11/07/2013 3:40PM

Dover: Siegelman hopes for another winning trip in Matron

Ken Weingartner/USTA Photo
Trainer Robbie Siegelman

Robbie Siegelman doesn’t make many trips to Dover Downs.

In fact, when Cheyenne Miriam won the open handicap for fillies and mares there on Nov. 4, it was the first time Siegelman raced a horse at Dover Downs since 2008. And over the last 15 years, the New Jersey-based New Yorker has competed at Dover just 20 times.

So when Cheyenne Miriam returns to Dover Downs for Sunday’s eliminations for the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers, Siegelman is hoping it’s worth the trip.

It was worth it in 2002, when Cheyenne Rei upset a field that included the favored entry of Art Major and McArdle to win the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers.

“I don’t race there often, but I’ve always gone there with a quality horse,” Siegelman said. “We’ve always done well at Dover. I like going there.”

Cheyenne Miriam heads to her Matron elimination off her head victory over 8-year-old Monochromatic, who has earned nearly three-quarters of a million dollars lifetime, in her last start. Cheyenne Miriam has won 11 of 22 races this year, missing the board only twice, and earned $289,807.

The Matron will be her first test in open stakes company; she won three times on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and finished second to Casie Coleman’s Social Scene in the $225,000 final.

“I think based on her consistency and how she seems to stay fresh, she deserves a chance to race in it,” Siegelman said. “She showed it (Monday) night; she beat a tough aged mare first up. It was very impressive.”

Cheyenne Miriam was bred by G.R.J. Partners – Barry Rubenstein, Gordon Freeman and Jeff Rubinstein – and is raced by lessee The Cheyenne Gang, which includes G.R.J. Partners, Larry Altman and Eli Oxenhorn.

She is a daughter of Bettor’s Delight out of the mare Alibecca and her third dam is millionaire Nadia Lobell. Alibecca’s half-sister Falconstor produced former Cheyenne Gang star Cheyenne Trish.

Cheyenne Miriam was limited to two starts last season because of soreness. She finished fifth in her first start this year, then won six of her next seven races in conditioned classes. She has not missed the board in 12 starts since being sixth-placed-seventh after going off stride in a race at Yonkers in May.

“We didn’t know she was going to be a stakes horse because she didn’t really race at (age) 2,” Siegelman said. “We raced her twice, she came up real sore behind, so we shut her down.

“I think her best asset is her consistency. I just hope we can keep it going. She’s been amazingly consistent. (Driver) Simon Allard said those two (off-the-board finishes) were his fault. One time she hit a wheel; she was locked in and loaded. The other was the first start of the year, where she was locked in. She’s legit, just a really nice filly.”

Cheyenne Miriam is the 3-1 second choice in her Matron elimination, with Andy Miller listed to drive. Somwherovrarainbow, who was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly pacer in 2012, is the 2-1 favorite for trainer George Teague Jr. and driver Montrell Teague.

World champion Shebestingin, driven by David Miller for trainer Joe Holloway, is the 2-5 morning line favorite in the second elimination.

Regardless of what happens in the Matron, Siegelman is looking forward to seeing what Cheyenne Miriam can do in the future.

“It looks like we’re probably going to keep racing her,” Siegelman said. “My guys are in the racing game. There was some talk about selling her, but hopefully we can just enjoy her.

“Hopefully she stays healthy. To possibly have one of those aged mares to race, they’re so hard to find; the tough, rugged aged mares. That’s what I’m hoping for her.”

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com