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Solveig, Fast Ruffles star in Dover Downs opener
Saturday, November 6, 2004 - by Marv Bachrad, publicity director, Dover Downs

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DOVER, Del. --- Solveig and Fast Ruffles got the 2004-05 Dover Downs meet off on a positive note on Saturday, Nov. 6.

With a strong opening day crowd on hand, the first race of the track's 36th season got under way with a $63,150 Matron Stakes elimination for freshmen filly trotters. Solveig, owned by Cristina Takter, John Fielding and Anderberg Stable, got back into the win column as Brian Sears steered the Yankee Glide daughter to a 2:00.1 victory in the first race of the meet. Solveig took the lead at the start and clicked off all the fractions in her sixth victory in nine races pushing her winnings to near a half-million dollars. M&L Of Delaware's Ladymatic showed no signs of a mid-season leg injury as George Brennan took her from sixth to the outside heading into the three quarters and continued forward motion closing to with a length of the winner at the wire. Twin B Senorita, owned by Jim Burke, John Hamilton and Blue Chip Partners, also closed well for Ray Schnittker to finish third. When Drinks Like A Fish was scratched, the eight starters were assured of returning next Saturday for the $189,000 final.

Fast Ruffles proved much the best in the $63,075 Matron Stakes elimination for 2-year-old filly pacers as the sport's leading money winning driver in 2004, Ron Pierce, piloted a 1:54.2 victory. It was the fifth win in nine starts for her owners, Lew Arno and Fred Hertrich of Seaford, Del. lifting her first season earnings over the $300,000 mark. Longshot Crystal Slipper closed strongly for Piermont Farms to finish second. The Bill Popfinger-trainee was driven by Cat Manzi, who earlier in the day won six races at Freehold Raceway. Schwartz, DeLucia, Wallace and Minkoff Estate's Artistic Hanover got up for third nipping Ron Mario's Born Storyteller and Jon Roberts who despite road trouble, settled for fourth. The first eight of the 10 starters qualify for next week's $189,000 final. Town Pro Miss was scratched.

Sunday, in what is considered the most competitive Progress Pace eliminations since the event was initiated eight years ago, twelve horses will take part in two $35,000 divisions with the first four in each making the $350,000 final on Nov. 14. A $54,000 Matron Two-Year-Old Colt Trot elim is also on the Sunday card. Before the first race, two Billings Amateur trots will be raced.

Progress Pace and Matron Stakes Elimination on tap

Arguably the finest field in the eight years of the Progress Pace will start in two $35,000 eliminations on Sunday at Dover Downs. A $54,850 Matron Stakes Elimination for 2-year-old trotters will be the co-feature. Post time will be at 5:30 p.m. (EST).

The first of the $35,000 Progress Pace Eliminations will include the Breeders Crown, Little Brown Jug, Messenger Stakes, and North America Cup winners, and the fastest 3-year-old of all time, among a select field of six starters.

Quik Pulse Mindale, an early season purchase by Hartley, Del. resident Lloyd Arnold, has paid a handsome dividend, and will start from the rail. The Jenna’s Beach Boy colt has won 12 of 15 races and has earned $586,381. Driven by Chicago standout Tony Morgan, the colt posted 1:483 and 1:48 victories in consecutive races in September.

Starting alongside that one will be M&L of Delaware’s Mantacular, a winner of the first $1 million race of the year, the North America Cup at Woodbine. Cat Manzi will drive the winner of $836,782 this year.

The Breeders Crown winner, Western Terror, one of two Matron nominees owned by Perfect World Enterprises, will be teamed with driver Brian Sears. Western Terror won this year’s Tattersalls Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes, and dead heated for win in the Cane Pace.

John Fielding and Canamerica Capital Corp.’s Holborn Hanover, a Bluegrass Stakes winner earlier this fall, will be driven by George Brennan. Jay Langfelder, TLP Stable, and Norm and Jerry Smiley’s Metropolitan, the Messenger Stakes winner, will be reined by John Campbell, and Dover Downs driving champion Jim Morand will pilot Martin Scharf’s early season standout, Brandon’s Cowboy, who posted a 1:513 victory last Saturday.

Perfect World’s Timesareachanging (Ron Pierce), a nine-time winner this year, who has been in the money in 16 of 17 starts, will leave from the outside post, number six in the second $35,000 Progress Pace Elimination.

Ted Gewertz, the Franks, and trainer Joe Holloway’s Driven To Win (David Miller), a Bluegrass Stakes winner; Carol Pilger and Marland Dulaney’s New York Sire Stakes Final winner Squaw’s Fella; and the New Jersey Futurity winner All My Life (Jim Morrill Jr.), owned by Deena Frost and Sampson Street Stables are strong contenders.

A pair of Ontario-owned colts drew the inside posts. Patrick Ryan’s Sparkler (Paul MacDonnell), the winner of the Confederation Cup, will start from the rail and Crombes Last Laugh, a Kentucky Sire Stakes Final winner, will start from post position two.

The top-four finishers in each elimination will return next Sunday, November 14, for the $350,000 Progress Pace Final.

The $54,850 Matron Stakes Elimination for 2-year-old trotters will feature two $20,000 supplemental entrants. Have A Dream Stable’s Green Dot (Dave Palone) is fresh from winning a Bluegrass Stakes and a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Final, and the other supplement is Med Vac (John Campbell), owned by Adam Victor and Son Stable, the first Delaware-sired 2-year-old to win $100,000. He won the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Final at Harrington Raceway in 2:004, track record time over that half-mile track in his last start.

Another Delaware-sired son of CR Commando, Diana Harrison’s Maid To Command (Tim Curtin) will leave from the second tier, along with Seal Stable and driver Ray Schnittker’s Clearaway, who drew post position 10.

Strong Yankee Stable’s Strong Yankee (Trond Smedshammer); Christina Takter and Lindy Racing’s Manopoly (David Miller); Bill Solomon and Emposimato Stable’s Mr Dream OM (Jim Doherty); Jim Petruccelli’s Northern Kid (Ray Remmen); Ole Bach Nielsen’s Penn Stix (Ron Pierce); and Bob Key’s American Explorer (Mike Wilder) are the other starters. The first eight finisher will qualify for next Sunday’s $205,000 Matron Stakes Final.

A pair of $26,613 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers, one led by Rainbow Blue and the other by Kikikatie, will highlight a potent Monday program.

Dover Downs has added a Pick 4 to its wagering format, and it will be featured on the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh races each day, and a fifth Superfecta has been added to the track’s daily, six-day-a-week, 15 race schedule. Superfectas will be offered on the third, fifth, ninth, 13th, and 15th races. Simulcasting from major harness and Thoroughbred tracks is featured daily, from noon until midnight (EST).

Again this year, Dover Downs will race on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and on Monday through Thursday, post time will be at 4:30 p.m. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant. Call (302) 674-4600.

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