Matron Marathon At Dover, Nov. 6

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

November 4th, 2014

The main harness features for the week will all take place at Dover Downs on Thursday, Nov. 6. With a 4:30 p.m. EST post, Dover will present eight Matron Finals. Though Dover is racing on Sunday, Nov. 9, due to the Breeders Crown elims at the Meadowlands on the following weekend and the fact that the Matrons all go directly to finals, the Thursday program at the Delaware harness track offers the octet.

Because we are publishing this blog earlier than usual to accommodate bettors with information about the main features, we will post a special horses-to-watch list (H2W) on Thursday for weekend action.

This week the Breeders Crown Countdown will include information about supplements and eligibles for the Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 eliminations. We link to the “Countdown” blog from this TwinSpires address for coverage of races through the rest of the season leading to the championship events in November, in cooperation with the Hambletonian Society and TwinSpires. We will be coverning the “Crown” finals live from the Meadowlands on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22.

Matrons Menu

Here is how we see each Matron final, in order of their appearances on the Nov. 6 program at Dover:

Matron two-year-old filly trot

Jimmy Takter’s Wild Honey is certainly ready to be a crowd pleaser as the series opens with this eight-wins-for-nine-starts youngster, driven by the season’s most popular driver, Yannick Gingras. Takter’s Smexi, a huge priced winner recently when the three best supported horses galloped, is also in this mix. But we are going out on a limb here to support Kaliska. We have been watching the Ray Schnittker-conditioned filly and she has been very competitive, seven of 11 times on the toteboard with earnings of $68,320. That is a ton of cash that comes from big purses and tough competition. She is well worth a shot from the inside here, where a pocket trip or surprise on-the-engine mile could pay huge dollars.

Matron two-year-old colt trot

Even with a recent loss (a place finish), Habitat reigns as the best in the division for the second half of the season. Still, there is the up-and-coming Cruzado Dela Noche, who could be a nose better here or just an exacta partner. If he really improves he can bring a big price over more than Habitat. Uncle Lasse and Billy Flynn are also here and will be well supported by the chalk brigade. 

Matron two-year-old filly pace

Ron Burke’s quartet in this mile must deal with Joe Holloway’s Bettor Be Steppin, who is on top of his green game. The outside contender is still Ideal Nuggets, who has been dancing around a win with four seconds and six thirds against winners during a dozen frosh starts. This is the spot for Ed Lohmeyer’s sharp filly to push the envelope before the season ends and do it at a great price. (She could partner Bettor B Steppin for a good exacta, be she first or second.)

Matron two-year-old colt pace

With Artspeak gone for the season, another quartet from Team Burke are poised to suck in bettors’ bucks aplenty. A strong challenge, though, could come from In The Arsenal, who has proven he belongs with the top tier of frosh-colt pacers and is now five wins for eight starts. If you eliminate the Burke boys, take a shot with Bet You, Takter’s pacing boy, for a place spot. That exacta is an overlay because it is not as far fetched as the betting pools will define.

Matron three-year-old filly trot

We just cannot stay away from Shake It Cerry. When others dismissed her, she was there winning for us and at great prices. She doesn’t just own the division, she controls it, commanding the fractions constantly and making a good crop of filly trotters work hard to complete the exactas and triples. Ake Svanstedt’s duo could pull a surprise, with Highest Peak sucking along and picking up second for a great exacta combo. Tossing Lifetime Pursuit out is the key to any money here, as she will again be bet far too heavily.

Matron three-year-old colt trot

When Father Patrick gets beaten, even by his own stable mate, he is still there taking championship breaths, almost looking like he is giving the wins away. He is the best and there is never a predictable reason to forecast a defeat. So he is the key here as he rolls toward Crown championship status. We suggest Harper Blue Chip for the second spot. He took third against Trixton and Nuncio in the Hambletonian when “Pat” went for a two-turn gallop into the wrong side of history. “Harper” is a sharp foe at this level and the smart choice for a price with Pat. 

Matron three-year-old colt pace

As the bettors burn more bucks on Mcwicked and All Bets Off scares them due to his Yonkers romp, Takter’s Capital Account escapes them. A low-profile bloomer, he has been in the money 13 of 21 times and that 50-percent tote-board presence represents trouble for this group, which is bordering on the best of the rest (lacking Always B Miki and Jk Endofanera). In the Tattersalls Pace, Capital Account teamed with “Miki” for the exacta and we nailed it. This could be his best race of the season. How about a Takter exacta with Lyonssomewhere?

Matron three-year-old filly pace

We never lean toward any horse based on his or her driver but an interesting appearance on a great horse that is already a probable favorite puts this selection into the “mortal-lock” category. Nowhere on the program does the name George Brennan appear except for his drive on Act Now. Trainer Nick Drennan must feel best with this decision to send for Georgie to guide this stunning filly when he is not listed on any horse in the program. But that is just one more reason to support Act Now, who is the true now horse, a filly that wails in her final quarters of a mile. If Fancy Desire stays near her morning-line odds of 9-1 she will be the perfect companion for an exacta. She was great in her Lady Maud elim victory.