Matron Stakes highlight Dover Downs Thursday card

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Ted Black

November 9th, 2018

While many standardbred racing fans are unaccustomed to seeing many of the sport's top trotters and pacers compete in lucrative stakes during the week, many of them were quick to focus on the action at Dover Downs on Thursday as the Delaware five-eighths mile oval hosted four Matron Stakes and several quality overnight races.

In the first of the four of the Matrons, the $160,000 final for two-year-old colt trotters conducted as an early, non-wagering event, Super Schissel (Yannick Gingras) sat a loose pocket through the half, angled out first over down the backside then drew clear in the lane to a three-length score in 1:56. The Jimmy Takter trainee will get little consideration for juvenile trotting honors, however, in lieu of the unbeaten Gimpanzee's effort in the Breeders Crown final last month.

Just before the midway portion of the parimutuel program, When Dovescry (Kyle Husted) lived up to her role as the 1-5 favorite in the $180,000 Matron Stakes for two-year-old filly trotters when she overcame an extended first over bid to score by a neck under mild urging late in 1:54.4. When Dovescry was a gritty second behind the unbeaten Woodside Charm in the Breeders Crown final for this division and looms a genuine contender for the Hambletonian Oaks next summer.

Two races later on the card, Sylph Hanover (Matt Kakaley) benefited from a second over journey down the backside and through the far turn then outkicked Queen Of The Pride (Mike Cole) in the lane to score by a length in the $180,000 Matron Stakes final for two-year-old filly pacers in 1:52.3. The juvenile daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Ron Burke recorded her fourth win in 12 starts this year and pushed her seasonal earnings well past $300,000.

Then two races later in the $210,000 Matron Stakes for two-year-old colt pacers, Blood Money (Gingras) benefited from plenty of early action and a wicked pace then angled first over nearing the 54.3 half, wore down No Mas Amor (Tim Tetrick) down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:22.4 then held safe Sugar Factory (David Miller) for a head victory in 1:51.1. This Jimmy Takter trainee now sports five wins and earnings just shy of $300,000 from 12 starts this year.

Thursday's overnight portion of the card at Dover offered more than a handful of solid performances. Hi Sir (Russell Foster) displayed good early speed, yielded to Automatic Dragon (Tim Tetrick) before the half, sat a loose pocket down the backside then wore down the leader in the lane for a nose score in 1:51.4. The 10-year-old Sir Luck gelding owned, trained and driven by Foster will be among the favorites for next month's $20,000 Maryland Open at Rosecroft on the undercard of the $100,000 Potomac Pace on Sunday, December 2.

Two races later in another Winners Over class for older pacers, Sicily (Montrell Teague) gained command from favored Q'Cruise (Tetrick) before the opener, carved out honest fractions on an uncontested lead to the half and three-quarters then outlasted a late surge from the odds-on choice to score in 1:51.1. The talented Wayne Givens trainee delivered two stellar performances in the Open Handicap at Ocean Downs this summer and could earn a belated to the Potomac Pace next month.

Then two races after the last Matron Stakes in the $25,000 Open Handicap, Daiymir (Teague) lived up to his role as the tepid 6-5 choice when he left to secure good position behind Emeritus Maximus before the opener in 27 flat, sat a loose pocket by the half in 56 flat, looked for room after Options Areadream (Ross Wolfenden) launched a first over bid following an early miscue, angled to the inside and outkicked Silver Fox J (Cole) for a head score in 1:52. Daiymir now sports a 5-7-3 slate and $82,000 banked from 24 starts this year and Teague won five races with only five drives.