Six contend for $27,500 Preferred Pace Monday at Dover

by Marv Bachrad, publicity director, Dover Downs

DOVER, Del. — Both the $27,500 Preferred/Handicap Pace and $25,000 Delaware Special are wide open affairs on Monday, Jan. 5 at Dover Downs.

Forrest Bartlett’s Shark Sation and George Dennis start from the outside in the first top class event of the New Year. Shark Sation recorded a 1:51.4 triumph last month along with Beechers Park, owned by Howard Taylor, Harness The Power, Gemini Racing and trainer Mark A.King, who had a three-race win streak including a Preferred win already this meet. The biggest win of the season was posted by Ashlee’s Big Guy, owned by Tom Dillon, Walter Hight and Crystal Ball Stables, who scored the biggest upset of the local season at 45-1 in a $250,000 Pacing Classic, a 1 1/4-mile upset. Wendy Crissman and Jack Wilkes’ Monsoon Hall, with Dickie Still driving, won three straight features in November with Mike Cole in the bike. Soho, owned by Schoor-TH Stable and Val D’or Farms, finished second beaten a neck in last week’s feature. Kevin Sizer will drive. The rail belongs to Racsan Nuke piloted by Steve Warrington, a 1:53.3 winner last week for owners Don Hawk, John Hynansky and trainer Dan Warrington.

A week ago, Hal Belote wove his way up along the inside from sixth and then used the passing lane to steer Griffin Conley’s C’mon C’mon C’mon to a 1:53.2 win in the $25,000 Delaware Special. Gary and Barbara Iles Crew Cut Zach (Brad Hanners) had led from the start before the final steps and settled for second. Holly Tree Farm’s Speakeasy (Ryan McInnis) makes his first start since a placement victory a month ago. Greg Barone’s El Gees Mr. Q (Rusty Thomas) is usually overlooked by fans but the fast finishing gelding has won two “Specials” already this season. Another hardhitter is Green Racing and driver Jim Morand’s Fox Valley Michael has been at the top of his game in recent starts. Jeff Bartels’ Tons The Best (Kevin Sizer) leaves from the rail while Pryor, Crissman and Wilkes’ Black Cam N (Dickie Still) completes the eight horse field.

Rojan Stable & Doc & Me Inc.’s Mystery Man (Dickie Still), driver Jim Morand’s Jamin James and John Frazer III’s Atenothnbutdscootr (Taylor Gower) are new four-year-olds in the $15,000 Delaware Winners-Over Pace. Ken and Betsy Wood’s Evrybodyplaysafool (Eddie Davis Jr.) is fresh from a 1:54.4 victory while Mike and Tony Hill’s Melt Down (George Dennis) steps up after recording three straight convincing wins. Trainer-driver Bryan Truitt’s Hahn’s Specialty should profit from moving from post 8 to post 2. Rodney Mitchell’s Swinging Scooter A (Kenny Mitchell) and Greg Grismore, one of Ohio’s top reinsmen will drive Kat’s Torpedo, owned by Eltrita Annett, Sam Jacobs and John Cabot, a winner last time out, who is burdened with starting from the outside.

Three $30,000 Claiming paces head a strong undercard.

Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday races start at 5:30 p.m. No racing on Fridays. There is no charge for parking or admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600, ext. 3773.

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