Wednesday Harness Preview for 2/26/2014
by Ted Black
It seems as though the Wednesday programs at a pair of five-eighths mile standardbred ovals tend to highlight the trotters and that is clearly the case again this evening as Dover Downs and Pompano Park offer cards that cater to the trotting gait.
A number of races at Dover Downs look somewhat playable on Wednesday, but it was difficult to find some genuine value plays. For instance the opener is a good race for younger trotters looking to advance from the lifetime conditions into the tough open events, but it seemed impossible to really take a serious stand on any one horse.
Midway through the card in the eighth, the winners over $12,000 class for trotters, look for Looking Hanover to finally garner his first win of the campaign. The durable, classy millionaire son of Muscles Yankee trained by Ed Gannon, Jr., has gradually been rounding into form while being beaten at short prices. He displayed plenty of early speed last week and finished second after cutting honest fractions, so this should finally be the week that Looking Hanover prevails.
Three races later in a contentious non-winners of five event for pacing fillies and mares, look for Beat The Beat to emerge victorious. Last week she raced second over into a pretty good back half while attempting to overhaul odds-on Seniorita Bella, but this week Beat The Beat should have honest fractions to chase home thanks to the presence of Full of Fame, Frightening Cold and Bars And Stars, all of which like to be on the move well before the half.
Then in the finale, give Nidaros a chance to finally attain her first tally of the campaign in a non-winners of five event for trotters. Last week as an overlooked 17-1 shot, Nidaros made two moves and finished second, beaten only a nose against similar and should score this evening at a decent price while starting from the second tier.
Down south at Pompano Park in Florida, a trio of trotters in a four-race span early on the card look poised to find the winner's circle.
In the second, the first half of the split, non-winners of $4601 last five starts class, expect Thekeptman to prevail following a solid, third-place effort a week ago. Last week Thekeptman was used to make the top in a 55.4 half and still lasted for third in a 1:55.3 mile. If he can get to the half in 57 and change this evening, he will have plenty left in reserve.
Two races later in the featured Open Handicap, look for Photo King to succeed in the top class. Last week the talented, improving young trotter raced first over into a solid back half in his first attempt in the top Open and settled for third in an effort than was much better than it looked on paper. Photo King is one of the rising young trotting stars on the circuit and tonight he should get his first taste of victory in the top class for his gait.
Then one race later in the fifth, the other half of the split, non-winners of $460-1 last five condition, take a shot on Shelby County who will start from post nine in a bulky, 10-horse affair. Last week in a similar group, Shelby County raced first over into a good back half and still finished third. He should be able to work out a better trip tonight and with an honest tempo up front, a given considering the field size, he should be able to flourish in the lane.