Amid a light snowfall, Texican N won the $30,000 Preferred/Handicap, Mustang Art the $27,500 Delaware Special, and Bandolino the $18,000 Open, the three top paces on Thursday, Jan. 2, at Dover Downs. Corey Callahan and Ron Pierce drove three winners each.
Harry von Knoblauch's Texican N put on a gritty front-pacing performance, with Ross Wolfenden, to set a personal speed record on 1:50.3 to win the $30,000 Preferred Handicap. Escape The News and Corey Callahan enjoyed a two-hole trip to finish second while Nova Artist, driven by Allan Davis, prompted the fast pace on the outside and held on to finish third. Peter Tritton conditions the American-blooded, New Zealand-bred son of Bettor's Delight-Bury My Heart.
Mustang Art, trained by Jim McGuire for owners Max Walton and Greg Papaleo, was at his best racing head-to-head against leader Sunshine Superman (Toby Lynch) for most of a 1:52.3 mile and still had enough in a :28.4 final panel to chalk up his 26th career trip to the winner's circle. The victory was one of three for Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. Pap Ray (Matt Kakaley) closed with a rush for place money. Malak Uswaad N (Ross Wolfenden) was third.
Bandolito, a late summer acquisition by David Bier, Charles Dombeck and trainer-driver Daryl Bier, came on strongly in the lane for a 1:52.3 score in the $18,000 4&5-Year-Old Open. The win for the Ponder-Dody's Home Brew 4-year-old brings his lifetime record to 10 wins in 12 starts and $198,840 earnings, with much of that coming from a victory in the Kentucky Sires Stakes championship for sophomores last September. Handsome Henry K (Frank Milby) was a close second.
Pierce's second of three consecutive wins came steering Beavercreek Artist home in 1:52.2 to win a $15,000 winners-over pace for males. Good Bet (Ben Stafford Jr.) came on to finish second in front of pacesetting Valentino (Matt Kakaley). Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta own the ultra-consistent Artiscape-Spring Chick gelding who has three wins, two seconds and three thirds in his last eight outings.
Earlier in the program, a five-race win streak by Logamotion came to an end in a $13,000 4&5-Year-Old Pace, when Vic Kirby drove Steve Warrington-owned and trained Rebel Soldier to his fourth win of the meet, a 1:53.2 decision. Bluebird Shooter (Allan Davis) and On Eagles Wings (Matt Kakaley) were second and third, respectively. Logamotion (Corey Callahan), the early leader, retreated to finish fourth.
There is no live racing on Friday and Saturday. Racing resumes on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. .First post on weekdays, Monday through Thursday, is 4:30 p.m. (Dover)