WILKS-BARRE PA -- World champion Cooler Schooner and Shake It Cerry and were the impressive winners of their respective $25,000 eliminations for next Saturday's $500,000 Breeders Crown Championship for two-year-old trotting fillies.
The filly Cooler Schooner trotted the fastest mile ever by a freshman over any size track, 1:51.4, here on August 21, and tonight she claimed a tie for second by storming away to a 1:52.2 10 3/4-length triumph. , who said that he definitely wanted to be on the lead, had his filly slightly off the gate but got the "Schooner" sailing quickly after the start and claimed the point, with the 4-5 favorite getting some help when 7-5 second choice Vanity Matters ran in the two-hole at the eighth. After darting to fast fractions of 27.1 and 55.1, Cooner Schooner showed a new dimension with rating to a 1:24.3 three-quarters, then sprinted home in 27.4, with Scream And Shout, Demanding Sam, and Ruby far in arrears at the wire but still claiming spots in the final.
Both and his brother, trainer Jim, both note that the gifted filly seems to be maturing with racing, noting her speed was more usable. "She should be able to improve with more experience," noted -- a scary thought for her opposition, but a very good thing for owner-breeder Fashion Farms of nearby New Hope PA.
In the other elim, Shake It Cerry yielded to her stablemate in the barn, Lifetime Pursuit, nearing a 27.1 opener to sit the pocket; behind came another major development as 4-5 favorite Designed To Be (the other 1:52.2 trotting 2YO) made a break just before the field exited the curve. With the chalk eliminated, the two Takter barnmates were the major factors the rest of the way, with Lifetime Pursuit ( ) getting the new two splits in 58 and 1:26.2, and "Cerry" ( ) waiting patiently for the "Pocono Pike" passing lane. When shown ground up the inside in the last eighth, Shake It Cerry had more than enough to overhaul Lifetime Pursuit despite a 27.4 last quarter. winning in 1:54.1 more easily than the half-length margin might suggest. Struck By Lindy was third off cover; Goddess, who moved uncovered but tired, was fourth; fifth-place Market Rally earned a spot in next week's Championship by being the richer of the two final checkgetters.
When asked about leaving Takter stablemate Lifetime Pursuit outside in a tough opener, Pierce said, "I really couldn't take her (Shake It Cerry) back much because she likes to race, doesn't like waiting that much. Fortunately, she was good in the pocket and I felt if I could keep her together until the top of the stretch, I would be the winner. I love this filly."
The winner (whose last name is pronounced with a "K" sound in front) is a daughter of , owned by the Solveig's Racing Partners of East Windsor NJ. Trainer Takter is no stranger to the winners circle in this event -- he was there last year with To Dream On.
by Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com