Wins prove the be timely

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

April 8th, 2015

Since the meet began last month the Tuesday cards at Rosecroft have gradually gotten stronger and now that the Dover Downs meet is winding to a close and horses accustomed to racing at the Delaware five-eighths mile oval are seeking similar tracks to compete the recent Tuesday card reflected a sharp climb in trotting and pacing stock.

But the highlight of the card might have been one of the bottom-level conditioned events, a non-winners of $1000 last five starts class for pacers that might normally be found on Saturday nights at Rosecroft. Cowboy Artist (Frank Milby), a seven-year-old Blissfull Hall gelding trained by Eric Ell for owner William Still, lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite when he gained command before the opening quarter in 28 seconds flat, got a breather to the half in 58 flat then sprinted clear in the lane to score in 1:53.3 for his first victory in three starts this season.

Cowboy Artist had been the track's top claimer last fall when he posted five wins and was among the contenders for the track's overnight horse of the meet title. But the aged gelding went into a slump which cost him the fall meet honors, although he did rebound to win a conditioned claiming event on closing night. Nevertheless, his first tally of 2015 was perhaps more rewarding to Still because it came on the same day that his daughter, Kelsey, celebrated her fourth birthday.

One race later on the card, Up Front Ben (Corey Braden) ended a prolonged skid when he captured a non-winners of $2500 last five starts class for trotters in 1:56.1 for owner-trainer Jay Baxter or Worton. Up Front Ben had failed to win in nine previous outings at Dover Downs, but he returned to Maryland on Tuesday and regained his winning ways. The 11-year-old Andover Hall stallion now owns 36 wins and career earnings of nearly $410,000 from 153 lifetime outings.

Then one race later in the $9000 Open 2 for pacing fillies and mares, Feelingmightygood (Jeff Stafford) delivered a stellar performance in her local debut. A seven-year-old Mr Feelgood mare trained and driven by Stafford, Feelinmightygood tucked fourth early, angled out first over near the half, grinded her way to command by three-quarters then edged clear in the lane to score in 1:52. She had spent the first three months of the campaign at Freehold Raceway in New Jersey where she won twice in nine starts, but Feelingmightygood certainly raced might good in her local debut, lowering her lifetime mark by more than four seconds.

Then one race later in the $9000 Open 2 for older pacing males, Fearless Diablo (Braden) overcame modest traffic trouble before the half to record his second win in as many starts over the oval by touring the track in 1:50.2, the meet's fastest clocking. A seven-year-old Art Major stallion trained by Dylan Davis of Donovan fame, Fearless Diablo has won three of seven starts this year and he is 2-for-2 over the local oval, with those wins coming three weeks apart. Hot Art (Milby) finished a sharp second and sports two wins and two second-place efforts from four tries at the meet, all in the Open 2 for owner-trainer John Baxter.

Then one race later in the $9000 Open 2 handicap for trotters, Enrico As (Braden) overcame his outside post assignment by gaining command past the quarter and then leading throughout to score in 1:54.3. A six-year-old Allstar Hall gelding trained by Ell for owner Kenny Wood, Enrico As ended a seven-race skid at Dover Downs when he triumphed in his local debut. Jaipur (Fern Paquet, Jr.) delivered a game, gritty first over effort to finish second. He had won his previous attempt over the track two starts back for trainer Alexandra Berube.

Then one race later in a non-winners of $6,100 last five starts for aged pacers, Bellator notched his first victory in five tries this season when he left to protect good position early, retook before the half then held safe 35-1 longshot Racin Best (Paquet) for a length score in 1:52.4. A five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding trained by Colby Hubble for owner Jay Sears, Bellator had been second three times in his first four outings before ending his bridesmaid status on Tuesday. It was his 10th win in 57 career outings.

Tuesday was also a good evening for the husband and wife trainer-owner tandem of James Coughlin and Clarissa Coughlin. In the third race on the card, Lislea Pat (Roger Plante, Jr.) gained command soon after the start and led throughout to capture a non-winners of $2500 last five starts class in 1:53.2. Then in the finale, another split for non-winners of $2500 last five starts conditioned pacers, Game Day (Plante) notched his first win in four starts this season when he scored in 1:53.4. Game Day now owns 26 wins in his career while Lislea Pat now sports 21 lifetime tallies.