Day At The Track

'Real solid' Fiftydallarbill eyes Grand Circuit return

07:40 AM 28 Aug 2018 NZST
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Fiftydallarbill, harness racing Fiftydallarbill, harness racing
Fiftydallarbill
Linscott Photo
Fiftydallarbill and driver Trace Tetrick
Linscott Photo

Fiftydallarbill has spent nearly two months at home in Indiana, but the 2017 Breeders Crown champion is preparing for a return to the Grand Circuit following Thursday's $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old male trotters at Hoosier Park. The colt, unbeaten in his past four races, is being pointed toward next month's Canadian Trotting Classic at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

"He's had a good year so far," said Bill Crone, who trains Fiftydallarbill for owner John Barnard. "But you have to take one race at a time because you never know what's going to happen.

"But he's been doing real good. We like him a lot."

What's not to like? Fiftydallarbill has won six of nine races this year, finished second once, and earned $153,697. His only off-the-board finishes came when he went off stride; the first time in the final of the Goodtimes Stakes and the second time in his elimination of the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial.

In the Beal, he was interfered with on the backstretch but rallied to finish fourth. He missed qualifying for the final by a nose. A week later, he won the consolation division of the event in 1:52.1 to begin his current win streak.

"I wish he would have been in the final at Pocono, but he was lucky that he got up for fourth as it was," Crone said. "He made up a lot of ground to do that and just missed getting to the final."

Fiftydallarbill, a son of Swan For All out of CR Dixie Chick, has won 13 of 26 career races and earned $612,647. All but one of his eight career off-the-board finishes came in races when he went off stride. Five of those races occurred last year at age 2.

"He's really developed a lot more," Crone said. "He's a real solid horse. Last year he was a little touchy, this year he's real solid. He goes where he's got to go. He doesn't win by a lot when he doesn't have to. He just stays ahead of that horse that's coming at him, and that's all he worries about."

Last year, Fiftydallarbill never left Indiana, with his only winning Grand Circuit appearance, the Breeders Crown final, coming at Hoosier Park (he was second in his Crown elimination). In his other Grand Circuit race, the Ralph Wilfong Memorial at the Indiana State Fair, he broke stride and finished a distant tenth.

This year, his trip to the Canadian Trotting Classic will be his third Grand Circuit trip beyond the state lines. He also will return to Pocono for the Breeders Crown in October.

First, Fiftydallarbill will face nine rivals in the Indiana Sire Stakes on Thursday. The colt, with Hoosier Park leading driver Trace Tetrick in the sulky, will start from post three. Katkin American, who finished second to Fiftydallarbill in each of the past three races, leaves from post eight on Thursday with James Yoder driving for trainer Verlin Yoder.

In his three previous races, Fiftydallarbill started from unfavorable posts (eight twice, nine once) and twice competed on an off track.

"I like his desire," Crone said. "He goes out there to win. If he's back a ways, when you pull him he just goes until he gets by that front horse. If he's in front, he just stays ahead of them. He's just a real nice horse."

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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