Day At The Track

Russell Foster stars in two $100,000 Finals

05:28 PM 02 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Star Sapphire, harness racing Russell Foster, harness racing Slick Tony, harness racing Sky Marshal, harness racing Go Sandy Go, harness racing Bags To Riches, harness racing
Star Sapphire
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Russell Foster
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Slick Tony
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Sky Marshal
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Go Sandy Go
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Bags To Riches
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In addition to Downbytheseaside's powerful victory in the $308.060 Hap Hansen Progress Pace harness racing card on Thursday at Dover Downs, Russell Foster was star performer of the four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) finals driving two of the winning horses

Foster, who only is in his second year of driving Standardbreds recorded his personal biggest day. His day began in the $100,000 DSBF Two-Year-Old Filly trot, where he steered Serendipity Sable's homebred Star Sapphire trained by Tui Stone the Anders Bluestone-Victory Starburst to her third straight triumph with a never-look-back 1:59 performance. It was Foster's recreation of Star Sapphire's victory last October winning the $100,000 Harrington DSBF final. The small but fleet filly now has a seasonal total of $125,650. Race favorite Vandalous (Corey Callahan) finished second at Dover with Deja Vu Blue (Ross Wolfenden) third.

Later, Foster returned in the $100,000 DSBF Colt Pace overtaking race favorite Evolution Tour (Tim Tetrick) in deep stretch to win by a nose in 1:51. George Leager, bred, owns and trains the No Spin Zone-Queen Kathy colt who has made the winner's circle nine times in 11 starts with two second to earn $151,797. Transitioning Joy (Montrell Teague) finished third after leaving from outside post 8.

Photo finishes were evident in most of the DSBF freshman events. Sky Marshall came from a far back third to win in the last stride for trainer Carlo Poliseno, who owns the CR Commando-Penny Lane colt with Jane Dunavant, to notch his first win in the $100,000 Colt trot. Super Fly (Art Stafford Jr.) had built up a big lead turning for home, but could not hold off Sky Marshall, who took a 1:56.4 lifetime mark and lift his career earnings to $76,000. Brother Kenny (Tetrick) was the third-place finisher.

In another tight photo-finish, Go Sandy Go overtook front-pacing Pedal Power (Tetrick) in the last stride in 1:53.4 to win the DSBF $100,000 Filly Pace Final. Jason Green piloted the Roddy's Bags Again-Bit Of Trick youngster for owners-breeders trainer Josh Green and Brent Outten. Go Sandy Go has now banked $65,000 in 2017.

In the feature race on the undercard, DSBF graduate Bags To Riches, last season's outstanding and dominant sophomore, showed his ability against Open company scoring a 1:49.4 triumph in the $25,000 Open pace. Hall of Famer David Miller steered the Roddy's Bags Again-Paint The Sky Blue three-year-old to a 1:49.4 victory beating Sicily (Teague) and Cajon Lightning (Yannick Gingras) home in 1:49.4. It was his eighth win of the year raising his seasonal earnings to $174,927 and $261,789 lifetime for breeder Only Money Inc. and partner, trainer Jason Skinner.

In the upcoming New Year, the DSBF Three-Year-Olds preliminaries and finals are scheduled for late March 2018.



Downbytheseaside won the $308,060 Hap Hansen Progress Pace (HHPP), the biggest events of the Delaware harness racing season.  Downbytheseside went out a winner rushing to a 1:48.3 victory in his final race prior to stallion duty. Chris Page directed the convincing victory, his 14th of the season with a separately owned Brian Brown stablemate Fear The Dragon, second.----Just before the 2nd race on Thursday (Nov. 30), an earthquake, said to be 4.4 magnitude, shook the racetrack and Dover, Del. vicinity. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) confirms that at 4:48 p.m. EST, a 4.4 magnitude earthquake occurred.  The coordinates of the quake (39.2N  75.4W) put the center of the quake 10 miles northeast of Dover, in the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, at a depth of eight miles.


Russell Foster had the finest day of his career winning two of the four $100,000 DSBF Two-Year-Old Dover Downs Finals on the Super Thursday (Nov. 30) program. He drove Star Sapphire, who won the $100,000 Harrington Final, to a 1:59 triumph in the 2-Year-Old Filly trot and Slick Tony by a nose in in 1:51.4 in the Colt Final. Go Sandy Go won the Filly pace in 1:53.4 and Sky Marshal in 1:56.4, both wins by a nose.


Bags To Riches who dominated the DSBF Three-Year-Old Colt Pace division recorded his first sub 1:50 victory winning the $25,000 Open in 1:49.4.Also Major Upstart, who seems to love Dover Downs, scored a 1:49.3 win.


During the week; Pure Kemp trotted away to win a $12,000 feature trot for meet-leading driver Tim Tetrick’s fourth win while Russell Foster guided Rock On Precious to a 1:51 success in a $17,500 Claiming pace on Monday (Nov. 27).


I Like My Boss made it two straight wins as Allan Davis drove the former Delaware-sired champion A pair of 11-1 shots were separated by a short nose at the wire in 1:54.4 when The Lion Sleep nipped Ideal Hudson (Donnie Long) in a tight photo in the $13,000 female pace, a 1:54.1 victory in the $13,000 Winners-Over trot on Tuesday (Nov. 28). It was a double for driver Russell Foster and his dad, owner-trainer Arty Foster Jr. 


Sweet Bobbie stepped up to the $25,000 Mares Open on Wednesday (Nov. 29) and repeated last week’s 7-1 victory while Seboomook Copper and Lotsa Luck won the DSBF colt and filly pace consolations on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Dover Downs.


Tim Tetrick holds an eight-win lead among drivers after the first month of the current season/ Tetrick has 36 wins, Art Stafford Jr. is second with 28. Corey Callahan, the defending champion, is third with 27 winners. Russell Foster and Vic Kirby are tied for fourth-place with 21 wins each.


Jim King leads the trainer statistics with 12 winners. Josh Green is second with nine while Nick Callahan is third haltering eight winners. There is a three way tie for fourth between Wayne Givens, Kevin Lare and Bob Reeser, all with seven wins.


Tony Morgan, second leading driver in North America history nearing16,000 wins.


George Teague reports Wiggleit Jiggleit is back in training and has gone a 2:07 mile. Teague’s plan, if the great pacer looks the part, is to make the races this Spring or early Summer.  



Last Monday, Pure Kemp was impressive with a 1:53.3 victory in his  Dover Downs’ debut. This week the talented sophomore filly trotter starts from post 8 in a nine horse field on Dec. 4. Post time is 4:30 p.m.

With meet-leading driver Tim Tetrick piloting, the Rich Lombardo and Green Racing Stable lass grabbed the lead after the opening quarter and was in command the rest of the way. The horses that finished second and third last time have better post position in this one with Tina Clark’s Splashed with Vic Kirby driving was second in front of Howard and Josh Kaufman’s Euro Gap and Pat Berry, the show finisher.

Other contestants are Frank Chick’s Dayliner with Eddie Davis Jr.; Sheer Assault driven by Corey Callahan for Howard Taylor, Tom Lazzaro and trainer Dylan Davis; Magic Maddy racing for Lou Catana and trainer Vince Bradley with Tony Morgan in the bike.

Russell Foster drives Frank Canzone’s Miami; trainer Gary Simpson’s Ifya Start Me Up drew the rail with Allan Davis while promising Sweetchap and Art Stafford Jr. starts from post 9 in the second tier.

In the $11,000 top pace, Greg Papaleo and May Walton’s battle tested Mustang art (Tetrick), a winner of two of his last three races leads a field of nine to post. Gary Ewing’s steady Star Messenger (Morgan) leaves from the rail, with Bob Stevenson’s Singing Saint (Eddie Davis Jr.) alongside. The fast Emeritus Maximus (Foster) races from the second tier for Don Marine and Brent Hall. The only winner last time in the lineup is Kovack Stable’s $1.2-million winner, Feel Like A Fool (Jonathan Roberts) . The remaining starters are George and Tina Dennis Racing’s Imkeepnthisguy (Ross Wolfenden), David Miller’s Fashion Bythebeach (Vince Copeland)  and Donny Adams’ Hal Bro (Alan Davis).   

Dover Downs now offers a 50-cent Pick 5 wager which starts with the 2nd race through the 6th. There is also a late daily double on the 12th and 13th races.

Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for general parking and admission at Dover Downs. Reservations are suggested for the acclaimed Winner’s Circle Buffet Restaurant and those planning a stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600.

Marv Bachrad

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