Harness Preview for 9/4/2014

September 4th, 2014

Seldom are the Thursday cards at any standardbred track the centerpiece for the week and this Thursday's programs at Harrington Raceway and Yonkers Raceway, respectively, leave little to the imagination for the most part. But both have several interesting plays.

For instance, this evening's third race at Harrington offers an obvious value play. Last week in this class, Champion's Club (Victor Kirby) was interfered with at the start, got away third, raced first over down the backside to take command briefly then settled for third as 27-1 outsiders Lengthoftime (Jonathan Roberts) and 48-1 Celtic Thunder (John Mackinnon) finished one-two in a shocking result.

But such outcomes are not only rare they tend to seldom duplicate one another. So, although both Lengthoftime and Celtic Thunder drew favorably this evening, getting posts one and three, Champion's Club is the play from post four. She was a modest 6-1 last week while settling for third and could go postward at a similar price. But she is clearly worth backing across the board and on top in the exotics against two rivals that were very fortunate last week.

Several races later in the seventh, a non-winners of one race for pacing fillies and mares, Open Sea (Vince Copeland) seems destined to finally land her first career score this evening. The beaten favorite in each of her last two outings, Open Sea drew the rail for this event and should be able to dictate the tempo from the outset and that should make her very difficult to overtake in the lane.

Then several races later in the 11th, another non-winners of one race event, look for Brian's Thunder (Jim Morand) to emerge victorious in his career debut for trainer Les Givens. Last week in his lone qualifier, Brian's Thunder got away third, raced first over down the backside and through the far turn and still prevailed by a head in 2:00.4 despite pacing first over into a 58.4 back half. Expect the freshman pacer to be in good position early then traveling very well at the end.

That same evening at Yonkers Raceway in New York, those who stay for the 12th race finale should find the wait worthwhile. Both railbound Caviart Cara and Sea Cruise Hanover, who drew alongside her, move well inside after both had drawn the eight-hole in their previous outings. Sea Cruise Hanover has the tactical edge in early speed, but look for Caviart Cara to stalk her from the pocket every step of the way and either could cross the wire first.

Of course, those leaving Harrington on Thursday evening will already be looking for past performances to study on the subsequent Monday card when the Delaware half-mile oval hosts the eliminations for the Robert Quillen Memorial for aged pacers.

The field from the rail out in the first division, carded as the eighth race on the program, reads I Like Dreamin (Pat Lachance), Tarpon Hanover (Matt Kakaley), Easy Again (Yannick Gingras), Doctor Butch (Tim Tetrick) and Foiled Again (Gingras). Foiled Again leads the field in seasonal earnings ($470,000) and of course, the world in career earnings at $6.5 million and he will assuredly have the services of Gingras and be the post time choice.

Two races later in the second Quillen elim, the field from the rail out reads Dancin Yankee (Tyler Buter), Heston Blue Chip (Tetrick), Bettor's Edge (Kakaley), Aracache Hanover (Kakaley), Clear Vision (Brett MIller) and Statesman N (Corey Callahan). Trainer Ron Burke has exactly one-half of the field, with Clear Vision arriving as the defending champion. Dancin Yankee won the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga last month in 1:48.4.

A full, detailed analysis of both eliminations will be provided on Monday. Interestingly enough, Quillen nominee Versado opted for the track's $13,000 Open II rather than either elim. Trainer Nick Surick brought Tarpon Hanover down for the Quillen, but decided to find a softer spot for Versado on the undercard.