Dover Downs Hosts Progress Pace Elims on Monday

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Ted Black

November 20th, 2016

While many Americans are already making their plans for Thanksgiving Day and the subsequent weekend, harness racing fans will get an early appetizer on Monday evening when Dover Downs hosts two divisions of Hap Hansen Progress Pace eliminations.

Since its inception 20 years ago the Progress Pace has developed into one of the last major stops for the sport's top three-year-old colt pacers. While this year's event did not attract division leader Betting Line or Racing Hill, it did get a dozen sophomores equally split into two six-horse elims of sophomores looking to reach next Monday's $300,000 final.

Mondays second race is the first of the two Progress elims, of which most of the participants have a chance to prevail let alone earn a berth in next week's final.

JK Will Power (Corey Callahan) brings a solid 4-2-5 slate and $468,000 bankroll from 19 starts this year and has the rail. Easy Lover Hanover has won 14 of 29 starts this year for trainer Ben Wallace and looms a danger from post two. Manny (Tony Morgan) will start from post three for trainer Brewer Adams.

But much of the focus will be on the three horses that drew outside. Big Top Hanover (Tim Tetrick) was one of the sport's top freshman pacers last year, but he has struggled through a sophomore campaign winning only once in 21 starts and earning just over $230,000. Just outside of him is Lyons Snyder (David Miller) owns a solid 5-5-3 slate and $300,000 bankroll from 20 starts for trainer Jimmy Takter and leaves from post five, while Check Six (Yannick Gingras) owns a 10-3-3 slate from 22 starts for trainer Ron Burke and will start from post six.
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Then just past the midway point of the Monday card at Dover, another solid field of six sophomores will go postward in the second Progress Pace elim slated as the eighth race on the program.

Manhattan Beach (Matt Kakaley) has the rail and brings a 4-3-6 and 1:49.2 mark from 24 starts and looms a major contender. But again the main threats in this elim also appear on the outer part of the gate.

Stolen Glimpse (Gingras) brings a 3-6-2 slate and 1:49.2 mark from 20 starts and leaves from post four. Boston Red Rocks (Tetrick), last year's two-year-old colt champ, owns a modest 5-4-3 slate and $380,000 banked and arrives off a sharp 1:49.3 victory over the strip in the Matron. Western Fame (Mark Macdonald) owns a solid 6-8-1 slate and $420,000 banked from 23 starts for Takter and was a solid second to Boston Red Rocks in the Matron.