Dover Downs will play host to many of harness racing's top sophomore standardbreds with the Matron Stakes headlining the Thursday (Nov. 12) card.
Ramona Hill, who beat the boys when capturing the Hambletonian this year, takes on Hypnotic AM and Sorella in the $163,050 Matron Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. Absattitudexpress, who upset Ramona Hill in the Bluegrass in Lexington, will also start in the eight-horse contest along with Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Love A Good Story and Ohio Sires Stakes champion Guinevere Hall.
After claiming back-to-back titles in the Breeders Crown, Amigo Volo now heads over to the Delaware oval as the morning-line favourite in the $162,350 Matron Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot. The Richard "Nifty" Norman trainee aims to continue a strong campaign which includes victories in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship and the Kentucky Futurity. Among his competitors are stablemate and Canadian Trotting Classic champ Chestnut Hill, along with a four-pronged Ake Svanstedt charge led by Hambletonian third-place finisher Back Of The Neck.
The once-undefeated Party Girl Hill, suffering her first defeat when Peaky Sneaky slid up the open stretch to win the Breeders Crown final, returns to the track in the $154,450 Matron Three-Year-Old Filly Pace. Holding a 14-race win streak heading into the Breeders Crown including victories in the Fan Hanover, Jugette and Tattersalls Pace, the Chris Ryder trainee will attempt to regain her groove from the pylon post opposite of stablemate New Year, who will leave from Post 8.
Pacing glamour boys cap the Grand Circuit competition with the $179,600 Matron Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace. World champion Cattlewash, who recorded a 1:46.4 mile earlier this year at Lexington, faces a trio from trainer Tony Alagna including Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa, Captain Kirk and Capt Midnight. Ontario star Tattoo Artist also competes in the eight-horse affair.
First post time for the Grand Circuit program is slated for 4:30 p.m. (EST).
(with files from Dover Downs)