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Tidewaterdragonfly ekes out win in Roses Are Red

June 28, 2008
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In what was an absolute war from start to finish, Tidewaterdragonfly scored a hard-fought victory in Saturday\'s $405,715 Roses Are Red Stakes Final for older pacing mares at Mohawk Racetrack, winning over Southwind Madonna in 1:50.1.

Dave Palone made the trip in to drive and took the 4-year-old daughter of Dragon Again off the gate from post three and watched the early leaders battle through a first quarter of :26.1.
 
As the field raced towards the half, the locally-based Southwind Madonna took over command of the field and put up a big fraction of :53.4. At that point, defending champion Moving Pictures was brought to the outside from fourth with Southwind Tempo following on her back and Tidewaterdragonfly starting her move to the outside from seventh.
 
Southwind Madonna continued to roll along up front and hung up three-quarters in 1:21.2 while building up an almost three-length lead over longshot Apple Delight with Moving Pictures stalling in her first-over bid.
 
Southwind Tempo kicked in with a three-wide move as the field turned for home and shot up to the pacesetter quickly. Tidewaterdragonfly followed that move and it came down to these three outstanding mares as they neared the finish. In the end, Tidewaterdragonfly prevailed by just a neck over a dead-game Southwind Madonna with Southwind Tempo finishing a close third in between rivals.
 
\"I had a little luck with this guy [winning trainer Kelly O\'Donnell] in Delaware a few years ago, so anytime he asks me to go I show up,\" said Palone. We were traveling along pretty good, the numbers were good and I still had a handful and I hadn\'t used her when we came off the final turn. I thought I might be home half-way through the stretch. I knew they were going to come back to us eventually, but I didn\'t know if I might have got myself a little too far detached. But when I moved her off cover and she was picked up horses I didn\'t have any concerns.\"
 
The victory was the third of the campaign in six starts for Tidewaterdragonfly who is owned by David Beachler and Annefuria Singleton of Virginia and trained by Kelly O\'Donnell.
 
\"We got away pretty far back, all the outside horse left which is normally what happens,\" said O\'Donnell. \"We wanted to stay close to Southwind Tempo, because Timmy [Tetrick] said that\'s the best mare he\'s ever driven. The main plan was to stay close to her, and the half was wicked. A half in :53 for these fillies is a really quick half. It looked like we were back pretty far, but this mare\'s tough and she came flying down the lane. She\'s got a month off; she doesn\'t have anything until late July. She\'ll be back here later this year for the Breeders Crown.\" (Mohawk) 

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