11/22/2017 10:05PM

Dover Downs: Downbytheseaside adds to win streak in Progress Pace elim

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Downbytheseaside is undefeated in his career when Chris Page drives him

Trainer Brian Brown finished first and second in Wednesday night's lone $35,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace elimination for sophomore colt pacers at Dover Downs, with Downbytheseaside winning in 1:50 1/5 and Fear The Dragon following in second in his return to the races after a month on the shelf.

A field of 11 lined up for the elimination, and the top eight finishers would move on to the final.  Blood Line (Mark MacDonald) took the bulky group to the opening quarter in 26 seconds, but he was overtaken by Beach Boogie (Simon Allard), who had won 10 of his last 11 starts, including six in-a-row, on the way to the 53 1/5 half.

Downbytheseaside (Chris Page), who had started from a trailing post nine in the race, came first-over out of sixth before the half, then picked up the cover of Fear The Dragon (David Miller) at the half.  Fear The Dragon advanced quickly in the backstretch, and he would clear Beach Boogie to become the new front-stepper prior to the 1:21 4/5 three-quarters.

Despite losing his cover when Fear The Dragon hit the lead, Downbytheseaside continued his march against his stable-mate on the final bend, overhauling him turning for home and going on to win by three lengths.  Fear The Dragon held off Geez Joe (Marcus Miller) for second, and Blood Line wound up fourth.  Rounding out the finalists were Western Joe (Victor Kirby), Music Is Art (Corey Callahan), Normandy Beach (Tim Tetrick), and Mac's Jackpot (Brett Miller).

"I was a little concerned when I saw the draw and had the nine-hole with 11 horses in the race, but we were able to work out a second-over trip, and the horse finished strong again," said Page.  "The horse was just phenomenal.  I won wrapped up, and I look for him to be very sharp for next week.  Hopefully we'll draw good; I know we won't be getting a nine-hole.

"He just shows up on game day.  He's just a true competitor.  He's flawless-gaited, has a good attitude, and is just a good horse.  I try not to get too confident, but driving a horse like that will make you confident.  The horse is very sharp right now, and Brian has done a good job conditioning him."

The winner is a Somebeachsomewhere colt trained by Brown for owners Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing.  This was Downbytheseaside's 21st victory in his 34th try, and he has now banked $2,025,528.  Dispatched at 3-5, he returned $3.20 to win.

"He was good.  I was a little worried getting out of there, but they all settled," remarked Brown.  "He had to come a little early, and they were going awful fast to the half.  It's cold and windy tonight, so that was a pretty good mile, but this time of year speed doesn't mean anything.  It's the money that only makes the difference.

"I was actually satisfied with Dragon, but I'd liked to have seen him finish a little stronger.  I need to talk to David more and get his opinion.  He hasn't raced in over a month, even though we were pretty tough training him and he got one qualifier.  Maybe he just needed the race tonight.  He came first-over off a big half, and I'm not disappointed in the horse."

The $300,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final, the last Grand Circuit race of 2017, will be raced next Thursday.