by Ken Weingartner
Delaware, OH — Classic Martine won Thursday’s $121,500 Miss Versatility Series championship for older female trotters in gate-to-wire fashion, stopping the timer in 1:54.1 at the Delaware County Fair.
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Classic Marine was a gate-to-wire winner of the Miss Versatility Series Championship in 1:54.1 at the Delaware County Fair.|
Fast-closing Charmed Life finished second, with defending champ Maven third and Bee A Magician fourth. Classic Martine, the 9-5 favorite, paid $5.60 to win.
Classic Martine has won nine of 13 races this season, including the Armbro Flight Stakes, and earned $301,407. The 4-year-old mare is owned by Hauser Brothers Racing, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich and Ed Gold.
“She raced really well,” said Tim Tetrick, who drove Classic Martine for trainer Chris Oakes. “I think everybody knows my mare can leave like a runner, and she’s real good on her feet and really quick off the wings (of the starting gate). It would have taken somebody really to bust out of there to beat her off the wings today.”
Classic Martine went right to the front and never looked back, guiding the field through fractions of :27.3, :57, and 1:25.1. Ma Chere Hall tried to take over with a first-over move, but was unable to get closer than second on the backstretch.
Bee A Magician, who was following Ma Chere Hall, made a three-wide bid on the final turn, but it wasn’t enough.
Classic Martine, who won two preliminary divisions of the Miss Versatility Series, came into the final off a sixth-place finish from post eight in a conditioned handicap at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sept. 11.
“She’s had a great year,” Tetrick said. “Last week at (Philly) wasn’t all her fault — eight-hole blues, she got really roughed up. But she bounced back quick.”
“What makes her a champion is her attitude,” commented Oakes. “She is very feisty; in fact she’s an absolute handful. We have to turn her out every day and we do so with Frau Blucher. They get along exceptionally well. I think how she takes care of herself and that turnout time with the other mare have helped keep her good for so long.”
— Kimberly French also contributed to this story
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