Dover Downs and Yonkers Offer Plenty of Quality Pacers Next Three Nights

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Ted Black

March 23rd, 2017

While thoroughbred racing fans are eagerly looking forward to Saturday's ultra-lucrative Dubai World Cup card at Meydan Race Course, standardbred racing enthusiasts will pay close attention to numerous quality events for pacers at Dover Downs on Thursday and at Yonkers Raceway on Friday and Saturday nights.

Thursday's early races at Dover could have a familiar theme as "Team Teague" products Stubble Trouble and Nine Ways, both with Montrell Teague in the bike for trainer Clyde Francis, will seek to continue their winning ways. Stubble Trouble has won all four of his starts this year and sports a 1:53.3 mark, while Nine Ways has won three of four tries and owns a 1:53 season's best. Steller City could prove a serious challenge to Stubble Trouble in the opener, boasting a 1:51.1 mark.

Just past the midway point of the card in the $27,500 Delaware Special for older pacers, Emeritus Maximus (Yannick Gingras) will seek to put the finishing touches on his horse of the meet campaign as he goes in quest of his eighth win in 11 starts this year for trainer Kyle Moore. He gets assigned the outside slot and could have difficulty with Blazing Bobby Sox, who already sports a solid 4-1-3 slate and 1:50.2 mark this year for trainer-driver Art Stafford, Jr.

Then two races later in the $20,000 Open Handicap, Rockeyed Optimist (Tim Tetrick) will look to rebound from a fifth-place finish as the 3-5 choice in this class last week for trainer Steve Elliott in a solid group that includes Bad Gamer, Jet Airway, Star Messenger, Major Uptrend and Limelight Beach, last week's hero who also owns a prestigious score in the Little Brown Jug at age three. Both Star Messenger and Major Uptrend already own four wins apiece this season at Dover.
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Then one race later in the 11th, a non-winners of $100,001 lifetime class for pacers, All The Cookies will seek his second straiht and fourth win in 10 starts this year, while Sonny At The Beach looks to regain his winning ways and See You Tuesday sports a 4-4-2 slate from 11 seasonal outings and second tier threat Black Is Back brings a 4-3-3 slate from 10 outings for trainer Dylan Davis.

Friday evening Yonkers Raceway will host the second round of the Bluechip Matchmaker Series for aged pacers and the three divisions of the event will include last week's trio of winners and two new shooters who arrive from Canada.

Sandbetweenyourtoes heads south from Woodbine for the second leg and will clash with railbound Shesjustadelightn (Ron Cushing), who won an opening leg split in 1:53. In the second split, Canadian invader Wrangler Magic will clash with opening leg winner Mach It A Par and runner-up Hidden Land, a Maryland-bred mare who rallied for the place spot at 22-1 last week. Then  in the third split, Bedroomconfessions draws the rail against opening round winner Regil Elektra and five others.

Saturday night Yonkers will offer four divisions of the second round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Series for free-for-all pacers and all four opening round winners return, as do several new shooters who will likely not impact the series.

In the opening split - the weakest of the eight contested so far - railbound Bettor's Edge will look to upend Burning N (Cushing), who overcame his 75-1 status to finish fourth last week in an opening split. One race later opening round winner Soto (Matt Kakaley) will look to fend off Rockin Ron (George Brennan), defending Levy final hero Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton), Mach It So (Tim Tetrick), McWicked, Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron) and Blood Brother (Jason Bartlett) in an extremely contentious split.

Two races later in the ninth, the third Levy split features opening leg winners Provocativeprince N (Jordan Stratton) and Missile J (Tetrick) while the fourth division one race later includes All Bets Off (Kakaley), a solid second last week in his seasonal debut, Wakizashi Hanover (Tetrick) and 18-1 opening round winner Long Live Rock (Daniel Dube). Eventually drivers Jordan Stratton, Tim Tetrick and Matt Kakaley will have some interesting choices to make if several pacers draw into the same division or both earn a spot in the lucrative $500,000 final on April 22.