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YONKERS, N.Y. – A few hours before the start of the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, trainer Jeff Gillis found himself stuck in traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike. Sleet, snow, and freezing rain made the typical 3 ½-hour drive to Dover Downs a 5 ½-hour ordeal and Gillis was in a race against the clock to get The Downtown Bus to the track in time to avoid scratching out of the $193,750 stakes. “The turnpike was a disaster,” Gillis said. “I wasn’t even sure I was going to make Lasix. Anything after that was a bonus.” Gillis and The Downtown Bus arrived at the track with just 30 minutes remaining in his window to receive the race day medication. Three hours later, Gillis stared up at a television screen in the paddock as his 19-1 longshot charged into a blistering pace and ended up on the far outside in a three-way photo finish with This Is The Plan along the pylons and Jimmy Freight between horses.  “The announcer called the two on the inside, (This Is The Plan) and Jimmy Freight, so I said to someone under the TV, ‘is there an inside bias here,’ because to the naked eye, I thought he might have gotten up,” Gillis said. “And then, when the announcer called it that way, I thought we were third.” The Downtown Bus did get up in time, but so did This Is The Plan. The pair tied for a dead heat victory in 1:49.1 over the sloppy track, a lifetime mark for both horses. The victory improved The Downtown Bus’s record to 11-for-25 with $287,837 earned. Gillis bred The Downtown Bus with longtime owner Ellen Ott and was overjoyed to see the Mach Three gelding win his first start outside Canada. “I was ecstatic,” he said. “We go back a couple generations with this horse and it was a big thrill.” The Downtown Bus is out of Slimsplace, a mare who has special meaning to Gillis. She is named after his father, Raymond “Slim” Gillis, who was killed in a car accident in June 2007. The mare by Artsplace out of the Jennas Beach Boy mare She’s Beachy earned $139,019 on the track for Gillis and became a part of the family. “I don’t desire to be in the breeding industry, but there’s some sentimental value. She was born six weeks before my dad was tragically killed in a car accident,” Gillis explained. “I always liked her, I liked the family, she’s quality, so it made it easier as well.” The Downtown Bus is Slimsplace’s second foal to race and the first to win a stakes race. The gelding is similar to his dam in temperament and complexion. “She was kind of relaxed. He’s got kind of a hair-trigger almost. To jog him, you have to take a whip or pack a lunch, one or the other because he mopes along as slow as can possibly be,’ Gillis explained. “He wears earplugs in a race because once you stir him up, he’s gone. He’s a little bit funny like that. Build-wise, they’re a little bit similar. They’re not very tall, but they have a lot of substance to them, they’re thick and muscular.” Gillis kept The Downtown Bus in Canada at 2 and 3, racing in Ontario Sire Stakes. He was winless in seven starts last year after suffering a series of minor setbacks, but put everything together this season. After finishing third in the Ontario Sire Stakes Final in October, Gillis tried his luck abroad. “I would have to be absolutely, supremely over-the-moon, in love with a horse that’s Ontario bred to pay him into stakes in the United States prior to the Super Final in Canada,” the trainer said. “You almost have to bypass a goal and I don’t particularly see the value in it, so I didn’t stake him that way.” After his successful stateside debut in the Matron, The Downtown Bus will test the waters on the half-mile track at Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (November 24) in the $35,000 3- and 4-Year-Old Open Handicap Pace. He drew post seven and with Tyler Buter in the sulky, is the 3-1 morning line favorite. The start worked out as Gillis is in the area to start Yonkers International Trot participant Will Take Charge in the TVG FFA Trot at the Meadowlands. “He’s not an overly big horse, he should get over a half pretty good and I do plan on racing him there in the future. This is intended to be his final start of the year,” Gillis said. “I thought it was worthwhile to see how he liked the track and whether there was something there for him in the future, just to see how he gets over it and have a bit more info before I put him away for the year.” The Downtown Bus’s rivals include Mac’s Jackpot, a winner of two straight including a wire-to-wire score in this class last time out. He is the 7-2 second choice from post eight. Air Strike finished second to Mac’s Jackpot two weeks ago and is 5-1 from post five for Brent Holland and Erv Miller. Machiavelli, The Wall, Pretty Boy Swag, Maroma Beach, and Avatar J complete the field. “I don’t really know a lot of those horses very well. The seven-hole on a half is never ideal, but he is the morning line favorite,” Gillis reasoned. “He looks like he should be competitive in there, we’ll see how it turns out. He’s pretty versatile. Tyler can leave with him or take back. If we take back, obviously we’re at the mercy of the pace, so we’ll see. “I am curious to see how he gets over the track,” Gillis continued. “It’s maybe something that we’ll look to down the road, maybe he’ll be a Levy-type horse. Who knows?” Saturday’s 12-race card also features a $44,000 Open Handicap Pace and a $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Dover, DE — A pair of long shots in This Is The Plan and The Downtown Bus stole the show in the $193,750 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 15) at Dover Downs, tag-teaming in deep stretch to nose out Jimmy Freight in a 1:49.1 dead heat. While Jimmy Freight and local favorite Lather Up tasted defeat in their Matron split, divisional standouts Six Pack and Youaremycandygirl refused to disappoint in their respective events. $210,150 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot (race four) In a meeting of the millionaires, dual classic winner Six Pack ($3.00) made easy work of the first-over Met’s Hall en route to a 1:54.1 score over sloppy going in his Matron Stakes division. Trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt sent the son of Muscle Mass to the front immediately from post five, and the pair floated clear of Fashionwoodchopper (Yannick Gingras) midway on the first turn before rating early splits of :28.1 and :57.3. Up the backstretch, Met’s Hall (Andy Miller) sustained a first-over ascent out of third to within half a length of the lead, but Six Pack shrugged off his rival under minimal hand urging through the final turn. With Met’s Hall no longer a threat past three-quarters in 1:26, Six Pack accelerated away from Fashionwoodchopper to take his 15th career win by four lengths. Mississippi Storm (Andy McCarthy) saved ground after gapping cover to just collar the weakening Met’s Hall for third. Svanstedt co-owns Six Pack with Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. $183,900 3-Year-Old Filly Trot (race six) Indiana standout Custom Cantab ($17.80) had something left in the stretch after winning a cutthroat first-quarter duel, as she was able to turn aside Plunge Blue Chip not once, but twice en route to a 1:53.1 Matron score. David Miller put the Mr Cantab filly in play from the outset, but the pair faced immediate resistance from Supergirl Riley (Tony Morgan) on approach to the first turn. After pressing in the two-path through a :26.4 first quarter, Custom Cantab accelerated to the fore with a circuit to go, but shortly thereafter faced pressure from the emerging Plunge Blue Chip (Åke Svanstedt) nearing a :55.2 half. Custom Cantab asserted up the backstretch, but had to dig in again a quarter from home to fend off the resurgent Plunge Blue Chip a second time on the final turn. Not only did she have enough to parry her outside rival, but she also kept a second push from Supergirl Riley — who emerged up the open stretch in the final sixteenth — a head short. Plunge Blue Chip’s third-place finish, 1-3/4 lengths behind, was enough to push her past the million-dollar mark in career earnings, while Breeders Crown winner Lily Stride (Tim Tetrick) failed to threaten from second-over and finished last. Trainer Chris Beaver co-owns 15-time winner Custom Cantab with Donald Robinson and RBH Ventures Inc. $159,350 3-Year-Old Filly Pace (race 10) Youaremycandygirl ($2.40) strode strongly to the front and never looked back, avenging Breeders Crown defeat to stablemate Percy Bluechip with a 1:51.3 win in their Matron event. Entering off a resounding 9-3/4 length win in the $113,000 USS Indy at Hoosier Park, Youaremycandygirl and driver Yannick Gingras out-sprinted Percy Bluechip (Matt Kakaley) and Solitary (Andy Miller) through a :27.2 first quarter before pulling the pace back. With a circuit to go, Dance Blue (Andy McCarthy) commenced a first-over bid from fifth and advanced steadily as the pace slackened through a :56.2 half. Up the backstretch, Youaremycandygirl’s lead was cut to a length and a quarter by Dance Blue, but was never in jeopardy. The daughter of American Ideal coasted through a :27.1 third quarter to evade Dance Blue and kept the pocket-sitting Percy Bluechip 1-1/4 lengths at bay in 1:51.3. Alexa’s Power (Tim Tetrick) chased evenly for third after being hemmed in until the top of the stretch. Ron Burke trains 18-time winner Youaremycandygirl for William Donovan. $193,750 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace (race 12) After Ontario standout Jimmy Freight was tasked with the heavy lifting through strenuous fractions and sternly dismissed the challenge of 4-5 local favorite Lather Up, This Is The Plan ($17.00, Tim Tetrick) and The Downtown Bus ($20.60, Corey Callahan) emerged in the final stride to simultaneously nose out Jimmy Freight in a dead heat in the glamour boys’ division of the Matron. Jimmy Freight and driver Scott Zeron let This Is The Plan clear before taking charge midway on the first turn and reeling off a :25.3 initial quarter. A determined advance from Lather Up (Montrell Teague) out of fourth with a circuit to go kept the pace hot through a :54.4 half, but Jimmy Freight remained undeterred with three-eighths to go and shrugged off that rival. Meanwhile, This Is The Plan remained close from the pocket and The Downtown Bus followed the three-wide cover of Breeders Crown winner Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) past three-quarters in 1:22.1. Turning for home, Dorsoduro Hanover stalled and Jimmy Freight was driven out to maintain a two-length lead, but it began to shrink in the final sixteenth. This Is The Plan lunged up the open stretch and The Downtown Bus surged widest of all, and they both reached the winning post simultaneously in 1:49.1, a nose better than Jimmy Freight. Ron Burke trains This Is The Plan, a six-time winner by Somebeachsomewhere, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Silva Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. Trainer Jeff Gillis co-owns 11-time winner The Downtown Bus with Ellen Ott. From the USTA Commincations Department

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, DE. and Fall Four eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 15) for four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 3-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $193,750, the 3-year-old colt trotters will race for $210,150, the purse for the 3-year-old filly pace is $159,350 and the 3-year-old filly trotters will race for $183,900. On Saturday night (Nov. 17) Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations in each of the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters. There will be two $20,000 eliminations in the Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers. Eliminations were not required in the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters and the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras teamed up for a Grand Circuit double in Thursday evening's (Nov. 8) Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds at Dover Downs, combining with Super Schissel and Blood Money in their respective divisions. Super Schissel made his move from the pocket with five-sixteenths to go en route to an easy 1:56 win in the $158,000 Matron 2-year-old colt and gelding trot, contested as a non-wagering event before the main program. After yielding early control to Lindy's Crazy Hall (David Miller) on approach to the first turn, Yannick Gingras kept Super Schissel close from the pocket through early splits of :28.2 and :58.1. Midway up the backstretch, the son of Uncle Peter and Bavarde angled out and strode to the lead immediately, putting a quarter-length on Lindy's Crazy Hall by three-quarters in 1:27.2 before drawing off handily. Holiday Hangover (Tim Tetrick) rallied belatedly from last to take second, 3-1/2 lengths back, while Union Forces (Scott Zeron) took third over the fading Lindy's Crazy Hall. Super Schissel is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Al Libfeld and Perry Soderberg. Blood Money ($8.00) sustained an uncovered bid out of midfield through the final half-mile of the $213,000 Matron 2-year-old colt and gelding pace and held off a late charge from Sugar Factory to narrowly prevail in 1:51.1. Gingras, wearing the colors of Diamond Creek Racing, floated Blood Money up the pegs to protect a close stalking spot behind dueling leaders Love Me Some Lou (Corey Callahan) and Mangogh (Brett Miller) through a sharp :26.3 quarter, but the pair were relegated to fourth when No Mas Amor (Tim Tetrick) pushed clear with nine-sixteenths to go after losing cover. At the :54.3 half-mile juncture, Gingras angled the Sweet Lou-Blood Diamond colt off the pegs, and he responded immediately to accelerate, press the pace, and take the lead under urging past three-quarters in 1:22.4. No Mas Amor gave way on the far turn, but Sugar Factory (David Miller) loomed off live cover to pose a late threat. Blood Money was driven out off the home turn and all the way to the winning post to keep the lunging Sugar Factory a head at bay. Reigning Deo rallied from last down the grandstand side to take third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,462.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,450; 3. David Miller - 1,182.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 709; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 653.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,344.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,168; 3. Tony Alagna - 721.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Jim Campbell - 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Diamond Creek Racing - 294.6; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 283.5; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 262; 5. Robert Key - 234. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands with the finals for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds -- the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid -- along with the TVG finals for older trotters and pacers of both sexes. In addition, Dover Downs will host eliminations for the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for The Grand Circuit  

Custom Cantab brings a career-long streak of 28 on-the-board finishes to Thursday's $183,900 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters at Dover Downs, which will be the filly's first start at a harness racing track other than Hoosier Park. Custom Cantab, who is 6-1 on the morning line, heads to the event off a win in the Crossroads of America on Nov. 2. The triumph was her 12th in 16 races this season. Trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver, Custom Cantab has 14 wins, 10 seconds and four thirds in her career and earnings of $643,936. In addition to the Crossroads, her victories this year include a division of the Pegasus Stakes and the Indiana Sire Stakes championship. She finished second to Manchego in the Moni Maker Stakes and has not finished worse than second in 13 races since surgery to correct an entrapped epiglottis. Custom Cantab will start the Matron from post six with regular driver Peter Wrenn. Breeders Crown champion Lily Stride is the 2-1 morning-line favorite from post three, with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Mark Harder. Plunge Blue Chip is the 5-2 second choice from post one with trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "We were up in the air whether to start her again, but everything checked out on her and I'd been anxious to see how she would race against a top field to get some perspective," Beaver said. "We plan on racing her next year. She's probably not as valuable as a broodmare as some of those fillies are, but she's a really nice racehorse. "I think she will be staked to some of the mare races and maybe some of the 4-year-old races. I wouldn't be staking to everything. I'd like to space out her starts. Maybe she won't be good enough, but the way she acts, she's never let a horse get away from her. She's always been competitive." Dover Downs host the four Matrons for 3-year-old trotters and pacers Thursday. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST). Six Pack is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the $210,150 colt and gelding trot, followed by Met's Hall at 8-5. Dorsoduro Hanover is the 2-1 choice in the $193,750 colt and gelding pace, which also includes Jimmy Freight (5-2) and Lather Up (7-2). Youaremycandygirl is the 5-2 favorite in the $159,350 filly pace, where she will see familiar rivals Alexa's Power (7-2) and Percy Bluechip (9-2). Custom Cantab is a daughter of Mr Cantab out of Custom Model. Beaver bought Custom Model's first foal, the Chocolatier-sired My Ghost Bi, for $3,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale and the gelding made $75,852 lifetime. Beaver bought Custom Cantab, the mare's third foal, for $6,000 at the 2016 Hoosier Sale. "I knew the family and thought she was something nicer than what the mare had thrown before," Beaver said. "I kind of studied crosses and I thought the mare would cross with Mr Cantab, but I can't say I had any idea she would turn out as good as this. I was just hoping to get a horse that was competitive in the sire stakes." Beaver, who owns Custom Cantab with Donald Robinson and R.B.H. Ventures, is not concerned about the filly going on the road for the first time and racing on a five-eighths-mile oval compared to Hoosier Park's seven-eighths track. "She trains on a little farm track, so she should be all right," Beaver said. "I think she would be good on any size track because even if she was struggling in the turns she would let you help her. She knows what she's supposed to be doing. "She's smart. She can leave all you want and let a horse go, settle in a hole, and follow without using any more energy than necessary. She's been racing on the front a lot lately because she's been the favorite, but she is great off a helmet. She knows how to take care of herself and put herself in position to stay close. She is an extremely professional horse." For Thursday's complete Dover Downs entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 8) for four Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $213,000, the 2-year-old colt trotters will race for $158,000, the purse for the 2-year-old filly pace is $179,100 and the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $177,800. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Some of the sport’s brightest stars descended upon Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Friday (Nov. 2) and as predicted, the stakes filled card delivered some outstanding harness racing battles. Met’s Hall captured the $256,000 Carl Erskine Trot and sent his seasonal earnings over the million dollar mark with the win. Dean Gillette photo. After finishing second in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt trot, Met’s Hall was out for redemption and delivered on his promise in the $256,000 Carl Erksine Trot for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Overcoming a poor position, Met’s Hall turned in a dominant performance to deliver as the even money favorite in 1:53.2 with Andy Miller in the bike. With the win, Met’s Hall sent his seasonal earnings over the $1 million mark. Miller sent Met’s Hall away from the gate firing from post nine but he would have to work for position as Yannick Gingras also sent You Know You Do away from the gate aggressively. Met’s Hall grabbed command just before the quarter in :27.2 and looked relaxed on the front while clicking off fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1. Maxus and Peter Wrenn were the first to apply pressure first-over but would have their work cut out for them as Met’s Hall looked strong on the front. As the field turned for home, Miller asked his mount for more and Met’s Hall dug in gamely to hold off Helpisontheway and Tim Tetrick to get the win by nearly two lengths. Hockey Hanover and Matt Kakaley found late racing room to round out the trifecta. Met’s Hall returned $4.00 at the betting windows. “He can leave the gate as quick as any,” Miller noted after the victory. “I wasn’t sure if we would get to the front but when he did, I figured he would be good. He’s just an amazing animal who loves his work; he works through his issues and shows up every week.” Trained by Julie Miller, the 3-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Met’s Inn recorded his fifth win of the season from 14 starts. Owned by Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable, Met’s Hall has now won 10 of 24 starts while amassing $1,278,494 in lifetime purse earnings. The stakes action kicked-off for the evening with the $137,000 Crossroads of America Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies and it was Custom Cantab and Peter Wrenn who went gate-to-wire to score in 1:54.1. Custom Cantab left alertly from post five and held strong to the wire to hold off a hard-charging Seviyorum and Andy Miller. Looking For Zelda and Matt Kakaley utilized a ground saving trip to get up for third place honors. As the heavy betting favorite, Custom Cantab returned $4.20 to her backers at the betting windows. Indiana’s champion 3-year-old trotting filly recorded her 12th win and has finished no worse than third in 16 starts this season. Owned by trainer Christopher Beaver, Donald Robinson, and R B H Ventures, the daughter of Mr Cantab-Custom Model has now won 14 of 28 lifetime starts and sports a lifetime bankroll of $643,936. Not to be outdone, Youaremycandygirl turned in an impressive performance of her own to dominate her rivals with a 9-3/4 length romp in the $113,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies. With regular pilot Yannick Gingras in the bike, Youaremycandygirl seized the early lead and steadily drew away from the field to stop the timer in 1:50.1. With the win, Youaremycandygirl recorded her eighth win from 16 seasonal outings. The millionaire daughter of American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane pushed her lifetime bankroll to $1,365,973 for trainer Ron Burke and owner W.J. Donovan. The stakes action concluded with the $190,000 Monument Circle Pace for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings and after a disqualification of the first-place finisher Lather Up and Montrell Teague, it was Always A Prince and Trace Tetrick who came out victorious. The time of the mile was 1:49.1. Indiana’s champion 3-year-old pacing colt recorded his seventh consecutive victory and 19th win from 22 lifetime starts. Owned by Carl and Melanie Atley and trained by Tyler George, Always A Prince was unraced as a 2-year-old but has amassed $492,875 in lifetime purse earnings. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 1,452.5; 2. Yannick Gingras – 1,400; 3. David Miller – 1,167.5; 4. Scott Zeron – 704; 5. Andrew McCarthy – 648.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,314.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,128; 3. Tony Alagna – 721.5; 4. Julie Miller – 481; 5. Jim Campbell – 437. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms – 325; 2. Burke Racing Stable – 278.5; 3. Diamond Creek Racing – 274.6; 4. Weaver Bruscemi – 262; 5. Crawford Farms Racing – 229.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs and The Meadowlands. Dover will host the four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds, while The Meadowlands will have eliminations for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds — the Governor’s Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Erv Miller thinks Artie's Ideal has his best harness racing days ahead of him. Miller hopes that includes Thursday when the colt visits Dover Downs for the $213,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. Artie's Ideal was a two-time winner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and finished third in the series championship before trying the Grand Circuit for the first time at Lexington's Red Mile. The colt was second to Workin Ona Mystery in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, pacing a :26.1 final quarter-mile, before a seventh-place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. After a three-week respite, Artie's Ideal qualified in 1:54.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia on Oct. 30 to prep for the Matron. He won the qualifier by 10-1/2 lengths. "He was a real green colt getting started and he's just been getting better all the way through," said Miller, who trains Artie's Ideal for owner Bay Pond Racing Stable. "He had a little setback the second week at Lexington, his blood was a little messed up, but as far as getting more mature he's gotten better every time we went to the gate. "He qualified really well at (Philly) and I look for him to put in a good effort." Artie's Ideal and driver Marcus Miller, Erv's son, will start the Matron from post four. He is 10-1 on the morning line. Metro Pace runner-up Semi Tough, with Matt Kakaley driving for trainer Ron Burke, is the 5-2 favorite. "He got the four hole, that's a good spot, and if things work out for him he should be right there," Miller said. Dover Downs host the four Matrons for 2-year-old trotters and pacers Thursday. Racing begins at 4:15 p.m. (EST) with a non-betting race, the Matron for colt and gelding trotters, followed by the regular card at 4:30 p.m. Breeders Crown runner-up When Dovescry is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the $177,800 filly trot and Breeders Crown finalist Queen Of The Pride is 5-2 in the $179,100 filly pace. Artie's Ideal is a son of American Ideal out of Midnight Art. The colt has earned $114,508 in nine starts and is Midnight Art's third six-figure-earner. The family also includes Grand Circuit winners Good News Lady and Ideal News. Miller said the colt was immature physically to begin the season, but has developed nicely. "I think he's going to be a nice colt," Miller said. "He's easy to drive, an easy trainer. He handles well. You can tell he's got a great attitude. He's so handy and he's a smart little horse. I really look forward to next year with him." Artie's Ideal is eligible to the Governor's Cup later this month at the Meadowlands, but the Matron could be his final start of the year. "We'll go off how he races," Miller said. For Thursday's complete pari-mutuel entries at Dover Downs, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

DOVER, Del. --- Downbytheseaside became a $2 million winner, Bill's Man closed strongly for harness racing driver Tim Tetrick's first of four wins, Agent Q got up for Hall of Famer David Miller and Dream Together -led off the four Matron Stakes championships on Thursday, Nov. 16 at Dover Downs. Tim Tetrick added to his current leading driver total scoring four winners. The passing lane was handy for driver Chris Page to catch front-pacing Filibuster in the final steps for a 1:50.1 victory on a chilly and windy night. Brian Brown trains the Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover colt owned by Joe Sbrocco, Rich Lombardo, Country Club Acres and Diamond Creek Racing. It was his 12th win of the year with two seconds and three thirds. Bringing his earnings to $1,430,922 this season and $2,008.028 lifetime. Filabuster Hanover (Yannick Gingras) was a game second with longshot Eddard Hanover (Tetrick) third. M&L of Delaware, the nom de course for Ralph, Roz and Doug Paul, longtime harness patrons who usually own pacers, now have a Matron trotting champion with their partner Bill Wiswell. Tim Tetrick guided Bill's Man to a come-from-off the pace 1:52.2 career fastest win. What The Hill (David Miller) and Devious Man (Andy Miller) traded leads before Bill's Mann closed with authority for his fifth win of the season. John Butenschoen conditions the Credit Winner-Silver Springs trotter who now has banked $453,396 of his more than half-million dollar lifetime earnings. Devious Man was a close second with Top Flight Angel (Daniel Dube) third. David Miller and Agent Q got home first in the $182,700 Matron sop filly final. The daughter of Western Terror-Teenage Paige scored her 10th triumph of 2017 with two seconds and two thirds for Martin Scharf, Bob Muscara and Rochetti Cassar Racing. Aaron Lambert trains the now winner of $1,137,620. Another $1-million winner Idyllic Beach (Gingras) was runner-up with Tequilas Monday (Brett Miller) third. Determination of Montreal's Dream Together handled by Daniel Dube, caught Evelyn (Andy Miller) at the wire to notch a 1:53.2 win at the wine for trainer Luc Blais. The Muscle Hill - Danae three-year-old won for the fourth time this year, the 13th time in 15 starts that she finished 1,2,3. Race favorite Ice Attraction (Ake Svanstedt) finished third. Mach It So, the oldest horse at seven in the /$30,000 Preferred Handicap, was a 1:50.3 winner. Jeff Bamond trains the Mach Three-Beach Dancer gelding for Bamond Stables. Sweet Rock (Vic Kirby) was second. Always At My Place (Gingras) took third. Ironically, Christen Me N was scratch and it was on his real birthday. Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms' Cajon Lighting was at his best to win the $26,000 Open pace in 1L51.1 with Yannick Gingras in the bike. Arque Hanover (Corey Callahan) was a head back in second with Q's Cruise (Tetrick) third. Dover Downs now features a 50-cent Pick 5 wager starting with the 2nd race through the sixth. A late daily double is carded for the 12th and 13th races. Dover Downs races four days a week, Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. Fine food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred races each day from 12 Noon until 12 LMAN, Marv Bachrad

DOVER,Del.---- Four rich Matron Stakes for three-year-olds headline a top 13-race harness racing program at Dover Downs on Thursday, Nov. 16. On the excellent undercard is a $30,000 Preferred pace, a $25,000 Open, a $19,000 and $16,000 Winner divisions along with a $35,000 and a $25,000 Claiming pace are on the strong card. First Post is 4:30 p.m. As in the past, often divisional titles are on the line with results affecting seasonal end of the year awards. The $210,000 Matron Colt Stake is led by $1.9-million winner Downbytheseaside driven by former Dover regular Chris Page. He has been the favorite in most of his races since late Summer. He missed by three-quarters , finishing second in the Breeders Crown racing for trainer Brian Brown and owners Rich Lombardo, Jay Sbrocco, Country Club Acres and Diamond Creek Racing. Little Brown Jug winner Yannick Gingras and Filibuster Hanover drew the rail for Burke Racing, Weaver Brucemi, J&T Silva Stables and Joe DiScala. New York Sire Stakes king Funknwaffles and Corey Callahan, second in the Jug, gets post 2. What The Hill, who was taken down after finishing first in the Hambletonian, swept the Breeders Crown title, but must overcome outside post 8 in the $201,900 Matron Colt championship. Hall of Famer David Miller will handle the reins for Burke Racing, Deo Volente Farms, J&T Silva and Our Hrs Cents stables. Devious Man and Andy Miller, who has been 1,2,3 in 14 of 16 starts winning almost $1-million this season races for Story Inc. and Andy Miller Stable.' M&L of Delaware and Bill Wiswell own Bill's Man with Tim Tetrick in the bike. In the $186,600 Matron Filly Trot, Ice Attraction, second in the Breeders Crown and a winner last week in the Crossroads at Hoosier Park, trained and driven by Ake Swanstedt who owns the wekk-bred trotter with Mal and Janet Burrows, Little E and Georgetown, Del.'s Don Sipple. Has won nearly $400,000 this year with six wins and 12 times in the money in 19 races. Determination of Montreal finished third in the Breeders Crown and is driven by Daniel Dube for trainer Luc Blais and drew post 1. Jimmy Takter starts That's All Moni with Yannick Gingras piloting for Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and Brittany Farms. Another Delaware-owned candidate is Fine Tuned Lady with Corey Callahan driving for M&L of Delaware and William Wiswell. Early season standout Idyllic Beach and Yannick Gingras drew the rail in the $182,700 Matron soph filly final. The $1.1-million lifetime winner is owned by Christine Takter, John Fielding, Marvin Katz and Brixton Medical Inc. Starting from the outside is Jugette winner and second-place in the Breeders Crown Caviart Ally owned by Caviart Farms. Another $1-million winner Agent Q gets David Miller in the bike. The highly rated Rich Pollucci-owned Christen Me N (Tetrick) and Mach It So (David Miller) lead the $30,000 Preferred pace while the Stafford's Blazing Bobby Sox (Art Safford Jr.), Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing's Sicily (Montrell Teague), Delaware-champion Bags To Riches (Andy Miller) racing for only Money Inc., and trainer Jason Skinner, and Cajon Lightning (Gingras) owned by Ken Wood Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms, head the $25,000 Open, Dover Downs now features a 50-cent Pick 5 wager starting with the second race through the sixth. A late daily double is carded for the 12th and 13th races. When watch live racing, enjoy fine dining in the Winners Circle Restaurant. Top North American harness and thoroughbred racing is featured at the Dover Downs Sports & Race Book open daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for general parking or admission. Marv Bachrad  

Downbytheseaside will try to continue a late-season surge when he faces seven foes in Thursday's $210,000 Matron Stakes for harness racing 3-year-old male pacers at Dover Downs. The colt, who is harness racing's richest horse of the year, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite despite starting from post seven. The race is one of four Matron Stakes for 3-year-old pacers and trotters Thursday at Dover Downs. Idyllic Beach is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the event for female pacers while Devious Man is the 3-1 choice in the Matron for male trotters and Ice Attraction gets the 3-1 nod for female trotters. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. EST. Downbytheseaside enters the Matron Stakes off a career-best 1:48.3 win Nov. 4 in the Monument Circle at Hoosier Park. His time was one-fifth of a second off Freaky Feet Pete's track record for 3-year-old male pacers. For the year, Downbytheseaside has won 11 of 19 races and earned $1.32 million for owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing. He faces on Thursday a field that includes Little Brown Jug champion and Monument Circle runner-up Filibuster Hanover, who is the 3-1 second choice from post one with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke. Burke also sends Rock N Tony, Eddard Hanover, and Miso Fast into the event. Chris Page will drive Downbytheseaside for trainer Brian Brown, leaving from post seven, which has produced only four winners in 111 races during the current meet at Dover Downs. "He seems as good now as he's been all year," Brown said. "He trained sharp (on Saturday) and checked out OK, so I think we're ready to go." Downbytheseaside, who has battled issues with his feet throughout the season, won his first four races this year, including the Art Rooney Pace, before a third-place finish in the North America Cup. He was second in the Meadowlands Pace and third in the Cane Pace before winning the Messenger Stakes as part of another four-race win streak. He then finished fifth in both his Little Brown Jug elimination and final and third in a division of the Tattersalls Pace. He won his elimination for the Breeders Crown and was second in the final before capturing the Monument Circle. "The horse has actually gotten better," Brown said. "He's put on some weight in the last month and his feet the last month are better. "He had some tough spots where things weren't going his way and we could have easily lost him, but he recovered. I think it speaks to his guts and his durability. I just wish he would have been this good a couple months ago." Brown also trains 3-year-old male pacer Fear The Dragon, who has won 12 of 16 races this season and is No. 2 in purses with $1.26 million for owner Emerald Highlands Farm. The colt was not eligible to the Matron, but his connections discussed supplementing the horse to the race. However, after battling health issues in recent weeks and qualifying on Nov. 9 in 1:53.4 at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway, the decision was made to sit out. "Dragon qualified decent, but he didn't qualify great," Brown said. "And for him to have to go against these horses, I think he has to be great. I don't want to cheapen the horse at all. We're still not a hundred percent sure he won't race again, but he's not racing this week." The Matron for 3-year-old male pacers is Race 10 on Thursday's 13-race card. Estimated post time for the race is 7:30 p.m. EST. There is no lack of talent in the remaining Matron Stakes. The field for the 3-year-old filly pace includes six of the division's seven richest horses: Caviart Ally, Agent Q, Idyllic Beach, Bettor's Up, Tequila Monday, and Obvious Blue Chip. Breeders Crown and Canadian Trotting Classic champion What The Hill, Yonkers Trot winner Top Flight Angel, and Kentucky Futurity winner Snowstorm Hanover are among the horses joining Devious Man in the Matron for male trotters. Ice Attraction, the Kentucky Filly Futurity winner, meets a group that includes stakes-winners Thats All Moni, Cool Cates, On A Sunny Day and Dream Together in the filly trot. For Thursday's complete entries, click here. Ken Weingartner

DOVER, Del.---- Springsteen is not only a big hit on Broadway but also in the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The harness racing colt won the $211,300 two-year-old colt pace joining the sensational Youaremycandygirl, Wolfgang and Plunge Blue Chip in the champions winners circle at Dover Downs on Thursday, Nov. 9. Teamed with driver Simon Allard, Springsteen shot past race favorite Shnitzledosomething just past the three-quarters and rolled on to a 1:51.1 victory in the male Matron. The win was only the second this year in 12 starts and a new lifetime mark. Rene Allard recently became trainer of the Rock N Roll Heaven-American Charm youngster who now has banked $178,351 this season. Singh, Weisenberg and Allard Racing own the winner. Closing Statement and Brian Sears was second in front of Shnitzledosomething (Peter Wrenn) third. Yannick Gingras made the winner's circle for the second time guiding Youaremycandy to an easy 1:52.2 score in the $174,700 Matron Filly Pace. W.J. Donavan owns the American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane bay trained by Ron Burke, who won for the sixth consecutive stakes victory, her eighth of the year in 10 races. She has now won $714,345 in purses. Strong Opinion (Dave Miller) was runner-up. Aims Whisper (Wrenn) took third. Outside post eight was no burden for Plunge Blue Chip in the $173,000 Matron Filly Trot. Ake Svanstedt, who owns the Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato lass with Blue Chip Bloodstock, hustled away from the starting gate and won for fun in 1:55.4 for her seventh win in eight races improving her earnings to $194,833. Perfect Summer (Andrew McCarthy) had a perfect 2-hole trip with SMS Princess (Tim Tetrick) third. Wolfgang played winning music for Yannick Gingras in a 1:55.3 decision in the $203,900 Matron Colt Trot. Jimmy Takter conditions the My MVP-Summer Savory freshman for owners Falk, Fair Island Farm, Brixton Medical and Hatfield Stables. The win was the third of the season in eight races. Wolfgang caught Samo Difference (Takter) in the last steps to bring his earnings to $204,820. I Know My Rights (Tyler Buter) was the show horse. More Matron action next Thursday, Nov. 16 when all four Matron Stakes for three-year-olds headline another big racing program. On a giant undercard, David Miller steered Bettor Memories, trained by Nifty Norman, home in 1:50.2 for owner Gus Dovi to win the $30,000 Preferred Pace. Soto (Art Stafford Jr.) and Sweet Rock (Sears) were second and third respectively. In the $25,000 Open pace, Sicily, driven by Montrell Teague, was a 1:50.3 winner for trainer Wayne Givens and owners Reggie Hazzard. Arque Hanover was next in front of Seventh Secret (Eddie Davis Jr.) During the night Tim Tetrick was presented a 10,000 win sign. Tim Tetrick, Allan Davis, Yannick Gingras, trainers Eric Foster and Jim King and owner JoAnn Looney King had two wins apiece. Dover Downs now offers a 50-Cent Pick-5 (races 2,3,4,5,6) and a late double to end the card on the 12th and 13th races. The track races Monday through Thursday with a 4:30 p.m. post time. Enjoy live racing and good food at the Dover Downs Winners Circle Restaurant Buffet, each race day. General parking and admission is free. Top harness and thoroughbred races are featured in the Racing and Sports Book daily for 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del.---- A boffo Thursday card is topped by four lucrative Matron Stakes at Dover Downs. On the strong harness racing undercard is a $30,000 Preferred pace, a $25,000 Open, two $19,000 Winner divisions along with a $35,000 and a $25,000 Claiming pace top on the Nov. 9 program. First Post is 4:30 p.m. The sport's biggest owner of racing horses, Philadelphia attorney Howard Taylor, spotted a freshman pacer in Indiana and induced partners Ed Gold, Abe Basen and Tom Lazzaro to buy Shnitzledosomethin and turned the juvenile over to trainer Dylan Dillion. Since then the pacer has been outstanding in-the-money in 11 of 12 races with veteran Peter Wrenn steering the young pacer all season. To enter the Matron, his owners have put up a $20,000 supplemental payment to race in the $211,300 colt and gelding pace. Shnitzledosomethin faces Closing Statement driven by Brian Sears, This Is The Plan with Andrew McCarthy and highly rated Nutcracker Sweet with Tim Tetrick in the 10th race. W.J. Donovan's streaking Youaremycandygirl and Yannick Gingras heads the field in the $174,700 Matron Filly Pace. The Ron Burke trained juvenile has been red hot recently winning five straight and seven of nine starts for $627,195 A pair of Ron Burke trainees, Majorsspeciallady with Matt Kakaley driving and Strong Opinon, from posts 6 and 8 respectively. Brian Sears drives an Ake Svanstedt trained Python Blue Chip, fresh from three straight win. The Matron Filly Trot boasts a $203,900 purse and is led by Mellby Gard's Sonofamillionaire with trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Wolfgang is driven by Yannick Gingras while Jimmy Takter handles Samo Different Day. Another Swanstedt stalwart Plunge Blue Chip who he owns with Blue Chip Bloodstock, drew outside post 8 but is the one to beat in the $173,000 frosh filly trot. Swing It Cathy driven by Jimmy Takter for his wife Christina and Solevig Racing Partners and Bob Key's Perfect Summer K are among the contenders. A hard-hitting seven horse field of fast pacers tangle in the $30,000 Preferred pace. Burke-trainee Always At My Place (Gingras), a newcomer from Yonkers, drew post 1 with Josh Green's Poisonous (Tetrick) alongside. Mildred Ventriglio's Kid PK (Tony Morgan), the Stafford's Blazing Bobby Sox (Art Safford Jr.), Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing's Sicily (Montrell Teague) and Cajon Lightning (Gingras) owed by Ken Wood Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms, head the $25,000 Open, Next Thursday, all four Matron three-year-old division, head the Nov. 16 program. Dover Downs now features a 50-cent Pick 5 wager starting with the second race through the sixth. A late daily double is carded for the 12th and 13th races. When watch live racing, enjoy fine dining in the Winners Circle Restaurant. Top North American harness and thoroughbred racing is featured at the Dover Downs Sports & Race Book open daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for general parking or admission. Marv Bachrad

Harness racing trainer Joe Holloway hopes this year does not provide the last word on Closing Statement's disposition. Closing Statement has won five of 12 races and earned $226,939 in purses this season despite being "a work in progress." In his most recent start, the colt finished third in the Breeders Crown. On Thursday, he faces seven foes in the $211,300 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers at Dover Downs. "The horse has got high, high speed, but he's a little difficult," Holloway said. "He's a good colt this year, but you also have to have manners. That's what we're working on. Hopefully next year he matures. He's going to need (better manners) next year." Closing Statement is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Ideal Newton. He was purchased under the name Ian Hanover for $125,000 at last year's Standardbred Horse Sale. He is a full brother to 3-year-old female pacer Inverse Hanover, who also was a Breeders Crown finalist, and his family also includes stakes-winner Newborn Sassy. The colt, owned by Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables and Ted Gewertz, is the 7-2 second choice on the Matron morning line. He will start from post seven with driver Brian Sears. Shnitzledosomethin, who was supplemented to the race for $20,000, is the 3-1 favorite. He will start from post five with Peter Wrenn driving for trainer Dylan Davis. Shnitzledosomethin finished second in the Breeders Crown and Indiana Sire Stakes championship. The race also features Nutcracker Sweet (4-1), This Is The Plan (5-1), and Karpathian Kid (6-1). This Is The Plan and Karpathian Kid were also Breeders Crown finalists. "The way the draw shook out, it's kind of tough," Holloway said. "But I don't know if I'd feel a whole lot better if I had (an inside post) because it's such a speed track and you're going to have to go. It's not like you're leaving and protecting the rail with that group of horses. It's a good race for being in November. "Hopefully we're the last one to the front and hold from there. Brian gets along with him, he's got a quiet set of hands, so we'll hope for the best." Dover Downs also hosts Matron Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers and 2-year-old male and female trotters on Thursday. Breeders Crown champion Youaremycandygirl, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Matron for female pacers. Jimmy Takter's Wolfgang is the 2-1 favorite in the event for male trotters and Ake Svanstedt's Plunge Blue Chip is the 5-2 pick for female trotters. Ken Weingartner

Harness Racing This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 9) for four Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $211,300, the 2-year-old colt trotters will race for $203,900, the purse for the 2-year-old filly pace is $174,700 and the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $173,000. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Fresh off the heels of a successful Breeders Crown weekend, Grand Circuit racing action was back in the spotlight at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday (Nov. 4). The evening's 12-race card was highlighted by the $140,000 Crossroads of America for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $125,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies, the $235,000 Carl Erskine for 3-year-old colt trotters, and the $245,000 Monument Circle Pace for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings, many of which featured rematches from the Breeders Crown finals. The final stakes race of the evening was the $245,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings and it was Downbytheseaside who avenged his runner-up finish in the $527,500 Breeders Crown final in a big way. With Chris Page in the bike, Downbytheseaside was untouchable down the stretch, stopping the timer in 1:48.3. The 1:48.3 clocking established a new lifetime best for the Brian Brown trainee and was also just a fifth of a second off the track record for 3-year-old pacing colts, a record set by Freaky Feet Pete in 2015. Downbytheseaside settled along the rail in third through the opening quarter in a snappy :26.2 set by Miso Fast and Matt Kakaley. Page gave Downbytheseaside the green light just before the half and he ranged up to grab the lead at the second station in :53.1. The swift pace continued through the three-quarters in 1:20.2 as Downbytheseaside braced for the stretch drive. Funknwaffles and Corey Callahan were on the attack first-over with the rest of the field closing in. Page asked his mount for more and Downbytheseaside responded with a :28.1 final panel to hold off a late surge from Filibuster Hanover and David Miller. Rock N Tony and Trace Tetrick also rallied well late to get up for a third place finish. As the 8-5 favorite, Downbytheseaside returned $5.40 at the betting windows. "That was a big mile," Page noted after the win. "I was a little nervous turning for home, I knew we were going a good clip but this horse is so game. He's everything you want in a horse. He's beautiful; you can do anything you want with him, and he's very, very game." The 3-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere-Sprig Hanover is conditioned by Brian Brown and owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing Stable. Downbytheseaside has now won 19 of 32 lifetime trips behind the gate while amassing $1,903,028 in lifetime purse earnings. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on Nov. 4. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,549.5; 2. David Miller - 1,298; 3. Tim Tetrick - 1,043; 4. Scott Zeron - 707; 5. Corey Callahan - 510. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,404.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,214.5; 3. Brian Brown - 492; 4. John Butenschoen - 491; 5. Erv Miller - 438. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 323.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 280; 3. Determination - 271; 4. Emerald Highlands Farm - 250; 5. Diamond Creek Racing - 212.8. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs and The Meadowlands. Dover will host the four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds, while The Meadowlands will have eliminations for the Fall Four for 2-year-olds -- the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. Paul Ramlow

Dover, Del. ---Today is draw day for the lucrative Matron Stakes for harness racing two-year-old trotting and pacing fillies and colts. The Dover Downs entry box is open from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. SHARP. To supplement to a Matron freshman division, a Declaration Fee of $20,000 is due and payable at time of Declaration. The Matron Stakes are the oldest continual stakes program in harness racing and now are raced at Dover Downs. This year, all two-year-old events for colt and filly trotters and pacers are set for this Thursday, Nov. 9. The three-year-old Matron divisions on the following Thursday, Nov. 16. Last season's Matron winners:- Two-Year-Old Colt Pace - What's Going On (David Miller) 1:53 Two-Year-Old Filly Pace - Aint Thee OK (Brian Sears) 1:52.4 Two-Year-Old Colt Trot- Snowstorm Hanover (Matt Kakaley) 1:55.1 Two-Year-Old Filly Trot - Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan)1:56.3 PETROSSIAN AS, TRUST FUND BABY HEAD MONDAY DOVER FEATURE Opening day feature race winners Trust Fund Baby and Petrossian AS return to lead a nine-horse field in the $18,000 top event on a 13-race program Monday, Nov. 6 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Kiron Mine Branch’s Trust Fund Baby, teamed with Art Stafford Jr. rushed from sixth on the backstretch to score a neck victory in 1:59.3 on a track labeled as ‘good.’ In similar style, Russ Foster guided Arty Foster’s Petrossian AS through an overland journey from fifth to take the lead on the last turn and roll home an easy 1:58.1 winner in his local debut. Chief threat appears to be Lou Catana’s The Muscle Touch and Tony Morgan. After cutting the mile last week and finishing second by a neck to Trust Fund Baby, the four-year-old mare starts from post 9 in the second tier, this time. Last season’s Delaware-bred champion Master Clave draws the rail for owner-breeder Ben Brooks with Jonathan Roberts driving for trainer John Wilkerson. Another sophomore Wade Wyatt and Francis DiMondi’s Common Parlance, driven by defending driver champ Corey Callahan, trainer-owner Tate Lewis’ Summajestic handled by Allan Davis and Moonshine Lavec racing for trainer Erika Paradee and Francisca Munoz will be driven by Ross Wolfenden. Not to be overlooked is Leigh Raymer owned and trained Hullaba Lulu reined by Vic Kirby. Nick Callahan’s Moon Rocket with Vice Copeland completes the competitive field of nine.  Dover Downs now presents a 50-cent Pick 5 wager which starts with the 2nd race through the 6th. A late daily double can be found on the 12th and 13th races. Today is draw day for the lucrative Matron Stakes for two-year-old trotting and pacing fillies and colts. The entry box is open from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. SHARP. To supplement to a Matron freshman division, a Declaration Fee of $20,000 is due and payable at time of Declaration. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for general parking and admission at Dover Downs. Reservations are suggested for the acclaimed Winner’s Circle Buffet Restaurant and those planning a stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. by Marv Bachrad, publicity director, Dover Downs

DOVER, Del.--- Following completions of the upcoming eight Breeders Crown finals, harness racing stakes action shifts to Dover Downs in early November for a month long Novemberfest of lucrative racing headed by the $350,000 (est.) Hap Hansen Progress Pace. The leadoff events are the Matron Stakes, the oldest major stakes in the sport. The Matron Stakes begin its 2017 championship competition with first action featuring two-year-old trotters and pacers on Thursday, Nov. 9. On the following week, the four sophomore divisions contest on Nov. 16. Annually the Matron Stakes boast an impressive list of nominees. For the 2017 edition, 875 juveniles are eligible to the track's major events for young male and female pacers and trotters. For this year's Matrons, 507 two-year-olds and 368 three-year-olds are eligible for the eight events. Add to this, 82 sophomores for the Hap Hansen Progress Pace, the track's signature event. In addition all four Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) freshman divisions are on the November stakes program. There are two weeks of$20,000 preliminaries with the top eight point-getters matching strides in four $100,000 finals on Nov. 30. The rich Hap Hansen Progress Pace begins with $30,000 elimination divisions on Nov. 22 culminating in a rich $350,000 (est.) final also on the following Thursday, Nov. 30. The 2017 Matrons open with four two-year-old division finals on Thursday, Nov. 9. The largest number of eligibles come in the freshmen colt and gelding trotters section with 143 nominees. There are 117 filly trotters nominated. The colt and gelding pace finds a group of 133 with 114 filly pacers. Three-year-olds go to post on the Nov. 16 program with 95 colt and gelding trot nominees. The filly trot has 86 eligibles. The Matron three-year-olds feature 99 males in its division and 64 filly pacers. For those planning to enjoy racing watching from the Winner's Circle Restaurant, or for those seeking to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel, it is suggested to make reservations early. Call 302-674-4600. Monday through Thursday racing has a post time of 4:30 p.m. Parking and admission at Dover Downs is free. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del.---- Boston Red Rocks, one of five winners for Tim Tetrick, Pure Country, Caprice Hill and Dayson win lucrative harness racing Matron Three-Year-Old championships at Dover Downs on Thursday, Nov. 10. Boston Red Rocks, the 2015 USHWA Two-Year-Old Pacer of the Year, came from off to pace to get the lead on the final turn and scooted to a 1:49.3 victory in the $160,200 Matron Three-Year-Old Pace, his fifth win of the season for trainer Steve Elliott and owns Peter Blood and Rick Berks. It was winning driver Tim Tetrick's third win of the night. The victory boosts the Rocknroll Hanover-McGibson colts earnings to $382,055 this year and $961,260 lifetime. Brett Miller and Diamond Creek's homebred $1.7-million winning Pure Country, arguably the sport's leading sophomore filly pacer chalked up her 10th win of 2016 overpowering seven distaffs in 1:50.2 to win the $148,400 Matron upping her bankroll to $1,082,430 for the campaign. Pen Pal and Pat Lachance finished second with Blue Moon Stride driven by Andrew McCarty was third. In Matron trots, Tom Hill's Caprice Hill received a well-timed drive from Hall of Famer Brian Sears to record a 1:52.3 triumph in the $149,000 Matron Filly Trot. The win put the Kadabra-Bramasole filly over the half-million mark this year and just shy of six-figures in her career. All The Time, piloted by Yannick Gingras, was runner-up. Non Stick and Ake Svanstedt, took show honors. Gingras and New York Sire Stakes standout Dayson won for the 12th time in 19 starts this season recording a 1:53 score in the $178,650 Matron Colt Trot. Ron Burke conditions the Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus gelding for Our Hrs Cents and J&T Silva and Burke Racing stables. The win lifted his purse total to $479,508 this year. Double L Lindy and Ake Svanstedt finished second in front of Lagerfeld handled by Hall of Famer David Miller, third. Montrell Teague drove three Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund freshmen winners, all sired by George Teague $1-million winners, and trained by Clyde Francis, to impressive victory and the fourth a second place finisher. Henry The Dragon by Custard The Dragon-Surveille Hanover, won his fifth in-a-row in an unbeaten start, easily outdistancing Automatic Dragon (Tetrick) and Hallie's Comet (Ross Wolfenden) to the finish line in 1:52.3. Next, Montrell Teague guided Stay IN Your Place, a Mr. Wiggles-Southwind Tahiti Teague homebred who he owns with K&R Racing, scoring a 1:53.4 success. Wake Up And Go (Corey Callahan) just missed finished second in the photo with James Isaac (Tony Morgan). The same owner-trainer-driver combo returned with Daylen in 1:55.1 The Mr. Apples-Dance Major Teague bred and owned rookie held off Kaaya (Jim Morand) and Painter's Edge (Art Stafford Jr.) for his third win of the year. Bags To Riches spoiled a Teague sweep as Tim Tetrick steered the Roddy's Bags Again-Paint The Sky Blue colt home in 1:53 for trainer Jason Skinner and breeder Only Money Inc., co-owners. Rat Tail (Montrell Teague) was second best. Suspinder (Allan Davis) finished third. Tetrick finished with five wins, Montrell Teague, owner George Teague and trainer Clyde Francis had three, Corey Callahan two. There is no live racing this Sunday. Monday-Thursday, post time is 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are 'dark days' at the track.. There is no charge for parking or admission. Reservations are suggested for the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet and for the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

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