Day At The Track

Perfect Sting aims for perfect 10

06:52 AM 30 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Perfect Sting, harness racing
Perfect Sting and driver David Miller
Amanda Stephens Photo

Perfect Sting can do what's never been done in Friday's $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old male harness racing pacers. With a win, the Joe Holloway-trained colt will finish his campaign 10-for-10. In the history of the event, none of the 36 male pacers to win a trophy at age 2 ever finished his rookie season undefeated.

Holloway said the Breeders Crown start at Harrah's Hoosier Park will be Perfect Sting's last race of 2020. The colt heads to the final off a 1:50.4 score in his elimination last week. He defeated Summa Cum Laude by 3-3/4 lengths and his time over a sloppy surface was just a tick off the track record.

Perfect Sting will start Friday from post two with David Miller in the sulky. He is the 7-5 morning-line favorite.

"He just keeps feeling better and better, so that's a good thing," said Holloway, a seven-time Breeders Crown winner. "I hope he gets the job done. I think he deserves it because I truly think he's a great horse. Hopefully, he can show it on Friday."

Perfect Sting is a son of Always B Miki out of Shebestingin. Always B Miki, a two-time Breeders Crown Open Pace winner trained by Holloway at ages 2 and 3, shares the record for history's fastest mile, 1:46. Shebestingin, trained by Holloway throughout her career, was the all-time fastest female pacer until 2019, when Shartin N's 1:46.4 mile bettered her mark by one-fifth of a second.

In his three starts prior to the Breeders Crown, Perfect Sting won the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship before picking up his first Grand Circuit scores in divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. He rallied from third in the stretch to win the International Stallion by a head. In his Crown elim, he led in the stretch and extended his advantage by an additional two lengths.

"There is something every time," Holloway said, referring to Perfect Sting's improvement. "Two starts prior, he ran that horse down; I thought he had an insurmountable lead. His last start, when he was on the front, when David called on him, he was out there going.

"I think he's learned how to be a racehorse now. He knows what he's doing now, so I think he'll do what he has to."

Perfect Sting's path to perfection will not be easy. Southwind Gendry won the other Breeders Crown elimination by three lengths over Caviart Lotus in 1:51. He has captured nine of 11 starts, including the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion. He brings a seven-race win streak to the final.

Southwind Gendry, a son of Always B Miki-Gambler's Passion, is the 8-5 second choice on the morning line, leaving from post three with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke. The final will be the first meeting between Southwind Gendry and Perfect Sting.

"I know he's been racing well and he's tough," Holloway said about Southwind Gendry. "But I think my horse is better. I'm supposed to think that way. They're supposed to think that way. We'll find out come Friday."

Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights.

The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube.

Following is the field for Friday's Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt-and-gelding pace final.

1-JK Going West-LeWayne Miller-LeWayne Miller-12/1
2-Perfect Sting-David Miller-Joe Holloway-7/5
3-Southwind Gendry-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-8/5
4-Always A Miki-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-12/1
5-Bayfield Beach-Trace Tetrick-Brian Brown-20/1
6-Summa Cum Laude-Brian Sears-Ron Burke-10/1
7-Abuckabett Hanover-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna-20/1
8-Caviart Lotus-Tim Tetrick-Nancy Takter-15/1
9-Captains Place-Tyler Smith-John Ackley-30/1
10-Literl Lad Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20/1

Literl Lad Hanover starts from the second tier.

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA



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