East Rutherford, NJ — Three months have passed since When Dovescry and Plunge Blue Chip clashed at The Meadowlands in a Steele Memorial thriller. On Saturday night (Nov. 21), both million-dollar mares returned to settle the score in the $140,000 TVG Mares Trot.
The 2019 Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry, a 4-year-old mare by Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove, set a career best mark of 1:50.0 in the Steele this past August. The Brett Pelling trainee entered off a second-place finish in her local prep race last week. She left from the outside post six as the even-money favorite taking on five rivals, with her adversary, Plunge Blue Chip, drawing post position three.
Plunge Blue Chip, the daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato, finished second to When Dovescry when the two last met locally in the Steele. Ake Svanstedt, who trains, drives and owns the 5-year-old mare in partnership with Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc., got away well at the sound of the bell, sending Plunge Blue Chip to the early lead. Around the first turn, she relinquished the top to longshot, Felicityshagwell S, who made the opening quarter in :27.1.
Sensing a slow pace, Svandstedt pulled the pocket and brushed to the point with Plunge Blue Chip as the field linked up with the backstretch. She progressed unhurried to the half-mile marker, catching a :29.1 breather, clipping the beam in :56.2. With plenty in reserve and no serious threats, Plunge Blue Chip showed the field her heels in the stretch, kicking clear to a 1-1/2 length victory.
Pat Matters advanced from last to finish second. When Dovescry settled for third.
Plunge Blue Chip stopped the clock in 1:51.4, matching a stakes record jointly held by Hanalore Hanover and Emoticon Hanover. She paid $5.80 to win as the 9-5 second choice.
“The best position for her today was in the front, and she made it,” Svanstedt said. “She came home fast and felt good.”
On a night that celebrated the retirements of Manchego, Bettor’s Wish and Kissin In the Sand, Svanstedt revealed in a surprise post-race announcement, that Plunge Blue Chip has made her final trip around the Big M oval.
According to Svanstedt, “[Plunge Blue Chip] sold as a broodmare and she is going to Anvil and Lace farm in Kentucky.”
With her win in the TVG Mares Trot, Plunge Blue Chip improved her record to 23 wins from 48 career starts. She retires with $1.5 million in the bank.