Island Of The Sea upsets in Blue HenMarch 23, 2023,
Dover, DE — Rosecroft invader Island Of The Sea rode the pocket to a 13-1 upset in Thursday’s (March 23) $27,500 Blue Hen/Open Handicap Pace at Bally’s Dover.
Capt Jack Hanover sprinted clear of Island Of The Sea to secure the lead through a cutthroat :26.1 first quarter, and continued on the engine to lead the field through a :54.2 half. Up the backstretch, Rose Run Uriah — who won at five-eighths of a mile in a world record 1:06.4 last week — rolled up first-over from fourth to challenge Capt Jack Hanover while 4-5 favorite Penzance Hanover shadowed cover approaching three-quarters in 1:21.3. While Capt Jack Hanover succeeded in fending off Rose Run Uriah’s challenge, Penzance Hanover circled stalled cover three-wide at the top of the stretch and Island Of The Sea found room along the pylons in the stretch. Island Of The Sea and driver Simon Allard defeated a game Capt Jack Hanover (Tony Morgan) by a hard-fought head in 1:49.4, while Penzance Hanover (Art Stafford Jr.), a winner of five consecutive races, saw his streak end with a third-place finish.
Trainer Eric Ell co-owns Island Of The Sea, a 6-year-old Always A Virgin gelding who paid $28.00 to win, with Lisa Ell.
When racing returns to Bally’s Dover on Monday (March 27), the Delaware Standardbred Breeders’ Fund overnight series for 3-year-old trotting fillies concludes with a $50,950 final, and the 50-cent pentafecta in the final race will boast a $4,015 carryover. First post is 4:30 p.m.