Breeders Crown elims fill Hoosier Park Saturday night card

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Ted Black

October 20th, 2017

Tomorrow evening serious and novice harness racing fans alike will focus their attention on Hoosier Park as the Indiana oval hosts 14 Breeders Crown eliminations for varying age groups of both gaits and genders as the sport's best trotters and pacers look to secure berths in next weekend's lucrative finals.

The first three races on the card are the Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-old colt pacers. In the opener, Nutcracker Sweet (Tim Tetrick, This Is The Plan (David Miller) and Lost In Time (Scott Zeron) all look poised to advance to the final. Nutcracker Sweet won both of his starts at Lexington for trainer Jimmy Takter, This Is The Plan won once at Lexington for trainer Chris Ryder and Lost In Time has won three of five outings and earned over $375,000, including a victory in the $600,000 Metro Stakes final at Mohawk.

In the second elim, Western Passage (Brian Sears), Hayden Hanover (Andy Miller), Stay Hungry (David Miller), Grand Teton (Mark Macdonald) and Shnitledosomethin (Peter Wrenn) will all be looking to reach the final. Hayden Hanover arrives off a sharp 1:50 score at Lexington, while both Stay Hungry and Grand Teton raced well at the Red Mile. By comparison the third split came up light, but Rockin Away (Tetrick), Karpathian Kid (David Miller), I'm A Big Deal (Gingras) and Closing Statement (Sears) all have the best chance of advancing.

Both the fourth and fifth races on the card are the Breeders Crown Open Trot eliminations, with five from each split advancing to the final. In the fourth, J L Cruze (David Miller), Hannelore Hanover (Gingras), Il Sogno Dream (Zeron) and Mambo Lindy (Tetrick) should advance. Hannelore Hanover has won seven of 14 starts this year and earned $675,000, but she has tasted defeat at a short price in each of her last two outings over the Hoosier strip. J L Cruze was the division champion two years ago for trainer Eric Ell.

Then one race later in the second Breeders Crown Open Trot elim, Resolve (Ake Svandstedt), Crazy Wow (Gingras), Homicide Hunter (Brett Miller) and Marion Marauder (Zeron) should advance. Crazy Wow won the $250,000 Invitational last Saturday afternoon at Yonkers, while Resolve flopped in the $1 million International and will be seeking redemption here. Marion Marauder won the 2016 Hambo and owns 14 wins and $2.5 million banked in 36 career outings for trainer Paula Wellwood.

The next two races on the card are the Breeders Crown Open Pace elims and both came up salty. Missile J (Tetrick), Mach It So (David Miller), Sintra (Jody Jamieson) and McWicked (Sears) should advance from the opening split. Sintra won the Canadian Pacing Derby and was the beaten favorite in last week's $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational at Yonkers where Missile J and Mach It So finished third and fourth, respectively. McWicked thrives on the bigger ovals and looms a serious threat for trainer Casie Coleman.

One race later the second Crown elim features All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) and Keystone Velocity (Daniel Dube), the one-two finishers in the Rooney Invite last weekend at Yonkers, as well as Dealt A Winner (David Miller), sharp 1:47.3 winner at Lexington in his last outing and Mel Mara (Corey Callahan), who is seeking to regain his winning ways for trainer Dylan Davis following several subpar efforts at Lexington, Harrington and Scioto Downs.

Then the last two races on the card are the eliminations for the Breeders Crown Three-Year-old Colt Pace. In the opener, Downbytheseaside (Sears), Miso Fast (Kakaley) and Boogie Shuffle (David Miller) should advance easily. Downbytheseaside has won nine of 16 starts and banked $1.1 million for trainer Brian Brown, while Miso Fast has danced all the tough dances for trainer Ron Burke. Boogie Shuffle gives trainer Mark Harder a chance for Crown glory next week.

Then one race later in the finale, Little Brown Jug hero Filibuster Hanover (Gingras) will again clash with Fear The Dragon (David Miller), the sport's top rated horse of any age and either gait in the latest Hambletonian Society Top 10 poll. Funknwaffles (Callahan), fresh off a victory in the $225,000 New York Sires Stakes final and the runner-up in the Jug, will look to become the sport's newest millionaire in next week's lucrative final for trainer John Butenschoen.