Scuola Hanover ($24.40) rode distaff champion and 1-5 favourite Lyons Sentinel's cover to an 11-1 upset in Wednesday's (Nov. 10) $40,000 Mares Invitational Handicap at Dover Downs.
JK First Lady won a three-way battle for the early lead, clearing Marloe Hanover and Shes Pukka N just beyond a sizzling :25.2 first quarter before maintaining her speed through a :53.1 half. Up the backstretch, Lyons Sentinel — whom Tim Tetrick floated into fourth from her outside post — began her first-over attack, pressing into JK First Lady past three-quarters in 1:21.4 while Art Stafford Jr. perched Scuola Hanover second-over. The six-year-old A Rocknroll Dance mare swung off cover to defeat a pair of Jim King Jr. pupils, engulfing Lyons Sentinel before then holding off a late rally from Soho Burning Love A by three-quarters of a length in 1:49.4, just three-fifths of a second shy of the Dover track record for older pacing mares. Lyons Sentinel finished third.
Trainer Andrew Stafford co-owns Scuola Hanover, who has now won five consecutive races, with Art Stafford and Thomas Ireland.
A trio of $20,000 first-round Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund preliminary divisions for rookie pacing fillies served as supporting events.
In the first division, Gaitway Gal prevailed by a half length in 1:55.2 over Bluffs Crush after a stretch-long duel. Pat Berry drove the Delmarvalous-Brussells Hanover filly for Jeff Smith.
Shabby Chic recorded an eight-length, 1:55.2 win in the second division, extending her career unbeaten streak to six. Tim Tetrick drove the Let It Ride Stables homebred, a daughter of Badlands Hanover and Stylish Artist.
Bank The Win won the third division in wire-to-wire fashion, defeating Cowgirl Coffee by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:56.2. Driver Victor Kirby and trainer Bryan Truitt own the Roddys Bags Again-Winbak Patty filly in partnership with Bryan Truitt Jr.
(with files from Dover Downs and the DSBF)