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Artzina only Dover favorite

November 12, 2006

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There were surprises galore at Dover Downs Saturday as three of the four favorites in the lucrative Matron finals for freshmen were upset, with those titles going to a 21-1 longshot, a mid-priced horse and a maiden. Only favored Artzina came away with a win in the final for freshman male pacers.

In the $221,176 Matron 2-Year-Old Colt final, Artzina battled back in a stirring stretch duel with 12-1 outsider Honky Tonk Hanover to squeeze through with a 1:52.1 victory by a nose. Jack Moiseyev drove the winning Artiscape colt trained by Dylan Davis of Viola, Del. for breeder-owners Kal Liebowitz and Marc Rubach. Honky Tonk Hanover and Brain Sears settled for second with Olay Olay and Cat Manzi third.

In the Matron filly finale, Current Hanover was in the right spot at the right time to take home the winner\'s share of a $221,526 purse for David McDuffee and Irving Liverman. It is the second big paycheck for McDuffee who owns Honky Tonk Hanover, second in the Colt final.

David Miller put Isabella Blue Chip into the lead taking over from race-favorite Little Miss Dragon at the quarter in :26.2. Isabella Blue Chip passed the half in :55.2 when Yannick Gingras powered to the front and raced the backstretch in a :26.3 third quarter before running out of gas. Little Miss Dragon and Jayne\'s Character bunched toward the lead around the last turn and 21-1 shot Current Hanover sped up with the most speed in the stretch posting a 1:52.2 win.

The clocking equaling the world record set the week before by Little Miss Dragon. Tidewaterdaragonfly and Dave Palone closed strongly to take second in front of Jayne\'s Character. Little Miss Dragon and Ron Pierce were fourth while Isabella Blue Chip caught behind retreating Cat The Show until the top of the stretch had to settle for fifth.

A maiden trotter, Snowboarder, was entered into the Harrisburg sale this weekend but was pulled out by trainer Jimmy Takter after finishing second last week in a Matron elimination to Adrian Chip in world record time of 1:55.1. Snowboarder, with Dave Palone in the bike, overtook Adrian Chip in the closing strides to score a 1:57.1.

Stunt Man Hall and Adrian Chip had battle through a :27.3 opening panel which took some of the sting from of the favorites. Adrian Chip finally took the lead after the half and led until deep stretch before Snowboarder poked a nose to the front in the final stride. A Yankee Glide colt, Snowboarder is trained by Takter for owners John Fielding, Dave Anderson, Christina Takter and Mal and Janice Burroughs. Adrian Chip and trainer-driver Per Henriksen finished second while Force Nine, driven by Manzi, and Stunt Man Hall, with Toby Lynch, were third and fourth respectively.

The $211,725 Matron Filly Trot turned up with another unexpected winner. When 4-5 favorite broke stride just before the start, it became a wide-open affair. Pierce rolled Undercover Liver, owned and trained by Lori Castranuovo of Colts Neck, N.J., up on the outside to take the lead on the backstretch and the Tagliabue freshman quickly opened up a huge lead and won easily on 1:57.1. The three-horse Takter-Celebrity Farm entry of Celebrity Feeling, with Mike Lachance, Celebrity Speedie, driven by Marcus Johansson, and Those Blue Eyes and Palone, finished second, third and fourth. (Dover Downs)
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