Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Bunker Hill looks to stay unbeaten in Dover Stakes
October 7, 2008, Wilmington, DE - Flying Dutchman Stable's Bunker Hill, who has shown the heart of a winner in his last two hard-fought victories, will put his unbeaten streak on the line Saturday in the $75,000 Dover Stakes at Delaware Park. The mile and a sixteenth test for juveniles has been carded as the seventh race with an approximate post time of 3:27 p.m.
The son of Trippi posted a head victory in the mile and a sixteenth $100,000 Go For the Green Stakes at Delaware Park in his last outing on September 13. That followed another close race and another close win as Bunker Hill won by a nose in the $60,000 Continental Mile at Monmouth Park on August 16. Both of those races were originally scheduled for the turf but transferred to the main track.
Only a misspelling kept Bunker Hill from being claimed after his debut race, Ryan reported. He thought at the time that no one would claim the horse because "he doesn't have a whole lot of pedigree."
"I had him ready to go long, but I wanted to break his maiden to get him ready for the stake at Monmouth Park," Ryan said. "So I said, 'Let's run him for the $50,000 tag and nobody will claim him.' Someone did put a claim slip in for him, but we were very lucky-the claim was voided because of a misspelling."
Ryan said Bunker Hill has shown through his early career an ability to excel in close races.
"If you are going to beat him, you better open a length on him when you are turning home because if you are only going to get a neck clear of him, he is going to battle back," Ryan noted. "He has a lot of heart and he will wear you down if you go head and head with him. I wish I had more horses with a heart like his."
The Dover Stakes has a long history of highlighting top horses. Four horses that have run in the Dover Stakes have comeback the following year to win the Kentucky Derby: Count Turf, who won the Dover in 1950; Carry Back, who ran second in the Dover in 1960; Foolish Pleasure, who won the Dover in 1974; and Spectacular Bid, who ran second in the Dover in 1978. The race was extended beyond six furlongs in 2001.
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