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Friday, March 5, 2021

Machnhope had not been seen at The Meadowlands for almost four months heading into Friday night’s featured high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares, but she displayed no ill effects of having not raced at the mile oval since Nov. 13 when she was second to Caviart Ally, dominating her foes on a clear but chilly evening in 1:52.
Sent to the gate as the 3-5 public choice, driver Andy McCarthy had Machnhope on the go early from post three in the seven-horse field. She followed 5-2 second choice Wingding Hanover around the first turn and finally cleared to the lead just before the three-eighths and clicked off a soft :57 half, leaving plenty of gas in the tank.
Twenty-two to one long shot Sheikh Yabooty N rushed up to go after the leader at three-quarters as the cadence quickened during a third fraction that was timed in :27.3 as Wingding Hanover stayed patient in the pocket.
Then, Machnhope turned it on.
After opening a 2-length edge at the head of the stretch, Machnhope sprinted the final quarter in :27.2, and despite the late rally of second-place finisher Golden Quest N, she hit the wire a never-in-doubt three-quarter-length winner. Stellenbosch was third as Wingding Hanover weakened to fourth.
“She got around the mile track good,” said McCarthy of his horse, who had been racing steadily of late in the open ranks at Dover Downs. “I was actually thinking I’d like to trip her out. She finished the mile up strong. She’s a little bit of a funny mare. Some nights she’s better gaited than others. She was giving me a little bit of a hard time tonight. She’s tricky but she definitely has plenty of go.”
Machnhope, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Hope For Life who is trained by Noel Daley, returned $3.40 to her backers. After winning for the first time in six tries this year, she now has 27 victories from 99 lifetime starts and earnings of $357,044 for owners Deo Volente Farms, Thomas Pontone, L.A. Express Stable and Noel Daley.
A LITTLE MORE: Scott Zeron led the driver colony with three winners on the card. Mark MacDonald, Dexter Dunn and McCarthy all had two wins apiece. … All-source wagering totaled $2,765,650. … No one had a winning ticket in the 20-cent Pick-6, creating a carryover of $6,225. Those with five correct collected $296.48. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6 p.m.

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