Day At The Track

Wild Honey inherits victory in Breeders Crown

03:00 PM 25 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Wild Honey
Wild Honey and John Campbell
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Wild Honey

TORONTO -- Sometimes you have to get the breaks to win a Breeders Crown race and that proved to be the case in the harness racing event for three-year-old filly trotters as 1-5 shot Mission Brief broke stride on a clear lead in early stretch and Wild Honey emerged with the victory in the $500,000 U.S.($648,700 Cdn) event on Saturday at Woodbine.

The race began as expected as Mission Brief cleared the 8-5 Wild Honey going to the quarter in a respectable :26.2. Mission Brief and Yannick Gingras cruised to the half in :56.2 with no movement from the trailers.

Mission Brief kicked it into high gear late on the final turn and appeared to be opening ground effortlessly on Wild Honey hitting the three quarters in 1:25 and looking on her way to an open lengths victory.

That victory would not materialize as Mission Brief blew up and was pulled to the outside in the stretch leaving Wild Honey and driver John Campbell suddenly in the lead and concerned about the trailers.

Closers Im So Fancy and Speak To Me gained gradually on the Jimmy Takter-trained daughter of Cantab Hall, but neither could dent the filly's margin as she won for the third straight time this year and avenged a defeat to Mission Brief in last year's Breeders Crown juvenile event.

"I don't think I was going to catch her," said John Campbell of Mission Brief. "My filly was struggling on the turn and she got away from me. If you're going to beat Mission Brief you've got to stay right on her back."

But Campbell's strategy to stay on Mission Brief's back was not important once the filly made a break.

Mission Brief's trainer Ron Burke said his filly, "didn't warm up the best. The track didn't suit her today and she has those issues that we're not 1,000 per cent over just yet. I thought she was, but I knew warming her up that maybe we had an issue.

"She was home. All she had to do was keep herself trotting so, you know, it's bad. That's the high of the sport and the lows of the sport right there. She'll be fine and there will come a time yet when she'll put it all together. She's the best horse I've ever trained."

Winning trainer Jimmy Takter -- who captured his third Crown of the evening and 24th lifetime -- said he thought he had a chance.

"I saw Yannick was having trouble with her (Mission Brief). She wasn't trotting as smoothly as she usually does," Takter said.

Takter also put his vote in for division honors. "She won the Hambletonian (Oaks), The Kentucky Futurity (filly division) and The Breeders Crown. I think she should be the divisional champion," Takter said.

Wild Honey, owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman, has now won over $1.5 million during her career. She's won 17 of 26 lifetime starts.

Classical Annie and Elegant Serenity earned the final checks in the field.

It was the 12th Breeders Crown victory for John Fielding, who ranks second in Crown victories by owners.

By Jay Bergman

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