Thursday Dover Card Features Good Blend of Young and Old

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

January 18th, 2017

While many standardbred enthusiasts might view the Thursday card at Dover Downs as the highlight of the week in light of the aged pacers that arrive, there are generally several younger horses competing that night that give every indication they could be join the upper echelon sometime in the near future.

In fact, Thursday's fifth race, a non-winners of five races or $60,001 lifetime class for five-year-olds and under, features one of the circuits budding stars. Sonny At The Beach (Victor Kirby) has won both of his starts this year for owner-trainer Bryan Truitt, including a recent 1:51.3 score. The four-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding could be Truitt's best trainee since Speciality scored numerous stakes triumphs the early 1990's.

Two others in the fifth deserve to be closely monitored. See You Tuesday (Ross Wolfenden) won his first start over the track this year then was second to 'Sonny' last week. Big Place arrives off a 1:53.3 score against lesser for trainer Eric Ell, but the four-year-old Big Jim stallion could win at this level soon.

Then one race later Black Is Back (Corey Callahan) steps into the non-winners of five races or $25,001 lifetime class for younger pacers off consecutive scores. He sports a seasonal mark of 1:52.1 for trainer Dylan Davis and the four-year-old Western Terror gelding could win his way into the next condition soon.
Article Image
Then several races later in the ninth, both Star Messenger (Tony Morgan) and Jet Airway (Callahan) arrive in the $20,000 Open off first over wins in the split, non-winners of $17,001 last six class last week. Jet Airway notched his first win in two tries this year for Davis by prevailing in 1:50.2, while Star Messenger (Tony Morgan) recorded his second straight tally when he won the other half in 1:51.1 for trainer Gary Ewing of Ge's Romanero fame. Both horses are six-year-old sons of Jereme's Jet.

While both Star Messenger and Jet Airway head into the Open in good form, aged wonder Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) is still seeking to regain his winning ways for trainer Ron Burke. The 13-year-old Dragon Again gelding is losing the battle to 'Father Time' and has managed only one fifth-place check in two starts this year. He could improve from post nine this week, but Foiled Again should be granted a farewell tour sometime this year with potential stops at Harrington Raceway, Ocean Downs and Rosecroft and perhaps several other smaller venues who would benefit from a visit from the sport's all-time winningest horse. Foiled Again is rapidly approaching 300 lifetime starts, but with $7.4 million in career earnings he deserves to go out in style this year rather than racing through 2018 at age 14.

Then one race later in the $30,000 Preferred, Bushwacker vaults back into the top class following a 1:51 score in the Open last week for trainer Chris Ryder. One year ago at this time, Bushwacker was the best horse in the country of either gait, but last week he ended a prolonged drought with a sharp tally. Little Ben (Kirby) and Soto (Stafford) will defend the locals against Bushwacker and Clear Vision, another Burke trainee who was once among the best older free-for-all pacers in the land.