Day At The Track

Divine Caroline takes sophomore filly Crown

01:57 PM 25 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Divine Caroline and her happy connections
Divine Caroline and her happy connections
New Image Media Photo
Divine Caroline
TORONTO, ON - Divine Caroline found her form at the right time. After displaying some ability early in the season, the sophomore daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven added to her late-season surge, posting her fourth consecutive harness racing victory in the $500,000 U.S. ($648,700 Cdn) Breeders Crown three-year-old filly pace race Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack.

Owned by Val Dor Farms, Theodore Gewertz, Rojan Stables and Michael Ouriel, Divine Caroline became the fourth favorite in the first four Breeders Crown races to win.

Divine Caroline is trained by Joe Holloway, who came into the 2015 Breeders Crown 12th in all-time winnings with more than $2.7 million. He had six previous winners, but had not found the winner circle since 2000.

Divine Caroline and Bettor Be Steppin raced in last year's Breeders Crown two-year-old filly pace. Bettor Be Steppin finished third, followed by Divine Caroline. But it's been a tale of two horses this year for the fillies. Bettor Be Steppin did well in the middle part of the season when Divine Caroline started to tail off. But it's been a different scenario in the fall.

Both horses were in the race, but purely on current form Divine Caroline looked the better of the two.

Divine Caroline began her streak with a win in a division of the Bluegrass at the Red Mile and has kept rolling.

Driven as usual by David Miller, who began the night with a win with D'One in the mare trot, Divine Caroline sat far behind the early pace, which saw The Show Returns, an 86-1 outsider, and Southwind Roulette, 32-1, slug it out for the opening quarter mile. It was The Show Returns, who prevailed setting a Breeders Crown opening quarter mile record in a blistering 25 seconds. Bettor Be Steppin, driven by Corey Callaghan, had the lead after a half in :55. Miller had Divine Caroline fifth by six lengths at that point and following cover. Three quarters into the race, Sassa Hanover had the lead by 1¾ lengths in 1:23 2. Miller had his horse moving well at the point, and took over half way down the stretch and crossed the line first by 1¾ lengths in 1:51.

Bettor Be Steppin finished a distant eighth.

"Last year she showed high, high speed, but it took time for her to mature," Holloway said. "Even through the beginning of the year, she was close but never winning. She's finally turned it around and become a top-notch filly."

He liked the way the race unfolded.

"That's what you hope for, a good, clean trip," Holloway said. "Caroline was in a good spot and she showed she could do it."

Divine Caroline went postward at just under 7-10. She won her seventh race in 20 starts this season, surpassing $650,000 in earnings. In her career, she has totaled almost $800,000.

She paid $3.30, $2.80, $2.30. Sassa Hanover paid $12.50, $6.60. Bedroomconfessions paid $3.70.

The exacta paid $60.80. The trifecta $224.90.

QUOTES;

Joe Holloway trainer:

Last year she had just one win.  She had high high speed.  It took time for her to learn how to control it.  Even in the beginning of this year, she was close, but could never win. She finally turned it around and turned on the winning ways.  She turned into a really topnotch filly.

That is what you like to see, a good clean trip.  In the beginning, I was hoping that Steppin was back to her old ways but, I could see by the half, that she was not good enough. She is tired at the end of the year.  She will be back next year. Caroline was in a great spot and she showed what she can do. The Matron and the race at the Meadowlands at the end of the year.

By Perry Lefko

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