12/23/2015 11:41AM

Meadowlands: Harmon has horse power on final 2015 program

Rob Harmon (Facebook)
Trainer Rob Harmon will send out five horses on Saturday at the Meadowlands.

The Meadowlands closes out its 2015 campaign on Saturday night with a 15-race program and an early post time. First post is 6:35 p.m. on a card that not only has full fields but appears more like a Friday program saturated with trotting races and filly and mare pacing events. Trainer Rob Harmon has five entered on the card and he'll be there early and late with hopes of sending out his season on a high note.

Perhaps the biggest success story in the Harmon stable this year has been Detroit Rapper. The 4-year-old gelding picked up last year has won 11 times in 2015 and gone over six figures in earnings. This was a far cry from expectations.

"When I bought him last year I was hoping he would fit into $20,000 claimers at Yonkers," said Harmon.

[DRF HARNESS LIVE: Real-time insights from the DRF Harness team this Saturday at 6:50 p.m.]

The son of Jailhouse Jesse has proven to be a whole lot more for Harmon, who also owns the horse. On Saturday night Detroit Rapper landed the pole position in the featured $25,000 Open Trot, race nine on the card.

"I don't really think the rail is good for him," said Harmon. "He can charge home and pass horses in the stretch and that's what he's best at. From this spot if Jimmy (Marohn Jr.) has to move him early I'm not sure how he'll finish."

Last week Detroit Rapper stepped up in class and finished a powerful third in the Open 2 event at the Meadowlands. Saturday's Open Trot brings some sharpsters into the race including the resurgent Upfront Billy (post 10) and Yonkers invader Tweet Me (post 11).

Harmon's stable kicks off the festivities in the opener, an $8,500 event for non-winners of $7,500 with an optional $15,000 tag. He'll send out Over And Out, a solid third-place finisher two weeks ago.

"I wanted to race him in a $12,500 claimer but there weren't enough divisions so they had to use him in the optional $15,000 race," said Harmon.

A 7-year-old by Ken Warkentin, Over And Out is making his third start since returning from a layoff and looks to be improving.

You get the feeling from speaking with Harmon that Janie Bay, his pacing mare in the 12th race, has been impossible to predict.

"She's just been incredibly inconsistent and I can't put my finger on it," said Harmon. "I thought she would be good last week coming off a 1:55 and change effort at Freehold and she finished fourth."

Janie Bay could benefit from a second tier draw but Harmon couldn't say what version of the mare we'll see.

"She paced in 1:51 here last year coming from ninth," said Harmon, perhaps hoping that the mare may recall the talent she exhibited a year ago.

Fox Valley Legend is Harmon's $12,500 claimer that entered and was placed in that class. He's expecting a big mile from the 5-year-old.

"He should win in there," said Harmon. "He loves the big track and will come home in 28 or 27 (seconds) and change every time."

Since returning to the East Coast and Harmon, Fox Valley Legend has a second and a third to his credit (both at The Meadowlands) and though he drew an outside post again Harmon didn't think that a major issue. "He's coming from the back anyway," said Harmon.

The Meadowlands closes out 2015 with a non-winners of $5,000 conditioned trotting race and Harmon appears in prime position to go out a winner. Sharp Edge drew post two and will be making his second start for the trainer.

"Joe (Bongiorno) texted me and I think he's taking him over the Burke horse so that's a plus," said Harmon. Sharp Edge finished third against a tougher group in his debut for Harmon on December 11.

"I made some shoeing changes, nothing major," said Harmon.

The nitecap with 11 horses entered is one of the more intriguing races of the evening and could perhaps pave the way for one lucky fan to hit the Hi 5 wager that opens with a $40,952 carryover.