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Dover Hosts Progress & Matron Elims


Published: November 3, 2008 12:13 pm ET

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Only trotters Crazed and In Focus and filly pacer Native Bride delivered as post time favourites during a stakes-filled program at Dover Downs on Sunday.

The five-eighths mile oval hosted a long list of talented sophomores for eliminations for the Progress Pace and Matron Stakes.

Dali pulled a 10-1 surprise in one of the $35,000 Progress Pace elims. Luc Ouellette, a three-time Dover Downs driver champion at the turn of the century, moved at the half to speed past odds-on favourite Badlands Nitro on the backstretch.

He held a two-length advantage through a :28 second final panel en route to posting a career-best clocking of 1:50.1. The Real Artist colt is trained by Duane Marfisi for Uncirculated Stable of Brantford, ON. Badlands Nitro, a 1-5 public choice, was a strong second. Bettor Sweet nipped Moon Beam for third.

The first $35,000 Progress Pace elim went to Ron Pierce and Proper Respect, who closed at odds of 10-1. The son of Mcardle, who hangs his harness bag in the barn of trainer Carlo Poliseno, caught Rudy Rednose in the final strides for a 1:52.1 victory. Dragon King finished third and Riggins was fourth. Lou Tomczak of Dover, DE holds the papers on the pacer.

The top four finishers from each of the elims advance to next Sunday's $390,000 Progress Pace Final.

Last year's Matron winner Stylish Artist broke through at 7-1 for David Miller in a 1:52.1 score in her $38,013 division. The Jeff Smith-trained daughter of Artsplace was a head better than runner-up Tug River Princess. Cheyenne Trish hustled home to finish third.

Native Bride won the second $38,013 split. Brian Sears sent the Allamerican Native filly four wide around the final turn and rolled on for a 1:52.3 victory - her 14th in 18 races this year.

Owned by Jay Sears and TH Stable, Native Bride is trained by Noel Daley. Cartniverous won the battle for second over Pasta Lavista and Artimittateslife, who were third and fourth respectively.

In the first of two $43,213 Matron Colt trot splits, Frank Antonacci-conditioned Crazed roared down the lane for Tim Tetrick to win in a time of 1:55.4 Holiday Credit came on late to finish second. Napoleon held on for third and Kajan Kooker was fourth.

The son of Credit Winner is owned by Ellen and Sam Hoffman, Bob Rudolph and Lindy Racing Stable.

Dave Palone guided In Focus to a 1:54.2 triumph in the second Matron elim for the trotting colts and geldings. The win was the 10th of the season in 15 starts for the Jimmy Takter-trained gelding.

The son of S Js Photo races for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding. Spam Spade sat second behind the winner and edged Shutter Boy for the runner-up award. Race favourite Celebrity Secret took a shot at In Focus at the half and raced outside the rest of the way to gamely finish fourth qualifying for next week's final.

In $37,957 Matron filly trot elims, Creamy Mimi, the wealthiest among the 10 starters, was overlooked at 9-1 by the public. Trond Smedshammer, who conditions the Conway Hall filly, guided her to the 1:56.4 win for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.

Stage Show was a 10-1 winner for Dave Palone in the second elimination for the filly trotters. The Jim Campbell trainee, who is owned by Arlene and Jules Siegel, won for the eighth time this season in 13 starts.

The filly covered the mile in 1:56 en route to defeating runner-up Morguns Sweetheart. Race favourite Lantern Kronos closed with a rush to finish third and Poster Pin Up was fourth.

The top eight finishers from the lucrative eliminations return Sunday, November 9 for the $390,000 Progress Pace and three Matron three-year-old finals. The filly pace goes for $253,075 while the filly trot offers a purse of $252,738 and the colt trot goes for $259,275.

(Dover Downs)

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