Homeracing

Tuesday harness preview

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Ted Black

November 25th, 2014

While many racing fans are likely looking forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, serious harness racing enthusiasts will look to pad their collective bankrolls on Tuesday evening when Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland hosts another competitive, 12-race card.

Three days after many of the national divisional champions and potentially horse of the year were decided in the 12 Breeders Crown finals contested at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, local owners and trainers still have their sights set on minor spoils as the title of fall meet champion at Rosecroft will be decided over the last three Tuesday cards. Both Rosecroft track management and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association each select a horse of the meet.

In the second race on the Tuesday card, a field of seven distaff pacers will gather in the $10,000 Open 2 handicap for fillies and mares. Last week both Don't Fool Around (Frank Milby) and Happy Feet Too (Roger Plante, Jr.) captured their respective halves of the split, non-winners of $5000 last five starts for fillies and mares. Don't Fool Around, who sports four win in eight starts at the meet and would enhance her chances for horse of the meet honors with another score here this evening.

Don't Fool Around rallied from well off the pace and three-wide on the far turn to prevail in her split in 1:53.3 for trainer Darrlye Dennis and co-owners Donnie & Nancy Drewer, while Happy Feet Too grinded her way first over into a 55-flat back half to score in 1:52.4 for trainer John McIntyre and owner William Sartin. But both could be upended this evening by Dragon Ruffles (Ken Weckstein) who was nailed late by Happy Feet Too after uncorking a blistering third quarter. Her driver recorded his first win of the meet on Saturday night with Buck ID and his second could be close a hand.

Several races later on the card, a non-winners of $4500 last five starts class for older pacing males, look for Booze Cruzin (Jared Moyer) to end an eight-race skid and outlast Manhattan Rusty N (Milby) to prevail. Booze Cruzin easily won his local debut on September 16 in 1:52.3, but has only been second twice in eight straight defeats since then. His best effort was two starts back when he made two moves in a wicked opening half and was nailed late by Call Her Bud in 1:51.1 in a similar class in the fastest mile of the night on Nov. 11.

Two races later in the $10,000 Open 2 Handicap for older pacing males, Lyons Meandragon (Roger Plante, Jr.) could secure one group's selection as horse of the meet with another tally if he can overcome his assigned seven slot. This John McIntyre trainee already sports four wins in this class, including a lifetime mark of 1:51.1 on Oct. 14 and three other triumphs in the identical clocking of 1:52.2.

Looking to end the 'Dragon's dominance at this level are two pacers who raced very well last week and have already garnered horse of the meet honors from the scribes, albeit at two different tracks. Hi Sir (Russell Foster) the USHWA selection as Ocean Downs horse of the meet this past summer, returns to the Open 2 following a sharp, 1:50.4 with against conditioned foes last week with his owner-trainer in the bike. Hi Sir also owns an earlier win at this level in 1:52.1.

Last week in the Open 2, Caviart Tyler (Jonathan Roberts) raced well in defeat. He went three-wide around the parked out Shady Breeze entering the far turn, swept to command at the head of the lane and then was nailed late by the inside finishing bid of Lyons Meandragon. Caviart Tyler, a former USHWA horse of the meet selection at Rosecroft, already owns two prior wins at the meet including one in the Open 3.

Then one race later on the card in the $8500 Open 3 Handicap for pacers, Call Me Bud (Anthony Armour) will seek his third straight score despite missing a week, while Hot Art (Corey Braden) looks for his second straight tally while stepping up in class. But much of the attention will go tow Aled Hanover (Mike Beaver) who drops out of the Open 2 for trainer Eric Ell and Toms Titan (Roberts) who was the beaten favorite twice in four subpar efforts in the Open 1 for trainer Roger Hans and owner-breeder Thomas Cooke.

Two races later in the 11th, a $5000 claiming event for pacers, Cowboy Artist (Beaver) will look to regain his winning ways after facing much tougher non-winners of $6000 last five company last week. Cowboy Artist already boats four wins against $5000 claimers at the meet and another victory for this Eric Ell trainee could earn him the nod as horse of the meet choice from one of the two groups and give owner William Still ample reason to display his version of the "Discount Double Check" celebration entering the winner's circle.

 
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