Sophomore male pacers were on display on Thursday, Nov. 16 at Dover Downs with O'Brien Award winner Stockade Seelster headlining the action in the first Progress Pace elimination, worth $35,000.
David Miller and the Dr. Ian Moore student wasted little time leaving from post two and securing the front. Once they found open track along the pylons, Stockade Seelster rallied off panels in :27.2, :55.2 and 1:23. Turning for home, Stockade Seelster met the challenge from pocket-sitting El Rey (Dexter Dunn) and Ervin Hanover (Yannick Gingras). The triad of horses sprinted home and only a nose separated them at the wire in a photo finish. Stockade Seelster came out on top in the 1:50.4 mile with El Rey second and Ervin Hanover completing the top three. Bugaboo Lou (Tim Tetrick) finished fourth to secure his spot in the final.
Sally and Paul MacDonald co-own the three-year-old son of State Treasurer and the Big Jim mare Soiree Seelster. Stockade Seelster moved his career earnings to $1,582,158 and win count to 15 from 29 starts. He paid $3.80 to win.
Cannibal followed up in the second elimination with a 1:51 score by a nose. Yannick Gingras piloted the winning drive for trainer Nancy Takter.
Gingras and the Takter-trained Cannibal got away second through an opening panel in :26.1 set by Why Not Now (Andy McCarthy). After that station, Cannibal made a sweeping move to the top and he proceeded to knock down two more panels in :55.1 and 1:22.4. Why Not Now followed tightly in the pocket spot before meeting for a head-to-head battle in the lane. Down to the wire, Cannibal came out the victor by a nose in 1:51 over the supplemental entrant Why Not Now. Hungry Angel Boy (Scott Zeron) finished third and second supplemental entrant Moment Is Here (Tim Tetrick) took the fourth spot.
Cannibal moved his record to 15 wins from 16 starts with $764,240 in career earnings. Diamond Creek Farm LLC bred the son of Sweet Lou and the A Rocknroll Dance mare No More Losses. Diamond Creek Racing owns the winner. He paid $3.20 to win.
The $260,000 Progress Pace final is set to take place on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at Dover Downs with the drawn post positions available below.
1. Hungry Angel Boy
2. Why Not Now
3. Ervin Hanover
5. El Rey
6. Moment Is Here
7. Bugaboo Lou
8. Stockade Seelster
Beat Cop Completes Sweep, Wins Second DSBF Title
Following open-length wins in both of his preliminary divisions, P T Stable's Beat Cop ($2.20) delivered an encore performance in the $110,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders' Fund (DSBF) series final for two-year-old male pacers, defeating stablemate Lovenbury by 6-1/4 lengths in a lifetime-best 1:53.4.
Tim Tetrick was in no hurry early with the Dragon King-Beat The Beat gelding, yielding to early leavers Papas Son (Art Stafford Jr.) and Come On Eddie (Montrell Teague) to sit third through a :27.4 first quarter before blitzing to the fore with a lap to go. Beat Cop cleared Papas Son just beyond the winning post, and he opened a two-length lead through a :56.4 half, maintained that margin to three-quarters in 1:25.2, and steadily drew clear off the final turn. Lovenbury angled off the pegs turning for home and overtook Papas Son for second, giving trainer Crissy Crissman-Bier a sweep of the top two spots.
Beat Cop, now a nine-time winner from 12 starts, has banked $165,225 in his career, having also swept the DSBF series at Harrington Raceway earlier in the fall.
The $20,000 DSBF consolation went to Rowdy Dragon, who rated splits of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:26.1 en route to a 1:55.3 maiden-breaking victory. Victor Kirby drove the Roddys Bags Again-Delightful Play gelding for trainer Bryan Truitt and owner Bryan Truitt Jr.
Three more $110,000 DSBF finals are slated for next week at Bally's Dover, with two-year-old trotting fillies squaring off on Monday, Nov. 20, two-year-old male trotters on Tuesday, Nov. 21 and two-year-old pacing fillies on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
(With files from Delaware Standardbred Breeders' Fund)