Looking like a beaten horse around the far turn, Do Me Honor found new life in the stretch and captured her second straight — and fourth in the last six — in Monday's $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. At Pompano Park, Blissfull Romance, smartly handled by Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, bested a million dollar field of mares with a sharp 1:53.4 performance, and at Dover Downs Monochromatic took the feature for pacing mares.
Do Me Honor moved first over from fourth to close in on the leader, NY Yankees, who dug in and reclaimed the front. But Do Me Honor persevered for Aaron Merriman and downed NY Yankees by a neck in 1:53. Ladystar shot the Lightning Lane for show. Bill Bercury trains and owns Do Me Honor, a 5-year-old daughter of Cheyenne Rei-Do Me Right who now boasts $244,588 in career earnings.
Blissfull Romance, a versatile Blissfull Hall four year-old, took advantage of a field showing little early speed from the innermost posts. She darted away from the gate along with lukewarm favorite Bay Girl (Rick Plano) and forced that mare to take a seat in the garden spot through an opening panel of :27.2.
Carving out a "soft” half of :56.2, Blissfull Romance got her first real challenge heading into the far turn as Bay Girl left her cozy pocket to engage the leader around the final bend with the three-quarters clocked in 1:25.1.
Turning for home, Blissfull Romance proved that she had more than enough left to put away Bay Girl and hold off the late surge of Gold Star Glitter (Matt Romano) to score by a half length. Carolines Cullen N was fourth with Gracie Gracie earning the minor award over Island Terror.
Trainer Eric Beach had high praise for the both Hennessey and Blissfull Romance. "This mare has stayed very sharp for a long time and she's become very versatile. She can leave and relax--a great quality in any racehorse...and Wally gave her a picture perfect journey. This is a very competitive group of mares and I am proud of her accomplishments.”
Hennessey, in turn, credited trainer Beach, as well. "Eric has done a remarkable job keeping this mare sharp for such a long time. She's right there with them every week pacing her miles in (1):52 and a piece or (1):53. She's a pleasure to drive.”
For Blissfull Romance, owned by Trifecta 246 and trained by Eric Beach, it was her 12th lifetime win in 46 starts pushing her lifetime bounty to $65,335.
Monocromatic spent most of the $23,000 Mares Open pace on the outside before overtaking streaking Jeremes Sweetheart in deep stretch for a victory in the feature race at Dover Downs.
North America's leading driver early in 2013, Corey Callahan, added four more wins to his 2013 total, making it nine winners in the last two programs.
In the distaff feature, Callahan pulled Monocromatic out of third heading to the clubhouse turn and then sat alongside Jeremes Sweetheart until entering the stretch. The eight-year-old Dream Away-Miss Ty distaff finally edged past on the way to her first win of the New Year for North State Street Stable. The second-place finish for front-pacing Jeremes Sweetheart (Ron Pierce) ended her three-race win streak. Shine N Shimmer (Eric Carlson came on to finish third. Monochromatic has now banked $563,370 lifetime.
In similar style, Callahan drove Angelwithanattitude to a come from off-the-pace to a 1:52.4 victory in the $16,000 Mares Winners-Over pace, catching Lorrie Please (Eric Carlson) nearing the finish line. Dylan Davis conditions the Korn, Wernick and Guarmier-owned Art Major-Queen Teen five-year-old who won for the 11th time in her career. Ryder Blue Chip (Daryl Bier) was the show horse.
Ron Pierce drove Pure Diamond to a 1:54 score in a $15,500 4&5-Year-Old Mares pace, edging Timmylynn (Tony Morgan) and A Cameo On Life (Allan Davis) at the wire. Josh Green trains the American Ideal-Bewitching Jewel four-year-old for Keith Pippi. It was Pierce's second win on the card.
Following Callahan's four winners, Pierce, Jim Morand and Tim Tetrick had driving doubles and trainer Dylan Davis haltered two winners. (The Meadows/Pompano Park/Dover Downs)