Monday at Dover Downs Featured Top Pacers
A light rain throughout the day may have turned the racing surface from fast to good on Monday evening, but the off going certainly did not dampen the quality of the action at Dover Downs when a quintet of races for pacers took center stage.
Monday's eighth race, the $27,500 Delaware Special for older pacers with Delaware connections, kicked off the solid quintet. Mustang Art (Sean Bier), a nine-year-old Artiscape gelding trained by Jim McGuire, benefited from a perfect trip behind 4-5 favorite Captive Audience and then overhauled that one in the lane for a 16-1 upset in 1:50.2. Mustang Art gained command soon after the start and then yielded to the favorite and sat a pocket trip behind that one and outkicked the first over Bad Boy Matt for the narrow tally.
Then one race later on the card, Fancy Colt (Tony Morgan) benefited from live cover to post a mild 7-2 upset in a non-winners of $12,001 last six starts class. A six-year-old Always A Virgin gelding trained by Tim Crissman, Fancy Colt raced second over behind Believe This Bob down the backside and through the far turn, fanned three-wide for the drive and then outlasted the late bid of Giant Sculpture to score in 1:51.4.
Then one race later in the featured $30,000 Open Handicap, Bushwacker (Tim Tetrick) regained his winning ways when he led throughout as the 2-5 favorite to score in 1:50.2. A five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding trained by Chris Ryder, Bushwacker disposed of pressure down the backside and then held safe Doctor Butch and Dapper Dude for the score. Bushwacker should garner the horse of the month honors for January. Dancin Yankee finished fourth in his seasonal debut.
Then one race later in a winners over $12,001 last six starts class, Soto (Victor Kirby) gained command early and got a breather to the half and then held safe 3-5 choice Just A Jolt - a longtime fixture in the Delaware Special - for a two-length score in 1:51.1. Soto is trained by Eric Ell for owners Kenny Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, the connections of trotting star JL Cruze. Then one race later in a non-winners of $12,001 last six event, Go Big Spinder (Tetrick) posted a mild upset when leading throughout to score in 1:51.2 for petite owner-trainer-breeder-blacksmith Leigh Louthan.