Day At The Track

Crystal Fashion finds winning style

02:40 AM 13 Sep 2018 NZST
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Crystal Fashion, harness racing
Crystal Fashion
Ken Weingartner photo

Crystal Fashion has not led any of his races this year prior to the final quarter-mile, but it's become crystal clear the gelding can find a way to win from there. Few 3-year-old trotters have kicked home better than Crystal Fashion, who has eight wins and three second-place finishes in 12 races this season.

Over his past five races, no horse has trotted the final quarter-mile faster than Crystal Fashion. Over his past 10 starts, only three horses -- total -- have come home faster. Crystal Fashion, though, won all three of those races.

"I'm really happy with the way he finishes his mile," trainer Jim Campbell said. "If he's got somebody in front of him, he'll track them down. He never gives up, just trots right to the end.

"He's been really good that way. He takes really good care of himself, too. He's been nothing but a pleasure to train this year."

Crystal Fashion's next opportunity to track down horses is Saturday in the C$665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-olds at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He will start from post 10 in an 11-horse field with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for Campbell and owner Fashion Farms.

The race also includes Met's Hall, who has won the Simcoe Stakes and Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial in his two starts since finishing second to Atlanta in the Hambletonian, as well as 2017 O'Brien Award-winner Alarm Detector and 2017 Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill.

Saturday's card also includes the second meeting between harness racing's top-ranked horses, No. 1 Atlanta and No. 2 Manchego, in the C$340,000 Elegantimage Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters plus the C$400,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters, C$385,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old female trotters, two eliminations for the Metro Pace for 2-year-old pacers, and two eliminations for the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old female pacers.

Crystal Fashion, a son of Cantab Hall-Window Willow who has earned $652,182 this year, has won six of his past seven races and heads to the Canadian Trotting Classic off a win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on Sept. 2 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Other victories include the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial and his elimination for the Hambletonian, where he trotted the last quarter in :27.1 -- one-and-three-fifth seconds faster than anyone else -- to beat Atlanta by a neck in a 3-year-old gelding world-record 1:50.1. In the Hambletonian final, Crystal Fashion came home in :27.2, tied with Met's Hall for the best last quarter, but was unable to chase down Atlanta. He finished fourth, beaten by 1-1/4 lengths.

"He didn't race as good the second heat as he did the first heat," Campbell said. "He didn't have any particular reason for it, he just wasn't as sharp. But he's put in great races every race for us, other than his second start when he finished second but scoped sick after the race. From that point on he's given us nothing but great efforts."

Crystal Fashion has won 12 of 24 lifetime races, hit the board a total of 21 times, and earned $813,474. He came from off the lead in all but one of those career starts.

"Racing him that way, you take the risk of somebody getting easy fractions on the front end and you're too far off, but you have to race the horse the way he likes to race too," Campbell said. "That's the way he likes to race. Timmy knows the horse really well and knows best how to race him. He's done a terrific job with him."

Eliminations were unnecessary for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Campbell was happy to keep Crystal Fashion home in New Jersey for an extra week.

"It was a good thing," Campbell said. "He's just been jogging (during his time off) and he'll train (today). He's been going pretty hard all year. He doesn't need much training."

Racing begins at 7:25 p.m. (EDT) with the Metro eliminations. The Peaceful Way follows as race three, the Wellwood race five, Canadian Trotting Classic race seven, and Elegantimage race 10. The She's A Great Lady elims are races six and eight. Complete entries can be found here.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the first 1,000 fans will receive a special commemorative postcard featuring Hambletonian champion Atlanta. Mohawk Park will also be serving a special drink named "The Atlanta" in its various dining locations and $1 from each drink sold will be donated to the Milton District Hospital Foundation.

The second annual New Owners Seminar will be taking place prior to Saturday's card. The seminar is open to the public and anyone interested in learning more about racehorse ownership is invited. The seminar will start at 6 p.m. in the North America Cup room.

Following is the field in post-position order for the Canadian Trotting Classic.

PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer
1-Missle Hill-David Miller-Tony Alagna
2-Met's Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller
3-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
4-For A Dreamer-James MacDonald-Brad Maxwell
5-Lawmaker-Anthony MacDonald-Harry Poulton
6-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Ben Baillargeon
7-Run Director-Sylvain Filion-Ben Baillargeon
8-Fiftydallarbill-Brett Miller-Bill Crone
9-Winning American-Louis Roy-Paul Reid
10-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell
11-Zephyr Kronos-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

 


 

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