Progress Pace Headlines Monday Card at Dover Downs
While many Americans will head back to work on Monday, serious harness racing fans will turn their attention that evening to Dover Downs as the Delaware five-eighths mile oval hosts the $315,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace for three-year-old colt pacers.
Mondays Progress Pace is the last major stakes for sophomore pacing colts and while the race may not impact the division title as it has done in years past since Betting Line and Racing Hill are done for the year. But the event offers a solid group.
Elim winner's Check Six (Yannick Gingras) and Manhattan Beach (Matt Kakaley) will garner considerable support, but they may not necessarily complete the exacta.
Check Six is no stranger to major races and brings a solid 11-3-3 slate and $990,000 bankroll from 23 starts this year for trainer Ron Burke. Check Six delivered a gritty, first over score in 1:51.3 last week that was a full second faster than the other Elim. He won that event as the second choice but will likely garner the favorites role on Monday.
Manhattan Beach may have looks more impressive rallying from midpack for a five-length score last week in 1:52.4. He brings a 5-3-6 slate and $480,000 bankroll from 25 starts this season for trainer Scott DiDomenico and will take ample support in here from post three.
Railbound Easy Lover Hanover (Doug McNair) was game I defeat last week after cutting honest splits before being overtaken in the lane by Check Six in the faster of the two elims. Easy Lover Hanover owns 14 wins and a modest $157,000 banked from 30 starts this year for trainer Ben Wallace, but he could make amends for finishing second as the 4-5 choice last week at much bigger price on Monday.
Boston Red Rocks (Tim Tetrick) finished an unlucky third in the Elim won by Manhattan Beach last week, but last year's champion two-year-old colt pacer could also make amends for tasting defeat at 2-5 last week. Earlier this month Boston Red Rocks captured the $170,000 Matron Stakes final here in sharp, first over fashion.
Other serious contenders for the Progress include Lyons Snyder (David Miller), who brings a 5-5-4 slate and $300,000 banked from 21 starts this year for trainer Jimmy Takter, JK Will Power (Corey Callahan) who has a 4-2-5 slate and earned $470,000 in 20 starts this season, Katie's Rocker and Western Fame (Mark Macdonald) a speedy sort for Takter.