Dover Downs could hold key to champion three-year-old colt pacer

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Ted Black

November 17th, 2017

While many harness racing enthusiasts are quick to utter the phrase "It All Comes Down to the Breeders Crown" for many division titles and even harness horse of the year, the path to this season's champion three-year-old colt pacer will likely travel through Dover Downs over the last two weeks of November.

Next Wednesday evening Dover will host the eliminations for the $300,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace and the race has attracted the sport's two leading sophomore pacers - Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon. Both sophomore colts are trained by Brian Brown and both have been high in the weekly Hambletonian Society National Top 10 poll. For more than a month, Fear The Dragon was the sport's top-rated horse, but more recently it has been Downbytheseaside who has emerged as the division leader.

In fact, this past Thursday evening at Dover, Downbytheseaside overhauled Little Brown Jug hero and post time favorite Filibuster Hanover to capture the $200,000 Matron Stakes in 1:50.1 for his 12th win in 20 seasonal outings and pushed his sophomore earnings past $1.4 million. Fear The Dragon was clearly the division leader through much of the spring and summer, but his stablemate Downbytheseaside has overtaken him in recent weeks although neither was able to prevail in the Jug.

Those looking to cast their final ballots for the last Top 10 poll and then eventually champion three-year-old colt pacer, pacer of the year and perhaps horse of the year - a title destined for one of the female trotters - will have to wait until the November 30 Hap Hansen Progress Pace is made official at Dover Downs.