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Nuncio overcomes outside post in Matron 3-year-old male trot
Thursday, November 06, 2014 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Dover, DE --- Nuncio made it five wins in a row, grabbing the lead before the second turn and never yielding the position on his way to a three-quarter length victory over Harper Blue Chip in 1:54.1 over a “good” track in Thursday’s $200,350 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at Dover Downs.

Hillustrious charged from near the rear of the field through the stretch to finish third. Father Patrick, the 1-2 favorite, went off stride soon after the start and was not a factor.

Nuncio was a 1:54.1 winner in the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters.

Starting from post eight, Nuncio was second to Harper Blue Chip in the opening quarter-mile, but took the lead as the horses passed the grandstand for the first time. Nuncio, driven by John Campbell, was the 6-5 second choice.

“I didn’t realize (Father Patrick made a break); I was concentrating on my horse and just keeping him to his task,” Campbell said.

Nuncio has won 11 of 16 races this year, including two jewels in the Trotting Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot, and earned $1.39 million. He is owned by Stall TZ Inc. and trained by Jimmy Takter.

For his career, the son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle has won 16 of 26 starts and never finished worse than second.

“He’s certainly one of the most consistent (horses) that I’ve been around,” Campbell said. “He just goes out and does his work. We had a little trouble last year sometimes rating him, but even when he was like that, he still was hard to beat.

“Jimmy worked with him, especially training down (this year) and made sure he came from behind all the time, and now he’s just turned into a professional where I can do whatever I want with him.”

Nuncio also won the 2013 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters.

“He gets around any sized track,” Campbell said. “When he’s come down here, he gets around it fine. He’s a horse that races good up near the front, and that works well here too.”

$186,550 3-year-old male pace

Big Boy Dreams made a three-wide move around the final turn and took advantage of fast early fractions to win the $186,550 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers by 2-1/2 lengths over Capital Account in 1:50.3. McWicked finished third.

Sent off at odds of 24-1, Big Boy Dreams’ win coupled with 99-1 Capital Account’s second-place finish triggered a $2 exacta payout of $2,188.40 and trifecta of $9,114.80.

Lyonssomewhere, Luck Be Withyou, and All Bets Off mixed it up in the early going, resulting in the leaders reaching the opening quarter-mile in :25.3, half in :52.4 and three-quarters in 1:21.2.

Big Boy Dreams and driver Ron Pierce followed Jet Airway, who finished fourth, three wide up the backstretch as he began his charge from seventh place to the front.

In the Monument Circle on Oct. 31 at Hoosier Park, Big Boy Dreams was on the lead in a first quarter of :26 on a “good” track and eventually finished eighth.

“Last week, the weather was horrible, kind of like it is now, and the front end got tortured and he was part of it,” winning trainer Ron Burke said. “This week, he went back and one of my other horses (All Bets Off) got tortured and this horse swept them from the back and raced super.”

Big Boy Dreams has won five of 12 races this year and earned $261,770. The son of If I Can Dream-Stefani Blue Chip is owned by Dominick Rosato.

$160,950 3-year-old filly trot

Jimmy Takter-trained Shake It Cerry went to the lead in the opening quarter-mile and cruised to a 2-1/4 length win in the $160,950 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters. The time of 1:52.4 over a surface rated as 'good' was a stakes and track record.

Fotowon photos
Shake It Cerry scored in 1:52.4, a stakes and track record.

Lifetime Pursuit, also trained by Takter, finished second and Cee Bee Yes was third.

“She’s very special, extremely special,” driver Ron Pierce said about Shake It Cerry, who was the 2-5 favorite. “She’s got the heart, she has the speed, the gait -- she has everything it takes.”

Shake It Cerry has won 14 of 16 races this season, including eight in a row since finishing fourth in the Hambletonian Oaks, and earned $980,411. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig is owned by Solveig’s Racing Partners.

$179,200 3-year-old filly pace

Weeper took the early lead, yielded to 1-5 favorite Act Now prior to the half, and then burst through the passing lane to register a 1-1/4 length victory over Uffizi Hanover in 1:51 in the $179,200 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. Major Dancer finished third.

Ron Pierce drove Weeper, who was 9-2, for trainer Kelly O’Donnell and ended the night with three Matron wins.

“He did the right thing,” O’Donnell said about Pierce. “She stepped out of there in :25.4 and got around the (early traffic) and then she was just running that other filly over around the last turn.”

Weeper, a daughter of Allamerican Native-Pleasant Yet Bad, has won eight of 15 races this year and earned $424,561. She is owned by Bay Pond Racing Stable.


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