Day At The Track

Top juveniles eye November Stakes

07:36 PM 18 Oct 2017 NZDT
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Dover Downs, harness racing
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

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