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Dover, DE — Breeders Crown winner Gimpanzee and Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry each added another Grand Circuit harness racing title to their respective résumés with victories in the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old trotters on Thursday (Nov. 14) at Dover Downs. Gimpanzee proved a powerful 1:51.1 winner in the Matron on Thursday at Dover Downs. Fotowon photo. In the $208,300 Matron for sophomore trotting colts and geldings, Gimpanzee ($2.80) and Brian Sears sprinted to the early lead before yielding control to Chin Chin Hall (Dexter Dunn) at the completion of a :27 first quarter. The son of Chapter Seven was relegated to third as Don’t Let’em (Yannick Gingras) brushed aggressively from midfield to clear with a circuit to go, but angled first-over to attack soon after stalking a :54.4 half. On the backstretch, Gimpanzee sustained a strong attack on Don’t Let’em, taking charge effortlessly past three-quarters in 1:23 and drawing away at will for a 1:51.1 score. Chin Chin Hall emerged up the open stretch to take second, four lengths back, while Pilot Discretion (Andy McCarthy) rallied off cover for third. Marcus Melander trains 17-time winner Gimpanzee for Courant Inc. and the S R F Stable. The $176,150 Matron for 3-year-old trotting fillies saw Simon Allard send Breeders Crown runner-up When Dovescry ($7.60) clear of Beautiful Sin (Åke Svanstedt) and Only Take Cash (Tim Tetrick) into the first turn before controlling splits of :27, :56.1 and 1:23.4. With three-sixteenths to go, When Dovescry faced a bid from Evident Beauty (David Miller), who circled stalled cover to challenge on the final turn. The daughter of Muscle Hill successfully held her ground, holding off a late stand-side rally from Only Take Cash by a half length in 1:52.2. Evident Beauty stayed on between fillies to maintain third. Rene Allard trains 10-time winner When Dovescry for the Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain. For recaps of the Matron 3-year-old paces, click here. For recaps of the Matron 2-year-old divisions, which were contested on Nov. 7, click here. From the USTA

Dover, DE — After Dancin Lou snapped his four-race win streak in the Breeders Crown, Bettor’s Wish ($3.20) got back in the win column with a 1:49.2 score in the $248,350 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 14) at Dover Downs. Bettor’s Wish worked clear of American Mercury (Tyler Buter) just beyond a :27 first quarter, but faced immediate pressure from Dancin Lou (Andy McCarthy) with a circuit to go and on toward a :53.2 half. With a quarter mile to go, Bettor’s Wish began to scamper away, turning aside Dancin Lou past three-quarters in 1:21.3.   The son of Bettor’s Delight was kept to task through the final furlong, and he maintained 1-3/4 lengths of clearance over American Mercury. Aflame Hanover (Corey Callahan) angled off the pegs at head-stretch to chase and just miss the runner-up spot. Trainer Chris Ryder co-owns Bettor’s Wish, an 18-time winner and an earner of over $1.8 million, with Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc. and Bettor’s Wish Partners. Bettor’s Wish has finished first or second in all 18 of his starts this season. Following a runner-up finish to Warrawee Ubeaut in the Breeders Crown, Tall Drink Hanover ($13.20) rode the pocket to victory in the $165,900 Matron for 3-year-old pacing fillies, reeling in her arch rival in the process. Andy McCarthy put Cin play from the outset to seize early control, only to yield to prohibitive favorite Warrawee Ubeaut (Yannick Gingras) just behind a taxing :26 first quarter. After stalking a :54.2 half, Tall Drink Hanover found herself boxed as Sunny Dee (Brian Sears) offered first-over pressure up the far side. Off the home turn, Tall Drink Hanover angled to the open stretch and eclipsed the dueling leaders, beating Sunny Dee by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.2. Treacherous Reign (Dunn) lifted from third-over to narrowly take third over the engulfed Warrawee Ubeaut, who missed the board for the first time this year in her Matron defeat. Tony Alagna trains 15-time winner Tall Drink Hanover, a daughter of Captaintreacherous, for Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing LLC. For recaps of the Matron 3-year-old trots, click here. For recaps of the Matron 2-year-old divisions, which were contested on Nov. 7, click here. From the USTA

Wanda Polisseni is the type of person who, in her own words, prefers to fly under the harness racing radar. But after her Winndevie won last month's Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters, providing Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables with its first trophy, that became a little more difficult. Not that Polisseni has any complaints. "I was surprised at the number of people that congratulated me and follow my horses; I'm very appreciative," Polisseni said. "I'm not infatuated with the winner's circle. That's not what I'm all about. But I fully appreciate it. Winning a race like the Breeders Crown makes it all worth it. "There are so many people that have been in (the sport) so much longer than I have and I'd like to see these other people win too. I feel like I've had more than my share of blessings and good fortune. I just love to see my horses race, no matter where they end up, as long as they're healthy and happy." Winndevie returns to the races Thursday in the $176,150 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters at Dover Downs. In fact, all four 3-year-old Breeders Crown champions - with Dancin Lou, Gimpanzee, and Warrawee Ubeaut joining Winndevie in that group - will be in action in the Matron events for sophomore pacers and trotters. Trained by Trond Smedshammer and driven by Brian Sears, Winndevie is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in a field that includes Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry, who was second in the Breeders Crown, as well as Crown third- and fourth-place finishers The Ice Dutchess and Only Take Cash, not to mention Elegantimage Stakes winner Evident Beauty. Winndevie, by Credit Winner out of Vida De Vie, has won six of 14 races this year and hit the board a total of 13 times. Her earnings of $559,804 lead all 3-year-old filly trotters. For her career, Winndevie has won 12 of 21 starts, including the 2018 New York Sire Stakes championship, and $787,682. Her trip to the Breeders Crown was her first Grand Circuit appearance after spending her career to that point on the New York circuit. Polisseni called the filly's Breeders Crown triumph at Woodbine Mohawk Park, "really a very nice surprise." It is probably fitting because her arrival in Smedshammer's stable was a surprise as well. Polisseni thought she had completed her shopping for yearlings at the Standardbred Horse Sale two Novembers ago until she looked over her list of purchases and realized she did not get a Credit Winner-sired filly. So, after a review of the remaining possibilities, she bought Winndevie (then named Hello Dolly De Vie) for $45,000 on the final day of the yearling auction. "I never told Trond I was going to buy her," Polisseni said, laughing at the circumstances surrounding the purchase. "I knew I wanted a Credit Winner filly and she was the best one that I liked that day. I liked the way she looked on the floor, the way she moved, and the video. I loved her. She's a beautiful filly. "I put her on the truck to go down to Trond's (stable). It was a surprise to him. But he's told me many times in the winner's circle that he's so glad I bought her." Polisseni, who lives in upstate New York, got her start as a harness racing owner about 15 years ago. Smedshammer has trained her horses for a decade. Her Purple Haze Stables has ranked among the top 10 in earnings for owners on multiple occasions, including in 2018 and 2019. "I feel really blessed with the success that I've had and having Trond as a trainer," Polisseni said. "He's the best. He knows how I want my horses treated and it's always the horse comes first. I never have to worry with Trond, there is no stress. That makes the racing so much more fun. "(The Breeders Crown) was all for Trond. That's how I felt. I wanted him to get all the attention and accolades. I was thrilled." Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Dover Downs. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. and Fall Four eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit returns to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 14) for four Matron Stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 3-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $248,350, the 3-year-old colt trotters will race for $208,300, the purse for the 3-year-old filly trot is $176,150 and the 3-year-old filly pacers will race for $165,900. On Saturday night (Nov. 16) Meadowlands Racetrack will host a single elimination in the Fall Four events for freshman pacers and trotters. There will be one $20,000 elimination in the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. Eliminations were not required in the Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers and the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: After being disqualified from first in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 25, David McDuffee's Papi Rob Hanover ($2.40) found redemption in the $186,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings, held Thursday (Nov. 7) at Dover Downs. Papi Rob Hanover found redemption in the $186,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Fotowon photo. The son of Somebeachsomewhere and Panera Hanover eclipsed the $500,000 mark in career earnings with an effortless 1:50 win, the fifth of his career. "I was just waiting to be the last one to the front," said driver David Miller, who yielded to Cattlewash (Yannick Gingras) and Put To Right (Andy McCarthy) in a :27.1 quarter before brushing to the top with a circuit to go. After clearing the lead just before a :55 half, Papi Rob Hanover found no further challengers, coasting to three-quarters in 1:22.4 before drawing away by 5-1/4 lengths with plenty in reserve. "He's very sharp; he's ending up the year very well," concluded Miller. "He was strong tonight, and just a real nice horse." Cattlewash gave futile chase to protect second, while Father Nuno (Brian Sears) emerged off cover to take third. In the $181,600 Matron for juvenile male trotters, Breeders Crown winner Amigo Volo ($2.20) proved a similarly easy winner, clearing from the outside post six under Dexter Dunn and controlling splits of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.3 before drawing away to a 6-1/2 length victory over Patriarch Hanover (Matt Kakaley) and Moveoutofmyway K (Gingras) in 1:52.4, a new world record for a freshman trotting gelding on a five-eighths-mile track. Richard 'Nifty' Norman trains the gelded son of Father Patrick and Margarita Momma for the Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Tim Tetrick swept the Matrons for 2-year-old fillies, taking the $176,400 pace with Lyons Sentinel ($2.40) and the non-wagering $147,600 trot with Next Level Stuff. In the filly pace, Lyons Sentinel stalked a blistering :26.1 first quarter from third behind Lady Lou (McCarthy) before brushing to the fore with a circuit to go. After out-sprinting Lady Lou through a :54.2 half and keeping a first-over attack from Hen Party (Gingras) at bay through three-quarters in 1:22.3, the Captaintreacherous-Tutu Hanover filly worked clear to a 1:50.3 victory. Perfect Storm (Sears) rallied into second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Hen Party faded to third. Jim King Jr. trains Lyons Sentinel for Threelyonsracing. Next Level Stuff coasted to a pillar-to-post 1:53.2 win in the filly trot. The daughter of Sebastian K S and Nantab cleared Queen Of The Hill (Gingras) through a :27.2 first quarter and remained unchallenged through middle splits of :56.1 and 1:25.1. Next Level Stuff began to edge clear on the final turn, and she defeated Queen Of The Hill by 2-1/2 lengths. Luv U Bye Click (Steve Smith) finished third, beaten by 25-1/4 lengths. Jim Campbell trains the Runthetable Stables homebred. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, 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 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,356.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,268; 3. Dexter Dunn - 984; 4. David Miller - 930; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 783. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,292; 2. Tony Alagna - 847; 3 Nancy Johansson - 662; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 637; 5. Marcus Melander - 603. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 274.5; 2. Brad Grant - 267.1; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 238.7; 4. Robert Key - 226; 5. Fashion Farms - 224.5. 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  

All four 3-year-old Breeders Crown champions -- Dancin Lou, Gimpanzee, Warrawee Ubeaut, and Winndevie -- return to action for the first time since their Crown triumphs when Dover Downs hosts the Matron Stakes for harness racing sophomore pacers and trotters on Thursday. A total of 19 Breeders Crown finalists will be racing in the Matrons, including the top-six finishers from the 3-year-old filly pace (won by Warrawee Ubeaut) and the top-four finishers from each the 3-year-old filly trot (won by Winndevie) and 3-year-old colt-and-gelding pace (won by Dancin Lou). Gimpanzee, who won the 3-year-old colt-and-gelding trot, faces four Breeders Crown finalists, including recent Carl Erskine Trot winner Don't Let'em and Erskine runner-up Chin Chin Hall. Gimpanzee is a two-time Breeders Crown champion and was the 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. He starts Thursday's $208,300 Matron for 3-year-old male trotters from post five with Brian Sears driving for trainer Marcus Melander. He is the 2-1 morning-line favorite. "He's doing great," Melander said. "He came out of (the Breeders Crown) really well and he's been training good ever since. I'm confident going into the race. He's raced good all year, never done a bad race really. There are some nice horses in there, of course, but he's pretty good himself too." Gimpanzee has won seven of 12 races this year and earned $997,163. In addition to the Breeders Crown, his wins include the Yonkers Trot, New York Sire Stakes championship, and Empire Breeders Classic. He finished third in both the Hambletonian and Kentucky Futurity. The colt could join recently retired 3-year-old colt stablemate Greenshoe with more than $1 million this year, which would make Melander only the second trainer ever to have two million-dollar-earning trotters in the same division in the same season. Jimmy Takter accomplished the feat in 2014 with Father Patrick and Nuncio. "That's cool," Melander said. "(Gimpanzee) has had a great year. He couldn't have done too much more. "I think he will be as good as he's been all year on Thursday. He's feeling great here at home. He really feels like he has all year. He's happy, so I'm happy." For his career, Gimpanzee has won 16 of 21 races and $1.58 million for owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. If all goes well, the son of Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows could finish this season by facing older foes in the TVG championship on Nov. 23 at The Meadowlands. "Hopefully he does a good race Thursday and then we'll probably race in the TVG," Melander said, adding the plan is to bring back Gimpanzee next year at age 4. "It feels like he could be a good aged horse too. He only had nine starts last year and 12 so far this year. I think that's perfect if we want to continue to race him. He feels like a horse that's not been pushed too hard. If nothing happens, it's a big chance he comes back." In the $248,350 Matron for 3-year-old male pacers, Bettor's Wish is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. The Chris Ryder-trained colt leads the sport with $1.43 million in purses. He was beaten by a head by Dancin Lou in the Breeders Crown. He has won 12 of 17 races and finished no worse than second in any start, with each of his last four runner-up finishes coming by no more than a neck. Dancin Lou is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. He brings a three-race win streak to the Matron. "I'm so proud of that horse, my heart could burst," trainer Tahnee Camilleri said about Dancin Lou, who has won 11 of 18 starts this season. She added about his Breeders Crown victory, where he rallied from fourth with a quarter-mile to go, "I was in shock. He did it the hard way. It's just unbelievable. What a little champion." Camilleri, a native of Australia, gave up a career practicing law to pursue her passion by moving to the U.S. to train horses. She is in her first full season with her own stable. The 32-year-old Camilleri conditions Dancin Lou for owners David Kryway and 1362313 Ontario Ltd. "I didn't appreciate how hard it was going to be to come over here," Camilleri said. "I got terribly homesick and I'd lie in bed at night and wonder if I made the right decision. I toughed it out. For something like this to happen, I know in my heart I made the right decision. I'm so glad I'm here and so glad I did this. "I've had a lot of help, and I'm thankful to the owners for picking me to train their horse. They could have picked a bigger name, but they gave me a shot. I'm tickled pink that I could get such a good result for them." The field for the Matron colt-and-gelding pace also includes 2018 Dan Patch Award winner Captain Crunch and recent Monument Circle Stakes winner De Los Cielos Deo. In the $176,150 Matron for 3-year-old filly trotters, Trond Smedshammer-trained Winndevie is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. The field includes Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry, who was second in the Breeders Crown, as well as Crown third- and fourth-place finishers The Ice Dutchess and Only Take Cash, plus Elegantimage Stakes winner Evident Beauty. Warrawee Ubeaut, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, is the 2-1 favorite in the $165,900 Matron for 3-year-old filly pacers. Tall Drink Hanover, who was second in the Breeders Crown, is 3-1. The remaining fillies from the Crown final are Stonebridge Soul, Sunny Dee, Treacherous Reign, and Queen Of The Pride. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Dover Downs. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Standardbred Canada reports that a talented group of two-year-olds was in the spotlight Thursday evening at Dover Downs, as the oval hosted a quartet of Matron Stake Finals for the freshman set. Next Level Stuff kicked off the proceedings with a 1:53.2 triumph in the $147,600 final – a non-wagering tilt held prior to the pari-mutuel program – for the tandem of driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim Campbell. Tetrick hustled Next Level Stuff to the lead from Post 4 and together they led the field through fractions of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:25.1 before using a :28.1 closing quarter to seal the deal. It was 2-1/2 lengths in arrears to runner-up Queen Of The Hill. Luv U Bye Click took home the show dough and Rebecca Clark, who was distanced after an early break, rounded out the four-filly affair. Runthetable Stables of Montvale, NJ bred and own the daughter of Sebastian K-Nantab who improved her freshman record to six wins from 10 trips to the track. The clocking was a new lifetime mark for the career winner of $158,075. To read the rest of the story, click here.

This Week: Matron Stakes, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Dover Downs this Thursday (Nov. 7) for four Matron Stakes for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The 2-year-old colt pace carries a purse of $186,000, the 2-year-old colt trotters will race for $181,600, the purse for the 2-year-old filly pace is $176,400 and the 2-year-old filly trotters will race for $147,600. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Grand Circuit racing action was back in the spotlight at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (Nov. 1), as some of the sport's brightest stars ventured to Hoosier Park for the final night of Grand Circuit racing this season. Don't Let'em rebounded from his Breeders Crown miscue to win the Carl Erskine in track-record fashion at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Linscott Photo. After making a costly break in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt trot last week, Don't Let'em was out for redemption and rebounded with authority in the $220,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The cold temperatures didn't seem to deter Don't Let'em and Yannick Gingras as they stopped the timer in 1:51.4 to re-establish the track record for 3-year-old colt trotters. The previous mark of 1:52.1 was set by What The Hill in Breeders Crown action in 2017. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Don't Let'em left alertly from post two but Mass Fortune K (Matt Kakaley) was a step quicker through the opening quarter in :27.4. Gingras moved Don't Let'em to the front just before the half in :55.1 and was immediately joined on the outside by Pilot Discretion (Andrew McCarthy). Don't Let'em was able to turn back Pilot Discretion through the three-quarters in 1:23.2 and was on top with a two-length lead turning for home. Using a :28.2 final quarter, Don't Let'em stayed on task and trotted strong to the wire, finishing five lengths in front of late-closing Chin Chin Hall (Peter Wrenn). Pilot Discretion held on for third. "He's going to drive me crazy," trainer Nancy Johansson noted with a smile after the victory. "It's just whatever horse shows up. He obviously has tremendous speed. He has tremendous speed and the talent, he just needs to behave. I never know what horse is going to show up but when he is on his game, he's incredible." With the win, the son of Muscle Hill-Passageway recorded his fourth win from 13 outs this season and sports a 23-8-5-0 lifetime record. Owned by Brittany Farms, Christina Takter, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, Don't Let'em has amassed $569,967 in lifetime purse earnings. Don't Let'em was bred by Brittany Farms. One of the biggest upsets of the night came in the very next race on the program as De Los Cielos Deo (Matt Kakaley) got up in the final strides of the mile to upset the heavily favored Hickfromfrenchlick in the $225,000 Monument Circle Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. De Los Cielos Deo stopped the timer in 1:49.2. With an eight race-win streak on the line, Hickfromfrenchlick (Trace Tetrick) went to the front from post eight to dictate fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before ever feeling a threat from the rest of the field. De Los Cielos Deo sat patiently in third for much of the mile but was in perfect striking position turning for home. Kakaley tipped De Los Cielos Deo and he found a :26.3 closing kick to track down Hickfromfrenchlick late in the lane. Dealer's Table and Sam Widger utilized a ground-saving trip to round out the trifecta. De Los Cielos Deo returned $10.40 to his backers at the betting windows. "I was confident coming into tonight," Kakaley said in the winner's circle. "He was good last week in the Breeders Crown. He's been pretty inconsistent but I knew if he showed up tonight he'd be good. I've only driven him a couple times but he's got the speed. The way the trip worked out for him tonight was beautiful." With the win, De Los Cielos Deo recorded his second win from 17 outs this season for trainer Ron Burke. The son of Captaintreacherous-Lisjune has now earned $425,080 in lifetime purse earnings and is owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. De Los Cielos Deo was bred by Louis Willinger and Deo Volente Farms. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, 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 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,316.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,238; 3. Dexter Dunn - 964; 4. David Miller - 910; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 783. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,272; 2. Tony Alagna - 847; 3. Nancy Johansson - 662; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 637; 5. Marcus Melander - 603. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 274.5; 2. Brad Grant - 267.1; 3. Burke Racing Stable - 236.2; 4. Fashion Farms - 224.5; 5. Robert Key - 221. 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 the Grand Circuit

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

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