 16 of 36 starts and earned almost $230,000 for trainer Jim King, Jr., Just A Jolt is rapidly rounding into form again. He has won the last two editions of the Open at Harrington and figures to get a good, second over trip behind Dancin Yankee down the backside and through the far turn.

People Are Crazy and Elite Awards will make their presence known early, but look for Bandolito to clear them before the opening quarter. Dancin Yankee will take up the task of going first over nearing the half and Just A Jolt will gladly cling to him for live cover. Bandolito and Dancin Yankee will battle down the backside and through the far turn and Just A Jolt will enjoy the second over trip and People Are Crazy will get the pocket journey. at the top of the lane it will be anyone's race, with Bandolito, Dancin Yankee and Just A Jolt all finishing within a length of one another in 1:50 flat.