Tony Morgan moved to within two winning drives of reaching 16,000 victories while Celebrity Pegasus scored a 1:54.3 triumph in the $25,000 Open Trot at Dover Downs on Tuesday (Jan. 2) with temperatures again in the low teens.
Art Stafford Jr. drove two winning trotters for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta. Minisink Farms is also a part owner of Celebrity Pegasus, who chalked up his 25th career success and lifted his lifetime earnings to $309,910. The now 6-year-old Andover Hall-Celebrity Athena horse took the lead heading to the final turn and was all alone at the wire in 1:54.3. Thereisademoninme (Jonathan Roberts) and Royal Becca J (Jack Parker Jr.) could not be separated in the photo for second place resulting in a dead-heat.
On race later, in a $13,500 trot, Stafford drove Perseverance, a 4-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall-Caviar Forthe Lady, to a wire-to-wire 1:55.4 performance. It was his fourth straight win. Tribbett Racing also owns a portion of the winner. Miami (Vic Kirby) closed from far back to finish second in front of My Cherry Pie (Jonathan Roberts). Make A Muscle K was scratched.
Previously, NF Happenstance made it two straight wins, overpowering eight foes in 1:54.2 to win the $13,000 Winners-Over trot for trainer Carol Parker and driver Jack Parker Jr. Veteran All Shoes On Deck (Roberts) just got up for second, edging race-favorite Tough Mac (Corey Callahan). Only last spring, NF Happenstance dropped a foal. In late summer owner Jim Moore brought the SJ’s Caviar-Moira Hall mare back to the races. This fall, she had two wins in eight starts, five times finishing in the first three. She wired the field last time out.
Morgan won his 15,998th race in guiding Donnie Darko home in 1:56.2 to win a $15,000-$17,500 Claiming Trot. It was one of two winners for trainer Steve LeBlanc. Glenn Dyke and LeBlanc Racing own the Chocolatier-Afterglow Hall gelding. Man Of Muscle (Allan Davis) was runner-up with Trust Fund Baby (Stafford Jr.), third. Entranced and Spider Blue Chip were scratched.
Art Safford Jr. and Tim Tetrick had driving doubles while Steve LeBlanc, Kevin Lare, Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta also won two. (Dover)