Only Dancin Yankee's and Mustang Art's noses separated them as winners of the $35,000 Preferred and $30,000 Delaware Special features on an overcast Dover Downs on Thursday (Jan. 17). Also, Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce enjoyed a seven-win night, two from the nine-win track record set by Tim Tetrick. On the trainer front, Josh Green conditioned four winners after three wins the previous night. Owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta and trainer Eric Ell had three wins.
After two qualifying wins and his first start in nearly three months, the Josh Green-trained Dancin Yankee affirmed that he was ready to return to fast-class racing as Corey Callahan piloted the five-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest to a 1:50.1 victory. Owned by Bob Briley and Baron Racing Stable, Dancin Yankee, who won nearly a quarter-million dollars last season, fought off gritty Stolen Car and Ron Pierce in a tenacious stretch battle to win by a nose. Mainland Key N came on to finish third for Ross Wolfenden. Dancin Yankee has now won $424,462 in his career.
The finale of the Delaware Special was also decided by the photo finish camera as Mustang Art, reined by Ron Pierce, had just enough to outlast Nova Artist and Allan Davis in a 1:51 mile. Toby Lynch left hard with Sunshine Superman to exhaust Rusty's All In (Corey Callahan) after a :26.4 opening panel. Sunshine Superman had enough left to finish third.
Jim Morand drove race favorite Beavercreek Artist to his third win of the meet scoring a 1:52.2 triumph in a $16,500 4&5-Year-Old pace. The win was the first of two for Jim Morand and the third of three winners on the card for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta,
Adventure Bound became the fourth of seven winners for Pierce. Trainer by Eric Ell for owners Ken Wood,
Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, the altered son of Camluck-Unchained Speed, Adventure Bound stormed home in 1:51.2 to win the $23,000 Open pace. Im Fulla Luck N (Corey Callahan) was runner-up with All Week (Ross Wolfenden) the show finisher.
Pierce and trainer Green teamed for victory in one of the $16,000 Male Winners-Over paces when Whackamole Hanover got up in 1:51.3 for Joel Benson, John Fodera and David Rovine Stable. Europan Union (Jim Morand) was next with Movie Idol (Corey Callahan) third.
In the other division, Jim Morand drove the first of two wins guiding Dina's Gamble to his fourth consecutive victory. Louie Paglierani and Legacy Racing Of Del. own the veteran Tune Town-Webb gelding trained by Wayne Givens. Good Bet (Ben Stafford Jr.) and Camstock Lode (Ross Wolfenden) finished second and third, respectively.
Casimir Longshot was the race favorite and Allan Davis drove the Sir Luck-About Timing gelding to victory in 1:53 in a $15,500 Male 4&5-Year-Old pace. The Joe Hundertpfund-trained four-year-old made it two wins in a row for Richard Ashley and Mike Cain. Perma Grin (Ron Pierce) was second with Johnangelo (Eddie Davis Jr.) third.
On the undercard, Come Together won his ninth race in-a-row scoring a 1:52 victory stepping up to the $25,000 Claiming level. Kent Harpler and Claim To Fame own the Artsplace-Pleasantville gelding trained by meet leader Mike Haoo of The Doug Lewis Stable. (Dover)