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Norman On Venerable's First Loss

Published: October 26, 2021 11:24 am ET

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The opening night of Breeders Crown eliminations featured a number of unbeaten two-year-olds looking to extend those perfect records into the Breeders Crown finals this weekend. While a number of those high-profile rookies were defeated yet advanced to race this weekend, perhaps the most notable of the bunch — trotting filly Venerable — did not qualify.

Venerable looked like a lock to advance to the 2021 Breeders Crown Final for two-year-old trotting fillies and the betting public agreed by making her the 1/2 choice in her Breeders Crown elim. But the daughter of Walner - Jolene Jolene made a break in stride at the three quarter mark, taking her out of contention.

The connections of Venerable — trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman and co-owner David McDuffee — commented on Venerable in the winner's circle after the Breeders Crown elimination win of stablemate Bella Bellini on Saturday.

When The Meadowlands' Gabe Prewitt asked Norman what happened on Friday he replied honestly and succinctly. "Don't really know. Just unfortunate; I think she was a little keen and Dave (driver David Miller) was just trying to calm her down. She was wanting to get going too much on the turn there and made a mistake."

Venerable sports eight wins in nine starts with more than $1 million in earnings for trainer Norman, and co-owners Mel Hartman, Paul Bordogna and Steven Arnold. Of her eight wins, Venerable has only been on the lead at the half in three of those outings so it's not as though there was a change in tactics that prompted the miscue. And the miscue didn't prompt any sort of decision to end her season there.

"She's in great shape so I'm thinking we might go to the Matron or something like that," replied Norman when asked if Venerable would be shut down for the year. "Not going to chuck the towel in yet."

McDuffee gave that plan a green light, stating "That sounds OK with me!"

The two-year-old finals for the Matron Stakes take place on Thursday, Nov. 4 at Dover Downs.

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