Dover, DE --- Sunshine Beach brushed to the lead heading to the half-mile marker and was never seriously challenged from there as he went on to capture the $284,160 Progress Pace final for 3-year-old male pacers in 1:50.3 on Sunday night (Dec. 1) at Dover Downs.
|Sunshine Beach was a 1:50.3 winner in the Progress Pace.|
Owned by Hudson Standardbred Stable, Conrad Leber and Diane Bertrand, Sunshine Beach is trained by Mark Steacy and was driven to victory by John Campbell. The win was the eighth in 20 season's starts for the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Light Up, while his 2013 earnings climbed to $909,283.
Dedi's Dragon and driver Yannick Gingras protected the rail in this eight horse field, taking the lead at the opening panel in :26.3 with Emeritus Maximus (Simon Allard) first over in second place, followed by Ronny Bugatti and Sunshine Beach, who left strongly from the eight hole and dropped in along the rail.
Emeritus Maximus cleared to the lead on the first pass in front of the grandstand, but Campbell was not waiting and brushed Sunshine Beach to the top by the time the field reached the :54.2 half-mile marker.
Sunshine Beach was challenged by a first over Wake Up Peter heading to the 1:22.3 three-quarter pole, but he put that rival away on the final turn and drew off in the stretch to an easy 2-1/4 length score in 1:50.3. Longshot Clint Westwood (Corey Callahan) rallied late to finish second, while Dedi's Dragon came back to finish third.
"He's a really top horse," said Campbell of Sunshine Beach. "To overcome the eight hole here, you know it's hard to do. He's raced good every start here down at Dover.
"It's a tough division and his consistency (on the board in 16 of 20 season's starts), especially at this time of year, is remarkable.
"I was going to try to be (in front by the half-mile marker). There's a limit to what you can use him to make the front. But once Simon (Allard on Emeritus Maximus) made the front and had been used hard -- I thought he would get to the front before the (first) turn -- I was able to rate him (Sunshine Beach) down the backstretch and he finished up very strong.
"I think he's a big strong horse; he's got a great pedigree and I think he will come back and be a real good free-for-aller next year."
Sunshine Beach paid $3.20 to win and $2.80 to place. There was no show wagering. Clint Westwood paid $24.00 to place.
Seeboomook Fool Yah, Casino Bags Carlo win DSBF finals
Seboomook Fool Yah and Allan Davis had to work hard to pass early leader Jonigold, handled by Bart Dalious, but once in the lead, the Gamblers Dream-Seeboomook Mao homebred of Garnet O’Marrow registered a 1:55.4 triumph in the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund 2-year-old filly pace final.
Davis drove the Wayne Givens trainee to win number seven in 10 starts this campaign. Jonigold raced well and hung on for place honors with I’m Won Rum Wiser, with George Dennis, third.
In the $100,000 freshman colt and gelding pace final, morning line favorite Elite Awards, a winner of seven straight races, was a pre-race scratch due to a high temperature.
Casino Bags Carlo, a winner of his last two DSBF prelims with trainer-driver Vince Copeland, went right to the front and was never headed en route to a 1:54.2 lifetime record. Hawker, piloted by Jeff Fout, was second the entire route with Rosevelt Lee and Jonathan Roberts third.
Cavalli Pazzi Stables, a group of Delaware County, Pa., doctors, bred and own Casino Bags Carlo, named for a close friend who passed away. The Roddy’s Bags Again-Casino Bus gelding won for the fifth time in nine starts while earning $98,911.
Hen’s Playmate, owned and trained by Bob Mundell, won the first of two DSBF $20,000 consolation paces. Eddie Davis Jr., who drove both winners of the daily double, guided the Gamblers Dream-Hen Pheasant filly to her second win of the season. Aggie’s Dream (Jon Roberts) and Juliana’s Director (Trace Tetrick) were second and third, respectively.
The $20,000 male consolation went to Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing of Del.’s Powerful Fella. The win was the first for the son of Cams Fortune-Jenny Lyn. Bohemia (Art Stafford, Jr.) was runner-up. West Star Director (George Dennis) took third money.
-- Marv Bachard also contributed to this report