World champion Honorable Daughter leads the list of 12 New York-bred trotting fillies in to go on Saturday night at Vernon Downs in the eliminations of the $225,000 (est.) Empire Breeder’s Classic.
Drawing post position number two in the first elimination slated for race number six, Honorable Daughter’s trainer Larry Remmen has listed Jim Morrill Jr. down for the driving assignment. Jim Morrill Jr. steered her to victory in her second career start in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Monticello Raceway on July 9, 2008. The 3-year-old daughter of Malabar Man-Honorable Mother posted nine wins and a second in 11 starts as a freshman for earnings of more than $835,000.
Her mile of 1:55.1 over a sloppy track at Dover Downs in last year’s Matron final established a world record for 2-year-old trotting fillies on a five-eighths mile track. Honorable Daughter was purchased in the 2007 Lexington sale for a mere $32,000 by Paolo Rasanelli and John Siena of Middletown, N.Y.
The 2008 New York Sire Stakes Champion for freshman trotting colts Donttellmywife headlines a group of 11 three-year old trotting colts in the one elimination slated for race number seven on Saturday night. The 3-year-old gelded son of Malabar Man-Nowerland Sweet T was a perfect seven-for-seven on his freshman campaign and banked more than $220,000 without ever leaving the Empire State. George Ducharme trains Donttellmywife, and also co-owns with partners Nicola Olivia and Shannon Di Antonio. Jeff Gregory who steered Donttellmywife to six victories last year has been listed on the driving assignment.
In the second elimination for the 3-year old trotting fillies Matchplay Volo will look to add on to her short undefeated resume from post position number one. Also, trained out of the Larry Remmen stable, Matchplay Volo is known more for who her dam is (Millionaire trotting mare: Stroke Play) than what she has done on the track. However, in her first career start she showed plenty of promise trotting home a final quarter in :27.1 to break her maiden in 1:56.4. Norman and Gerald Smiley share ownership of Matchplay Volo with Mystical Marker Farms LLC who purchased the trotting filly for $130,000 at the 2007 Lexington sale. (Vernon Downs)