Day At The Track

The $314,600 Hap Hansen-Progress Pace

07:22 PM 28 Nov 2016 NZDT
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Check Six
Check Six seen here going gate to wire in the $200,000 Monument Circle Pace
Linscott Photography

DOVER, Del. --- Check Six and Manhattan Beach winners of $35,000 elimination divisions last week head a fast field of harness racing three-year-olds in Dover Downs' signature event, the $314,600 Hap Hansen-Progress Pace (HH-PP) on Monday, Nov. 28. Post time is 4:30 p.m.

The sports leading money winning driver of 2016, Yannick Gingras, drove Check Six, trained by Ron Burke, the sports leading trainer for this the seventh consecutive season, to victory last Monday in the first of two $35,000 elims. The win made the bay colt a seven-digit winner this year for owners Weaver Bruscemi, Bill Switala, Jim Martin and Burke Racing. Recently Check Six finished third in the prestigious Matron Stake at Dover early this month after winning a Breeders Crown elim, a Bluegrass stake and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Final this Fall.

The other Hanson Progress elim was an impressive victory for John McGill and Brian Carsey's Manhattan Beach driven by former Dover Downs regular Matt Kakaley. The well-bred pacer came into his own during the recent Breeders Crown with a third in an elim and a second place finished in the $500,000 final at the Meadowlands.

Brad Grant's Easy Lover Hanover, whose five-race win streak in Canada ended with a second-place finish in his Dover elim leaves this week from post 1. Easy Lover Hanover was a $25,000 supplement to this event. Last Winter, prominent Ontario trainer Ben Wallace, lost his stable of horses in a disastrous fire. Grant, Wallace's owner then purchased Easy Lover Hanover early this year at the Meadowlands sale for $70,000 and the gelding has already won 14 races and more than $150,000 in purses

A second supplemental starter in the $314,600 final is Peter Blood and Rick Berks' Boston Red Rocks trained by Steve Elliott and with Tim Tetrick handling the reins. Boston Red Rocks was last season's U.S. Harness Writers Association's Two-Year-Old Colt of the Year. Although finishing in the first three 13 of 18 races, four of his five wins have come since September including the $160,200 Matron at Dover.

Talented David Miller will be in the bike for Jeff Snyder and Geoffrey Lyons' well-traveled Lyons Snyder. Third last week, the Jimmy Takter trainee was second in a Breeders Crown elim and in a Little Brown Jug elim.

Brittany Farms' homebred Western Fame, also trained by the Takter Stable, finished second in the Matron, and second in the Little Brown Jug, is teamed with driver Mark MacDonald

Corey Callahan will drive JK Will Power, conditioned by David Smith and owned by Bends, Pollack, Hauberk and J. Piatt II. The colt's major victory came in the Jenna's Beach Boy at Hoosier two months ago.

Saddled with post 8 is Fashion Farms' homebred Katie's Rocker trained by Jim Campbell with Andrew McCarthy piloting. The gelding finished strongly in last week's elim closing from sixth in mid backstretch to a strong second.

The $314,600 Hap Hansen Progress Pace is the 10th race on a 15-race program.

The Tuesday card features last week's winner Empress Deo taking on Purrfect Bags, Miss Me Yet and Fashion Showdown among eight starters in the $20,000 Filly and Mare Open pace.

Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. No racing on Friday, Sunday and Sunday.

Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing and NFL three-game wagering is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Early reservations are suggested for the acclaimed Winner's Circle Buffet Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600.

Marv Bachrad

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