“We prepped him for the sire stakes and took our time with him. He’s developed more than we thought he would.”
Dog Gone Lucky is proving himself to be doggone good.
A two-year-old male trotter, Dog Gone Lucky heads to Thursday’s $216,300 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs off a win in last weekend’s Kindergarten Classic Series championship. He has won his most recent two starts and finished second by a neck to Brooklyn Hill in a stakes race at The Red Mile three races ago.
Dog Gone Lucky drew post No. 1 for the Matron. Corey Callahan, Dover Downs’ six-time leading driver, will be at the lines for trainer Chuck Sylvester.
“He seems like he’s getting a little bit better toward the end of the year,” said Sylvester, who trains Dog Gone Lucky for owners Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley.
Dover Downs also hosts Matron Stakes for two-year-old female trotters and two-year-old male and female pacers on Thursday. Post time is 4:30 p.m. for the day’s first race.
The Matron for female trotters features Kathy Parker and Womans Will, who finished 2-3 in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Kindergarten Series championship runner-up Lookin Sharp.
Stakes-winners Big Top Hanover, Ideal Rocky, and Autotune Hanover are among the eight horses in the Matron for male pacers while stakes-winner Shezarealdeal leads a field of eight female pacers. Big Top Hanover and Shezarealdeal both finished second in the Breeders Crown.
Dog Gone Lucky is a son of former Sylvester star Lucky Chucky out of the mare Ebbtide Hall. He won the Kindergarten from post nine, beating fellow Sylvester-trainee Waitlifter K by two lengths in 1:54.2. Dog Gone Lucky has won four of 11 races and earned $213,343.
“He leaves the gate well and he got a nice trip after he went to the front at Vernon,” Sylvester said. “Some of the best colts aren’t in (the Matron) so he’ll be OK I think. Our plans were not to race him so early, but in these late races. If everything goes good he’ll be in the Valley Victory.”
Waitlifter K also is in the Matron and will start from post five with driver David Miller. The colt, who has won two of 11 races and earned $95,379, is owned by Robert Key. Waitlifter K is a son of Muscles Yankee, another former Sylvester standout, out of the mare Treasure Forever.
“He’s a horse I just couldn’t race every week, so we took our time with him,” Sylvester said. “Mr. Key said it was OK to do whatever was best and to do it at our own pace. He raced very good last week and he’ll be sharper this week. If all goes well, he’ll be going to the Valley Victory too.”
Sylvester is looking forward to seeing how the horses develop over the winter.
“I don’t think we’ve over-raced them,” he said. “They’ll have two more starts and then get a nice rest. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for next year.”
Among the horses joining Dog Gone Lucky and Waitlifter K in the Matron are stakes-winners Milligans School and Love Matters.
This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.