While many harness racing enthusiasts were focused on the opening leg of the George Morton Levy Memorial Series for aged pacers last Saturday night at Yonkers Raceway, many avid fans were still keen on following the action on Sunday evening at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland and Pompano Park in Florida, a pair of competitive five-eighths mile ovals.
Just before the midway point of the Sunday program at Rosecroft, Hurricane Honey (Richard Still) posted a mild 5-1 upset in a non-winners of $2500 last five starts class for trotters by brushing to command before the three-quarter mark and holding sway late for a two-length score in 2:00.2. It was the first win in five starts for Hurricane Honey, a six-year-old daughter of Hambletonian hero Chip Chip Hooray owned and trained by Brian Tomlinson and the first win for Still in his belated return to the driving colony.
Several races later on the card, Concert Artist (William Carter) gave Tomlinson an owner-trainer double when he rallied from far back and widest of all down the backside and through the far turn to capture a non-winners of $4000 last five starts class for older pacers in 1:55.2. A former horse of the meet winner here, Concert Artist notched his second win in six starts this year and now owns a 15-13-12 slate and $135,000 banked from 88 career outings.
One race later on the card, Whitesville Dixon (David Hill, III) maintained his winning ways when he found room down the backside, angled out to launch a three-wide bid on the far turn and outfought Windsun Cobra (Allan Davis) for a neck score in 1:56.1. A five-year-old Doggone Yankee gelding owned, bred and trained by Gary White, Whitesville Dixon has won two straight races and now owns a 7-12-9 slate and $79,000 bankroll from 41 career outings and he lowered his lifetime mark by more than a full second in the process.
Then one race later in the $10,000 Open Handicap for older pacers, Katies Rocker (Jonathan Roberts) regained his winning ways when he led throughout while cutting wicked fractions of 25.4, 54.4 and 1:22.3 en route to a neck score over McKenry (Bret Brittingham) in 1:51.2. A four-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding trained by Mike Hall for owner Howard Taylor, Katies Rocker notched his first win in four starts this season and now owns an 8-9-1 slate and $413,000 bankroll from 29 lifetime tries.
Then one race later in the “winners over” class, Movie Idol (Frank Milby) benefited from a pocket trip behind 9-5 second choice Idealbeach Hanover (Jim Morand) and overhauled that one late for a neck triumph in 1:52. A nine-year-old I Am A Fool stallion trained by Shaun Callahan, Movie Idol recorded his first win in nine starts this year and now owns a 14-16-17 slate and $305,000 bankroll from 98 career tries. Idealbeach Hanover got a breather to the half in 56.2 then uncorked a 26.2 third quarter in an attempt to bottom out his pursuers but was nailed late in quest of his second straight local tally for trainer Les Givens.
But one race later in the non-winners of $6,000 last five starts class for older pacers, Next Success (Morand) regained his winning ways when he quarter moved to command, led the field by the half in 55.4 and by three-quarters in 1:23.1 and held safe pocket-sitting Hickory Aloha in 1:52. A four-year-old Veeza gelding trained by Givens for owners Henry J Faragalli, III, Nanticoke Racing and Bay Pond Racing, Next Success posted his first win in nine tries this year and lowered his lifetime mark in the process.
That same evening at Pompano Park in Florida, First Of Itskind (Mike Simons) lived up to his role as the 1-2 favorite in the $12,000 Open Handicap when he rallied second over and three-wide late to overhaul pacesetter Drachan Hanover (Wally Hennessey) for a length score in 1:51.2, thanks to a solid 54.4 back half. It was the fourth win in eight starts this year for the six-year-old Western Terror gelding trained by Jason Robinson for owner Robert Main.
Several races later on the card, Pointsman (Rick Plano) posted a wire-to-wire score in the $10,000 Open 2 event as the 6-5 favorite in 1:52.3, then two races later Heart Felt (Bryce Fenn) brushed to command before the half and lived up to his billing as the 3-5 choice in the $9,000 Open 3 when he edged clear late to a two-length score in 1:52.2. One race later Del Rio Seelster (Hennessey) prevailed as the 4-5 choice in the $15/17,500 claiming handicap in 1:52.1.