Dover, DE — R Melina ($3.60) coasted to victory in the $138,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies while Maxim Hanover ($18.60) rallied off cover to spring an 8-1 upset in the $145,000 Matron for rookie pacing colts and geldings on Thursday (Nov. 2) at Bally’s Dover.
A winner of the Kentuckiana and multiple legs of the New York Sire Stakes, R Melina and driver Tim Tetrick brushed to the fore at the completion of a :28.1 quarter to seize control from French Champagne (Åke Svanstedt). Once in control, the Chapter Seven-Goodtogo Hanover filly was never in doubt, evading Svanstedt’s other entrant, Upallnight Hanover (Scott Zeron), by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4. French Champagne finished third.
John Butenschoen trains R Melina, a six-time winner from 10 starts with $315,613 in earnings, for M and L of Delaware and Alabama Harness Associates.
Leading up to the Matron, Maxim Hanover’s only victories had come in the Reynolds Stakes and the Liberty Bell — and both via overland routes.
Andy McCarthy worked out a similar trip for the Captaintreacherous-Mean Leen colt in the Matron, landing him third-over from sixth behind the live cover of Booming Economy (Yannick Gingras) while Wish You Well (David Miller) tore through middle splits of :54.4 and 1:23.4.
Booming Economy pushed three-wide off the home turn to engulf Wish You Well just inside the eighth pole, but Maxim Hanover switched off cover and surged to collar that rival by a neck in 1:52. Magnifico Hanover (Brian Sears) was third.
Robert Cleary trains Maxim Hanover, now a three-time winner with $128,640 in career earnings, for Royal Wire Products Inc.