Pacing Colts Tussle In DSBF Prelims

Artistic Director, Hot Roddy and Golden Gun closed out Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund preliminaries with impressive victories in Thursday's $20,000 divisions at Dover Downs.

With Brad Hanners driving, Artistic Director lived up to his odds-on favourite role breezing to a 1:53.1 victory in one of the prelims. Tina Clark and Kovach Stables own the Art Director-DeMotta Bing gelding who extended his winning streak to three-in-a-row. Spinfiniti was second with Rust Load finishing third.

Hot Roddy, another prohibitive favourite, held off fast-closing Ilikethemtrashy and Casino Bags. Rodney Long and Tim and trainer Joe Hundertpfund own the Roddys Bags Again-The Artful Diva brown colt who now has won nine of his 10 lifetime starts while stashing away earnings of $152,575.

In the other $20,000 DSBF prelim, The Wiz Kids Stable’s Golden Gun, a strong second last week, took the lead early and led the rest of the way for Montrell Teague to score a 1:55.1 triumph. Bags Of Money was second with Sam Lucky grabbing the show dough. The Frank Deliberti-homebred is a son of Headmaster-Golden Delicious. The gelding has won three of six races and purses of $58,000.

The top eight colt and gelding point-getters after the two prelim legs return next Thursday for the $100,000 DSBF Final.

In the $36,000 Open Preferred Handicap it was Main A Dieu Too turning a two-hole trip into a 1:49.1 score for driver Corey Callahan. Sent off at odds of 12-1, Main A Dieu Too tripped out behind Sparky Mark who blazed through fractions of :26, :53 and 1:20.3. Sparky Mark tired late and faded to finish sixth, but Main A Dieu Too kicked out a :28.2 final frame to win by a neck over Nova Artist. Europan Union rallied from far back to finish third.

Gary Ewing owns and trains Main A Dieu Too who won for the fourth time this year. The 21-time winner has hauled home more than $190,000 in his career.

(With files from Dover Downs)