Joe Holloway hopes this year does not provide the last word on Closing Statement’s disposition.
Closing Statement has won five of 12 races and earned $226,939 in purses this season despite being "a work in progress." In his most recent start, the colt finished third in the Breeders Crown. On Thursday, he faces seven foes in the $211,300 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers at Dover Downs.
"The horse has got high, high speed, but he’s a little difficult," Holloway said. "He’s a good colt this year, but you also have to have manners. That’s what we’re working on. Hopefully next year he matures. He’s going to need (better manners) next year."
Closing Statement is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Ideal Newton. He was purchased under the name Ian Hanover for $125,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. He is a full brother to 3-year-old female pacer Inverse Hanover, who also was a Breeders Crown finalist, and his family also includes stakes-winner Newborn Sassy.
The colt, owned by Val D’Or Farms, Rojan Stables and Ted Gewertz, is the 7-2 second choice on the Matron morning line. He will start from post seven with driver Brian Sears.
Shnitzledosomethin, who was supplemented to the race for $20,000, is the 3-1 favorite. He will start from post five with Peter Wrenn driving for trainer Dylan Davis. Shnitzledosomethin finished second in the Breeders Crown and Indiana Sire Stakes championship.
The race also features Nutcracker Sweet (4-1), This Is The Plan (5-1), and Karpathian Kid (6-1). This Is The Plan and Karpathian Kid were also Breeders Crown finalists.
"The way the draw shook out, it’s kind of tough," Holloway said. "But I don’t know if I’d feel a whole lot better if I had (an inside post) because it’s such a speed track and you’re going to have to go. It’s not like you’re leaving and protecting the rail with that group of horses. It’s a good race for being in November.
"Hopefully we’re the last one to the front and hold from there. Brian gets along with him, he’s got a quiet set of hands, so we’ll hope for the best."
Dover Downs also hosts Matron Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers and 2-year-old male and female trotters on Thursday.
Breeders Crown champion Youaremycandygirl, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Matron for female pacers. Jimmy Takter’s Wolfgang is the 2-1 favorite in the event for male trotters and Ake Svanstedt’s Plunge Blue Chip is the 5-2 pick for female trotters. (HRC)