After hosting the freshmen in Matron Stakes last week, Bally's Dover gathered the sport's top sophomores for four Matron Stakes events on the Thursday (Nov. 10) card.
Warrawee Xenia began the stakes with an 8-1 upset in the $135,300 Matron for three-year-old trotting fillies. In rein to James MacDonald, Warrawee Xenia landed in fourth while Venerable seized the lead past a :26.2 first quarter. Odds-on favourite Joviality S then pressed first over into a :55.4 half while supplying cover to Warrawee Xenia. Joviality S inched to a narrow lead by three-quarters in 1:23.4 but trotted evenly off the final turn while others still had fuel in the tank. Warrawee Xenia had the freshest legs off the corner and pounced to the front to stop the clock in 1:52.4 and finish a length better than Venerable. Raised By Lindy rode the pocket to take third and Virgin Mary S sat a pylon trip for fourth.
Mark Steacy trains Warrawee Xenia, a now 10-time winner in 22 starts and an earner of $231,478 for owners Mark Steacy, David McDonald, Dale Larson and Diane Bertrand. She paid $18 to win.
A few races later, Double Deceiver dethroned King Of The North with a pocket-popping score in the $143,950 Matron Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot. Driver David Miller pushed the son of Cantab Hall from the pylon post to a :26.2 first quarter before yielding to the lead to King Of The North. King Of The North then rolled to a :55.1 half and 1:23.3 three-quarters but started to shorten stride around the final turn. Miller floated off the pylons with Double Deceiver spinning for home and surged past King Of The North to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.4 with Keg Stand charging late for third.
Double Deceiver competes for owners Pinske Stables and Makenna Pinske. Carter Pinske trains the 11-time winner and earner of $822,579 who paid $6.20 to win.
Niki Hill reserved her throne off a Breeders Crown loss with a decisive 1:49.4 victory in the $123,950 Matron Three-Year-Old Filly Pace. The daughter of Always B Miki raced fourth to a :26.1 first quarter set by Silver Label before pulling first over for driver Dexter Dunn to a :55.2 half. Niki Hill pushed forward to three-quarters in 1:22.3 and easily put away her peers in the lane to cruise to a 3-1/2-length win under a hand drive while chased by Boudoir Hanover. Wickedly Innocent took third and Silver Label faded to fourth.
Tom Hill owns Niki Hill, who won her 12th race from 16 starts and has now earned $1,382,959. Chris Ryder conditions the filly who paid $2.40 to win.
North America Cup winner Pebble Beach uncorked another strong mile in taking the $158,200 Matron Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace in 1:51.2. I Did It Myway asserted himself to the point in :25.4 but driver Todd McCarthy soon circled Pebble Beach from the pocket to the front and coasted through middle fractions of :54.3 and 1:22.4. Pebble Beach swelled off the final turn and hit another gear to fend off I Did It Myway by three-quarter lengths with Energetic Hanover closing for third and Mad Max Hanover rallying for fourth.
Pebble Beach has now won 16 races from 27 starts and earned $1,941,975 for owners Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Country Club Acres Inc. and LAExpressFoderaDeoVolente. Noel Daley trains the colt who paid $3.20 to win.