Joy, Heartbreak And Haunting At 2020 Breeders Crown Finals

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

November 1st, 2020

TwinSpires Harness Blog now reports on the Breeders Crown finals over the two racing programs at Hoosier Park, and reviews our horses-to-watch list (H2W) from last week. Check our News & Notes section for reporting and remarking on the states of our sport.

Friday, Oct. 30

The quartet of two-year-old Breeders Crown finals, separated by gait and sex and each worth $600k, were spread through the Hoosier Park program.

We start with our big success and only winner of the four championship miles, the two-year-old colt trot. Beating all the public choices, we won with On A Streak ($20.80, $11.40, $5.00). If the name sounds familiar it’s because you follow this blog and may have cashed a double-digit win ticket for On A Streak from our advice. We offered the race favorite, Venerate ($2.80), as an exotic addition, who finished third. Oddly enough, our only “Crown” elim winner from last week, In Range (8-1) completed the exacta in this one.

The filly trot was won by the race favorite over our choices—Splash Blue Chip ($5.40) and Swift Seanda (8-1) who finished seventh.

The frosh filly pace was won by the public’s second choice, while we finished third with Scarlett Hanover ($3.00) and fifth with Paula’s Bet Hanover (36-1).

The frosh-colt pace was also the chalk, though the win was shared in a dead-heat photo. We were fourth with JK Going West (13-1) andd sixth with Always A Miki (22-1).

Saturday, Oct. 31

Three-year-olds and older completed the Crown programs for 2020. We passed on the Open Trot, Open Mares Pace, soph-colt and soph-filly paces due to prohibitive favorites in those divisions.

In the Open Mares Trot, we can only imagine how well our choice, When Dovescry ($2.10) would have raced had she not broke at the starting gate. She got back on gait and stormed through the real estate she lost to finish third to the favorite.

During the season, as we followed the glamour-boy-and girl trotters, we took some shots with Next Level Stuff, a Jim Campbell-trained filly. She did not fire for us and was not sharp enough to be a serious Hambletonian character. In last week’s eliminations she peaked and won one. She came back in the final and was not supported at 8-1 but won the Crown final for the division. Our choice, Caviart Eva (99-1) was never involved. We grossly miscalculated her chances as she finished with the last three over the wire.

We came within a breath of winning the soph-colt trot final with Play Trix On Me ($11.00, $6.40) as Amigo Volo, the 1-5 public choice held on in a photo to beat us. If you used our colt with the favorite on top, the exacta came back $37.60.

One of the races we passed was the soph-colt pace, noting that we did not care to defy Tall Dark Stranger. Last week, however, we tried to beat the division’s top colt with Sandbetweenmytoes. In the final, he won and paid $409.80 to win. I only hope some reader somewhere followed through.


The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Exactas listed include a H2W horse finishing second to a race-favorite or if the first two finishers are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses are listed—a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices are correct (even when a show price exceeds a place price or all prices are the same).

Please note that some results reflect horses racing after the blog posts (they appear the following week).

This week, there were 32 active horses (a 3-percent win hit rate and a 41-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).


Lioness Hanover, $13.20, $8.60, $4.60, Plainridge


Sullivan, $11.80, $6.60, Meadows
Smooth Aceleration, $5.20, $2.60 (Exacta $9.20), Philly
Tellem, $4.40, $3.80 (Exacta $24.20), Northville
Woos Princess, $4.00, $3.80, Dayton
Betterlatethnnever, $3.79, $2.50 (Exacta $8.70), Saratoga
JJs Shark, $3.20, $2.60 (Exacta $10.40), Plainridge
Impressive Chief, $2.80, Northville


Ko Master, $6.00, Rosecroft
Bearly Behavin, $4.60, Northville
Bigrisk Hanover, $2.60, Dayton
The Way You Are, $2.40, Northfield
Classicality, $2.20, Meadows
Oak Grove harness racing in Kentucky moved three of its harness race dates to the end of the 2020 meet. Those dates are now Nov. 21st—23rd. The adjustment was made “in abundance of caution” to allow for repairs to the track’s racing surface after it sustained damage “due to a torrent of unexpected rainfall” near the end of October.

It’s not uncommon to hear polite praises from trainers and owners of Breeders Crown final winners. Thanks to James Platz, who was on the Harness Racing Update reporting team with yours truly at Hoosier, some winning connections shared some joking moments. Trainer Nifty Norman (Fire Start Hanover, who won the frosh-filly pace), was asked how driver Dexter Dunn handled the horse in the elims and final. “Dexter screwed her up most of the year,” he said, “so we’ve had a lot to overcome.” Dexter laughed and said, “He ain’t wrong.”

MGM Yonkers announced that two stakes events will be added to the racing calendar this November at Yonkers Raceway. On Nov. 28, 2020, there will be a $125,000 Invitational Pace for horses that were eligible to the Borgata Pacing Series and a $100,000 Invitational Mares Pace for horses that were eligible to the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series. Both annual Yonkers events, along with several others, were cancelled earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of the racetrack and casino.
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