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Pair of Matron eliminations lead weekend stakes at Dover

Friday, November 19, 2010  By: Marv Bachrad, publicity director, Dover Downs

Pair of Matron eliminations lead weekend stakes at Dover

Dover, DE --- Rock N Roll Heaven, the heir apparent to 2010 Horse of the Year honors, closes out his spectacular season at Dover Downs by racing in the last Matron Stakes beginning this Sunday (Nov. 21). The Matron elimination features two standout $30,319 divisions for the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers.

Trained by Bruce Saunders, a former Delaware EDA director who has become one of the sport's top conditioners, Rock N Roll Heaven has won 14 of 19 races and earned $2,050,077 this season. Daniel Dube is his regular driver. Ironically, owner Frank Belino will not watch his horse in person; he’s superstitious and always watches him race via TV.

Rockin Image, winner of last Sunday’s $320,000 Progress Pace, is another leading contender in the second Matron elimination, meeting Rock N Roll Heaven. The first four finishers in each section return next Sunday, Nov. 28, for an estimated $200,000 final.

Several participants are owned by Delaware Valley residents. Kovach Stables and George Teague, from the Harrington area, and New Yorker Ted Gewertz send Windfall Blue Chip, third in the Progress Pace, starting against Rock N Roll Heaven and Rockin Image. Urgent Action, second in the recent Messenger stake, is owned by Marvin Rounick of Narberth, a western Philadelphia suburb.

In the first $30,319 Matron, Delmarvalous, second in the Progress Pace Final, is owned by trainer George Teague and Elmer Fannin of Lincoln, Del., with Badlands Racing of Chadds Ford, Pa. Eddie Davis, the all-time leading driver in the Delaware Valley, now in semi-retirement, and his wife, Kathy, own the fast Nova Artist, to be driven by their son Allan Davis. BFJ Stables of Philadelphia is part owner of Dreamlands Art.

This weekend will also spotlight the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund stakes. There are four divisions, each with two $20,000 purse races each day. On Saturday, freshman fillies race with two trots scheduled as non-wagering events prior to the regular racing card, while the paces take place on the betting program. On Sunday, the male pacers and trotters match strides. The second round of the DSBF prelims are set for the following weekend with the top eight in each division racing in four $100,000 finals the week after, the fillies on Dec. 4 and colts on Dec. 5.

With three wins Thursday, Corey Callahan returned to the top of the leading driver standings with 36 wins. Ron Pierce is now second with 35. Ross Wolfenden hold third place with 19. Tim Tetrick is fourth, driving 18 winners. Tony Morgan completes the top five with 11 wins.

Josh Green is atop the leading trainer standings. The six-time track champion has haltered 10 winners. Dylan Davis is next with nine. Tied for third are Les Givens and Joe Hundertpfund with eight, while Eli Scott is number five with seven winners.

With no live racing on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, there is a special draw schedule in effect for next week. Horses to race on Wednesday, Nov. 24, must be dropped in to race on Saturday, Nov. 20. The Sunday, Nov. 28, entries must be made on Monday, Nov. 22. For the Tuesday, Nov. 30 card, entries must be made on Wednesday, Nov. 24. The Wednesday, Dec. 1, draw is set for Saturday, Nov. 27. The daily entry box is open at 10 a.m. and closes at 12 Noon sharp. There are no exceptions.


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