11/10/2016 8:20PM

Dover Downs: Sophomores take their turn in Matron finals

Pure Country bounced back from a loss in the Breeders Crown to easily win her Matron

Last year's Dan Patch Award winning 2-year-old pacers Boston Red Rocks and Pure Country have had different levels of success as 3-year-olds, but they were both victorious in Matron Stakes action for 3-year-olds on Thursday at Dover Downs.  Dayson and Caprice Hill would take home top honors in the Matrons for pacers.

Pacing colts went for $160,200 in their Matron, and Check Six (Yannick Gingras) blasted to the front quarter in 25 2/5, forcing Western Fame (Mark MacDonald) to scramble into the two-hole.  Check Six would go on to reach the half in 54 2/5, with Boston Red Rocks (Tim Tetrick) commencing a first-up move out of the fourth position.  Boston Red Rocks advanced in the third quarter, getting to within half a length of Check Six at the 1:21 3/5 three-quarters, then took the lead in the lane.  From there, Boston Red Rocks poured it on, opening up to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Western Fame in 1:49 3/5.  Check Six held third, ahead of Racing Hill (Brett Miller) and Manhattan Beach (Matt Kakaley).

"He's had some bumps in the road, but when you go to that 3-year-old year, it's a tough game to hold," Tetrick explained in regards to Boston Red Rocks's struggles at the top level this year.  "He really likes the cooler weather.  Last year he didn't get really good until late in the year, winning the Breeders Crown.

"It's a war when you go into the 3-year-old colts.  It's a battle for the toughest one out there.  It's been a long year for those.  Check Six is a nice horse; he's raced three times in 2 1/2 weeks, and he raced hard.  My horse didn't go to Hoosier, and he's fresh and happy, but he went a good trip tonight.  He was out at the quarter, and he got the job done."

Boston Red Rocks, a Rocknroll Hanover colt, is trained by Steve Elliott for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks.  This was his ninth lifetime victory, and he has now put away $1,041,360.  Dispatched at 7-2, Boston Red Rocks returned $9.00 to win.

In the filly pace, which carried a purse of $148,400, Penpal (Pat Lachance) was first at the 26 second opening quarter, but Pure Country (Brett Miller) brushed from third to first on the way to the 54 4/5 half.  Pure Country went on to click off three-quarters in 1:23, opening a gap on Penpal and on the first-over try of L A Delight (John Campbell), and Pure Country would continue to dominate through the lane, eventually winning by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:50 2/5.  Penpal stayed in second, with Blue Moon Stride (Andrew McCarthy), Apple Bottom Jeans (Kevin Switzer Jr.), and L A Delight rounding out the top-five finishers.

"This is the best filly I've ever driven.  She's been superb since Day One, and she just felt tonight as good as she's felt all year," said Brett Miller.  "She's a big filly, great gaited, and she's got the heart of a champion."

Pure Country is a Diamond Creek homebred trained by Jimmy Takter.  The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere has now won 20 times from 31 career starts, and she has earned $1,772,398.  The even-money choice, Pure Country paid $4.00 to win.

"She's been a fantastic horse these two seasons she's been racing," Takter said.  "This year has especially been an extremely tough group of 3-year-old fillies, but she seems like she loves to win big races.  She's a big filly with a big and powerful stride.  She has the right desire to want to be a champion."FotowonDayson proved best in the Matron colt trot

The colt trot offered up the biggest purse with $178,650 on the line, and Sutton (Andy Miller) chopped out fractions of 26 4/5, 56 2/5, and 1:24 3/5, with Dayson (Gingras) working his way into contention from first-over in the back-half of the mile.  Dayson would forge his way past Sutton off the final bend, then held on through the lane to defeat Double L Lindy (Ake Svanstedt), who was rallying in the passing lane, by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.  Lagerfeld (David Miller) finished third after tracking the winner's cover, and he was followed by Love Matters (Tetrick) and Sutton.

"I liked him all along; I liked him early in the year when Ronnie got him," said Gingras.  "He's a nice horse.  I thought Sutton on the front-end got used pretty hard, so I took my chance first-up, and it worked out."

Ron Burke trains Dayson, a gelding by Conway Hall, for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC., Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables LLC., and Rossie Smith.  Dayson has 19 career victories from 14 tries, and he has earned $662,120.  Dayson was the 4-5 favorite and paid $3.60 to win.

"Kevin Smith put together a deal to get the horse bought," offered Burke.  "The horse was a super 2-year-old, and we thought we could maybe give him a little exposure.  We'd race him a little bit more cross-country, get him into a little bit more races and just give him more opportunities, and the horse has taken advantage of the opportunities he's been given."

The event for trotting fillies went for a purse of $149,000, and Spicedbourbongirl (Jeff Gregory) took the lead before the 26 3/5 opening quarter, with 1-2 choice All The Time (Gingras) up to get the lead out of third prior to the 56 1/5 half.  Caprice Hill (Sears) then tipped first-over out of fourth at the half, and she would advance to challenge All The Time at the 1:24 3/5 three-quarters.  Caprice Hill took over the lead on the far turn, cleared turning for home, and then opened up through the stretch to win by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:52 3/5, a new lifetime mark.  All The Time stayed in second, with Non Stick (Ake Svanstedt) up for third.  Spicedbourbongirl took home a fourth-place finish, and Womans Will (Marcus Miller) came in fifth.

"She's a real nice filly.  It was great to get the opportunity to drive her.  She drew good, but she's got a lot of talent, and she won pretty handily," Sears said.  "I've watched her race a few times, but I thought with the post position that she drew, and they were racing out of there pretty good, that first-over would be a good spot for her, and it worked out."

Tony Alagna trains Caprice Hill, a Kadabra filly, for owner Tom Hill.  This was her 15th career victory, and she has now banked $992,401.  Sent off at 2-1, she returned $6.20 to win.