BETTOR JOY WINS THIRD MATCHMAKER HEAT
Former Kentuckiana Lodge mare Bettor Joy has banked just over $US85,000 already in 2019 from four wins in six starts for the Jim King jun stable.
She won her third consecutive $US40,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Heat at Yonkers Raceway, New York, on Saturday (NZ time), powering home from three back on the outer to win going away in 1:54.6 on a sloppy track.
The Bettor’s Delight-Joyfulbelle mare outfinished another NZ-bred in Better B Chevron (Bettor’s Delight-Waihemo Anvil) for co-owner and top USA driver, Tim Tetrick.
Bettor Joy has hit top gear following a second in the opening heat, and to date is the best performed statistically in four eliminations.
She was sold out of the Cran Dalgety stable late last year after winning $308,486 in Australasia, from 10 wins in 28 starts.
Her illustrious North American stablemate and defending Matchmaker Series title-holder Shartin, has also won three legs, but was beaten into fourth in her other heat.
Shartin (Tintin In America-Bagdarin) led from the four gate on Saturday for Tetrick and held ex-NZ mare Kaitlyn, by a length in 1:54.4.
Australasian-bred mares made a clean sweep of Saturday’s fourth round of Matchmaker eliminations with Australian-bred Don’t Think Twice (by Armbro Operative) holding Feelin Red Hot by a neck in 1:55.
Fellow ex-Canterbury mare Seaswift Joy is a dual heat winner of the series, but was unplaced on Saturday, while another ex-Cantab Delightfulmemphisn won an opening heat but has mixed results since.
The final round of heats is to be run next weekend, with some of the leading qualifiers likely to be rested after being assured of a final berth, the following week.
Last year, the Matchmaker Final was run for a stake of $US373,000.
In another boost for the NZ-breds on Saturday, Queen Lostris (Roll With Joe-Time And Tide) won a $US35,000 fillies & mares preferred pace on same Yonkers card in 1:55.8 from other ex-NZ mares in Kotare Yarra and Lynbar Rose.