It was a night for favorites in the four lucrative Matron Series Finals at Dover Downs on Saturday as Honorable Daughter set a world record with a 1:55.1 victory and Hawaiian Drink equaled the world mark with a 1:51.3 effort. In both colt events, Explosive Matter (1:55.3) and If I Can Dream (1:51.1) were close to, but just off, last week’s world records.
Following a torrential downpour early in the evening, conditions cleared setting the stage for a high-speed showcase of freshman trotting and pacing talent.
Honorable Daughter led off the finals with a world record performance in the $226,125 Filly Trot. John Campbell sent the Malabar Man-Honorable Mother bay into the lead and was never headed winning for the eighth time in nine career races.
“I hoped to get to the front and not look back,” said the Hall of Famer Campbell.
Heading around the clubhouse turn, Tim Tetrick took OK To Play to the outside and challenged the leader through a :57 half and 1:26 three quarters but the effort went to no avail as Honorable Daughter pulled away in the stretch for a decisive victory in record time. One Tough Girl, with Cat Manzi, rushed down the lane to take third with OK To Play holding on for third. Celebrity Juliet (Brian Sears) was fourth and Margarita Momma regained stride and rallied to finish fifth.
Hall of Famer Ray Remmen trains the winner for owners Polo Rosanelli and John Siena. Honorable Daughter, now a winner of $479,305.
In the $209,700 Matron Filly Pace, Brian Sears put Hawaiian Drink into high gear on the backstretch and thundered past front pacing Perfectionist in mid backstretch to open up a quick lead on the way to a 1:51.3 clocking, equaling the record held by Voelz Hanover. Indulge Me, reined by Hall of Famer Mike Lachance, zipped past That’s The Plan with Tim Tetrick to finish second. Racing Star (Yannick Gingras) was fourth while Up Front Noel (Andrew McCarthy) took the fifth and final payoff spot.
Lightly raced Explosive Matter won for the fourth straight time in his brief career winning the $245,775 Matron Colt Trot easily in 1:55.3, three-fifths of a second off his own world record set last week in his elimination. Ron Pierce drove the Cantab Hall-Fireworks Hanover youngster taking the lead from Yannick Gingras-driven, Noel Daley-conditioned Salutation Hanover early and coasted to victor for owner Adam Victor & Son. Select Yankee closed well for Daniel Dube for second money. NF Quotable and David Miller were third. Salutation Hanover and Wuthering Hanover (George Brennan) were fourth and fifth respectively.
With a light rain beginning, the $257,850 Colt Pace became a carbon copy finish of last week’s elim. If I Can Dream enjoyed a perfect trip sitting second behind Barber Pole turning in blistering early fractions for Tim Tetrick who was just along for the ride. Barber Pole in only his fifth lifetime start made a strong move to capture the lead from If I Can Dream’s :26.3 opening panel. He then led the field to the half in a hot :54.3 and reached the three-quarters in 1:21.3. The two leaders were alone with the rest battling for runner-up spot. George Brennan wheeled If I Can Dream to the outside on the final turn and rocketed into the lead and was unapproachable in the stretch chalking up a 1:51.1 victory as a light rain had begun. Barber Pole was a game second. Schoolkids, the other half of the Bulletproof Enterprises entry with If I Can Dream finished third. Clear Vision (Ron Pierce) and Lightning Elvis (Cat Manzi) took the final finish checks.
The victor was the second straight for the Tracy Brainard-trained If I Can Dream, a Western Hanover-Arterra bay, lifting his bankroll to $198,879.
The I Am A Fool-B Passionate black filly trained by Tracy Brainard is now seven for 11 this season and has banked $477,788 for Bulletproof Stables. (Dover Downs)