Fear The Dragon entered Saturday’s $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial as harness racing’s top-ranked horse. Everything looked to be going his way. He drew the rail, was the overwhelming favorite and posted soft fractions. However, Downbytheseaside paced home in :26.4 despite a tough first-over trip to best Fear The Dragon by a full length.
Downbytheseaside started from post-7 and sat fifth through the opening :27.1 quarter. Driver Brian Sears pulled Downbytheseaside and grinded first-up through fractions of :56 and 1:22.4. The 1:49.3 final time was a new track record for sophomore colt pacers.
“I knew he was going to have a lot left with those soft fractions,” stated Sears. “I didn’t want to have a speed duel.”
The duel came in the final quarter when Downbytheseaside drew alongside Fear The Dragon, eventually wearing him down in the stretch, returning $11.60 to win.
“He put in a great effort and every time I called on him he gave more,” said Sears.
Brian Brown trains both colts at the historic Delaware County Fairgrounds.
“I am thrilled this horse raced the way that he did and got there,” said Brown. “It wasn’t like Fear The Dragon raced bad.”
Finishing behind Downbytheseaside were Fear The Dragon, Classic Pro, Blood Line, Drunk On Your Love, Rock N Tony, R J P and Bags To Riches.
Saturday’s stablemate duel was intense and trainer Brian Brown indicated that the colts will meet again in September in the Little Brown Jug.