Dover Downs hosts Progress Pace final

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Ted Black

December 1st, 2017

A small earthquake rumbled through the Mid-Atlantic region late Thursday afternoon, but the final reverberations were provided by Downbytheseaside when he captured the $300,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final at Dover Downs by four lengths in 1:48.3 while Fear The Dragon barely lasted for the place spot.

During a campaign in which he began as the sport's top sophomore, yielded the division lead to his stablemate Fear The Dragon during the summer, but promptly regained it in the fall. On Thursday evening at Dover, Downbytheseaside (Chris Page) lived up to his role as the 1-5 favorite when he brushed to command before the half, rebuffed a mild bid from Fear The Dragon down the backside then drew clear in the lane to a four-length score.

A sophomore son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown, Downbytheseaside recorded his 14th win from 22 starts and pushed his seasonal earnings past $1.4 million and secured divisional honors with his emphatic score in the Progress. With his late season surge, Downbytheseaside likely overtook older pacers Keystone Velocity and Mach It So and two-year-old filly star Youaremycandygirl for pacer of the year, but he appears to have little chance of overtaking trotters Ariana G and Hannelore Hanover for harness horse of the year.

One race earlier on the Dover card, Major Uptrend (Tony Morgan) lived up to his role as the 7-5 choice to capture the $25,000 Open in 1:49.3, while Foiled Again offered little following a second over trip from the second tier. But one race earlier in the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final for two-year-old colt pacers, Slick Tony (Russell Foster) capped a stellar freshman season when he overtook favored Evolution Tour (Tim Tetrick) in the final strides to prevail by a determined nose in 1:51.4 for owner-breeder-trainer George "Ronnie" Leager, Jr. of Sudlersville, Maryland.