Two-year-old take center stage this week

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Ted Black

November 16th, 2017

While many of harness racing's top three-year-olds of both gaits and genders will be on display tomorrow evening at Dover Downs, the highlight here shifts to the two-year-olds this week as Dover Downs kicked off the week by hosting a quartet of Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund eliminations for pacers of both genders, while the Meadowlands will offer eliminations for four lucrative stakes on Saturday night as Rosecroft Raceway hosts the second round of Maryland Sire Stakes elims for juveniles of both gaits and genders.

On Monday evening at Dover Downs, Slick Tony (Russell Foster) kicked off the card by living up to his billing as the 3-10 favorite when he outlasted the late bid of Transitioning Joy (Montrell Teague) to capture the first DSBF elim for freshman pacing colts in 1:54.1. Owned, bred and trained by George "Ronnie" Leager of Sudlersville and Mom's Toy fame, Slick Tony has already captured several Maryland Standardbred Race Fund events at Ocean Downs and the first $100,000 DSBF final for this group at Harrington Raceway.

Then one race later in the second DSBF elim, Evolution Tour (Tim Tetrick) easily lived up to his billing as the 1-9 favorite when he drew clear from America First (Jeff Fout) in the lane to score by three lengths in 1:53.3. Trained by Jim King, Jr. of Wakizashi Hanover fame, Evolution Tour took the first small steps toward looking to avenge a prior setback to Slick Tony in the first $100,000 DSBF final for this group at Harrington Raceway.

Then one night later the freshman filly pacers took center stage in their DSBF elims. In the opening race on the card, Go Sandy Go (Jason Green) romped home seven lengths clear in 1:54.2 as the 7-2 third choice for trainer Josh Green, then one race later Gracefullyforgiven (Art Stafford, Jr.) kept her perfect record in tact when she prevailed as the 3-10 choice for owner-trainer Jeff Clark of Centreville. Gracefullyforgiven won the initial $100,000 DSBF final for this group at Harrington Raceway.

This coming Saturday evening, Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland will host the second round of Maryland Sire Stakes eliminations for two-year-old pacers and trotters of both genders in non-betting events. Opening round winners Four Deuces (Brian Burton) drew in to the lighter group in the first split, while Gaagaa Gone (Corey Callahan) clearly looms the one to beat in the second split. Gaagaa Gone has won seven of eight starts oevrall, including last week's 11-length romp in 1:58 for her owner-breeder-driver Callahan.

Among the juvenile pacing colts, Allie's Finale (Roger Plante, Jr.) will look to continue his dominance when he goes in quest of his sixth straight tally and seventh win in 10 starts overall for trainer Steve LeBlanc. Toms Tyrannosaurus (Stafford) brings a 3-1-2 slate from eight starts into the second split after finishing third behind Allie's Finale in their opening round clash. Toms Tyrannosaurus was the MDSS final hero at Ocean Downs earlier this summer for trainer Roger Hans and owner-breeder Tom Cooke of Nuclear Breeze fame.