Freehold, NJ --- When Luis Porfilio started training All Heart Gal, he thought she might never race.
“The first three months, I didn’t think she was going to make it,” Porfilio said. “She was fighting everything. She was one of the toughest horses I ever broke in my life. Then, little by little, she was getting in gear. The last few races, she raced really good.”
All Heart Gal is coming off a 1-1/2 length win over A And Gs Princess in 1:53.1 in an elimination race for Saturday’s $199,275 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers at Dover Downs. Native Doll won the other elim in 1:52.4.
Porfilio, a native of Argentina who now lives near Hanover, Pa., is enjoying his best season in the U.S., with 10 wins in 72 starts and $196,467. Porfilio, who began his career as a trainer in the States in 2005, was an accomplished driver and trainer in Argentina; among his wins was the 2000 Gran Premio Nacional, the country’s top harness race. His late father, Domingo, was a respected horseman in his homeland. In addition to training horses, Porfilio works as a blacksmith.
All Heart Gal, a daughter of Allamerican Ingot out of the mare Nine Of Hearts, was a $7,000 yearling purchase by Porfilio. Her victories this season include divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and the Reynolds Memorial Stakes. She went off stride in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and finished fifth.
For the year, she has won five of nine starts and $132,592.
“We’re really lucky,” Porfilio said. “She’s done pretty good for me. The first six or seven races, she didn’t go a hundred percent. If you pushed her, she would stop. The drivers were really patient with her. The last few races she’s racing really good. She puts her head down and goes all the mile. She has a lot of speed and she’s a tough girl.”
Native Doll was second in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship while Matron finalist Casino Nights won a division of the International Stallion Stakes and was second in the Three Diamonds. Another Matron finalist, Full Picture, was third in the Three Diamonds, which was won by Breeders Crown champ Fancy Filly (who is finished racing this season).
“(All Heart Gal) is a good filly, but she is going to face good fillies, too,” Porfilio said. “I really like her. We have to be lucky (Saturday) and see if it’s her day.”
Following is the field in post position order for Saturday’s Matron, with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Full Picture, Richard Silverman, Jerry Silverman; 2. Lady Ann Christine, Jim Morand, Shawn Murray; 3. Casino Nights, Tim Tetrick, Michael Vanderkemp; 4. Native Doll, Ron Pierce, Salvatore Capone; 5. Rockaroundthetrack, Andy Miller, Julie Miller; 6. Skinny Dip, Corey Callahan, Brett Bittle; 7. All Heart Gal, Jim Morand, Luis Porfilio; 8. A And Gs Princess, John Campbell, Salvatore Capone.
Owners: 1. Marvin Rounick; 2. Robert Murray, Elberta Murray; 3. VAE LLC; 4. Michael Butler, Samir Tawil; 5. Brian Gordon, Kenneth Wood, Toby Rekoon; 6. Lon Frocione, 7. Luis Porfilio, Angela Porfilio; 8. A & G Stables.