11/18/2012 9:30PM

Dover Downs: Heston Blue Chip cruises to 1:49 victory in Progress Pace

Ken Weingartner
Heston Blue Chip is expected to start in next week's Matron eliminations at Dover.

Heston Blue Chip put in a solid claim for divisional honors with an authoritative performance in the $270,000 Progress Pace for three-year-old colts and geldings Sunday night at Dover Downs. The streaking son of American Ideal took on some early pressure from longshot Escape The News but once he put that horse in behind him the race was a cruise.

“I thought I had the best horse so I took control,” said winning driver Tim Tetrick following the 1:49 performance.

The Breeders Crown winner was sent off as the 1-10 favorite in the field of seven leaving from post five. Tetrick put him in front and paced a :25 2/5 opening quarter before Yannick Gingras and Escape The News elected to take a seat in second. Heston Blue Chip cut the half in :54 and then stablemate Bettors Edge went to the outside trying to advance without cover. Tetrick didn’t let the challenger get too close, pacing three quarters in 1:21 1/5 and opening up ground on the competition.

In the homestretch only North America Cup winner Thinking Out Loud was gaining on the winner.

“He was tired at the wire,” said Tetrick, “But he should be finishing out a 1:49 mile.”

Thinking Out Loud had rallied solidly from a dull cover trip, but despite the effort couldn’t get into hailing distance of the winner, settling for second. Bettors Edge finished third.

Sweet Lou, despite starting from the rail, couldn’t keep up well early, eventually was able to slip out behind Bettors Edge down the backstretch but showed no closing kick.

Heston Blue Chip won for the 13th time in 16 starts this year and increased his season’s bank account to $934,316 for winning trainer Linda Toscano and owner Ken Jacobs.

The undercard on Sunday at Dover included seven divisions of the Matron Stakes for two and three-year-olds of both gaits and sexes. Guccio led a top three sweep for the Jimmy Takter stable in the Matron event for three-year-old colt trotters. Trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, Guccio rallied from off the pace to track down his stablemates Uncle Peter and Little Brown Fox. The winner trotted home in 1:53. Favored Googoo Gaagaa had a long trip from the outside racing parked early and then briefly tried to attack pacesetter Little Brown Fox past the half to no avail, tiring on the final turn.

Personal Style and driver Dave Miller tracked down favored Win Missy B in the stretch to establish a new track record for sophomore trotting fillies in her Matron division. The Hambo Oaks winner scored in 1:53 2/5.

Driver Tim Tetrick picked up the drive behind the Ray Schnittker-trained Royal Assets and the two-year-old filly trotted to a 1:55 career best victory in her Matron class outkicking the heavily favored Time To Kill in the stretch drive.

In the first Matron of the evening, Text Winner, the longest shot in the field of five, was one of only two not to break stride and scored at 12-1 for driver Ron Pierce. Text Winner posted a 1:56 3/5 mile in the process.

Somwherovrarainbow completed her season in impressive style capturing the Matron for juvenile pacing fillies in a brisk 1:51 3/5 mile. The homebred daughter of champions Somebeachsomewhere and Rainbow Blue went wire-to-wire with driver Montrell Teague dictating the action.

In a hotly contested mile for juvenile pacing colts, Twilight Bonfire and David Miller catapulted off a live second-over trip to score in 1:51 flat. The son of The Panderosa closely tracked favored Dedi’s Dragon into the homestretch and kicked in sharply for the score at a 4-1 mutuel.

In one of the closer finishes of the Matron night, Darena Hanover, the 3-5 favorite in the event for sophomore pacing fillies, narrowly held off 15-1 shot Marty Party on the wire for winning driver Yannick Gingras. Darena Hanover went wire-to-wire with Marty Party sitting tight behind her throughout, in the stretch Marty Party went inside as Darena Hanover bore out slightly but just couldn’t get there, losing in a tight photo. The daughter of Yankee Cruiser paced home in 1:50 4/5.