Dover, DE – Captain Crunch ($5.80) rebounded from a break in last week’s Matron Stakes in a big way, pacing the fastest mile in the history of Dover Downs with a 1:47.3 score in Wednesday’s (Nov. 20) $35,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination.
Captain Crunch and driver Yannick Gingras left from post five to clear U S Captain (Dexter Dunn) on approach to the first turn, and the pair traveled uncontested through splits of :26.4, :54 and 1:21.1. Off the final turn, Gingras chased after the 3-year-old son of Captaintreacherous to edge away from U S Captain, and he responded with a :26.2 final quarter to cap his 1:47.3 mile, two-fifths of a second better than the previous all-age track record held jointly by Heston Blue Chip and Bandolito.
Nancy Johansson trains 12-time winner Captain Crunch for the 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, the Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms.
U S Captain held second, while American Mercury (Tyler Buter) finished third after tracking the top pair throughout.
The other five pacers to advance to next Wednesday’s (Nov. 27) $335,000 Progress final are Dancin Lou, Shake That House, Semi Tough, De Los Cielos Deo and Pyro. Southwind Ozzi, who faltered on the final turn after mounting a mild first-over ascent up the backstretch, was the lone horse from the field of nine to be eliminated after Love Me Some Lou was scratched.