Dover Downs hosts quartet of Matron Stakes

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Ted Black

November 17th, 2017

Thursday evening mild but windy conditions persisted at Dover Downs as the Delaware five-eighths mile oval hosted a quartet of $200,000 Matron Stakes for three-year-olds of both gaits and genders and they may have helped clarify three potential divisional champions.

In the first of the Matron Stakes, Dream Together (Daniel Dube) rallied from well off the pace and third over and widest of all to overtake Evelyn (Andy Miller) in deep stretch to score by a nose in 1:53.2 for three-year-old filly trotters. Trained by Luc Blais, Dream Together now sports a 4-4-5 slate and $375,000 bankroll from 15 starts this year, but her narrow Matron stakes tally will hardly impact the year-end voting for divisional honors in this group since the idle Ariana G already has that title cinched and will be among the contenders for champion trotter and horse of the year.

Then two races later in the Matron Stakes for three-year-old colt trotters, Bill's Man (Tim Tetrick) rallied second over behind 8-5 favorite Devious Man (Andy Miller) to score by a head in 1:52.2. Trained by John Butenschoen, Bill's Man now owns a balanced 5-5-5 slate and $405,000 bankroll from 22 starts. Devious Man settled for the place spot, but his runner-up effort pushed his seasonal bankroll past $1 million on the strength of a 4-8-3 slate from 17 starts for trainer Julie Miller and may have an outside chance of usurping What The Hill for champion three-year-old colt trotter.

Then two races later in the Matron Stakes for three-year-old filly pacers, Agent Q (David Miller) angled out first over down the backside and wore down Idyllic Beach (Gingras) in the lane to prevail by a head in 1:51. A Maryland-bred daughter of Western Terror trained by Aaron Lambert, Agent Q now owns a 10-2-2 slate and $700,000 banked and may have a case to unseat Blazin Britches for divisional honors and a potential argument for Maryland-bred harness horse of the year honors in which Devious Man is the early leader.

Then two races later in the Matron Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers, Downbytheseaside (Chris Page) benefited from a pocket trip and overhauled favored Filibuster Hanover (Gingras) in the lane to score by a neck in 1:50.1. A sophomore son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown, Downbytheseaside now owns 12 wins and $1.43 million banked from 20 starts this year and he may have overtaken idle stablemate for divisional honors and the pacer of the year title.

Then three races later in the $30,000 Preferred Handicap for older pacers, Mach It So (David Miller) brushed to command before the half and drew clear in the lane to a three-length score in 1:50.3 as the 1-2 favorite. A durable, well-traveled aged pacer trained by Jeff Bamond, Jr., Mach It So now owns a 5-4-5 slate and $588,000 banked from 25 starts this year. He was previously fourth in the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway in a race won by Keystone Velocity in 1:47.3 on a night when all nine participants completed the distance in under 1:49. Mach It So had earlier been the beaten favorite in the $420,000 Breeders Crown final and also prevailed in the Breeders Crown elim and the $420,000 William R. Haughton Memorial.