Two heavily favored trotters lead fields of nine in Memorial Day’s Empire Breeder’s Classic finals at Vernon Downs: Honorable Daughter in the $212,875 final for the ladies, and Donttellmywife in the $206,275 final for the men.
These two talented sophomore trotters each won their respective eliminations last Saturday night and the connections were given the opportunity to pick their own post positions for the final. Donttellmywife's connections opted for post position number three, while the connections of Honorable Daughter selected post position number five.
Honorable Daughter will once again be piloted by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Larry Remmen. She was voted 2-year-old trotting filly of the year last year, which included a world record mile of 1:55.1 for 2-year-old trotting fillies on a five-eighths mile track in the final of the Matron at Dover. The 3-year old daughter of Malabar Man-Honorable Mother will look to increase her bankroll to more than $948,000 in only 13 lifetime starts with a win on Memorial Day at Vernon Downs.
Honorable Daughter’s stablemate Matchplay Volo won the other elimination for trotting fillies last week and her connections have selected post position number four. Morrill also steered her to victory for trainer Remmen, but will continue to drive Honorable Daughter in the final. Stephane Bouchard has been listed on the driving assignment of Matchplay Volo who is a daughter of world champion millionaire Stroke Play.
The undefeated Donttellmywife will be steered by regular pilot Jeff Gregory for trainer George Ducharme. A perfect eight-for-eight in his young career, Donttellmywife will look to keep it that way in the richest race of his career to date. Owned by Ducharme, Nicola Oliva, and Harrah's Chester on-track analyst Shannon Di Antonio, Donttellmywife earned over $220,000 as a freshman and took a mark of 1:58.2 in the New York Sire Stakes final at Yonkers Raceway.
Also featured on the Monday afternoon card at Vernon Downs, Lantern Kronos will race in the $9,000 Open Trot for driver-trainer Jimmy Takter. Lantern Kronos won 12 of her 18 starts last year at age three and banked over $914,000, but she has yet to hit the board in two efforts this season.