Day At The Track

Dont Rush to come up big in Breeders Crown

07:51 AM 23 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Dont Rush has won nine of 23 career starts, with earnings of $488,895.
Dont Rush has won nine of 23 career starts, with earnings of $488,895.
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TORONTO --- Harness racing trainer Dustin Jones hopes no one can get shorty.

Jones co-owns and trains two-time Ontario Sire Stakes champion Dont Rush, who is among the 11 horses in Saturday's $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters at Woodbine Racetrack. The colt, nicknamed "Danny" after actor Danny DeVito, is 20-1 on the morning line but has already surprised people --- beginning with Jones.

Eleven years ago, Jones bought a filly named Color Me Pretty as a yearling for $18,000 at the Tattersalls Sale. She never raced because of a tendon issue, but Jones kept her as a broodmare. Dont Rush, whose sire is former Italian star Infinitif, is Color Me Pretty's sixth foal. Just one of her previous five foals made it to the races.

"It was a free breeding I got from (Infinitif owner) Jean Pierre Dubois," Jones said, adding about Color Me Pretty's broodmare record, "When I was breaking Dont Rush, I thought it was a waste of time. It just goes to show you how much everybody knows.

"He's just a short, little, fat horse. We nicknamed him 'Danny,' after Danny DeVito. But right from day one he was a natural. He shows up every week and does his job. He's tiny, but he pumps himself on the racetrack. He looks bigger on the track. He gives you 110 percent every week; it's just sometimes his little legs can't go fast enough."

Pinkman, whose wins this year include the Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity and Canadian Trotting Classic, is the 3-5 morning line favorite from post No. 1 in the Breeders Crown final for the 3-year-old colts and geldings. Muscle Diamond, who finished second to Pinkman in last season's Breeders Crown, is the 9-2 second choice from post four.

Dont Rush has won five of 12 races this year and earned $220,881 for owners Jones and Greg Judson. For his career, the colt has won nine of 23 starts and $488,895. All of his victories have been on the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit, including the championship for 2-year-old male trotters in 2014.

Last year, Dont Rush finished second to French Laundry in a division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk. This year, he finished fourth in a division of the Simcoe Stakes and seventh in the Canadian Trotting Classic. He heads to the Breeders Crown final off consecutive wins in the Ontario Sire Stakes, including the championship on Oct. 10.

Jones also trained Dont Rush's grandam, the Garland Lobell-sired Mathers Grincheuse. Jones' brother Michael owned Mathers Grincheuse.

"She was a $6,000 filly and she made around $70,000," Jones said. "She paid for my brother's house, like a lot of those Garland Lobells did. They did a lot of good things for a lot of people."

Jones, a native of Quebec now based in Ontario, trained and drove Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994. He has won two Breeders Crown titles, with Martiniontherocks in the 2010 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters and in 2012 with Wheeling N Dealin in the 2-year-old colt trot. He is after his first Crown as a breeder and an owner.

Judson is making his first appearance in the Breeders Crown. Judson's father George is a longtime owner, and one of the owners of 2014 O'Brien Award-winning trotter Harper Blue Chip. The Judsons own and operate a funeral home in Athens, Ontario.

Jones and Judson also share ownership of Dewdle All Day, who is a finalist in the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters. Dewdle All Day is 30-1 on the morning line. All The Time, from the Jimmy Takter Stable, is the 7-5 favorite.

"I'm happy that we're in it and can participate," Jones said. "She's pretty honest. If some people make a mistake, she could be there to pick up the pieces. We'll see what happens."

* * * * *

Pinkman is trying to follow Takter-trained Father Patrick as a Breeders Crown winner at ages 2 and 3 in this division. Father Patrick accomplished the feat in 2013 and 2014. Takter's Malabar Man pulled off the double in 1996 and 1997. The only male trotter to accomplish the feat between Malabar Man and Father Patrick was Greg Peck-trained Muscle Hill in 2008 and 2009.

Takter, who is the winningest trainer in Breeders Crown history with 21 titles, has captured this division four times. He also sends out French Laundry (5-1), The Bank (6-1) and Uncle Lasse (8-1) in this year's race.

"They all are players," Takter said. "They all belong there. Overall, they've had a great season."

* * * * *

Slowed by injury and illness this year, Muscle Diamond raced only once prior to July 26. He enters the Breeders Crown off a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Futurity on Oct. 10 at The Red Mile. He started from post 10, the most outside position on the starting gate, and was beaten by 2-1/4 lengths by Pinkman after trailing by nearly nine lengths at the halfway point. A week earlier, Muscle Diamond won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes.

"We're hoping for a better draw than the Futurity, that's the first thing that comes to mind," driver John Campbell said with a laugh prior to getting post four. "I was very happy with his race in the Futurity and his race the week before (in the Bluegrass) so I think he's coming into the Breeders Crown in good shape.

"We were hoping there wouldn't be eliminations. The week off is going to help him, but it's to help everybody I think. If he had a better draw (in the Futurity) he would have been quite a bit closer, I believe. It's been a struggle for (trainer Brett Bittle) to get him to this point; that's an understatement. But we're moving forward from that."

* * * * *

Lookslikeachpndale, 20-1 on the morning line, has won five of his most recent seven starts and finished worse than second only once during that span. All of his victories this season have come in conditioned races. He went off stride in his elimination for the Canadian Trotting Classic after following leaders Pinkman and The Bank to the halfway point and failed to advance to the final.

"I'm disappointed about the Canadian Trotting Classic because he made a break and I don't know why," trainer Luc Blais said. "He was third behind good horses and I would have liked to see what he could do in the stretch. It was a good chance to evaluate him. Maybe this weekend. We'll see.

"He raced last week and he raced good (winning in 1:55.4 over a "good" track at Woodbine). He's better and better, week after week. He's a nice horse. We'll see how far he can go. He started late. We took our time because he was a big horse. We waited for him. It looks like he's ready right now to trot a good mile."

* * * * *

Infiniti As, 20-1 on the morning line, heads to the Breeders Crown off a win in a late closer at The Red Mile. After winning his seasonal debut in 1:55 at Mohawk in the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Series, Infiniti As went off stride in his next five starts. He was gelded and returned with a second-place finish at Hoosier Park.

In his following start, Infiniti As went off stride on a track labeled "good" at The Red Mile, but rallied to finish in a dead heat for third, beaten by only a neck. He then won by 5-1/2 lengths in 1:52.2 in Lexington. That win time is seventh fastest among all 3-year-old male trotters this year.

"He's been doing good since we gelded him," trainer Anette Lorentzon said. "He was really very good at Lexington. Tim (Tetrick) didn't put the blame on him for the break in the first race there. He thought it was the track.

"It's hard to say what kind of horse he is. He was good in his first race this year, but then he decided he wanted to run more than trot. He's got talent, but he's still got to prove it to me. I don't know where I have him. I don't trust him yet. The main thing is for him to behave."

* * * * *

Fashion Creditor, 30-1 on the morning line, won the $50,000 consolation division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters on Sept. 19 at Vernon Downs. One of his remaining four lifetime wins also came in New York Sire Stakes action, with the other three triumphs in conditioned races.

He finished seventh in his elimination for the Hambletonian, but was beaten only 3-1/2 lengths after trailing by 15 lengths after the opening quarter-mile.

"He's good," trainer Tom Fanning said. "He was super sharp when the sire stakes ended. I wish I could have raced him right after the Vernon race because he was sharp as a tack, but there was a gap in the schedule. A big track will help him. He can trot. In the Hambletonian elimination, circumstances went against him. Hopefully he can be a little closer (in the Breeders Crown). He trots hard in the stretch. We're trying to get a piece."

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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