'Wakizashi' Returns On Thursday

Published: March 1, 2017 09:05 pm EST

Wakizashi Hanover, Always At My Place and Missle J will collide in this week’s $30,000 Preferred Handicap, the top event at Dover Downs on Thursday, March 2.

Wakizashi Hanover will make his first start since late December as he prepares for his 2017 season. Tim Tetrick is listed to drive the five-year-old $1.4-million winner for Bruce Kennedy and Tri County Stable of Truro, N.S.

Wakizashi Hanover will face Always At My Place, who won by a nose for Yannick Gingras from post eight last start in the seasonal debut. The gelding is owned by Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr, Phil Collura and Burke Racing Stable. Meanwhile, the red-hot Missle 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.

Also in the field, Henderson 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 with over $300 million 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 one 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, Gary Calloway and Legacy Racing of DE. Local favourite Mustang Art (Campbell) usually is a factor in the week’s top pace. Driver George and Tina Dennis’ Seventh Secret will 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.

First race post time is 4:30 p.m.

(With files from Dover Downs)

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