Homeracing

Rosecroft and Pompano Park offer solid Sunday cards

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Ted Black

March 4th, 2019

Sunday afternoon may not have offered ideal racing conditions at several of the harness racing ovals throughout the land that offered live programs, but there was ample serious action for trotters and pacers alike at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland, Pompano Park in Florida and Miami Valley Racing in Ohio regardless of precipitation and temperatures.

In the feature race on the Sunday program at Miami Valley contested amid very wintry conditions, Pine Dream (Chris Page) lived up to his role as the 9-5 favorite when he brushed to command before the half in 56.4, met token pressure by three-quarters in 1:26.3 then drew off in the lane for his second straight score in the $24,000 Open I for trotters. A seven-year-old Pinetucky gelding trained by Kelly Chupp, Pine Dream has won three of seven starts this year and now owns 28 wins and nearly $250,000 banked from 112 lifetime tries.

In the opening race on the rainy Sunday card at Rosecroft, Redwood Again (Frank Milby) gained command from post eight before the half in 57.2, raced unpressed down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:26.2, dueled with favored Jack Quick (Russell Foster) through the far turn and through the lane and just lasted for a head a head score in 1:54.1. A four-year-old Dragon Again gelding trained by William "Rusty" Cox for owner Courtney Brooks, Redwood Again recorded his first win in four starts this year and now owns four wins and $36,000 banked from 33 career outings.

Favored Jack Quick raced gamely in defeat, rallying third over and widest of all to finish second for owner-breeder-trainer Basil Sapienza. The four-year-old Nuclear Breeze gelding out of a Peruvian Hanover mare suffered his first local setback in four outings but still fits the non-winners of six races or $50,000 lifetime class for several more starts. Both Redwood Again and Jack Quick have been one-two in the same class for the last four weeks and should be in this group throughout the meet.

Then two races later in a non-winners of $3,000 last four starts class for trotters, Believe In Him (Richard Still) maintained her sharp form when she brushed to command before the half in 57.3, rolled by three-quarters in 1:27.3 then held safe Luvyabutleave (Allan Davis) for a two-length score in 1:57.3. A five-year-old Conway Hall mare owned and trained by Betsy Brown, Believe In Him recorded her third straight score and now owns 11 wins and $35,000 banked from 42 career tries.

Then two races later in a non-winners of $2,500 last four starts class for pacers, Toms Typhoon (John Wagner) brushed to command through the driving rain well before the half, raced unpressed down the backside and through the far turn and held safe Toms Titan (Milby) for a two-length in 1:56. A seven-year-old Cam's Rocket gelding owned and trained by Arlene Cameron, Toms Typhoon notched his first win in three starts this year and now owns 19 wins and nearly $200,000 banked from 49 career outings.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $6,000 last four starts class for older pacers, Mister Indiana (Wagner) rallied from well off the pace and widest of all to forge an 8-1 upset in 1:54.3. A seven-year-old Quality Western gelding owned and trained by Eli Scott, Jr., Mister Indiana notched his first win in six starts this year and now owns 10 wins and $115,000 banked from 103 career tries. It was the fourth win on the card for Wagner, a 1975 DuVal High School graduate.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $2,500 last four starts class for pacers, Varsity Hanover (Justin Vincent) overcame a long, first over bid down the backside and through the far turn and outlasted the late bid of favored Blue Fox (Jared Moyer) late to prevail by a neck in 1:56.4. A 10-year-old Modern Art gelding owned and trained by James Whalen, Jr., Varsity Hanover recorded his first win in five starts this year and now owns a 23-28-20 slate and nearly $175,000 banked from 163 career outings. A former horse of the meet champion at Rosecroft, Varsity Hanover has long been known as the "Crumpton Crusher" since his juvenile campaign for Whalen. One race later in the featured $9,000 Winners Over Trot, Deacons Valley (Foster) left to gain command in a 28 opener, got pressed by Uknow What To Do (Sean Bier) past the finish line the first time but refused to yield to the 21-1 shot, maintained a clear lead down the backside and through the far turn then was all-out to just outlast Uknow What To Do and Third Coast (Roger Plante, Jr.) to score by a nose in 1:57.3. It was the second straight win for Deacons Valley and ended a two-race skein for a game and gritty Uknow What To Do.

Then two races later in a non-winners of $4,001 last four starts class for older pacers, Lil Johnny (Jason Green) lived up to his role as the 2-5 favorite when he overcame a long, first over bid to score by a length over JW Renegade (John Mackinnon) in 1:53.2. A six-year-old Big Bad John gelding owned and trained by Jason Walters, Lil Johnny notched his first win in four starts this year and now owns 13 wins and nearly $64,000 banked from 73 career outings and likely earned a berth in next week's $12,000 Open Handicap.

Then just past the midway point of the Sunday card at warm and dry Pompano Park, Sgt Papa Daddy (John MacDonald) left to secure good early position behind Four Socks (Wally Hennessey) before a 27.1 opener, sat a loose pocket by the half, was in tight down the backside and through the far turn, found room inside at the head of the lane and surged past Four Socks for a length score in 1:52.1 as the 2-1 second choice in the non-winners of $4,575 last four starts/optional $17,500 claiming event for pacers.

A five-year-old Rockin Image gelding owned, trained and driven by MacDonald, Sgt Papa Daddy returned immediate dividends after being claimed for $30,000 out of his last outing. He now owns a 3-2-1 slate and $16,000 banked from eight starts this year and sports 23 wins and almost $192,000 banked from 55 career tries and lowered his lifetime mark by nearly a full second on Sunday. Four Socks settled for second while seeking his third straight wins against conditioned foes.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $2,700 last four starts/optional $8,000 claiming event for pacers, Fritzie Pic Up Man (Hennessey) easily lived up to his role as the 2-5 favorite when he bushed to command down the backside, rolled by three-quarters in 1:23.2 then romped home three lengths clear of Jimi Wind Rocks (David Ingraham) to score in 1:51.3. An eight-year-old Always A Virgin gelding trained by Gaston Lareau, Fritzie Pic Up Man recorded his second win in eight starts this year and now owns 39 wins and $266,000 banked from 176 career tries.

One race later in the featured $10,000 Open I Handicap for older pacers, Lets Roll (Mike Simons) got away third, stayed in past the half in 56 flayt, brushed to command before three-quarters in 1:23.1 then held safe Brigadierbronski A (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) and American Hustle (Scott Zeron) to score by over a length in 1:51.1. A four-year-old Roll With Joe stallion trained by Jake Huff, Lets Roll recorded his first win in the top class, sports three wins from six starts this year and now owns nine wins and nearly $66,000 banked from 26 career outings and equaled his lifetime mark in the process.
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