The first two weeks of the winter/spring meet ended Feb. 17 with a three-way tie for the top spot in the driving standings—Russell Foster, Frank Milby and Jonathan Roberts, who had the highest in-the-money rate of the three at 72% and a return on investment of 65%
Tyler Davis, Richard Still and John Wagner each had four victories, with Davis at the top with a 78% in-the-money rate and a 49% ROI. And not far from the top are four drivers, each with three wins: Brian Burton, Eddie Davis Jr., Roger Plante Jr. and Jason Thompson.
Basil Sapienza made the most of his five starts thus far with four wins to top the training standings. His ITM rate was 100% and his ROI stood at 116%. Fourteen trainers each had two wins after the first four racing programs, and 19 each had one victory.
Diamondkeeper, owned and trained by Sapienza, is now two-for-three so far at the meet and is the leading horse by earnings at $8,030. In all of last year the popular 8-year-old gelding earned $27,205 in 21 outings.
Another horse with three starts at the meet—B Fast Eddie, owned and trained by Eric Foster—isn’t far behind with $7,265 in earnings with two wins and a second.
The weather forced cancellation of racing Feb. 20. Here’s a look at a few races on the Sunday, Feb. 23, program:
Carters Caper was a quick claim-back for $5,000 in his second local outing of the meet and moves up to the $7,500 claiming level off two nice efforts. He was competitive enough at this level at Dover Downs previously and may offer some value given the presence of Three Rivers Dell and In Record Time, who figure to take a lot of the action.
Puddin N Pie went from seventh to third at this level two weeks ago in his first start since December at Harrah’s Philadelphia, where he trotted some decent miles versus tougher competition. The gelding can come home as good as any of these and could get a lively cover trip from post 7.
Spinout was well-meant in his first start since late October—he left for position, got the shuffle and shifted three-wide turning for home when he got some room. He faces several drop-downs from the “non-winners of $4,000 in the last five starts” class but his ability to fire away early could make a difference in what looks like an evenly-matched group of pacers.
This week’s “winners over” pace is a combo of sorts as several of these are regulars in the Open pace at Rosecroft. Rock N’ Roll Jet (outside post 7 assigned) went a big mile versus eventual winner Sams Triple Crown in the Open pace last weekend and is the expected favorite on recent form. Lil Johnny, who flew home from ninth heading for home in the same race with a closing quarter-mile of :27 3/5, has taken a misstep from time to time but seems poised for a big season given recent efforts and should not be overlooked.