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DOVER, Del. --- Mission Brief stole the thunder while Wiggle It Jiggleit was dominant in Thursday harness racing highlights of the Matron Stakes Series Finals at Dover Downs on Nov. 12. Crazy Wow and Mosquito Blue Chip won the other Matrons on a balmy 60-degree night. In the $187,400 Matron Mission Brief got back in winning form establishing a 1:50.2 world record over a five-eighth mile track. Yannick Gingras took the Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena brown filly past Wild Honey (John Campbell) after the opening panel and set sail to her ninth win of the season in 13 starts, along with three seconds, drawing off for a 5¾ -length conquest. Trained by Ron Burke, she now has $929,317 this season and $1,520,387 lifetime for Weaver Bruscemi, Our Hrs Cents and Burke Racing stables. Wild Honey (Campbell), who set a world record winning last year's freshman Matron, was second best with Speak To Me (Brett Miller) third. I'm So Fancy (Matt Kakaley) and Juanitas Fury (Tim Tetrick) took the fourth and fifth place checks. Mission Brief Wiggle It Jiggleit continued his assault on sub 1:50 miles for a sophomore\e pacer annexing a 1;49.4 triumph in the $201,900 Matron Male pace. Montrell Teague , who drove his second win on the program, permitted Wakizashi Hanover (Tetrick) to set the early tempo before pulling out in front of the grandstand and annexed command at the half. The George Teague Inc.-owned and Clyde Francis trainee, then roared down the backstretch and came home in :27.4 for a 2½-length score. The win was the 20th of 2015 for the Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover gelding, who in 25 lifetime races has 21 wins and 3 second-place finishes. The dark bay pacer has now won $2,014,495 this campaign with two more starts to go later this month in the $350,000 (estimated) Hap Hansen Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Dealt A Winner (David Miller) was second and Artistic Major (Scott Zeron), third, as second-favorite Wakizashi Hanover back up and finished eighth for the first time in his career. Badiou Hanover (Andy Miller) and Dude's The Man (Corey Callahan) got the fourth and fifth place payoffs. Wiggle It Jiggleit  Tim Tetrick sent the sharp Crazy Wow to the front after the opening quarter and never looked back enroute to a 7-length victory in the $243,550 Matron Male trot giving the sport's leading trainer Ron Burke a double. The win was the ninth this season for the Crazed-No Pan No Gain colt who now goes into seven-figure earnings, $1,027,612 this season and $1,260,540 lifetime. He is owned by Deo Volente Farms, Our Hrs Cents and J&T Silva stables. Crescent Fashion (Scott Zeron) was best of the rest with French Laundry (B. Miller) third. The other purse earners were Bluebird Reverend (D.Miller) and Southwind Mozart (Ake Swanstedt). Crazy Wow In the $205,150 Matron Filly Pace, Daniel Dube went right to the front with Mosquito Blue Chip and took no prisoners chalking up a 1:49.2 success, only one-fifth-of-a-second off the track record set last year by Shebestinging. Owned by Falcicchio, Jessup and Our Three Sons Stable, the Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover distaff conditioned by Rene Allard, racked up her sixth win of the year for $373,535. She has now earned $614,086 in her two years of racing. Race Favorite Devil Child (Tetrick) saw her three race win streak come to a close finishing second. Bedroomconfessions (Gingras) was the show horse. Single Me (A.Miller) was fourth and Divine Caroline (D.Miller) fifth. Mosquito Blue Chip There were two Matron $25,000 consolations. The trot was taken by Synerco Venture's Muscle Up The Goal. It was Yannick Gingras second winning drive making good use of post-1 for a 6¾ length victory. Chris Beaver trains the Muscle Mass-Taps Goal brown colt, now a three-time winner this year for $122,766, Cue Hall (D.Miller) was second, Olympic Son (A.Miller) third. The rail also paid off for Black Horse Racing's Storm Point and driver John Campbell. It wasn't easy, as 44-1 Girlofyourdreams (Montrell Teague) was only a nose away at the wire in the 1:50.2 Matron Filly consolation. Luck Be A Lindy (Tetrick) was third. Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dark live racing days at Dover Downs Two $20,000 DSBF freshman colt 2nd leg pace prelims and an $18,000 Open trot tops the Monday card. A $5,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 Pool is now featured daily. By popular request, the Winner's Circle Buffet is back for those dinning in the Winner's Circle Restaurant. At Dover Downs, there is no charge for parking and admission. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del. ---- It's the biggest Thursday card of the season. Grand Circuit Week comes to a close with lucrative Matron Stakes three-year-old division on Nov. 12 at Dover Downs. There are four lucrative sophomore divisions, highlight of Dover Downs' "Novemberfest of Stakes." Hambletonian Society-Breeders Crown top-rated Wiggle It Jiggleit and another top 10 performer, Wakizashi Hanover, two Harrington, Del.-area trained speedsters meet in the $200,100 Male pace. In addition on the banner 15-race program are three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Two-Year-Old Male Paces. The piece d 'resistance of the powerful Matron championship card is the $201,900 colt and gelding pace. George Teague Inc.'s Wiggle Jiggleit, with regular driver Montrell Teague, drew the rail. The world champion gelding has 19 wins in 23 starts, with three close-up seconds, earning $1913,545. One of those setbacks came in the $1-million North American Pace when Tim Tetrick and Wakizashi Hanover won a head-to-head duel to the wire. JoAnn King trains the $1.1-million winner for Tri County Stable. Two other horses with local connections in the final are M&L Of Delaware and Victoria Dickinson's Dude's The Man with Corey Callahan and Frank Chick and Yankee Bounty Parnership's Yankee Bounty, piloted by Yannick Gingras, starting from outside post 8. The rest of the fast field contains Jeff Snyder's Dealt A Winner (David Miller), Van Dusen, Cimaglio, Patel and trainer Steve Elliott's Artistic Major (Scott Zeron), Jeff Snyder and Three Decades Racing's Rock N'Roll World (Daniel Dube) and Joe P Racing's Badiou Hanover (Andy Miller). Sassa Hanover (Matt Kakaley), winner of the 2014 Matron Two-Year-Old Filly pace at Dover Downs seeks to reach six figures in the $201,450 three-year-old final. The $935,561 career winner is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Karr and Panhellenic Stable. Divine Caroline (David Miller) is on a stakes-winning tear. The Breeders Crown champ, trained by former University of Delaware grad Joe Holloway for owners Rojan Stables,Ted Gewertz, Val D'or Farms and M.A. Duriel. The same ownership, minus Duriel, start the fast Bettor Be Steppin (Corey Callahan) from post 8. Last week's American National winner, Devil Child, with driver, also is streaking with three-in-a-row for Susan Oakes and Crawford Farms. Bedroomconfessions (Tim Tetrick) was third in the Breeders Crown for Riverview and Alagna racings. Completing the field are Mosquito Blue Chip (Daniel Dube) leaving from the rail for Falcicchio, Jessop and Our Three Sons Stable. Alongside, Brett Miller steers Courant AB's Wicked Little Minx; and Dana Parham and Let It Ride Stable's Single Me (Andy Miller). Our Hrs Cents, Deo Volente Farms and J&T Silva Stable's $1-million winner Crazy Wow, reined by Tim Tetrick, is the one to beat in the $243,550 Matron soph trot. The fast French Laundry (Brett Miller) owned by ChristinaTakter, John and Jim Fielding and Ontario-breeders Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, must overcome starting from post 8 while Joe Smith's Fashion Creditor (David Miller) drew the rail. Seven-time winner Bluebird Reverend ( ) is a Delaware-owned contestant. Trainer Bobby Reeser, Case, Johannsen and Indianan Dennis, own the Indian bred. Rubber Duck (Tetrick) has been an Ontario standout racing for Blair and Ema Corbell. Sweden's Ake Swanstedt trains and drives Wolfgang A Stable's Southwind Mozart. Whom Shall I Fear's horse of the same name (David Miller) shared by Howard Taylor, Laura Noren and Order By Stable's Crescent Fashion (Scott Zeron) complete the starting lineup. The $187,400 Matron Three-Year-Old Filly Trot shapes up as the pinnacle event for seasonal top divisional honors. Wild Honey, who set a world record at two at Dover Downs, has won her last three including the Breeders Crown and Kentucky Fill Futurity, will be driven by Hall of Famer John Campbell. The $1-million winner leaves from the rail for Christina Takter, Herb Liverman, John and Jim Fielding. Early season sensation Mission Brief and Yannick Gingras, who has been the favorite in all of her 17 race career, made a break in her Breeders Crown start. The $1.4-million winning speedster has post 5 for Burke, Our Hrs Cnts and J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. The opposition includes Story Inc.'s Lady Winona (Andy Miller), Brittany Farms' Speak To Me (Brett Miller), Howard and Judy Taylor, Dandy Farms and Burke Racing Stable's Speak To Me (Kakaley), Glengate Farms' Juanitas Fury (Tetrick), nine-time winner Bob Key's homebred Soaring Flight ( ) and from the outside Joyce McClelland's She Wore Red ( ). There is also a $25,000 Matron Filly consolation. Led by Lindy Racing's Luck Be A Lindy, handled by Tim Tetrick. The Massachusetts' Stakes champion is winner of four consecutive starts. David Van Dusen and Mike Cimaglio own Stacia Hanover with Scott Zeron. Black Horse Racing's Storm Point, piloted by John Campbell has the rail. Delaware-sired Totally Rusty and Andrew McCarthy, Blueberry Bill Augustine's Frost Damage Blues (D.Miller), Lindy Farms Lindys Old Lady with Yannick Gingras will be joined by Tom Fanning and Fly By Night Stable's Special Package (B.Miller) and The Wiz Kids Stable's Girlofyourdreams, who get in for two scratched horses, Ideal Nugget and Heavenly Bride. Al Moor of Smyrna, Del.- owned Royal Status and John Campbell, Caulfield, with driver Aaron Merriman) and Courant AB and Knutsson Trotting Inc.'s Colbert, a winner of his last three of four starts will be driven by trainer Ake Svanstedt, head the $25,000 Matron consolation trot and Alagna Racing. There is no live racing on Friday. Saturday and Sunday. Racing resumes Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

Trainer Ron Burke is seven weeks from completing his seventh consecutive season on top of North America's harness racing standings for both wins and purses and will have several opportunities to add to his totals in Thursday's Matron Stakes at the harness racing meeting at Dover Downs. Burke's Crazy Wow is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the $243,550 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and his Mission Brief is the 2-1 second choice in the $187,400 event for 3-year-old female trotters. He also will send out 9-2 contender Sassa Hanover in the $205,150 Matron for 3-year-old female pacers. Crazy Wow heads to his Matron engagement off a win in the Carl Erskine on Oct. 30 at Hoosier Park. He has won eight of 16 races and earned $905,837 this year for owners Our Horse Cents Stables, JT45, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms. His victories also include the Colonial Trot and he finished second in the Canadian Trotting Classic. "He's super," Burke said. "He's as good as anybody right now. He's a very good horse and I think he's going to be a very, very good 4-year-old. He's really has just continued to progress all year and just gets better and better. I really think it will continue down the road." Mission Brief is the second choice behind Wild Honey, who is 9-5 on the morning line, in the Matron for the 3-year-old female trotters. Mission Brief went off stride while leading in the stretch in her most recent start, the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack. Wild Honey seized the opportunity to capture the Crown, which was the Jimmy Takter-trained filly's third consecutive victory since finishing second to Mission Brief in the Elegantimage Stakes. "As long as she maintains her manners and trots, she's tough to beat," Burke said about Mission Brief, who has won eight of 12 races and earned $835,617 this season for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. "She trained super and hopefully she will be very good. She wasn't that good that night (in the Breeders Crown). I don't know why. I don't know if she didn't like the track. She wasn't good warming up and she tipped over in the race. I don't think it was much of anything, she just wasn't good." Wild Honey's wins during her current victory streak include a triumph over Mission Brief in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. She also won the Hambletonian Oaks on the same afternoon Mission Brief finished second to Pinkman in the Hambletonian. For the year, Wild Honey has won seven of 14 starts and $1.06 million for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding. The battle for divisional honors could be decided by the Matron Stakes and Continentalvictory Stakes on Nov. 21 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Mission Brief and Wild Honey are both eligible to the Continentalvictory. Mission Brief, who defeated Wild Honey in the Zweig Memorial filly division and also won the Moni Maker Stakes, was last season's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter. "She could have to win both of them now to have any chance," Burke said about Mission Brief. "It's (Wild Honey's) to lose. We've got to win this and we've got to win the Continentalvictory. I have faith in her. I've never lost faith in her. She's just got to do it." Sassa Hanover's wins this year include the Jugette and the 3-year-old filly pacer is entering her Matron event off second-place finishes in the Breeders Crown and USS Indianapolis Memorial. She has won six of 18 races this season and earned $449,970 for owners Burke Racing, The Panhellenic Stable, Larry Karr, and Weaver and Bruscemi. "The last couple races have been very good," Burke said. "She's been in tough spots and raced hard and just came up short both times." The 2-1 morning line favorite in the Matron for 3-year-old female pacers is supplemental entry Devil Child, who brings a three-race win streak to the race. Her triumphs include the USS Indianapolis Memorial and American-National Stakes. Divine Caroline, who sports a four-race win streak including the Breeders Crown, is the 5-2 second choice after drawing post seven to Devil Child's post four. Burke, who has won 875 races and $22.5 million in purses this year, also sends I'm So Fancy (7-1 on the morning line) to the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters and Yankee Bounty (10-1) to the $201,900 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers. Burke leads all trainers in wins by nearly 500 and in purses by more than $10 million. He set records last year with 1,092 triumphs and $28.4 million in purses. "It's been an up-and-down kind of year," Burke said. "There have been highlights, but there have been some disappointments too. (Breeders Crown champion 2-year-old male trotter) Southwind Frank has probably been the biggest highlight. He is probably the best horse we've got right now." Thursday's first race post time at Dover Downs is 4:30 p.m. and the full card can be found here. Ken Weingartner

DOVER, Del. ---- Delaware or Delaware Valley owned outright, in harness racing partnerships or those connected are prominent in the rich Matron Stakes three-year-old division on Thursday, Nov. 12 at Dover Downs. Among the four lucrative sophomore divisions, highlight of Dover Downs' "Novemberfest of Stakes." Is the rubber-match between top-rated horse in the weekly poll, $1.9-million winner, Wiggle It Jiggleit, and another top 10 performer, $1.2-million winner, Wakizashi Hanover. Both super speedsters train in the Harrington, Del.-area. In the $201,900 Matron Colt pace, each own one win over the other. George Teague Inc., of Houston, Del., owns world champion Wiggle It Jiggleit, a winner of nearly $2-million while JoAnn King conditions Wakizashi Hanover, a winner of nearly $1.3-million in purses. Ironically, in the Matron Final, four of the eight starters in the classic pace boast Delaware ownership. Ralph, Roz and Doug Paul, racing under the stable name of M&L of Delaware, and their Greenville neighbor, Victoria Dickinson, own the fast Dude's The Man, to be driven by Dover Downs perennial leader Corey Callahan, and Yankee Bounty, owned in part by Harrington entrepreneur Frank Chick, who drew outside post 8. In other Matron Stakes, Bob and Norm Aerenson's Rojan Stables of Wilmington, Del., is both a partner in the outstanding Breeders Crown winning filly Divine Caroline, and stablemate Bettor Be Steppin. They are both trained by University of Delaware grad, trainer Joe Holloway, and race in the $201,450 Matron three-year-old filly pace. In the $243,550 Matron Colt trot, Johannsen, Case and trainer Bobby Reeser own Bluebird Reverend, in the money 16 of 19 races this season. Also, in the event is Crescent Fashion, co-owned by Philadelphian, Howard Taylor, one of the sport's leading owners. Judy Taylor of Bala Cynwyd, Pa. and son Howard Taylor, own a share in I'm So Fancy racing for $187,400 purse in the Matron Filly Trot. There are two $25,000 Matron consolations. Al Moor of Smyrna starts Royal Status while Marvin Moss of Philadelphia and trainer Leigh Raymer of Smyrna, Del. are partners in Monopoly Blue Chip racing in the Matron pace consolation. In the Matron Filly consolation, Blueberry Billy Augustine of Hammonton, N.J. owns Frost Damage Blues. Post time for the 15-race Thursday card at Dover Downs is 4:30 p.m. There is no charge for parking or admission. The Winner's Circle Restaurant features an outstanding buffet. Call 302/674-4600 for reservations. Marv Bachrad  

After battling each other in races across North America, Delaware-connected horses Wiggle It Jiggleit, Wakizashi Hanover, and Dude's The Man will enjoy something of a "home match" Thursday in the $201,900 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs for 3-year-old male pacers. Wiggle It Jiggleit, owned by Harrington's George Teague Jr. and driven by Teague's son Montrell, will start from post one in the Matron. Wakizashi Hanover, trained by Harrington' s Joann Looney-King, will leave from post four and Dude's The Man, owned by Delaware's Doug and Rosalind Paul and Victoria Dickinson, starts from post two. "I think most everybody is excited for those horses to show up," Looney-King said. "It's exciting. We've been looking forward to this all year." Dover Downs also on Thursday hosts the $243,550 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters, $201,450 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers, and $187,400 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters. Wiggle It Jiggleit, harness racing's No. 1-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, has won 19 of 23 races this year and earned a North America-leading $1.91 million. Trained by longtime Teague assistant Clyde Francis, Wiggle It Jiggleit's wins include the Meadowlands Pace, Little Brown Jug, Hempt Memorial, Battle of the Brandywine, and Milstein Memorial. He finished second in two recent races at Hoosier Park, bested both times by 1-1/4 lengths by Breeders Crown champion Freaky Feet Pete after pace-setting trips. "(Wiggle It Jiggleit) is doing good," George Teague Jr. said. "When you lose, it's always disappointing, but I do believe the losses came because of the trips he got. The trips were good to the other horse, but that's what happens sometimes. But he didn't underperform. I don't see him being much different. He just got beat by a nice horse." After competing just once at age 2, Wiggle It Jiggleit began this season racing in winter series at the Meadowlands. He has made at least one start every month this year, with the exception of April. "That speaks volumes about this horse and how good he's been," Teague said. "When you create a schedule, it's only a schedule, and you're hoping they can make 80 percent of the engagements. I really never thought he'd make this many, and I supplemented him to two races. "He's just been an incredible horse. I don't know of too many horses that can start racing in January when there's snow on the ground and go almost to December and still be this good and competitive. He's a rarity. He's just pounding away, really." Wakizashi Hanover has won 11 of 19 races this year and earned $1.15 million for the Nova Scotia-based Tri County Stable and driver Tim Tetrick. His victories include the North America Cup, by three-quarters of a length over Wiggle It Jiggleit, plus Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Jenna's Beach Boy. He will be facing Wiggle It Jiggleit for the first time since finishing second in the Battle of the Brandywine on Aug. 22 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "When (Wiggle It Jiggleit) draws the rail, it's kind of tough," Looney-King said. "Fortunately, I'm not the driver; he gets to make those decisions what to do when the wings swing. "But (Wakizashi Hanover) is feeling good. I'm just hoping he gives us a good one this week. We're as ready as we're going to be. It's been a long campaign. He's developed a lot, but it's a tough go for those 3-year-olds, with the traveling and going new places. Fortunately, he's fallen into line in each place." Dude's The Man, trained by Jessica Okusko and driven by Dover Downs' leading driver Corey Callahan, has won three of 18 races this season and earned $658,176. His wins include the Adios and he finished second in the Meadowlands Pace and third in the Battle of the Brandywine. The remainder of the Matron field includes Cane Pace champion Dealt A Winner, Badiou Hanover, Artistic Major, Rock N' Roll World, and Yankee Bounty, whose owners include Harrington's Frank Chick. Thursday's Matron might not be the final time this group meets at Dover Downs this year. All of the Matron entrants with the exceptions of Badiou Hanover and Artistic Major are eligible to the Hap Hansen Progress Pace at the end of the month. The Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters features the division's top two money-earners, Wild Honey and Mission Brief, while the event for the 3-year-old male trotters includes Crazy Wow, who with a victory would top $1 million in seasonal purses. Breeders Crown winner Divine Caroline brings a four-race win streak to the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. Thursday's first race post time is 4:30 p.m. and the full Dover Downs card can be found here. By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

The Matron Series comes to a close on Thursday (11/12) at Dover Downs with the top three-year-olds in the spotlight. It is expected that the Hambletonian Society -Breeders Crown top rated Wiggle It Jiggleit and #10 Wakizashi Hanover will renew their rivalry in the $200,000 (estimated) male pace. The Matron Male Trot boasts a $236,000 (est.) purse. The Matron Filly Trot goes for $180,000 (est.) and Filly Pace for $172,000 (est.) The Matron entry box opens from 8:30 a.m. until 12 Noon sharp. No entry will be accepted after 12:00 p.m. 2014 Matron 3-Year-Old Champions; 3YO Colt Pace: Big Boy Dreams (Ron Pierce) 1:50.3 3YO Filly Pace: Weeper (Ron Pierce) 1:51 3YO Colt Trot: Nuncio (John Campbell) 1:54.1 3YO Filly Trot: Shake It Cerry (Ron Pierce) 1:52.4   2015 Matron 2-Year-Old Champions on Nov. 25 2YO Colt Pace; Big Boy Hanover (Yannick Gingras)1:51.4 2YO Filly Pace; Newborn Sassy (Tim Tetrick) 1:52 2YO Colt Trot: Dog Gone Lucky (Corey Callahan) 1:55 2YO Filly Trot: Womans Will (David Miller) 1:54.2   Just A Jolt picked right up where he left off on closing day last season winning the $30,000 opening day $20,000 Open pace overtaking front-pacing Dancin Yankee in deep stretch for a 1:51.1 victory. Eric Goodell piloted a double winning the sub-feature $18,000 3&4-Year-Old Open went to Delaware-sired Remember Me VK in 1:50.2. George Dennis had his biggest win night at Dover Downs reaching the winner's circle six times in the first seven races on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Duneside Chella and Tony Morgan, the third leading winning driver in North America drew off to victory in the $15,500 Mares pace. In addition to Dennis' six winners, defending champions driver Corey Callahan and trainer Dylan Davis posted two wins each. Don Reed and George Wagner owned both winners of the daily double, Frank Chick also owned two winners on Nov. 3. On Wednesday, Nov. 4, Tough Mac with Corey Callahan scored a wire-to-wire 1:52.3 victory in the $20,000 Open Trot. Ross Wolfenden had a driving triple. The Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) got underway for two-year-olds on Thursday, Nov. 5. Hail To The Master won the freshman colt pace 1st leg prelim in 1:53.3. Power To Perform with Tony Morgan in 1:54.3 and John's Dream, a 1:55 win, for Chuck Perry. The DSBF Filly pace prelims begin on the Monday (Nov.9) card. This Thursday, Nov. 11, is Veteran's Day. For four decades on Veteran's Day, members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, led by 85-year-old former Dover Downs horseman, Moses Asia, and his fellow winners of the prestigious Purple Heart awarded for exceptional bravery in battle, presented an engraved blanket to race winner, Stirling Breeze, trained by Kerry King and driven by Jason Thompson. This year, the Military Order of the Purple Heart honored one of their own, the late Charles Williams, who served with 83rd Infantry division in the European Theater in World War II. He was twice wounded and awarded two Purple Hearts and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star and V Devise and Combat Badge for his military service. Marv Bachrad

Pacers Newborn Sassy and Big Top Hanover along with trotters Dog Gone Lucky and Womans Will turned in winning efforts in the 2015 Matron Stakes for two-year-olds at Dover Downs on Thursday, Nov. 5. The richest Matron stake, the $216,300 male trot was won by Dog Gone Lucky. Fresh from victory in the Kindergarten Stakes at Vernon Downs the freshman notched his fifth win of the season for owners Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley scoring a 1:55 victory. Corey Callahan guided the Lucky Chucky-Ebbtide Hall colt, conditioned by Hall of Famer Chuck Sylvester, to the easy victory. Milligan's School ((Andy Miller) closed quickly between horses to finish second with front-trotting Love Matters (Yannick Gingras) third. Dog Gone Lucky, a New York Sire Stakes contender, has now banked $321,493 in her first year of racing. The husband-wife team of Andy Miller and Julie Miller collaborated as Womans Will recorded a 1:54.2 triumph in the $185,400 Matron filly trot. Canadians Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, two of the sport's leading breeders own the Donato Hanover-Will Of A Woman consistent first year performer. The bay filly now has five wins and nine times in the money in 12 starts good for purse money of $353,881 Kathy Parker (Gingras) led for most of the mile before relenting to Womans Will at the top of the stretch. Radian Beam (David Miller) picked up third money. The powerful Jim King Stable showed off in front of the local track patrons when Newborn Sassy scored her eight win in 10 starts to win the $183,400 Matron Filly event. Tim Tetrick, who had a banner three-win night during the program, steered the Western Ideal -Sass Newton distaff to an impressive 1:52 victory. Penpal (Pat Lachance) closed sharply for second. The win was the seventh in-a-row for Newborn Sassy, bringing her bankroll to $$216,284 this season. Big Top Hanover completed the Matron freshman festivities rolling to a 1:51.4 conquest in the $201,400 male pace. Yannick Gingras piloted the Jt45 and Burke Racing Western Ideal Blind Ambition colt to his third win of the campaign for the sport's leading trainer Ron Burke. The win was the third of the year for the winner who has been in the money in eight 13 starts. There were two $20,000 Matron consolations. In one, Bobby Myers and Frank Condurso's Moolah Moolah and David Miller came on in the lane to catch Black Broadway (Callahan) in deep stretch for a 1:56.2 filly trot win. The $20,000 Matron colt consolation went to Yannick Gingras-driven All The Cookies, a 1:52.4 winner in his first lifetime pari-mutuel race. Christine Takter, Joe Sbrocco and Brixton Medical own the Rocknroll Hanover-Queen Ota gelding. Tim Tetrick won three races, David Miller, Yannick Gingras and Ross Wolfenden had two wins apiece. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dark live racing days at Dover Downs. Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. A $5,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 Pool is now featured daily. At Dover Downs, there is no charge for parking and admission. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Mach Bachrad  

DOVER, Del. ---- Dover Downs "Novemberfest of Stakes' spotlights the prestigious Matron Stakes with four lucrative freshman events and two consolations plus three $20,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Two-Year-Old Male Paces on Thursday, Nov. 5. Dog Gone Lucky, fresh from winning the $191,500 Kindergarten final at Vernon Downs last Sunday, drew the rail in the $216,300 Matron Two-Year-Old Colt Stake. Corey Callahan will again drive the Chuck Sylvester trained youngster for Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley, Love Matters, a six-time winner in eight starts this year, driven by Yanick Gingras owned by Liverman, Fielding, Brixton Medical and Christine Takter along with Julie Miller-trained stakes winner Milligan's School and Andy Miller lead the contenders. Synerco Ventures, Leo Fleming and trainer Chris Beaver's Deweylovernleaver handled by Aaron Merriman; Two Bob Key-owned starters are driven by Hall of Famers, David Miller guiding Waitlifter K and John Campbell steering Treasure Keys K. Taco Tuesday leaves from the outside with Tim Tetrick for owners Rudolph, Baldassare and Lindy Farms and the lone local starter Don Marine and trainer Bob Shana's Kent County reined by George Dennis. Kathy Parker (Gingras), owned by Takter, McClelland, Brixton Medical and RAW Equine, is top money earner at $293,348 in the $185,400 Matron frosh trot. Katz and Libfeld's Womans Will (A.Miler) finished fourth in the Breeders Crown while the only locally owned filly M&L Of Delaware and Bill Wiswell's Lookin Sharp (Corey Callahan) drew post 8. Windowshopper, co-owned by driver Ray Schnittker and Charles Iannazaro, has the rail with Arrhythmic's Radiant Beam (D.Miller) alongside. Melby Gard's Keep It Classy (jimmy Takter), Bob Key's Encore Gold (Campbell) and Charles Iannazzo's Casino Cutie It (Tetrick) complete the lineup. In pacing Matrons, razor-sharp Newborn Sassy (Tetrick) has won six-in-a-row and seven of nine races for CC Racing and trainer Jim King in the $183,400 filly division. Shezarealdeal (Campbell), already a $308,031 winner at two, starts from post 1. Takter, Fielding and Sbrocco's Albany Girl (Brett Miler) and KDM Stable's Major Millie (Matt Kakaley) head eight starters. Trainer-driver Pat Lachance and M&M Harness Racing's Penpal, Let It Ride Stable's Skinny Dipper (Andrew McCarthy) and Brittany Farms' Sonoma Valley (D.Miller) round out the starters. Big Top Hanover (Gingras), owned by JT45 and Burke Racing, is the one to beat in the $201,400 Matron Colt Stake. Autotune Hanover (Tetrick) is a New York Sire Stakes standout racing for Phillips, Venturini and Harder, and Fashion Farms' Katies Rocker (D.Miller) won the New Jersey Futurity edging Wiswell, Goehlen and Schick's Ideal Rocky (Callahan) by a nose. The rest of the field consists of 3 Brothers Stable's JK Willpower (Tetrick), Miller and Andray Stable's Sam McSmith, Beach Ogre (McCarthy) has the rail for vSWchnittker, Bordogna, Arnold and Taylor. Alongside is Tom Hill's Pretty Boy Hill (Gingras). Two $20,000 Matron Consolations and three DSBF 1st leg prelims are also on the powerful 15-race program. Tough Mac romps in Open Wednesday Tough Mac, one of last season’s top trotters at Dover Downs romped to an easy 1:54.2 lifetime fastest victory in the first $20,000 Open Handicap of the meet. Trained by last meet’s leader, Dylan Davis, and driven by perennial champion Corey Callahan, the six-year-old altered son of Lockkeeper-Traditional Lady owned by Mike Casalino recorded his ninth win of the season and moved into the six-figure column now earning $107,855 this year and $233,7999 lifetime. Callahan rolled away to a :26.3 first quarter lead and never looked back pulling away to an easy victory with woth a :28.2 final panel. Winbak Charles M (Allan Davis) closed fast to nip Spunky Jack (Roger Plante) by a long nose to finish second. In the $15,000 semi-feature trot, Adrenalin Junkie won the photo finish in 1:57.4 to take the $15,000 3,4&5-Year-Old trot. It was the first of two wins for Jim Morand. Gary Simpson trains and co-owns with Eric Good, the Broadway Hall-Pure Adrenalin N three-year-old gelding. Eskimo Joe (Tony Morgan) was a close second. Lighter Hanover (Vic Kirby) finished third. Morand also guided Lou Man to victory in a $12,500 conditioned trot in 1:55.1. The Indiana-bred four-year-old scored his third consecutive victory. Jim King trains the altered son of Lou’s Legacy-Relyea, for owners John McGill and Brian Carsey. The Poliseno family had consecutive trips to the winner’s circle. Cody Poliseno, 21-year-old son of trainer Carlo Poliseno won for the first time a Dover Downs driving Island Jet from way back with a driving finish to victory in 1:55 in a Delaware pace. One race later, Carlo’s brother, Tony Poliseno trained Broadway Delores, owned by his wife, Mary Lou Poliseno, to a 1:59.1 victory in a $9,500 trot. Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dark days. At Dover Downs, there is no charge for parking and admission. Harness and thoroughbred simulcasts is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. and American-National Stakes, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 5) for four Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old colt trot carries a purse of $216,300, the 2-year-old colt pacers will race for $201,400, the purse for the 2-year-old filly trot is $185,400 and the 2-year-old filly pacers will race for $183,400. Balmoral Park will host eight American-National Grand Circuit stakes on Saturday (Nov. 7). The card will feature the $204,000 3-year-old colt trot, the $150,000 3-year-old colt pace, the $136,500 open pace, the $125,000 3-year-old filly trot, the $120,000 3-year-old filly pace, the $101,350 open trot, the $78,450 2-year-old filly pace and the $74,000 2-year-old colt pace. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Hoosier Park and Vernon Downs shared the Grand Circuit spotlight last weekend as each had several stakes on their respective cards. Freaky Feet Pete returned to his home state of Indiana and turned in another dominating performance to score his fifth consecutive victory, this time thrilling his hometown crowd in 1:49.3 in the $285,500 Monument Circle Pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (Oct. 30). Driven by regular pilot Trace Tetrick, Freaky Feet Pete used a pocket trip to his advantage to best harness racing's top-rated horse, Wiggle It Jiggleit, late in the lane to win by 1-1/4 lengths. With the win, Freaky Feet Pete became the sport's newest millionaire and notched his 23rd lifetime victory from 26 starts. The son of Rockin Image and Skyway Lori is trained by Larry Rheinheimer and owned by Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer. The match-up between Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete was the pinnacle of a stakes-filled 14-race card at Hoosier Park with purses distributed throughout the evening over the $1 million mark. Just one race earlier, harness racing's richest Standardbred ever, Foiled Again, turned in a gritty performance to take the $165,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. With regular pilot Yannick Gingras at the controls, Foiled Again dictated fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24 before he began to feel pressure from the rest of the field. Using a :26.3 final panel he fought off JK Endofanera and Brett Miller along with stablemate All Bets Off and Matt Kakaley to find the wire first. Trained by Ron Burke, Foiled Again notched his third victory from 20 seasonal outings and 86th lifetime win from 244 starts. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and the JJK Stables, the 11-year-old gelding has now earned $379,132 for the season and more than $7.2 million lifetime. Crazy Wow and Tim Tetrick pulled the slight 6-1 upset in the $270,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, scoring in 1:54. The 2015 Hambletonian winning Pinkman was heavily favored at the betting windows and dictated early fractions of :27.2, :57, and 1:25.3 before succumbing to the long Hoosier Park stretch. Tetrick had Crazy Wow well placed turning for home and the 3-year-old colt did the rest. Homicide Hunter finished second and Pinkman wound up third. It was the eighth win of the season for the son of Crazed-No Pan No Gain who is trained by Ron Burke. Owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, JT45, J&T Silva Stables and Deo Volente Farms, Crazy Wow has now earned $905,837 this season. Vernon Downs hosted the finals of the Kindergarten Classic series -- worth a combined $366,000 -- on Saturday (Oct. 31) evening. The $191,500 Kindergarten final for 2-year-old colts and geldings saw eventual winner Dog Gone Lucky vault clear from his post nine dispatch, controlling a :57.2 half-mile before yielding briefly to a rapidly-advancing Celebrity Express (John Campbell) before exiting the back straight. As Celebrity Express started to struggle upon exiting the far turn, Corey Callahan edged off the pegs with Dog Gone Lucky, pressing to the lead just past reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:25.3. Dog Gone Lucky, narrowly in front on his own accord, inherited two lengths clearance over the others when Celebrity Express broke stride off the far turn. The son of Lucky Chucky and Ebbtide Hall would hold that lead intact over a late-rallying Waitlifter K (David Miller) and Mavens Way (Ã…ke Svanstedt), prevailing in 1:54.2. Chuck Sylvester trains Dog Gone Lucky for owners Amy Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley. In the $174,500 Kindergarten final for 2-year-old fillies, the complexion of the race changed when both halves of the Jimmy Takter-trained 1-10 entry -- Haughty and Hollywood Hill -- broke stride on approach to the far turn. An extended duel between Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) and Radiant Beam (David Miller), joined at the quarter pole by Lookin Sharp (Callahan), ultimately dissolved as 91-1 outsider Wildflower split foes in the final sixteenth to just prevail in 1:55.4. Trainer-driver Ãke Svanstedt shares ownership of the daughter of Muscle Hill and Lightning Flower with Douglas Sipple along with Mal and Janet Burroughs. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,382; 2. David Miller - 1,080.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 961; 4. Brett Miller - 636; 5. Scott Zeron - 559.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,702; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,432; 3. Tony Alagna - 572.5; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 346; 5. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 340. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 388.25; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 333.8; 3. Bamond Racing - 275; 4. Christina Takter - 220.7; 5. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 200. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs with Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The Meadowlands will reopen with legs of the TVG Series for older trotters and pacers, to go along with elimiations for four 2-year-olds races -- the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Dog Gone Lucky is proving himself to be doggone good. A harness racing 2-year-old male trotter, Dog Gone Lucky heads to Thursday's $216,300 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs off a win in last weekend's Kindergarten Classic Series championship. He has won his most recent two starts and finished second by a neck to Brooklyn Hill in a stakes race at The Red Mile three races ago. Dog Gone Lucky drew post No. 1 for the Matron. Corey Callahan, Dover Downs' six-time leading driver, will be at the lines for trainer Chuck Sylvester. "He seems like he's getting a little bit better toward the end of the year," said Sylvester, who trains Dog Gone Lucky for owners Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley. "We prepped him for the sire stakes and took our time with him. He's developed more than we thought he would." Dover Downs also hosts Matron Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters and 2-year-old male and female pacers on Thursday. Post time is 4:30 p.m. for the day's first race. The Matron for female trotters features Kathy Parker and Womans Will, who finished 2-3 in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Kindergarten Series championship runner-up Lookin Sharp. Stakes-winners Big Top Hanover, Ideal Rocky, and Autotune Hanover are among the eight horses in the Matron for male pacers while stakes-winner Shezarealdeal leads a field of eight female pacers. Big Top Hanover and Shezarealdeal both finished second in the Breeders Crown. Dog Gone Lucky is a son of former Sylvester star Lucky Chucky out of the mare Ebbtide Hall. He won the Kindergarten from post nine, beating fellow Sylvester-trainee Waitlifter K by two lengths in 1:54.2. Dog Gone Lucky has won four of 11 races and earned $213,343. "He leaves the gate well and he got a nice trip after he went to the front at Vernon," Sylvester said. "Some of the best colts aren't in (the Matron) so he'll be OK I think. Our plans were not to race him so early, but in these late races. If everything goes good he'll be in the Valley Victory." Waitlifter K also is in the Matron and will start from post five with driver David Miller. The colt, who has won two of 11 races and earned $95,379, is owned by Robert Key. Waitlifter K is a son of Muscles Yankee, another former Sylvester standout, out of the mare Treasure Forever. "He's a horse I just couldn't race every week, so we took our time with him," Sylvester said. "Mr. Key said it was OK to do whatever was best and to do it at our own pace. He raced very good last week and he'll be sharper this week. If all goes well, he'll be going to the Valley Victory too." Sylvester is looking forward to seeing how the horses develop over the winter. "I don't think we've over-raced them," he said. "They'll have two more starts and then get a nice rest. We'll keep our fingers crossed for next year." Among the horses joining Dog Gone Lucky and Waitlifter K in the Matron are stakes-winners Milligan's School and Love Matters. For Thursday's full card at Dover Downs, click here. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Dover, DE --- Nuncio made it five wins in a row, grabbing the lead before the second turn and never yielding the position on his way to a three-quarter length victory over Harper Blue Chip in 1:54.1 over a "good" track in Thursday's $200,350 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at Dover Downs. Hillustrious charged from near the rear of the field through the stretch to finish third. Father Patrick, the 1-2 favorite, went off stride soon after the start and was not a factor. Starting from post eight, Nuncio was second to Harper Blue Chip in the opening quarter-mile, but took the lead as the horses passed the grandstand for the first time. Nuncio, driven by John Campbell, was the 6-5 second choice. "I didn't realize (Father Patrick made a break); I was concentrating on my horse and just keeping him to his task," Campbell said. Nuncio has won 11 of 16 races this year, including two jewels in the Trotting Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot, and earned $1.39 million. He is owned by Stall TZ Inc. and trained by Jimmy Takter. For his career, the son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle has won 16 of 26 starts and never finished worse than second. "He's certainly one of the most consistent (horses) that I've been around," Campbell said. "He just goes out and does his work. We had a little trouble last year sometimes rating him, but even when he was like that, he still was hard to beat. "Jimmy worked with him, especially training down (this year) and made sure he came from behind all the time, and now he's just turned into a professional where I can do whatever I want with him." Nuncio also won the 2013 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters. "He gets around any sized track," Campbell said. "When he's come down here, he gets around it fine. He's a horse that races good up near the front, and that works well here too." Nuncio $186,550 3-year-old colt pace Big Boy Dreams made a three-wide move around the final turn and took advantage of fast early fractions to win the $186,550 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers by 2-1/2 lengths over Capital Account in 1:50.3. McWicked finished third. Sent off at odds of 24-1, Big Boy Dreams' win coupled with 99-1 Capital Account's second-place finish triggered a $2 exacta payout of $2,188.40 and trifecta of $9,114.80. Lyonssomewhere, Luck Be Withyou, and All Bets Off mixed it up in the early going, resulting in the leaders reaching the opening quarter-mile in :25.3, half in :52.4 and three-quarters in 1:21.2. Big Boy Dreams and driver Ron Pierce followed Jet Airway, who finished fourth, three wide up the backstretch as he began his charge from seventh place to the front. In the Monument Circle on Oct. 31 at Hoosier Park, Big Boy Dreams was on the lead in a first quarter of :26 on a "good" track and eventually finished eighth. "Last week, the weather was horrible, kind of like it is now, and the front end got tortured and he was part of it," winning trainer Ron Burke said. "This week, he went back and one of my other horses (All Bets Off) got tortured and this horse swept them from the back and raced super." Big Boy Dreams has won five of 12 races this year and earned $261,770. The son of If I Can Dream-Stefani Blue Chip is owned by Dominick Rosato. Big Boy Dreams $160,950 3-year-old filly trot Jimmy Takter-trained Shake It Cerry went to the lead in the opening quarter-mile and cruised to a 2-1/4 length win in the $160,950 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters. The time of 1:52.4 over a surface rated as "good" was a stakes and track record. Lifetime Pursuit, also trained by Takter, finished second and Cee Bee Yes was third. "She's very special, extremely special," driver Ron Pierce said about Shake It Cerry, who was the 2-5 favorite. "She's got the heart, she has the speed, the gait -- she has everything it takes." Shake It Cerry has won 14 of 16 races this season, including eight in a row since finishing fourth in the Hambletonian Oaks, and earned $980,411. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners. Shake It Cerry $179,200 3-year-old filly pace Weeper took the early lead, yielded to 1-5 favorite Act Now prior to the half, and then burst through the passing lane to register a 1-1/4 length victory over Uffizi Hanover in 1:51 in the $179,200 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. Major Dancer finished third. Ron Pierce drove Weeper, who was 9-2, for trainer Kelly O'Donnell and ended the night with three Matron wins. "He did the right thing," O'Donnell said about Pierce. "She stepped out of there in :25.4 and got around the (early traffic) and then she was just running that other filly over around the last turn." Weeper, a daughter of Allamerican Native-Pleasant Yet Bad, has won eight of 15 races this year and earned $424,561. She is owned by Bay Pond Racing Stable. Weeper  by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Despite pouring rain that delayed the start of the first race by a half hour, Habitat and Wild Honey did not mind the “off-track” as they both cruised to half-length victories in winning their respective divisions of the Matron Stakes Thursday afternoon at Dover Downs. Both were strong wins in the daily double for driver Yannick Gingras. Wild Honey started off the show in capturing her $203,600 Matron Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. The track was labeled good despite constant rain. Bright Baby Blues (David Miller) was the first to show but by the opening quarter mile in :27.4, driver Yannick Gringas had Wild Honey, the 1/5 favorite, on the move and took over the lead. From that point on the field raced Indian-style past the half mile in :57.4 before the action began to pick up. Corey Callahan was sitting third with Smexi and then came first-over with Gold Gora (Tim Tetrick) following the live cover in the backstretch and past the three-quarters in 1:26.3. Then coming down the stretch Gingras held the field at bay with Wild Honey. Bright Baby Blues came up the passing lane to try and mount a challenge but it was too little too late as Wild Honey won in 1:55.2. “She’s just a fantastic filly,” said trainer Jimmy Takter in the winner’s circle, “Despite the conditions she was just on cruise control.” It was the eighth straight win and ninth of the year in only ten starts for Wild Honey. The freshman daughter of Cantab Hall is co-owned by Christina Takter, John Fieldings, Herb Liverman and Jim Fieldings. She paid just $2.20 to win. Wild Honey The $237,500 Matron Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts saw Habitat and Gringras go to the early lead over Uncle Lasse (Ron Pierce) with the first quarter mile in :28. Then it was Cruzado Dela Noche and driver David Miller quarter moving to the front before the half mile marker in :56.1. As they hit the backstretch Pierce came back first-over with Uncle Lasse and trying to follow their outside cover was Billy Flynn (Brett Miller) but to no avail as they could not close the gap. Past the three-quarters in 1:25 saw Uncle Lasse in contention but then he began to tire and at the top of the stretch, Gingras left the pocket with Habitat to come after Cruzado Dela Noche and all the while, sitting in fourth place along the race was David Miller with Muscle Diamond and they shot up the passing lane. But it was not enough as Habitat was the strong horse, winning by a half length in 1:54.2 with Muscle Diamond nosing out Cruzado Dela Noche for second place. “He (Habitat) is a very consistent horse,” said trainer Ron Burke, “and he can do it all. I was glad to see Yannick give him a trip today. I think he will be in great shape for the upcoming Breeders Crown.” Sired by Conway Hall, it was the seventh win this year for Habitat. He is owned by the Hauser Brothers Racing, and J & T Silva Stables and paid $6.20 to win. Habitat By Steve Wolf, for

So far in his brief racing career, trotter Muscle Diamond's strength has been his attitude. It's a trait he might have inherited from his mom, former star Windylane Hanover. "He's a lot like his mom," trainer Brett Bittle said. "His mom wasn't a big horse. Her biggest asset was her determination, and he's kind of the same way. He's always charging at the wire and giving us what he's got. His attitude and his determination are his biggest assets." Bittle trained Windylane Hanover throughout her career, which concluded in 2005 with 21 wins in 60 starts and $1.15 million in purses. She won the 2002 Hambletonian Oaks and received the 2003 Dan Patch Award for best older female trotter. "She was great to us and to come back and get one of her colts and do well with him is pretty special," Bittle said. Muscle Diamond has won two of seven races this year and finished worse than second only twice. He has earned $111,369 for owners Bittle, Charles Keller III, Charles Keller IV, and Dan Bittle. On Thursday, Muscle Diamond competes in the $237,500 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters at Dover Downs. The race is one of eight Matron Stakes for trotters and pacers on the card. Post time is 4:30 p.m. for the first race. Muscle Diamond will start from post two with driver John Campbell and is 9-1 on the morning line. Wellwood Memorial winner Habitat, trained by Ron Burke, is the 5-2 favorite in a field that also includes stakes-winners Uncle Lasse and Billy Flynn. "He's been fun so far this year," Bittle said about Muscle Diamond, a son of stallion Muscle Hill who was purchased for $40,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale. "I just raced him sparingly early on because he's very immature. He was kind of a waiting game all winter. He just wasn't a big, strong muscular colt. He just needed time, like a lot of them do. "The way we managed him for this year is mostly for next year. We decided to go easy with him early in the year and he's come around." Muscle Diamond's seven starts are the fewest of any horse in the Matron. His best win time of 1:53.4, set in winning a division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile in October, is tied for fifth fastest by any 2-year-old trotter this season. After going off stride in his debut at the Meadowlands in July, Muscle Diamond has finished among the top three in every start. "I think he darted away from something on the inside of the track," Bittle said. "At any rate, we talked about it and decided to put trotting hobbles on him. It just steadied him up and gave him some confidence." Muscle Diamond owns a win over New York Sire Stakes champion Crazy Wow and has finished second to Habitat and Billy Flynn in stakes events. Bittle plans to send Muscle Diamond to the Breeders Crown, but first comes the Matron. "It's not going to be his game there because it's a speed-oriented track," Bittle said about Thursday's race. "We haven't been leaving with him and he's a come-from-behind horse. We'll see how the race plays out." Father Patrick and Nuncio, who race out of the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter and have both earned more than $1 million this season, headline the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. Takter's multiple-stakes-winners Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit also lead the way in the Matron for 3-year-old female trotters. Stakes champions Luck Be Withyou, All Bets Off, McWicked, and Lyonssomewhere are among the eight horses in the Matron for 3-year-old male pacers. Act Now, Weeper, and Gettingreadytoroll lead the morning line choices in the Matron for 3-year-old female pacers. Yankee Bounty, who has lost only once in nine races for Delaware-based co-owner Frank Chick and trainer Ron Burke, and Kelvin Harrison's In The Arsenal headline the Matron for 2-year-old male pacers. Takter's once-beaten world champion Wild Honey leads the Matron for 2-year-old female trotters. Joe Holloway's Bettor Be Steppin and Burke's Sassa Hanover are among the stars in the Matron for 2-year-old female pacers. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 6) for eight Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Here is the schedule of races in the order in which they will be contested: Race 1-$203,800 2-year-old filly trot; Race 2-$237,500 2-year-old colt trot; Race 6-$199,600 2-year-old filly pace; Race 7-$193,200 2-year-old colt pace; Race 8-$160,950 3-year-old filly trot; Race 10-$200,350 3-year-old colt trot; Race 11-$186,550 3-year-old colt pace; Race 12-$179,200 3-year-old filly pace. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Hoosier Park and Vernon Downs shared the Grand Circuit spotlight last weekend as each track had several stakes on their respective cards. There were surprises at Hoosier Park on Oct. 31, in addition to the blowing snow that was part of the scene. Father Patrick couldn't get past E L Titan in the $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot and Always B Miki made a power move into the wind down the backstretch and still pulled away to a 2-1/2 length victory in the $275,000 Monument Circle. E L Titan and Ron Pierce pulled one of the biggest upsets of the evening in the Carl Erskine Trot as the duo were able to hold off the heavily favored Father Patrick late in the lane to score in 1:57.2. At the wire, the margin of victory was three-quarters of a length and E L Titan was able to survive a judge's inquiry to score his third win of the season. For E L Titan, it was his sixth lifetime victory from 12 career outings. The son of Muscle Hill-Courtney Hall increased his seasonal earnings to $363,212 for trainer Riina Rekila and owner Erkki Laakkonen. Always B Miki and David Miller brushed to the lead at the half in the $275,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers and were never caught in a 1:52 mile. Always B Miki was a 2-1/2 length winner over Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) with Somewhere In LA (Brett Miller) third. The son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper is owned by Bluewood Stable, Val D'Or Farms and Roll The Dice Stable and is trained by Joe Holloway. The victory was the 11th in 18 season's starts for Always B Miki and lifted his season's earnings to $778,982. On Nov. 1 at Vernon Downs, driver Yannick Gingras took home gold in three of the four stakes races on the 11-race closing night program. His stakes hat trick began in the $178,000 Artiscape distaff pace, where he kept double millionaire Rocklamation ($7.30) off a strenuous early pace. Second-over on the far turn behind Shelliscape (John Campbell), Gingras moved the 6-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare three-wide at head-stretch, drawing clear of the pacesetting Somwherovrarainbow (David Miller) en route to a three length, 1:50.2 win. Triple millionaire Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick) faded to fourth after tracking from the pocket through the race's middle stages. Ron Burke trains Rocklamation for the Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45 and the J&T Silva Stables. Gingras came right back in the $240,500 Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-old trotting colts, holding sway with French Laundry ($5.90) after a middle move to the fore. Clearing the front just past a :57.1 half-mile, the son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi held off a first-over challenge from Airman Batten (Lewayne Miller), subsequently keeping pocket rival Boots N Chains (Corey Callahan) at bay for a 1-3/4 length triumph in 1:54.4. Jimmy Takter trains French Laundry for the partnership of Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Gingras won his third stakes of the night in the $178,000 Muscle Hill distaff trot, retaining his usual drive aboard Maven ($5.10) in her pari-mutuel debut for trainer Ron Burke, and turning in a sensational track-record effort. The 5-year-old Glidemaster mare took the lead from the sharply-clearing Bee A Magician (Brian Sears) after a :26.3 initial quarter, controlling the terms through a :57.4 middle half while keeping the first-over Classic Martine (Tim Tetrick) at bay through the stretch. Maven would not be denied in the extended battle, defeating Classic Martine by a half-length in 1:52, a track record for older trotting mares. William Donovan owns the internationally-acclaimed Maven. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eli Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 2,030; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,087; 3. David Miller - 944.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 695.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 628. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 2,217.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,679; 3. Erv Miller - 446.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 379; 5. Tony Alagna - 332. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 494; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 444; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 317; 4. Brittany Farms - 274.45; 5. Robert Key - 272. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Meadowlands Racetrack with Breeders Crown eliminations scheduled in all 12 categories (2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and older horse and mare pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

With the stakes season waning, each remaining race takes on greater importance for end of the year Dan Patch award honors. One race that voters will watch carefully is the $200,350 Matron Stake for 3-year-old male trotters this Thursday evening (Nov. 6) at Dover Downs. The race, set to go as race 10 at about 7:30 p.m., features on the far inside at post one, Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras), and the far outside in post eight, Nuncio (John Campbell). Nuncio comes into the race with four straight stakes wins, including two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity and the Yonkers Trot. His stablemate Father Patrick has a pair of wins in the American-National and Bluegrass Stakes and two second place finishes in his four most recent starts. The two share the air at their home in East Windsor, N.J. and a trainer in Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, but they'll be looking to separate themselves from each other in end of the year balloting. Here is a look at the numbers behind the 2014 season, with each horse putting in 15 starts. Data Point Nuncio 15-10-5-0 $1,297,896, 1:50.4m Father Patrick 15-11-3-0 $1,443,081, 1:50.2f Average margin of victory                   2.4 lengths                   3.82 lengths Fastest last quarter                   :27 – three times                   :27 – two times Races won for over $100,000                   2                   6 Average earnings per start                $86,526.40              $96,205.40 Race timed at 1:52 or better                   6                      4 Winning favorite                 88%                    73% Wins from post 8 or higher                 0 for 1                    3 for 4 Head-to-head                 33% - 2 for 6                    66% - 4 for 6 by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

DOVER, Del.--- Stakes races abound, all November long, when Dover Downs opens its 46th season of harness racing on Sunday, Nov. 2. During the opening week, and for the first time since the Matrons moved to Dover Downs in 1995, it will be a “Novemberfest” of racing, with all eight lucrative Matron Stakes Finals for two-and-three-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers on Nov. 6. The Progress Pace, the track’s signature event, and top purse attraction of the six-month long 2014-2015 meet which continues on April 9, 2015. Monday through Thursday, post time is 4:30 p.m. Sunday racing begins at 5:30. There is no racing on Fridays and Saturdays.   Following completion of Matron rich finals, the top three-year-old colts in training meet in the $350,000 (estimated) Progress Pace beginning with $35,000 eliminations on Nov. 30. The top eight finishers racing for an estimated $350,000 final on Dec. 7. A $25,000 consolation will be carded on the program. Not to be overlooked during November are eight Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) two-year-old $20,000 divisions raced over a two-week preliminary period culminating with $100,000 finals. Dover Downs Major Stakes Program 2014-2015 Progress Pace Date   Day         Event                                 Est. Purse 11/30 Sunday    3-Year-Old Pace Elim           $35,000 12/7   Sunday    3-Year-Old Pace Final          $300,000 12/7   Sunday    3-Year-Old Pace Consolation $25,000 Matron Stakes Date  Day          Event                               Est. Purse 11/6 Thursday   2-Year-Old Filly Pace Final   $175,000 11/6 Thursday   2-Year-Old Filly Trot   Final   $180,000 11/6 Thursday   2-Year-Old Colt Pace Final   $190,000 11/6 Thursday   2-Year-Old Colt Trot   Final   $205,000 11/6 Thursday   3-Year-Old Filly Pace Final   $170,000 11/6 Thursday   3-Year-Old Filly Trot   Final   $190,000 11/6 Thursday   3-Year-Old Colt Pace Final   $200,000 11/6 Thursday   3-Year-Old Colt Trot   Final   $180,000 2014 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Date  Day          Event                                     Purse 11/10 Monday   2-Year-Old Filly Trot Elim 1     $20,000 11/11 Tuesday  2-Year-Old Colt Trot Elim 1     $20,000 11/17 Monday   2-Year-Old Filly Trot Elim 2     $20,000 11/18 Tuesday  2-Year-Old Colt Trot Elim 2     $20,000 11/23 Sunday   2-Year-Old Colt Pace Elim 1    $20,000 11/24 Monday  2-Year-Old Filly Trot Final      $100,000 11/24 Monday  2-Year-Old Filly Pace Elim 1    $20,000 11/25 Tuesday  2-Year-Old Colt Trot Final     $100,000 11/30 Sunday    2-Year-Old Colt Pace Elim 2   $20,000 12/1  Monday    2-Year-Old Filly Pace Elim 2   $20,000 12/7  Sunday    2-Year-Old Colt Pace Final    $100,000 12/8  Monday   2-Year-Old Filly Pace Final     $100,000 2015 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund 3YOT&P– To Be Announced Parking and admission to Dover Downs harness racing is free. Reservations are suggested for those choosing to dine in the popular Winner's Circle Restaurant,. Call 302-674-4600. In addition to fine cuisine in the Winner's Circle Restaurant, a variety of restaurants and food and drink stations are available including The Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. For those racing a horse at the track and looking for first-class overnight accommodations, the 4-star 500-room Dover Downs Hotel, is located adjacent to the racetrack. It is suggested to make reservations early. Year around, Dover Downs’ Race and Sports Book presents leading thoroughbred and harness tracks via simulcasting from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily. Currently, three-game NFL parlay wagering is available. For more information, call 302-674-4600. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs  

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