FIRST CARD OF LIVE RACING SEASON TAKES
TO THE TRACK AT HARRAH'S PHILADELPHIA
WELCOME BACK to HARRAH'S PHILADELPHIA for the first day of live harness racing during the 2017 season! We look forward to presenting you with the best horses and horsemen in harness racing for your enjoyment and handicapping/wagering pleasure. Harrah's will be racing the days of its regular schedule in recent years -- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday; exceptions in April will be THIS WEDNESDAY, April 5 (to help with the early-season horse population) and Easter Sunday, April 16.... Today's $17,500 featured race 3 finds a Dover shipper and a Meadowlands shipper taking on a Yonkers contingent who basically have been racing one level higher than this race.
ANALYSIS OF KEY RACES
5th race: ALL ABOUT RUSTY gets his share of wins, and beat the program choice last time, but what impressed us about the mile was the fact that he was able to come home in 26.2, at the end of a 54.2
9th race: BLACKTREE comes off a nice qualifying win for trainer Robinson, but that mile was at Pompano, and history has shown us that horses coming up north sometimes need a race or two to acclimate to the weather difference. We'll try to beat him with OHOKA TEXAS N, who tried early for the lead at PcD but was left out to dry; might be a decent price from this post position.
10th race: BROADWAY ROCKS won in 1:58 on a "+2" track: a repeat of that mile can certainly got him home first. However, this horse has broken in three of his last five starts, and we don't fancy him near even money. TWO HIT DIP had a good comeback at M(1) and may be ready. Gimmick fans: DON'T BOX BROADWAY ROCKS -- either first or way back. Try longshots under our choice!
12th race: CASIMIR JITTERBUG bore in going to the lead in a fast quarter at PcD, then stayed right with the streaking CITY HALL and gained on him late; he was placed for bothering the inside horse early. He seems to be well-placed for a George Nap horse:
move to the lead when the timing is right, and then keep on going right to the winners circle. (BESTJETYET might spice exotics.)
WATCH OUT FOR:
It's always tough to get back "into a groove" early in the season, not having a great line on horses' recent form, who's "hot" and who's "not," and so on. We'll try to provide some help in our comments; generalized "things to do" are to try to give extra points to horses who have raced well recently, especially in adverse situations; stay alert early for who comes hot "out of the box" (e.g., Mark Ford has been doing well at PcD); and figure if the move to a 5/8-miler will help or hurt a horse from another-sized oval. Early cautions are to see the horse who is ready to race (or not) today, NOT "the 2016 version"; and watch for Pompano shippers going from warm to cool.