It had been over three years since he last reached the winner’s circle and more than four years after he enjoyed a dominant sophomore campaign en route to being harness racing horses of the year in 2015, but Thursday evening at Dover Downs Wiggle It Jiggleit kicked off the season with his first win in quite a while.
Sent out as the solid 5-2 second choice from post two in the $30,000 Preferred Handicap, Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) left to secure a pocket trip behind 38-1 outsider Larry Karr and sat there as the longshot carved out modest fractions of 26.4 and 55.3 through the first two calls then angled out of the pocket to challenge the leader as they rolled by three-quarters in 1:23.2.
Wiggle It Jiggleit brushed to command on the far turn then held safe the late bid of talented homebred Slick Tony for a length score in 1:51. Granted, while well above the 1:47 and change miles fans were accustomed to seeing Wiggle It Jiggleit post in his four-year-old season when he often clashed with horse of the year Always B Miki, the George Teague, Jr. trainee earned his first victory in his comeback.
Two races earlier on the card, Sicily (Victor Kirby) delivered a sharp score in the $27,500 Blue Hen Open handicap for Delaware-owned pacers. The eight-year-old Art Major gelding trained by Wayne Givens brushed to command before the half in 54 flat, rolled by three-quarters well clear in 1:21.3 then cruised home five lengths the best in 1:50. His handy score in the Blue Hen likely earned Sicily a berth in the Preferred Handicap next Thursday.
Two races earlier in the Winners Over class, Trojan Banner N (Tim Tetrick) prevailed as the 2-5 choice when he benefited from live cover second over then finally wore down Romantic Interest (Frank Milby) in 1:51.2. A five-year-old Bettor’s Delight stallion trained by Jim King, Jr. of Shartin N fame, Trojan Banner N notched his first victory of the season. Romantic Interest was game in defeat and the champion Rosecroft Raceway fall meet pacer displayed an ability to compete in one of the upper classes at Dover.
Tetrick and King teamed up to win with a pair of other pacers, Time Watch, a four-year-old Captaintrecherous gelding who scored by two lengths in 1:52.2, and Bad Boy Brad N, who won an overnight race in 1:51.3. Grantmeawish (Tony Morgan) won the opener for trainer Josh Green as the 7-5 favorite in 1:50.4, which held up as one of the fastest clockings on the card.