Dover, DE --- Thinking Out Loud and Hillbilly Hanover captured the two $29,444 Matron eliminations for 3-year-old colt pacers on Sunday (Nov. 25) at Dover Downs.
Thinking Out Loud beat Bettor’s Edge by a nose to win the first Matron elimination in 1:50 while Hillbilly Hanover pulled a 14-1 surprise to hold off fast finishing favorite Heston Blue Chip in a lifetime fastest 1:50.3 to win the other Matron elim.
|Hillbilly Hanover was a 1:50.3 winner in his Matron elimination.|
Bolt The Duer with Mark MacDonald and Easy Again and Montrell Teague battled it out during a :25.3 opening panel in the second elimination before Bolt The Duer took the lead to a :54.1 half. The rest of the field began to move up on the clubhouse turn.
Just before reaching the three-quarters in 1:22.4, Yannick Gingras unleashed Hillbilly Hanover and the Dragon Again-Hattie gelding quickly took command. Meanwhile, Heston Blue Chip, getting away sixth in the seven-horse field, was making up ground just past the half when Ron Pierce steered Mel Mara out to second over, forcing Tim Tetrick to go three wide on the backstretch.
Gingras then used a :27.4 final quarter to hold off fast closing Heston Blue Chip by 1-3/4 lengths with Escape The News and Matt Kakaley coming on to finish third in front of Mel Mara, the fourth and final qualifier from this elim.
“I was kind of surprised at how good (Hillbilly Hanover) raced,” said Gingras.”But I shouldn’t be, because (trainer) Ron Burke’s horses always seem to race good.”
|Thinking Out Loud held off Bettor's Edge by a nose.|
Thinking Out Loud closed strongly in last week’s $270,000 Progress Pace and Hall of Fame driver John Campbell drove him in similar style, racing from off the pace before taking on Bettor’s Edge and David Miller heading to the far turn.
The pair battled side-by-side during most of the final quarter before Thinking Out Loud got up by a nose at the wire in 1:50. I’m The Pied Piper (Yannick Gingras), coming in after consecutive wins in his last two starts, finished third in front of McErlean and Tim Tetrick.
Canadian Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh conditions Thinking Out Loud, a son of Ponder-Los Angeles which he owns with CSX Stable and Al McIntosh Holdings.
The first four in each division return next Sunday for the $175,000 Matron final. A reminder, all who qualify for the final must submit their entry on Monday morning from 10 a.m. until 12 Noon to race.
In $20,000 DSBF 2-year-old colt and gelding pace first leg prelims, Rodney Long and Timothy and Joseph Hundertpfund’s Hot Roddy, handled by George Dennis, had just enough to hold off streaking Golden Gun (Bart Dalious) at the wire in 1:55.3. The win by the Roddy’s Bags Again-The Artful Diva brown colt was his sixth victory in seven races with one second. This ups his rookie season bankroll to $82,575. Company After Six (Allan Davis) was the show finisher.
Jim Morand zipped Ilikethemtrashy quickly into the lead heading down the backstretch and pulled away for a 1:56.1 victory in a second DSBF prelim. Les Givens trains the Donna Messick and Nanticoke Racing homebred son of Art Director-The Queen Of Trash, who posted his fourth win of the year, hiking his earnings to $33,736. Ramblin Bob (Ross Wolfenden) was second best with Pool Buddy (Jonathan Roberts) third.
In the other $20,000 DSBF section, Ambush The Bags literally did ambush his five rivals, to the tune of 30-1, by scoring his first win of the year in 1:56.4, the first of two Allan Davis longshot winning drives. Bobby Myers bred, owns and trains the Roddy’s Bags Again-Ambush Killean gelding. Artistic Director (Tony Morgan) finished second in the three-horse photo with Beammeupscottie (Jonathan Roberts) third.
The second DSBF round is set for next Sunday with top eight point getters, after the prelims, racing for a $100,000 purse on Dec. 9.
Ron Pierce and Jim Morand drove four winners on the card while Allan Davis piloted two longshots, one at 50-1, the other 30-1, to victory.