Fillies Firing For Fame At Yonkers, Mohawk In Search Of Berths With The Best

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

September 6th, 2018


Here are the races for week four of the 2018 Breeders Crown Countdown, the exclusive blog that coordinates with our weekly harness blog at and the Hambletonian Society to find great wagering opportunities for "Crown" eligible horses (noted in all texts with an “e” next to their names) from all 12 divisions as they race their ways to the finals. For the divisions’ best of the week, check the BCC companion blog, BCC Top Five Lists, generated by current winners and losers most likely to make it to the elims at Pocono this season.

This week’s divisions in play are soph-filly pacers and frosh-filly pacers.


On Thursday, Sept. 6, Yonkers hosts a trio of glamour-girl pacers in New York Sires Stakes, each split worth $55,000-plus. There are a mere few “Crown”-eligible fillies in these but that makes for easier pickings, so to speak, since the eligible horses have much more to gain by winning the best chunk of the healthy purse.

Take round one, for instance. There are only six in this expensive mile and just one is paid up for a shot at the Crown’s division elims (three-year-old Crown races allow supplements), but she does not look as if the betting crowd will support her.

Betterthangraduate (e) is a Ron Burke-trained filly that is 7-1 on the morning line (ML). She has the best reason to do her best to earn big in this race. It would mean she could take part in the NYSS finals, which would give her another shot at making the kind of money that would be at par with the likes of the division dropping in the Crown box.

In the middle split there are three eligible fillies our of the six going to the gate. Brett Pelling’s Believe In Me (e), a disappointing sophomore based on the expectations for this season so far, gets the rail. Pelican Blue Chip (e) has yet to win in 10 tries at three. Solitary (e) has been on the board eight of 15 times but won only once. Believe In Me is the ML favorite, while Mink Pink’s six wins in nine starts rules the field. Considering the desperation of the three eligible gals to better their seasons and validate a Crown start, we will make Newsday and outside contender for her earning power among state-breds and, of course, the price she should pay if she wins.

The nightcap NYSS for the gals is a big one for the sole eligible Tell me A Joke (e). She has her work cut out for her against the sharp-winning Wisdom Tree from the rail and the strong Alexis Faith to her right. But she is a solid contender and has the most to gain in a route to the Crown elim for the division. She will be noticed but at a better reward than the big two.


Two Champlain Stakes at Mohawk on Sept. 8 are worth $95,000-plus and the first one may mean the success of the entire season for Quebec Blue Chip (e). The lone Crown-eligible filly in the field of nine, a win for “Quebec” could get her into the elims as she would win her biggest purse share yet and the confidence of her connections. All things are not being equal here, then, as Quebec has the strongest reason to race her best, one that exceeds those of the others.

The second Champlain Stakes for the division is quite the opposite, with seven eligible fillies in a field of nine hammering away at the huge purse.

The lone Captaintreacherous product here is Tall Drink Hanover (e), trained by Tony Alagna. The daughter of a productive first-crop sire, “Tall” is one of two that Tony has in this field—the other is Odds On St Lucie (e), the lone product of Sweet Lou, who is also having a great first-crop year. Both should get considerable action in alphabetic order of their sires.

From the rail, one of the outsiders is Deb. She is a daughter of Canadian siring success Sportswriter and she should feel very much at home in the theater where her sire raced his best at two. She cannot get into the Crown but she can gain a lot of success for Ontario-sired events for the remainder of her frosh year and going into a campaign at three if she can race near as well as daddy in this affair. She should be quite the price.


Follow major 2018 BC hopefuls on their journey to the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs at this Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, along with further information on the Hambletonian Society web site.