Breeders Crown finals on tap Saturday

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Ted Black

October 27th, 2017

Since 1984 one of the more common phrases in harness racing has been "It All Comes Downs to the Breeders Crown" and tomorrow night at Hoosier Park in Indiana the seven-eighths mile oval will host six Breeders Crown finals for both gaits and all ages as several division titles and possibly horse of the year could be decided.

Right at the midway point of the card and one race before the six Breeders Crown finals get underway, Fear The Dragon (David Miller) will seek to regain his winning ways in the $60,000 Pegasus Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings after failing to earn a berth in the Breeders Crown final for that division. Fear The Dragon has been the sport's top sophomore pacing colt most of the season, taking 12 of 16 starts and earning $1.264 million for trainer Brian Brown, but he flopped in his Crown elim as the 3-5 choice last week and now will seek a hint of redemption in this soft spot.

One race later in the $526,250 Breeders Crown Open Trot final, Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras) will seek to put the finishing touches on another solid campaign for trainer Ron Burke. She sports an 8-5-0 slate and $690,000 banked from 15 starts this year and won her elim handily in 1:52.4 and her main competition appears to be stablemate Crazy Wow (David Miller) who leaves from post two and won his elim in 1:53. Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron), last year's Hambletonian hero and champion three-year-old colt trotter, rallied well to get second last weekend behind Crazy Wow and looms a threat here.

One race later in the $600,000 Breeders Crown Final for two-year-old colt trotters, elim winners Crystal Fashion (David Miller) and Fourth Dimension (Brian Sears) rate the top choices, while Met's Hall (Andy Miller) merits plenty of respect. Fourth Dimension has won six of eight starts and banked $140,000 for trainer Marcus Melander, while Crystal Fashion owns a 4-3-3 slate and $155,000 banked from 11 outings for trainer Jim Campbell. Met's Hall sports a 5-2-1 slate and $132,000 bankroll from nine outings for trainer Julie Miller and the Maryland-bred son of Cantab Hall bears watching here.

One race later in the $600,000 Breeders Crown final for two-year-old colt pacers, elim winners Lost In Time (Zeron), Stay Hungry (Doug McNair) and Karpathian Kid (David Miller) will contend for the favorite's role and the top prize and then divisional honors as Metro hero Lost In Time owns the slight advantage in the latter right now for trainer Jim Mulinix. Runner-ups Closing Statement, Shnitzledosomethin and This Is The Plan all raced well last week and pose upset chances.

Then one race later in the $527,500 Breeders Crown final for three-year-old colt trotters, elim winners International Moni (Zeron), What The Hill (David Miller) and Lindy The Great (Tim Tetrick) will all seek 'Crown' and division titles in this spot. What The Hill posted the fastest elim clocking (1:52.1) and brings seven wins and $500,000 banked from 14 starts this year, although his greatest claim to fame was being disqualified from first and placed last in the Hambo. International Moni has won eight of 13 starts and earned $385,000 as he looks to follow in his famed dam's [Moni Maker] footsteps.

Then one race later in the $527.500 Breeders Crown final for three-year-old colt pacers, Downbytheseaside (Sears) will look to score as the favorite and usurp stablemate Fear The Dragon for divisional honors. He overcame post eight to win his elim in 1:51.1 last week for his 10th win from 17 starts and enhance his $1.1 million seasonal bankroll. Rock N Tony (Trace Tetrick) posted a 28-1 shocker in the other elim for trainer Erv Miller and gets the rail for the final, but has plenty to prove this week.

Then one race later in the $421,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace final, elim winners Dealt A Winner (Aaron Merriman) and Mach It So (David Miller) will both seek to enhance their chances for divisional honors among the free-for-all pacers with a victory here. Mach It So, hero of the $420,000 William R Haughton Memorial final earlier this summer, sports a 4-4-4 slate and $52,000 banked this year from 22 starts and captured his elim in 1:48.2, while Dealt A Winner scored in 1:49.3, perhaps explaining why Miller opted off.

Other serious contenders in this event include Sintra (Jody Jamieson), the beaten favorite in his elim and the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational at Yonkers Raceway one week earlier; McWicked (Sears) who uncorked a 25.4 final quarter last week to finish second behind Mach It So and already owns a victory in the $225,000 Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs in Ohio after a pair of unlucky trips in the Canadian Pacing Derby final and prelim; Keystone Velocity (Daniel Dube), a sharp runner-up last week and prior hero of the $530,000 George Morton Levy Memorial Series final at Yonkers; All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) who faded to fifth after a first over journey last weekend, one week after taking the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational.

Keep in mind, of the group in the Breeders Crown, Dealt A Winner, Mach It So, Keystone Velocity and All Bets Off have already committed to the second edition of the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway on Sunday, November 5, as did Mel Mara, who failed to make the final, while McWicked, Split The House and Missile J could also head east for the event.

Two other older pacers committed to the Potomac will be competing in separate events at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night. Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton), hero of the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway last month, headlines the $50,000 Open Handicap, while Wakizashi Hanover (Victor Kirby) looms the favorite for the $38,500 Preferred. The two older pacers have combined earnings of $3 million and will be welcome sites in the Potomac.

Other pacers at Yonkers Raceway tomorrow night perhaps auditioning for a spot in the Potomac include Dr. J Hanover, who drew two spots inside of Bit Of A Legend N in the Open Hcp, and Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett), who was overdriven while sixth in the Dan Rooney but has displayed a willingness to travel to various ovals to compete in the top free-for-all events.