Stakes action gets under way at Harrington on Monday

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Ted Black

June 13th, 2016

While many of the participants have been staying busy competing in various overnight events at the track, the best three-year-old colt and gelding pacers eligible to the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund will take part in the first eliminations for those events on Monday night at Harrington Raceway with their eyes set squarely on the four $100,000 DSBF finals set for Governor's Day, July 28 at the Delaware half-mile oval.

In the second race on Monday, a field of six sophomores will contest the first division of the first DSBF elimination and much of the attention will be focused on one colt who has already performed well in the series and the initial final at Dover Downs in April.

John's Dream (Ross Wolfenden) finished second in the $100,000 final at Dover Downs in April for owner-trainer Chuck Perry, Jr. and now the sophomore son of Dream Away will take the first small steps toward seeking redemption when he leaves from post three on Monday. John's Dream captured the second $100,000 DSBF final for freshmen pacing colts last fall and he will be among the serious contenders for the next final here on Governor's Day.

While John's Dream will be the odds-on choice tomorrow, several local pacers will look to upend him and get an early jump on earning a berth in the final. Double Miles (Jim Morand) scored here easily in 1:54.4 three starts back against non-winners of two foes but has yet to defeat non-winners of three rivals. Cut The Beach (George Dennis) won two DSBF elims at Dover before breaking stride and finishing eighth in the final, but he looms a major player Monday and throughout the series if he can stay flat.

Then two races later in the second DSBF elimination opener for the sophomore pacing colts, Hail To The Master (Art Stafford, Jr.) will look to regain his winning ways after a trio of subpar efforts since finishing fourth in the DSBF final at Dover. The Rustler Hanover colt has not regained the form that carried him to five wins in nine starts last year, owning only one DSBF elim score in six tries this year. Power To Perform (Tony Morgan) will look to earn another trip to the finals. A winner last week in 1:57 for trainer Kyle Moore, Power To Perform was third in the first DSBF final this year after finishing fourth in the freshman final at Dover last fall.

Then several races later in the eighth, the third DSBF elimination opener features Next Success (Jim Morand), upset winner of the first final at Dover and a victor in three conditioned events since that score. Next Success has been hindered by post position eight in each of his last two local tries, but the  Les Givens trainee will likely be on the move early from post five on Monday as he goes in quest of his sixth tally in 12 seasonal starts.

Several spots to his inside in Casino Bags Carlo (Vince Copeland), a winner twice in seven starts this year after being unraced last season at age two. This Roddy's Bags Again gelding won his most recent start in 1:55.1 in first over fashion and should prove formidable on Monday and throughout the series. Railbound JW Renegade (John Mackinnon) and Steller City (Allan Davis) both merit upset chances.

Two races earlier it will be the older pacers on display in the $16,000 Open 2/Open 1 Handicap. Getitoffyourchest (Wolfenden) has won four of his last five starts including last week's sizzling 1:50.4 score for trainer Richard Lewis and owner David Banks of Rookery fame and the Layfield Horses. Class Six (Morgan) won this event two weeks ago and brings a three-race win streak to this affair for trainer Ron Burke, while Smart Rokker (Jonathan Roberts) won this event handily three starts back on May 16 for trainer Brian Malone.