Wakizashi Hanover, Always At My Place, Missile J meet at Dover
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Three starters – Wakizashi Hanover, Always At My Place and Missile J - who won their previous starts collide in this week’s $30,000 Preferred Handicap, the top event at Dover Downs on Thursday, March 2. First Post is 4:30 p.m.
Wakizashi Hanover makes his first start since late December as he prepares for his 2017 season with Tim Tetrick driving the five-year-old $1.4-millon winner for Buce Kennedy and Tri County Stable of Nova Scotia. Always At My Place won by a nose for Yannick Gingras from post 8 last start in the seasonal debut for the gelding owned by Weaver Bruscemi, Karr, Collura and Burke Racing Stable. Meanwhile the red-hot Missile J steps up after a 1:49.1 success last Thursday in the $20,000 Open pace. Jonathan Roberts has driven the four-year-old in all four of his consecutive wins.
Henderon Farms’ Bushwacker has a history of Dover successes including three already this meet with Corey Callahan at the controls. Hall of Famer John Campbell, the all-time leading money-winning driver who is approaching $300,000,000 lifetime, will drive Lightning Stable’s McCardles Lightning. Cajon Lightning was a solid third in last week’s Preferred with Art Stafford Jr. driving for Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms. Arque Hanover already has three feature race wins this meet and leaves from post 1 with Vic Kirby in the bike for Abe Basen, Tom Lazzaro, and Robert Cooper Stables.
Emeritus Maximus (Gingras), fresh from a 1:50 conquest returns in the $27,500 Delaware Special Handicap and starts from the outside in an eight-horse field. He has won three of five starts since being claimed by Don Marine and Brent Hall. The fast finishing Blazing Bobby Sox driven and co-owned by Art Stafford Jr. with his dad, Art Stafford, also has a glittering record of three wins and two close-up finishes. Sweet Rock (Allan Davis) won his previous start racing for Reg Hazzard, G.P.Callolway and Legacy Racing.
Local favorite Mustang Art (Campbell) usually is a factor in the week’s top pace. Driver George &Tina Dennis’ Seventh Secret with be tough from the rail after several weeks of tough racing luck. Rounding out the starters are Al Carter and Doug Lewis’ Captive Audience (Tetrick) and Jenny Bier’s Im Supersonic A (Sean Bier).
Nike Franco N (Tetrick), a highly touted New Zealand import who has won all four of her starts in the U.S. also makes her first start this year for owner Rich Pollucci in the $20,000 Open Handicap pace. Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing’s Sicily (Davis), a winner last time out, heads the strong opposition.
There is a hard-hitting undercard on the 15-race card.