Thursday Harness Preview for 3/13/2014
by Ted Black
While most tracks save their best cards for the weekend, Dover Downs offers its best programs every Thursday and this evening is no exception. Of course, unlike the previous three nights when warmer temperatures made viewing races outside appealing, another blast of cold air will likely keep fans inside the entire night.
In the fourth race, a non-winners of four races lifetime event for pacers, give Pinehaven Art a chance to post a 5-1 upset. Last week in the same class he from midpack and raced first over into a 56-second back half and still collected third money. With the rail this evening, Pinehaven Art will have the chance to secure good early position and be in ideal striking range for the final quarter-mile.
Two races later on the card, look for Little Michael B to gain immediate redemption in the $25,000 claiming event. Last week he set very quick fractions early as the 2-1 favorite and was just nailed in the final 100 yards. This evening Little Michael B should be able to get to the half in 56 flat - more than a second slower than the 54.3 midway mark he cut last week - and that should enable him to edge away from the closers in the lane.
Several races later in the featured 10th, the weekly Delaware Special, look for Nova Artist to regain his winning ways for the first family of Delaware, owners Eddie and Kathy Davis and driver, Allan Davis. Last week Nova Artist set the early fractions and lasted for the place spot as an overlooked 11-1 shot, getting nailed late by the pocket-sitting Mustang Art. But with that one assigned the eight hole this week, Nova Artist should turn the tables on him.
One race later in the 11th, a tough winners over $12,000 last six class, give Bad Man Sam the nod to prevail. Last week he rallied from well off the pace and second over behind a rival that did not carry him into the lane and this week he should be able to work out a better trip and post a mild upset somewhere in the 4-1 range.
Then in the 12th, an interesting winners over $45,000 lifetime class for younger horses someday looking to join the Open ranks, take a shot on Just A Jolt despite his outside post draw. Last week he set the early fractions only to be nailed late by Rebel Soldier, who delivered a giant, first over score in 1:50.2. Rebel Soldier has the rail this evening and will likely be the favorite - he was 10-1 last week - while Just A Jolt should float up from 1-2 to 3-1 and make amends.
One race later in the 13th, a non-winners of $9001 last six class, take another shot on Charger. Last week he was third over behind very dull cover and rallied belatedly to get third as the 9-5 favorite in an effort that was better than it looks on paper. Much of the public will probably play against him this evening, so Charger will certainly be worth backing at 5-1 or so against similar foes.