Day At The Track

Cedar Dove to make her mark as a 4-year-old

05:06 PM 03 May 2012 NZST
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Cedar Dove Cedar Dove is tended to by
Cedar Dove
Cedar Dove is tended to by - caretaker Maria Alexander in the winner's circle.
USTA/Mark Hall photo

She earned nearly $200,000 throughout her harness racing debut season while only capturing one race, but last year Cedar Dove compensated her connections' conviction in her ability by posting victories in five of her last seven appearances en route to her selection as the 2011 Dan Patch Award champion 3-year-old filly trotter.

"We knew all along she was a very good filly," explained co-owner John Fielding in the winner's circle after she was victorious in last year's Kentucky Filly Futurity.

Purchased by Adam Victor, Jr. and Fielding for $55,000 at the 2009 Lexington Selected Sale, the daughter of Andover Hall-Pine For Her has amassed $730,754 from 23 trips to the gate with a career line of 8-5-3 and a lifetime mark of 1:53.2s.

Although she only had her picture taken once in her initial campaign, which was in an $87,500 Bluegrass Stakes division at The Red Mile, Cedar Dove was second in the $48,500 Peaceful Way Consolation at Mohawk and the $502,000 Goldsmith Maid Final at Woodbine.

Early in last year's campaign, the way the filly performed was rather frustrating. She recorded her first win in a $9,500 non-winners contest at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 1 in her first start of the season. She then was placed ninth in the $529,380 Elegantimage Final on June 18 before returning to the winner's circle in a $67,245 Pennsylvania Sire Stake event at Harrah's Chester on July 4. On July 20 she contested the same type of race at Pocono and hit the wire second.

After that it was a sixth in her Hambletonian Oaks elimination on July 30 at the Meadowlands, a second placed third finish in the $30,000 Duenna on August 5, also at the Meadowlands, after breaking stride at the wire, then a fourth place finish under the same circumstances in an $18,000 non-winners race at Harrah's Chester on August 17, and another third in the $65,332 Zwieg Memorial Filly Trot at Tioga Downs on August 29, while maintaining her gait.

On Sept. 5, she was second in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Final for her age and gender before her straight heat triumph in the Filly Futurity. She was last in a $107,000 Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile the following week, before traveling north of the border and collecting victories in both her Breeders Crown elimination and the $500,000 final.

Cedar Dove completed last year's performances with a triumph in her $50,665 Matron elimination on Nov. 6 at Dover Downs and trotted home third in the $151,990 final on Nov. 13.

The fourth foal out of her unraced dam, who sold for $175,000 as a yearling at the 2001 Tattersalls Sale, Cedar Dove is her top progeny to date. Pinery (2005, Angus Hall, 2,1:58, $129,424) was her only other foal that earned any money over a racing oval.

Cedar Dove returned to action this year with a third place finish behind Jezzy and The Chancellor in a qualifying race at Meadowlands Racetrack on April 20.

"She's always been very good and is as good a baby as I've ever broken," Noel Daley, her conditioner, relayed to Harness Racing Communications' Ken Weingartner that day. "When we trained her down at two, we thought we had a freak and then she hurt herself. I got her back really late so she only had a couple starts and was second best to that filly (Crys Dream) in Canada, but she never came back quite as right as she was there."

Daley was pleased with her qualifying performance, despite where she was at the finish line and remains confident she will duplicate last year's success.

"She was trotting really well and just needs to stay settled," he said. "I was very happy with her. She's always been a little bit of a hyper filly, but she's definitely settling down as she comes back here, which I think is good. I think she'll be a good older mare, because she's getting smarter and calmer as she gets to the races; she always used to get very worked up."

Cedar Dove faces Jezzy, Dejarmbro, Autumn Escapade and Lanson in another qualifying race at the Meadowlands on Saturday (May 5) and then will return to Canada to kick off this year's string of events.

"She has four starts in Canada to start off," Daley said. "They have two legs of the Miss Versatility followed by the Armbro Flight elimination and hopefully the final. She will go there in May and probably stay there for five weeks. Basically, I'll just leave her in with the girls; I don't want to race the boys at all.

"It wouldn't surprise me if she came back and is much the best," he continued. "She's a very good horse. She just needs to be sound and get her mind together."

Kentucky Futurity Filly 1st Heat 2011 -Cedar Dove

by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association's Web Newsroom


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