Wednesday Harness Preview for 3/19/2014
by Ted Black
Although the two standardbred tracks are a considerable distance apart, the similarities between Dover Downs and Pompano Park, both five-eighths mile ovals take on an added dimension each Wednesday when their cards feature trotters.
But with all due respects to the trotters, the first play of the Wednesday card at Dover is a pacer. Last week in a $7500 claiming event, Sir Jonathan Z Tam set rapid early fractions over a sloppy track and was eventually overhauled late by longshot Osceola Gold. But the fast track should be much more conducive to Sir Jonathan Z Tam this evening and that should enable him to keep Osceola Gold and the others at bay late.
Several races later in the seventh, a winners over $45,000 lifetime event for trotters, look for Six Gun Hall to finally garner his first win of the campaign. Second twice and third three times in nine winless starts on the season so far, Six Gun Hall should be able to work out a decent trip in this event and the presence of Ideal Revenue and Pounce Hanover will only enhance his price.
Then two races later in the ninth, give the classy, durable millionaire Looking Hanover one more chance to finally attain his first win of the season. The gelded son of Muscles Yankee trained by Ed Gannon, Jr. is winless in six previous starts and has been well backed in most of them. But we'll cast aside those short-priced failures to give Looking Hanover one more chance at redemption in this non-winners of $13,000 last six starts affair.
That same evening at Pompano Park, the best trotters on the grounds will be on display very early as the Open Handicap is the opening race on the program. Over the first three months of the year it has become a genuinely competitive affair.
Although they settled for second- and third-place, respectively, in this event last week, look for Photo King and Jolenes Pinehonker to complete the exacta this evening. Photo King was very good while benefiting from a pocket trip last week and finished with plenty of trot, while Jolenes Pinehonker settled for third after a prolonged, first over bid as the 1-2 choice. Either one could win this evening and the other should complete the exacta.
Several races later on the card, give Naughty Not Nice one more chance to attain his first win of the season. Second three times and third once in seven starts, Naughty Not Nice should finally be able to garner that first tally in this non-winners of $3251 last five affair for trotters. He has been a bit unlucky in several starts for trainer-driver Rick Plano, but that should change tonight.
Then in the ninth, a non-winners of $4751 last five event for trotters, look for Goldstar Classic to overcome his outside draw and prevail. Last week he delivered an exceptional effort while attempting to overcome excess cover and race widest of all to finish second in this class. Granted, the draw was not kind to Goldstar Classic again this week but he should be on the move earlier and be in ideal position to strike in the lane.