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When Dovescry Upsets In Steele Memorial

Published: August 8, 2020 1:35 pm ET

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All eyes were on heavily-favoured Manchego in the $166,550 Dr. John R. Steele Memorial, but When Dovescry turned in a giant performance en route to pulling off the upset in the rich affair for trotting mares.

Plunge Blue Chip rocketed off the starting gate for Ake Svanstedt and had her four foes tracking her through an opening quarter in :26.4. Manchego, who tucked in fourth in the early going for Dexter Dunn, tipped out and brushed to the lead in the backstretch.

She cruised along on the lead through middle panels of :54.3 and 1:23 before coming under attack from When Dovescry and driver David Miller. The Brett Pelling trainee muscled her way alongside Manchego off the final turn and then drew away in deep stretch before halting the teletimer in 1:50. Plunge Blue Chip shot up the rail to be second, with Manchego fading late and settling for third.

"She's a beautiful mare, beautiful to be around...kind, manners are fantastic," said trainer Brett Pelling. "There's a race next week in Tioga, we'll play it by ear with how we come out of this. There's not many races, they're spaced apart. We're really looking forward to taking her to Lexington, that's the primary goal.

"Manchego's amazing,” he added. “I just love watching her. I mean, her gait...being a horse trainer, to watch her, it's just been a treat for the last three years. But they can't be 100 percent everyday."

It was the first win of the season for When Dovescry, who races for Yves Sarrazin, Dumain Haven Farm, Singh And Soulsby and John Lengacher. The four-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove is now an 11-time winner with earnings of $1,111,243.

The Dr. John R. Steele Memorial is one of many stakes contested on the Hambletonian Day card at The Meadowlands. Read about the rest of the action in the Hambletonian Day News Centre.

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