Derbies At Dayton Deliver Top Pacers And Trotters Into More Grueling Battles

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

September 28th, 2017

 Dayton Raceway’s signature races are the center point of the first few weeks of their harness meet. This Friday, Sept. 29, the Dayton Pacing Derby and the Dayton Trotting Derby are on the program, featuring some of the best older competitors in the sport.

The $167,000 Dayton Trotting Derby is first to showcase stars, including Hannelore Hanover, who was last beaten by and will battle again in this field, Homicide Hunter.

The latter won out at Hoosier a week ago. “Hunter” took cover behine “Hannelore” as she brushed 4 lengths to the lead and dueled a bit to take the top. Hunter, at 6-1, took advantage with a brush of his own and raced pass Hannelore in deep stretch.

Also from that race, JL Cruze gets the rail to take them on again and Centurion ATM is back from a mediocre inside-10 post at Hoosier. Both of these could spell trouble for the top two or even just to Hunter, but the unknown and specific entry here with a striking possibility of upset comes from the Jimmy Takter barn—Pasitea Face S.

Takter took this one over late in the season and the lightly raced mare has already launched a “Wow” from the top trainer. “I drove her in her first qualifier,” Takter said, referring to what impressed him so much. He then placed her in a Miss Versatility leg at Tioga and blew the field away in 1:50.4.

She has won two of her four races since settling in the Takter barn after her trip stateside from Europe. Overseas she was productive, winning nine of 31 starts and earning over $300,000. Her European owners are convinced she has a style that better applies itself to U.S. racing.

She could be a third or fourth choice, offering a good price, considering the competition, which also includes Crazy Wow, Musical Rhythm and Warrawee Roo.

And then, on the pacing side of derbies, Dayton offers another band of recognizable names.

Nine go in the $140,000 Dayton event for older pacers. These guys are all practically good friends by this time in the season but still choosing sides, certainly with the Breeders Crown events less than a month away.

All Bets Off, last week’s winner in a division battle at Hoosier, is not here. But beaten favorite Rockin Ron is in the cast, along with Ron Burke’s other stalwart pacer, Check Six.

In the Hoosier race, we were very strongly supporting Missile J and he was a high-paying second to All Bets Off, and who also beat “Ron.” Missile J has been a terrific performer and earner this season, beginning with domination in the early-season “Levy” series and although he lost the final his trips on the road and on miles with less turns have been profitable.

Missile J won’t go off as long a shot as at Hoosier though he should offer a strong reward to supporters, especially with the two Burke entries as well as speedster Luck Be Withyou (on the rail), the popular McWicked, Mach It So and even the multi-check casher without a win yet this season, Boston Red Rocks.


Follow major 2017 BC hopefuls on their road to the Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park at the Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, with archived reports on the results at the Hambletonian Society web