McDove Misses In Thriller

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Exit Sixty Slew (red) & McDove battle through the stretch

McDove ran a wonderful race and did everything but win Saturday at Emerald Downs.

With Javier Matias donning the green and white silks of Emerald Racing Club, McDove took the early lead, was resilient when challenged on the last turn, and battled head and head the length of the stretch vs. a sharp filly named Exit Sixty Slew.

Unfortunately, Exit Sixty Slew had her head down at the wire and prevailed in a photo finish, thus becoming the first horse to win three races this season at Emerald Downs.

The race was the $15,600 Stella Artois Purse for fillies and mares, with a $20,000 claiming price.

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Exit Sixty Slew in front. . . .barely

Ridden by Rocco Bowen, Exit Sixty Slew ran one mile in 1:36.66 and paid $3.80 as the betting favorite. She was claimed, too, as trainer Blaine Wright and owners Below The Rim Stable and Medicore Racing claimed Exit Sixty Slew from Saturday’s race for $20,000.

McDove ran fabulously in defeat, easily finishing second, while First Heritage, Diamond Cut and Cup of Soup rounded out the order of finish. It was a bit surprising to see McDove grab the early lead away from Exit Sixty Slew, but trainer Sharon Ross said Javier Matias rode the horse well.

“Sometimes they break sharp and want to roll,” she said. “Javier’s a good rider with a great clock in his head, and he knows how to adapt during a race.”

McDove led by a length and half while setting fractional times of :24.31 for the quarter-mile, :47.76 for the half and 1:11.55 for three-quarters (six furlongs). Exit Sixty Slew challenged from the outside on the last turn and appeared headed for another convincing victory, but McDove wouldn’t go away, and the two 4-year-old fillies raced side by side the length of the stretch in a virtual match race.

Although the photo didn’t go our way, it was very neat to see the Emerald Racing Club reward McDove with a big round of applause after the race. She earned $3,120 for her efforts.

“McDove ran a great race,” Sharon Ross said. “Sometimes you run great and get beat, it happens in horse racing.”

For ERC veterans, Saturday’s contest was reminiscent of the 2015 stretch duel between Charlie Thomas and Coach Royal, and just as exhilarating.

We’ll let the dust settle, regroup and then explore options for another race for McDove. In two starts, she has one second, one third and $4,800 in earnings.

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7 thoughts on “McDove Misses In Thriller

  1. It was a great race to watch-others I talked to that watched on TV said they had a hard time sitting still.

  2. What a thrilling race she ran start to finish. I was happy & surprised to see her use her early speed. Now that she has a sprint & a route race under her belt, she will be double tough next time out.

  3. Hey Vince you should give writing a try as a professional, your post here really brought back the feeling of excitement during yesterdays race. What a great horse race, if the racing club members had any power all of us stretching our neck at the finish line she would have won that race. After the race you could see how elated Sharon and Javier were, all us rail birds were thrilled at witnessing such an classic display of horse racing. Thank you to them, the grooms and everyone else who made Saturday such a fun day. This is why we keep coming back each year as club members, the thrill of an almost victory with “OUR” horse makes a real victory that much sweeter.

    By the way, Gerald had WPS ticket on Tondasarh which made up (going off at 50 to 1) for him forgetting to bet McDove, he was too busy talking to another club member to place a bet on McDove. HA

  4. OK, I was not going to comment on the last race of the day as also being a thriller. I looked on Equibase top payouts and for $2.00 it was at Emerald Downs on Tondasarh. I placed a show bet and I know better and I need to learn a lesson to also place a WP; I think I felt a little sick! However, congratulations on Exit Sixty Slew and McDove; that was a thriller also!

  5. Now that was a horse race! Well prepared horse, jockey, who seized opportunity from outside post and ran the 3, two wide on the home turn even drifting out a bit entering the straight. Right down to the wire! I think that 3 might be a little bit better but kudos to Sharon and Javier for the absolute thrill! By the way, the reason Vince sounds like a professional writer is because he is!

  6. I was in the ERC for the past two years but did not rejoin this year (long story, and it’s not because I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the club). However, I do follow the blog and am vicariously enjoying the racing careers of the two fillies the club has this year. My question is for Vince, who said he would be getting back to club members with an explanation for why Diamonds Dena, the club’s horse last year, is back on the track rather than retired to be a broodmare. My stable mail shows she’s had some workouts at EMD, and she is entered in a race this weekend. Considering that we sold her with the intent by all involved that she was finished racing and would be bred, this new turn of events is very peculiar. Have you gotten any more information about this, Vince?

    Lauren

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