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SMYRNA, DE -- Harness racing podcast The Extra Mile will present a series of "mini-previews" leading up to the $6 million finals of the Breeders Crown, which take place Oct. 30 and 31 at Harrah's Hoosier Park in Anderson, Ind.   Over the coming days, presenter James Witherite will profile a cross-section of the 160 horses slated to square off in the Breeders Crown. The first such profile, featuring Indiana rookie sensation Somethingbeautiful, was released Thursday afternoon (Oct. 22).   Listeners can have new episodes of The Extra Mile delivered to their iOS devices by subscribing on Apple Podcasts. Alternately, new episodes can be found at the podcast's new online home.   Listeners are encouraged to follow The Extra Mile on Twitter at @TheExtraMile412.   by James Witherite, for The Extra Mile    

Harness racing trainer Lucas Wallin quickly admits that having horses in the Breeders Crown eliminations for the first time is no great accomplishment since "anyone can enter." But he does feel it's an accomplishment to be training horses that have enough potential to be entered. "That's right," said Wallin, who has three entries in Friday's (Oct. 23) Breeders Crown eliminations at Harrah's Hoosier Park. "None of the horses will be the favorite but all of them have something to do there. It's not that we just put them in there to have fun. They can do pretty good in there, I think." It's another step forward for the 27-year-old, now in his fourth full year of building up a stable since coming from Sweden in 2014. His earnings and victories have risen each year, although that won't happen this season due to a COVID-19-impacted season. But his numbers still look good considering the huge drop-off in starts. In 2017, he won 18 races and $183,712 in 110 starts; followed by 29 wins and $351,877 in 164 starts in 2018, and 32 wins and $692,544 in 216 starts last year. This season, in just 87 races, Wallin has 19 wins and earned $434,155, which is roughly $250,000 less than 2019 in 129 fewer starts. "I'm happy but also I feel I'm not near where I want to be," said Wallin, who has a stable of 16 horses at Marcus Melander's farm in New Egypt, N.J. "I don't want to have many more horses. But we want to do better in the big stake races. "This year we only had two horses we raced over 2-years-old. We haven't done too many starts but when we race them we've done good. I'm happy, we have some nice babies here in the fall. But I don't want 60 or 70 horses. I want 20 or 25. I'd like to have a finger everywhere to see what's going on." Wallin already has been involved in some major stakes races, including the Hambletonian Oaks, but he still feels emotions stirring as he readies for Friday's eliminations. "It's a pretty strong feeling," he said. "It's one of the biggest events in harness racing. That's a pretty special feeling. It's the end of the year, most of the horses have raced a lot. Anything can happen. It's a good feeling to have three of them in there." Hoosier hosts $25,000 eliminations for 2-year-olds and 3-year-old fillies Friday. The top-five finishers from each elimination advance to next week's finals. Elimination winners will draw for posts one through five for the finals. Eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers, 3-year-old male trotters, and older female pacers will be held Saturday at Hoosier. Eliminations were unnecessary for the Open Pace, Open Trot, and Mare Trot. May Karp and Mazzarati will be competing for Wallin in the 2-year-old filly trot. May Karp, who will have Dexter Dunn in the sulky, is in the second of the two eliminations and is 8-1 on the morning line. Mazzarati, with Tim Tetrick, is 15-1 in the first elim. May Karp, by Cantab Hall out of Evermore, has won three of 10 races and $90,387 for owner Shermay Stables. She won two rounds of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series and the consolation for the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. She finished second in a Bluegrass Stakes division at Red Mile and then was the favorite in her International Stallion Stakes division but went off stride and finished seventh. "She's a nice little filly," Wallin said. "We put her in good races. We tried her in the Jim Doherty (Memorial) in the summer, but she made a break in the last eighth of the final, otherwise she would have been in nice shape. "She raced good at the Red Mile and finished second in the Bluegrass, but unfortunately she made a break on the backstretch in her next race. She was getting a little aggressive when Dexter wanted to get a hold of her. We'll adjust the equipment for this race." Mazzarati, by Cantab Hall out of Falls For You, has won three of eight races and $71,285 for owners Mazza Racing Stables and Stormi and Bruiser Stable. She won her elimination for the Doherty Memorial and finished fifth in the final. Her other wins came in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars and a leg of the Kindergarten Classic Series. "I was pretty high on her very, very early but then she struggled with a couple issues in the summer that took time to fix," Wallin said. "I'm a little disappointed with the season but not the horse. I trained her (Tuesday) and it feels like she's going into this race in good shape. So, I'm going into the Breeders Crown with a good feeling but also a realistic feeling. It's good to race with the best fillies and hopefully she can learn from that." Competing in the 3-year-old filly trot is Ab'sattitudexpress, who is 10-1 in the second of two eliminations and will have Brian Sears in the sulky. She has won five of 10 races this season including the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, where she defeated Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill. The daughter of Trixton-Abbie'sgotattitude has earned $171,700 this year for breeder/owner Stop The Jade Farm. "We took our time with her as a 2-year-old," Wallin said, referring to her two wins and a second in three starts. "She did some nice things in overnights at (Harrah's Philadelphia) and we felt she could go a little. "Overall, she's had a very good season and she looked absolutely perfect over at the Red Mile when she won over Ramona Hill. Tetrick drove a perfect race; it worked out 100 percent, the filly looked really good. I go in with a very good feeling with her for this race. We drew good, post three, and I think she's going to have a very good race as well." Wallin began driving ponies at age 8 and, a few years after that, began helping at his uncle Joakim Wallin's stable. When childhood friend Oskar Florhed told Wallin about an opportunity to work in the U.S. for Ake Svanstedt in 2014, he jumped at it. Those two years proved invaluable, in getting both an education and important contacts as a second trainer. "I have a lot to thank Ake for," Wallin said. "I had a good time at his place. He gave me so much responsibility with everything. He let me drive a lot of races. Without him I would probably not be here. It's tough to get owners, but a lot of owners throw my name out there because he let me drive his horses. "He's for sure one of the best horsemen in the world, his resume speaks for itself. I learned a lot of things from him. We still talk a lot when we see each other on the racetracks." While Wallin would like to start making inroads on the Grand Circuit, he is smart enough and patient enough to realize he is still young with plenty of time to hit it big. "I just want to get better and better each year," he said. "I want to stay here in America and build my stable. I'm happy with where I'm located with the farm. It's a very nice place, it's nice and quiet. The horses like it. There's a lot of harmony. "I just really want to get going in the big ones. But that takes time. I learn something every day and every season I feel more and more comfortable in what I'm doing. I'm very confident in myself and my team. We're getting better and better and I'm sure we'll get where we want to be." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Hoosier Park. For complete entries, click here. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA         Ken Weingartner   Media Relations Manager   U.S. Trotting Association   www.ustrotting.com      

When it comes to a preference in horses, Standardbred or Thoroughbred, Louis Baudron has only one. "My preference is they are good," Baudron said with a laugh. "When you have a good horse, I don't care if it's a trotter or a Thoroughbred. We try to find the good one." Baudron, a native of France and the 34-year-old grandson of renowned horseman Jean Pierre Dubois, has enjoyed success with both breeds during his career as a trainer, driver, and jockey. He has trained 560 harness racing winners and 151 on the Thoroughbred side. He has nearly 400 wins as a driver, including four Grade 1 events, and nearly 200 as a jockey. On Friday, he will drive for the first time in the Breeders Crown when he sits behind Cuatro De Julio in the first of two eliminations for 2-year-old male trotters at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Cuatro De Julio, bred and owned by Dubois and trained by Marie Ortolan Bar, appears to fit Baudron's preference for a good horse. He has won nine of 13 races and his 1:51.3 mile in a division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 9 at Red Mile makes him the fastest of the 2-year-old male trotters entered in the Breeders Crown. Baudron drove Cuatro De Julio in the International Stallion, his first drive in the U.S. since appearing in the 2008 Hambletonian Oaks with Saorse. She finished second in her elimination and seventh in the final. "I bought her when she was a yearling, so that was really a lot of fun," Baudron said. "To be at the Hambletonian, it was a good time. It was a great experience." Baudron is hoping for another great experience in the Breeders Crown. Cuatro De Julio, who started his career on the Kentucky fair circuit and graduated to Grand Circuit stakes winner, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in his elimination. The top-five finishers from the seven-horse elimination advance to the $600,000 final Oct. 30 at Hoosier. Elimination winners draw for posts one through five. "He's sharp, he's fast, he's a very nice horse," Baudron said about Cuatro De Julio, a son of Trixton out of Clarabelle. "Sometimes he can be not so easy behind the gate, but he is strong. He's not just fast, he's strong. I think he is one of the best 2-year-olds in America. "I hope he qualifies well and then after that we hope for the best. I'm excited." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Harness racing trainers Ron Burke and Julie Miller have three of the four richest 2-year-olds in Friday's Breeders Crown eliminations at Harrah's Hoosier Park - Venerate, Southwind Gendry, and Blue Diamond Eyes - and both trainers feel good about their entries overall as they prepare for the night. Hoosier hosts $25,000 eliminations for 2-year-olds and 3-year-old fillies Friday. The 3-year-old fillies include returning Breeders Crown champions Ramona Hill and Reflect With Me. The top-five finishers from each elimination advance to next week's finals. Elimination winners will draw for posts one through five for the finals. Eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers, 3-year-old male trotters, and older female pacers will be held Saturday at Hoosier. Eliminations were unnecessary for the Open Pace, Open Trot, and Mare Trot. Burke, who ranks No. 2 among all trainers in Breeders Crown history with 17 trophies, will send out 12 horses in Friday's elims, including male pacer Southwind Gendry and female pacer Blue Diamond Eyes. "I think they're all going to be competitive," Burke said. "I'm happy with where most of them drew. We're just going to try to get as many in (to the finals) as we can and then get ready for next week." Southwind Gendry has won eight of 10 races this year and earned $409,269, tops among 2-year-old male pacers. He brings a six-race win streak to his elimination. His triumphs include the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final and three Grand Circuit stakes (Elevation and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion). The gelding competes in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male pacers and will start from post two with driver Yannick Gingras. "He's super sharp and drew a good spot," Burke said. "I can't be happier. He has a real good attitude about winning. That's what most impresses me. He seems to want to win." The first elimination also includes Metro Pace winner Exploit and Indiana Sire Stakes champion JK Going West. The second elimination features undefeated Perfect Sting (8-for-8) as well as Metro runner-up Bayfield Beach and the season's fastest male pacer, Lou's Pearlman, who won a division of the Bluegrass in 1:49.1. Burke also trains Lou's Pearlman, the winner of five of 10 starts this year. "He started out great, then hit a little dry patch, but his last couple have been excellent," Burke said. "He's another one that's really coming in sharp and ready to go." Blue Diamond Eyes races in the second of two eliminations for 2-year-old filly pacers. She has won four of nine starts, finished second three times, and earned $383,417. Her victories include sire stakes championships in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Her foes in the elimination include stablemate Scarlett Hanover, the Ontario Sire Stakes champion who finished first in the She's A Great Lady Stakes but was disqualified for causing interference in the stretch. "I can't be happier with (Blue Diamond Eyes); she's become one of the better fillies of the class," Burke said. "I'm thrilled with her. We thought she was our best filly and then she went the wrong way for a little bit. When she went to Lexington (for the recent Grand Circuit meet) she turned everything around. It all came together. "Whatever was wrong, she fixed it on her own, basically. Since then, she's been very good." The first elimination for 2-year-old filly pacers includes She's A Great Lady winner Caviart Audrey, Indiana Sire Stakes champion Somethingbeautiful, and Fire Start Hanover, who is on a five-race win streak. Miller-trained Venerate leads all 2-year-olds in purses with $690,614. The trotting colt won the Mohawk Million and Kentucky Sire Stakes final in September. He went off stride in his most recent start, a division of the International Stallion at Lexington's Red Mile. He is in the second of two eliminations for 2-year-old male trotters. "He can be his own worst enemy," Miller said. "He has to mind his manners, that's his biggest thing. He's kind of immature mentally and is still trying to figure out what we're asking of him. He wants to do the right thing, he's trying to figure it out. But he trained very well and I think he's on his game right now. I think he's peaking." Venerate's rivals in his elimination include undefeated Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Captain Corey (5-for-5) and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Zenith Stride. The first elim includes William Wellwood Memorial winner On A Streak and Grand Circuit stakes winner Cuatro De Julio, whose 1:51.3 mile in a division of the International Stallion makes him the fastest of the Breeders Crown hopefuls. In the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters, Peaceful Way winner Donna Soprano headlines a group of eight in the first elimination. The Luc Blais-trained filly has won five of six starts, including a division of the Champlain Stakes, and finished second to colt Venerate in the Mohawk Million. She leads 2-year-old filly trotters in purses with $433,570. The first elimination also includes New York Sire Stakes and Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes winner Iteration as well as recent Grand Circuit stakes winner Beautiful Game. In the second elimination, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Flawless Country, Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Lady Chaos, and Indiana Sire Stakes champion Swift Swanda are among the hopefuls in a field of nine. Among the 3-year-old fillies, Tony Alagna's Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill competes in the second of two eliminations for 3-year-old female trotters. The most recent Breeders Crown-winning 2-year-old filly trotter to repeat at age 3 was Ariana G in 2016 and 2017. Her foes in her elimination include Love A Good Story, who earlier this month won the Kentucky Filly Futurity for trainer Miller. "We just tried to nurse her this summer in the New York (Sire Stakes) program and then target the Futurity and Breeders Crown," Miller said. "She's an easy keeper and loves her job and is full of energy. She's been a consistent, honest filly for us." Burke sends out Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Moni Maker Stakes winner Crucial in the second elimination and Sister Sledge, last year's Breeders Crown runner-up, in the first. Neither hit the board in their two most recent starts, but Burke said they were suffering from stomach issues. "We worked on them and they look better, and they trained great," Burke said. "I'm hoping we're going to turn them back around." The first elimination for 3-year-old filly trotters also includes New York and Kentucky sire stakes champ Hypnotic AM and Indiana Sire Stakes champ May Baby. Reflect With Me, another Alagna trainee, is in the first of two eliminations for 3-year-old filly pacers. The most recent Breeders Crown-winning 2-year-old filly pacer to repeat at age 3 was Warrawee Ubeaut, just last year. Her elimination includes undefeated (13-for-13) Party Girl Hill, who beat male rivals in her most recent start in the Tattersalls Pace. Her wins also include the Jugette and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. The second elimination includes last year's Dan Patch Award winner, Lyons Sentinel, along with New York Sire Stakes champion Hen Party and Indiana Sire Stakes champion Priceless. Priceless is a newer addition to Miller's stable. She will be making her third start for Miller in the Breeders Crown elim. "We kind of did a test run the first time with her so we could figure out how we wanted her to be and she really raced well," Miller said. "She really likes that Hoosier track. There are a lot of nice horses in there, but she deserves it and it's her home turf. Hopefully, she'll have a little advantage there. "Things seems to be going our way right now," she added. "We're very thankful and fortunate. I hope it continues." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Hoosier Park. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Harness Racing This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations and Circle City, Harrah's Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; John Simpson Stakes, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa.; and Kindergarten Series third leg, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week commences on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 21) at Harrah's Philadelphia with three divisions in the $96,801 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers and two divisions in the $86,600 John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 23) card features two divisions in the $111,600 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $110,000 John Simpson Stakes for 2-year-old colt pacers. Hoosier Park on Thursday (Oct. 22) will host the Circle City for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be two divisions in the $65,000 3-year-old colt pace; a single $52,000 division in the 3-year-old colt trot; two divisions in the $50,200 3-year-old filly trot; and two divisions in the $50,000 3-year-old filly pace. Breeders Crown eliminations at Hoosier will take place on Friday (Oct. 23) and Saturday (Oct. 24). Friday will feature six sets of eliminations with a pair of $25,000 races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits and a pair of $25,000 races for 3-year-old filly pacers and trotters. Saturday features a single $25,000 elimination in the Mare Pace, plus two $25,000 eliminations in both the 3-year-old colt pace and 3-year-old colt trot. The Meadowlands on Friday (Oct. 23) will host the third leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be a pair of $20,000 divisions in each of the four classes. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Drama Act overcame post eight to prevail against Grand Circuit stock in Saturday's (Oct. 17) $120,000 Courageous Lady at MGM Northfield Park. Drama Act and driver Matt Kakaley won the $120,000 Courageous Lady at Northfield Park. JJ Zamaiko photo. Driven by Matt Kakaley, Drama Act sat sixth through the :27.2 opening quarter. She found herself second-over through fractions of :55.4 and 1:23.3. Kakaley moved her three-wide in the final turn and she bested Perfect Storm (David Miller) by a head in 1:51.1. Pettycoat Business (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) was third. "I moved her three-wide and she got the job done," said Kakaley. "She is a really nice filly." Harness racing's all-time leading trainer Ron Burke conditions Drama Act for owners The OK Corral. Drama Act (Well Said-Lounge Act) now has eight wins in 15 lifetime starts. Saturday's victory increased her career bankroll to $225,482. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 920; 2. Dexter Dunn - 698; 3. Tim Tetrick - 536.5; 4. Andrew McCarthy - 494; 5. David Miller - 493. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 853; 2. Nancy Takter - 831.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 622; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 539; 5. Marcus Melander - 383. Owners: 1. Caviart Farms - 200.5; 2. Determination - 200; 3. Brad Grant - 192.3; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 178.7; 5. Courant Inc. - 154.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Harrah's Hoosier Park, Harrah's Philadelphia, and The Meadowlands. Harrah's Hoosier Park will feature 12 Breeders Crown finals, plus The Madison County for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits and The Pegasus for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Harrah's Philadelphia will host the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and trotters and The Meadowlands will feature the fourth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Oct. 20, Cranbury, NJ—Entries for the $6 million Breeders Crown events at Harrah’s Hoosier Park saw 161 elite trotters and pacers fill the entry box to qualify for the rich harness racing finals on Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31. The Open Pace (10), Open Trot (10) and Mare Trot (8) will go directly to the finals on Sat. Oct. 31. 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta has entered the Open Trot, vying to become just the fourth mare to beat male counterparts in this event.  The Indiana-bred Hannelore Hanover won the 2017 Breeders Crown Trot at Hoosier Park, while Moni Maker (1998) and CR Kay Suzie (1996) are the other two “Crowned” mares.   There were 61 2-year-olds entered, forcing $25,000 eliminations in all divisions for Friday, Oct. 23. All 2-year-old finals have a purse of $600,000. There were 61 3-year-olds entered, forcing $25,000 eliminations in all divisions: fillies on Friday, Oct. 23, and colts on Saturday, Oct. 24. All 3-year-old finals have a purse of $500,000. $600,000 2-Year-Old Colt Pace (16)  $600,000 2-Year-Old Colt Trot (14) $600,000 2-Year-Old Filly Trot (17) $600,000 2-Year-Old Filly Pace (14) $500,000 3-Year-Old Colt Trot (17) $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Pace (13) $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot (16) $500,000 3-Year-Old Colt Pace (15) $300,000 Mare Pace (11) $300,000 Mare Trot (8) $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot (10) $500,000 Breeders Crown Pace (10)  Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will host the 2020 Breeders Crown Finals on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 with limited spectators, in accordance with the approved health and safety plan for the event. The 2020 Breeders Crown event, presented by The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, will be the 37th edition of the $6 million event. First post for the Breeders Crown eliminations will be 6:30 p.m. (EDT) while post time for the Breeders Crown finals will be 6:00 p.m. (EDT). For more information on the upcoming Breeders Crown events or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com From the Breeders Crown  

The deadline for potential supplements to the 3-year-old and older Breeders Crown races and for all eligible horses to declare in to the year-end harness racing championship events at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino occurs next week. Supplemental entries for 3-year-old and open events are due and payable by 12:00 noon [EDT], Monday, Oct. 19, in the race office of Harrah's Hoosier Park or at the Hambletonian Society offices in Cranbury, NJ. There are no supplements for 2-year-old races. All Breeders Crown eligible horses must declare in by 11:00 a.m. [EDT] Tuesday, Oct. 20. All eligible 3-year-olds have the option of entering the sophomore event to which they were nominated or an Open event. Supplemental declaration amounts are listed below. Click here for more instructions on supplementing: Supplemental Information Gtd. Purse Event Supplement $500,000 3-Year-Old Events $62,500 $500,000 Open Trot & Pace $62,500 $300,000 Open Mare Pace & Trot $31,250 The entrance fee is included in the supplemental amount. A minimum of half the amount of the supplemental fee, minus the entrance fee, will be added to the purse. This one-time supplemental payment also makes a horse eligible to all subsequent years' Breeders Crown events under the normal schedule of payments. You can access the Harrah's Hoosier Park Condition Sheet here: Harrahs-Hoosier-Park condition-sheets Eliminations, if needed, will occur for all two-year-olds and all three-year-old fillies on Friday, Oct. 23 with a post time of 6:30 pm. [EDT] Three-year-old colt and open eliminations, if needed, will race Saturday, Oct. 24, with a post time of 6:30 pm. [EDT] All eliminations will race for a minimum of $25,000. If there are eliminations, post positions in the Final will be determined by an open draw with the exception that Elimination winners in an order determined by lot, will draw for post positions number one (#1) through five (#5) in the final. All other finalists will be placed in an open draw for the remaining post positions. Any horse(s) that receive a bye into the Final will be in the open draw for post positions in the Final. All horses that start in the Final receive money. All 2-Year-Old races will be held Friday, Oct. 30 with an early post time of 6:00 p.m. [EDT]. All 3-Year-Old and Open events will race Saturday, Oct. 31, also with an early post of 6:00 p.m. [EDT] For more information and racing conditions click: Harrah's Hoosier Park Breeders Crown or call 609-371-2211. From the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown

Odds On Osiris will try to repeat as an Indiana Sire Stakes harness racing champion Friday at Harrah's Hoosier Park, where success could propel him to the Breeders Crown a week later when the event returns to Hoosier for the second time in four years.There is more than $2 million in purses Friday evening. A multiple Grand Circuit stakes winner in his career, Odds On Osiris topped this season's Indiana Sire Stakes standings for 3-year-old male pacers thanks to three wins and two seconds in the series. He heads to the final off back-to-back ISS victories, including a career-best 1:49.3 score last week at Hoosier. It was his first race since Sept. 18. "I thought he felt pretty good," driver Peter Wrenn said. "He handled that pretty easily. But it's racing and (Friday) is not going to be easy. Hopefully, the end result is good. He's a very nice horse. If everything goes right, he's got this week and if he comes out of it all right, we've got the Breeders Crown. "The only problem is I don't have enough of them (like him)," he added, laughing. "Other than that, everything is perfect." Odds On Osiris has won four of eight races this year and earned $249,780. He won the Carl Milstein Memorial in August and has been off the board only once, when started in the second tier and was fourth in the North America Cup final despite a :26.3 final quarter that was at least four-fifths of a second faster than the horses that finished ahead of him. "I thought he raced really well up there," said Wrenn, who watched Sylvain Filion drive the gelding in Canada because of international travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. "He was charging at the end. That's just part of racing." For his career, Odds On Osiris has won 11 of 18 races and $593,675. He is trained by Wrenn's wife, Melanie. "It's quite a transition from (age) 2 to 3 and not all horses step up to the plate," Peter Wrenn said. "He did. I couldn't be any happier with him." Another horse looking to repeat as an Indiana Sire Stakes champion is 3-year-old female trotter Rock Swan. The Erv Miller-trained filly has won five of 10 races this season and hit the board in every start despite battling foot issues. She competed in all seven preliminary legs of the sire stakes, posting four victories and three seconds. For her career, she has won 14 of 21 races and been worse than second only once. "We've been playing with her shoes to get her a little better and hopefully she'll be on key," Miller said. "She trained really nice (Tuesday) morning. Hopefully, she'll be good to go on Friday night and then move on to the Breeders Crown. She's got May Baby to beat and she hasn't beaten her in their last couple starts. Hopefully, she'll be a little better Friday." May Baby, a Breeders Crown finalist in 2019 after finishing second to Rock Swan in the Indiana championship, has won six of nine races this year and brings a three-race win streak to Friday's start. She equaled the Hoosier Park track record for a 3-year-old trotting filly, 1:52.2, in her most recent triumph. "She's in top form," said James Yoder, who trains and drives the filly. "Hopefully, she will stay like that for the next several weeks. Three more weeks like that would be OK with me. "I've been pretty happy with her year. We had some foot issues (in August) and it took a few weeks to figure it out. It's been smooth sailing since then." Yoder also hopes to send Katkin American, an Indiana Sire Stakes finalist in the event for older male trotters, to the Breeders Crown. The 5-year-old gelding, a Hoosier track-record-setter at 3 who missed his entire 4-year-old season, has been lightly raced due to injuries. He has 11 wins and eight seconds in 20 career starts. "We've been aiming him for October," Yoder said. "We've been aiming for it all year." Miller, too, has additional Breeders Crown hopefuls, including Swift Swanda. She has won five of nine races this year and topped the ISS standings for 2-year-old female trotters. "She's a big, strong filly," Miller said. "She's just a little immature still this year. She just needs to mature. I think she'll make a great 3-year-old." Other Indiana Sire Stakes finalists eligible to the Breeders Crown include 2-year-old male pacers JK Going West, Brookview Bullet, and Virgo; 2-year-old female pacer Somethingbeautiful; 2-year-old male trotter Brookview Bolt; 3-year-old female pacer Priceless; 3-year-old male trotters Swan In Motion and Emma Town Bud; older female trotters Compelling, Custom Cantab, and Grand Swan; older female pacer Rockin Nola; older male trotters Bridge To Jesse's, Fiftydallarbill, and It's A Herbie; and older male pacer Little Rocket Man. Fiftydallarbill was a Breeders Crown champion at age 2, in 2017 at Hoosier Park. He was one of three Indiana stars, with Hannelore Hanover and Beckhams Z Tam, to win a Breeders Crown that year at Hoosier. This year's Breeders Crown eliminations will be Oct. 23 and Oct. 24. The finals for 2-year-olds will be Oct. 30 and the remaining finals will be Oct. 31. "I think there will be a lot more local trainers enter this year than the first time (the Breeders Crown) was here," Yoder said. "I think a lot of them noticed how good the Indiana-breds did the first time and I think a lot more nominated into it this year knowing it was going to be at Hoosier again." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) at Hoosier Park. For Friday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Anderson, IN-- October 13, 2020-- Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and 2020 Breeders Crown Presenting Sponsor The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership are pleased to announce the results of a special harness racing auction that was held on Tuesday, October 6 at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion as part of the 2020 Breeders Crown Charity Challenge. The auction featured 2021 breedings to Father Patrick, Greenshoe, JK Endofanera, Swan For All, Tall Dark Stranger, and Walner. Exceeding expectations, a total of $105,000 in funds was raised through the auction. The Breeders Crown Charity Challenge would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the auction including Kountry Lane Standardbreds, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Caviart Farms, Northwood Bloodstock for Richard Fry, Kentuckiana Farms, and The Stable.ca who successfully purchased breedings. "I want to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all the industry participants who have once again so generously supported the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge," said Marvin Katz, speaking on behalf of the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, which is the official presenting sponsor of the Breeders Crown at Harrah's Hoosier Park, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. "The entire Harrah's Hoosier Park team must be acknowledged, applauded, and thanked for their tireless commitment under today's challenging environment to host this year's Breeders Crown. We all look forward to celebrating Breeders Crown weekend at Hoosier Park. Well done everyone.". The Breeders Crown Charity Challenge launched in September and features four teams consisting of a celebrity, a charity of their choosing, and an award-winning three-year-old pacing colt. In addition to the stallion breeding auction, funds for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge will also be generated by donations through a Glamour Boy Challenge in the 3-year-old pacing colt division, in which the partnerships will donate 1% of their horse earnings through November 1. Harrah's Hoosier Park and Libfeld-Katz are partnering with the four Indiana celebrities to raise funds for their respective charities, and the challenge will be centered around a Facebook poll and social engagement. Each celebrity's charity will receive a donation, but the celebrity-charity duo with the highest votes on the Facebook poll will receive a majority of the funds raised. To cast your vote, click here. The 2020 Breeders Crown Charity Challenge Lineup is as follows: Celebrity & Charity Teams Indianapolis Colt, Super Bowl Champ, & Pro Bowl Alum, Jeff Saturday - Hoosier Burn Camp - http://hoosierburncamp.org/ Indiana Lieutenant Governor, Suzanne Crouch - AWS Foundation of Indiana -https://awsfoundation.org/ Former Indiana Basketball Player & Indianapolis Sports Radio Personality Dan Dakich - The Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment - https://giving.purdue.edu/s/1461/1010/19/interior.aspx?sid=1461&gid=1010&pgid=9633 WTHR Indianapolis News Anchor, Julia Moffitt - Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Inc. - https://www.morningdovetrc.org/ by Emily Gaskin, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Anderson, IN-- September 4, 2020-- Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and 2020 Breeders Crown Presenting Sponsor The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership will officially kick off the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge the week of September 7, benefiting four non-profit organizations represented by local Indiana celebrities including Indianapolis Colt alum Jeff Saturday, Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indianapolis sports radio personality Dan Dakich, and Emmy award-winning WTHR Indianapolis news anchor Julia Moffitt. The challenge will culminate on Breeders Crown weekend, set for October 30 and 31. Funds for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge will be generated by donations from major Standardbred breeding and racing partnerships through a Glamour Boy Challenge in the 3-year-old pacing colt division, in which the partnerships will donate 1% of their horse earnings through November 1. The additional funds will be raised through the donation of a 2021 breeding to several of the industry's top stallions at the 2020 Lexington Yearling Sale on Tuesday, October 6 at 6:45 p.m. Harrah's Hoosier Park and Libfeld-Katz are partnering with the four Indiana celebrities to raise funds for their respective charities, and the challenge will be centered around a Facebook poll and social engagement. Each celebrity's charity will receive a donation, but the celebrity-charity duo with the highest votes on the Facebook poll will receive a majority of the funds raised. The 2020 Breeders Crown Charity Challenge Lineup is as follows: Celebrity & Charity Teams Indianapolis Colt, Super Bowl Champ, & Pro Bowl Alum, Jeff Saturday - Hoosier Burn Camp - http://hoosierburncamp.org/ Indiana Lieutenant Governor, Suzanne Crouch - AWS Foundation of Indiana -https://awsfoundation.org/ Former Indiana Basketball Player & Indianapolis Sports Radio Personality Dan Dakich - The Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment - https://giving.purdue.edu/s/1461/1010/19/interior.aspx?sid=1461&gid=1010&pgid=9633 WTHR Indianapolis News Anchor, Julia Moffitt - Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Inc. -https://www.morningdovetrc.org/ Glamour Boy Challenge - Donation of 1% of Earnings Through November 1, 2020 Tall Dark Stranger - Crawford Farms, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, Howard Taylor, and Trainer Nancy Takter Odds on Osiris - Odds on Racing, Dana Parham, Trainer Melanie Wrenn Top Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Tony Alagna Stable Top Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Ron Burke Stable Lexington Yearling Sale Auction - Donation of 2021 Breeding Fee Father Patrick - Father Patrick Syndicate, Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farms Swan For All - Swan for All Syndicate and Bobby Brady of Kentuckiana Farms Walner - Walner Syndicate and David Reid of Preferred Marketing Greenshoe - Greenshoe Syndicate and Dr Bridgette Jablonsky of Hanover Shoe Farm Tall Dark Stranger - Crawford Farms, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, Howard Taylor JK Endofanera - Victory Hill Farms, and Bob Boni of Northwood Bloodstock The 2019 Breeders Crown, hosted at Woodbine-Mohawk, raised more than $282,000 in the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge with Libfeld-Katz at the helm, and the 2020 goal is to exceed that figure. The Breeders Crown is a $6 million championship series designed to decide year-end honors and draws the year's best Standardbred race horses from across North America to compete against one another. The event brings together the greatest harness racing equine athletes in the world as they square off in different age divisions based on the horses' sex and gait (trot or pace). More information on the 2020 Breeders Crown, including the Charity Challenge, event FAQ, and Breeders Crown experience availability can be found at www.HarrahsHoosierPark.com, and will be updated regularly. by Kiersten Flint, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Anderson, IN-- September 3, 2020-- Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino announced today that it will host the 2020 Breeders Crown on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 with limited spectators, in accordance with the approved health and safety plan for the event. The 2020 Breeders Crown event, presented by The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, will be a ticketed-only event with three main experiences hosted in a limited-capacity format: Breeders Crown Owners & Sponsors Experience - Located in the Homestretch Dining Area, Lower Level Grandstands, and Terrace Showroom Suites Breeders Crown Grandstand Experience - Located in the Terrace Showroom Grandstand Seating Breeders Crown Simulcast Center Experience - Located in the State-of-the-Art Simulcast Center The initial availability of Breeders Crown experience packages will be extended for purchase by invitation to members of the Hambletonian Society, Breeders Crown horse owners, event sponsors, and local racing community. Reservations for the Breeders Crown Owners & Sponsors Experience will be available in tables of four or six, are based on limited availability, and not guaranteed. Owners anticipating Breeders Crown entries may sign up for the Breeders Crown Owners reservation waitlist by emailing BreedersCrown2020@gmail.com, and final reservations will require a Breeders Crown entry. Ticket availability for all experiences may become available based on demand and in accordance with the approved health and safety plan, and a Breeders Crown fan waitlist will be established. Fans wishing to attend the 2020 Breeders Crown are encouraged to visit HarrahsHoosierPark.com for regular updates. "Our team at Harrah's Hoosier Park remains focused on hosting a highly-successful Breeders Crown, in partnership with the Hambletonian Society, the Indiana Standardbred Association, and the Indiana Horse Racing Commission," said Harrah's Hoosier Park VP and GM of Racing, Rick Moore. "We will once again execute a top-notch, two-night event to decide year-end honors for the best harness racing athletes in North America, all while keeping the safety of our guests, team members, and racing community at the forefront of our event." The Breeders Crown is a $6 million championship series designed to decide year-end honors and draws the year's best Standardbred race horses from across North America to compete against one another. The event brings together the greatest harness racing equine athletes in the world as they square off in different age divisions based on the horses' sex and gait (trot or pace). The 2020 events at Harrah's Hoosier Park will be the 37th edition of the Breeders Crown, with the following lineup: Friday, October 30 - First Post 6:00 p.m. Breeders Crown 2YO Filly Pace Breeders Crown 2YO Filly Trot Breeders Crown 2YO Colt & Gelding Pace Breeders Crown 2YO Colt & Gelding Trot Saturday, October 31 - First Post 6:00 p.m. Breeders Crown 3YO Filly Pace Breeders Crown 3YO Filly Trot Breeders Crown 3YO Colt & Gelding Pace Breeders Crown 3YO Colt & Gelding Trot Breeders Crown Open Mare Pace Breeders Crown Open Mare Trot Open Pace Open Trot As a part of the 2020 Breeders Crown, Harrah's Hoosier Park - along with Libfeld-Katz and The Hambletonian Society - will host a Breeders Crown Charity Challenge to benefit non-profit organizations. The 2019 charity challenge brought in more than $282,000 in fundraising with Libfeld-Katz at the helm, and the 2020 goal is to exceed that figure. "In times like today, there's an even greater need for collaboration with non-profits on fundraising opportunities," noted Moore. "We are focused on putting together a first-class event in a reduced capacity, and using the 2020 Breeders Crown as a platform to raise what we hope to be hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy organizations." Harrah's Hoosier Park is currently operating at a reduced capacity, in accordance with the State of Indiana and regulatory guidelines. Both Harrah's Hoosier Park and the Hambletonian Society remain committed to following all safety protocols outlined by the State of Indiana and set forth in Harrah's Hoosier Park's health and safety plan. More information on the 2020 Breeders Crown, including the Charity Challenge, event FAQ, and Breeders Crown experience availability can be found at www.HarrahsHoosierPark.com, and will be updated regularly. by Kiersten Flint, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Anderson, IN--August 1, 2020-- Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino announced today that The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership will be the official presenting sponsor of the 2020 Breeders Crown set to be held on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31. The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, founded by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz more than 25 years ago, is an award-winning breeding operation based out of Georgetown, Kentucky. Over the past nearly three decades, Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz have relied on more than homework and intuition to forge their success in racing and breeding. The duo has been involved in the breeding and ownership of numerous superstars, including most recently Ariana G ($2.6 million) and Greenshoe ($1.3 million). Libfeld/Katz was voted Armstrong Breeder of the Year in four of the last five years, was Dan Patch Breeder of the Year in 2016 and secured the Stanley Bergstein Proximity Award in 2019, one of the sport's highest honors. The sale of the sport's first million-dollar yearling, Maverick, a Father Patrick full-brother to Greenshoe from the Libfeld-Katz mare Designed To Be, was another major breeding accomplishment for the Libfeld-Katz partnership. Horses they have owned and bred have accounted for victories in the Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity, Canadian Trotting Classic and other world-class events, making them one of the most trusted names in the Standardbred breeding and racing industry. "Harrah's Hoosier Park and the Breeders Crown are synonymous with the pursuit of excellence" said Marvin Katz, Partner of The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership. "We are pleased, privileged, and honored to once again be associated with the Breeders Crown." This is the second year that Libfeld-Katz has been the presenting sponsor of the Breeders Crown, with the first year sponsoring the 36th edition of the event at Woodbine-Mohawk Park in 2019. The Breeders Crown is a $6 million championship series held to culminate harness race meets across North America and brings the year's best Standardbred race horses to compete against one another. The event brings together the greatest harness racing equine athletes in the world as they square off in different age divisions based on the horses' sex and gait (trot or pace). The 2020 events at Harrah's Hoosier Park will be the 37th edition of the Breeders Crown. "We are honored to welcome The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership as our presenting sponsor for the 2020 Breeders Crown," said Rick Moore, Harrah's Hoosier Park VP and General Manager. "Their reputation in the harness racing industry is built on a foundation of success. With seven Breeders Crown champions and a wildly successful vision for the 2019 Breeders Crown Charity Challenge, we couldn't be more thrilled to partner with Libfeld-Katz." Libfeld-Katz partnered with Woodbine Mohawk in 2019 on the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge and raised an unprecedented $282,996 for area charities. At the helm of Harrah's Hoosier Park's Breeders Crown Charity Challenge in 2020, Libfeld-Katz hope to facilitate another successful year of fundraising. More information on the 2020 Breeders Crown, including the Charity Challenge, ticketing details, and more will be available soon. A 2020 Breeders Crown Frequently Asked Questions document is now available at www.HarrahsHoosierPark.com, and will be updated regularly. by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Anderson, IN--July 31, 2020-- With the 2020 live harness racing season well underway, including the return of racing spectators on July 4, Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Hambletonian Society continue to plan for the 2020 Breeders Crown set to be held on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31. The Breeders Crown is a $6 million championship series designed to decide year-end honors and draws the year's best Standardbred race horses from across North America to compete against one another. The event brings together the greatest harness racing equine athletes in the world as they square off in different age divisions based on the horses' sex and gait (trot or pace). The 2020 events at Harrah's Hoosier Park will be the 37th edition of the Breeders Crown. Harrah's Hoosier Park is currently operating at a reduced capacity, in accordance with the State of Indiana and regulatory guidelines. Both Harrah's Hoosier Park and the Hambletonian Society remain committed to following all safety protocols outlined by the State of Indiana and set forth in Harrah's Hoosier Park's health and safety plan, and are working through details to execute the 2020 Breeders Crown event accordingly. "Our team at Harrah's Hoosier Park hosted an incredibly successful Breeders Crown in 2017, and in many ways exceeded expectations set forth for the event," said Rick Moore, Harrah's Hoosier Park VP and General Manager. "We're honored to host the Breeders Crown once again, and are working diligently to plan a successful 2020 event, alongside the Hambletonian Society, while ensuring adherence to the state's guidelines and our own health and safety procedures." More information on the 2020 Breeders Crown, including ticketing details, will be available soon. A 2020 Breeders Crown Frequently Asked Questions document is now available at www.HarrahsHoosierPark.com, and will be updated regularly. by Emily Ratliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park

Cranbury, NJ... February sustaining and nominating payments for 133 Hambletonian Society stake and late-closing events are due Saturday, February 15 and per USTA Rule 12 section 2, must be postmarked by midnight on Tuesday, February 18. February is the gateway payment for most 3-year-old and older stakes and closers as well as initial 2-year-old payments for Breeders Crown and Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes. This includes two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown, the $1.2 Million Hambletonian (with eliminations held the week prior) & $600,000 Hambletonian Oaks, as well as the MGM Yonkers Trot. All 2-Year-Old Breeders Crown are estimated at $600,000. The Breeders Crown sophomore events will be raced for $500,000 as will the Breeders Crown Trot & Pace. Mare Open events are bumped to $300,000 for the second consecutive year. All 12 Breeders Crown races are hosted by Harrah's Hoosier Park on Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, October 31. Race conditions, payment forms and much more information is available online at www.hambletonian.com. For additional information call the Society offices at 609-371-2211. by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society  

The journey began exactly a month ago, when Bold Eagle and his harness racing caretaker Hugues Monthule boarded a horse van in the French countryside. The pair made their way to the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, flew into Toronto International on Oct.19 and were ensconced in the woodsy, overgrown Mohawk backstretch by the first race on Breeders Crown elimination night. Flash forward to 10 a.m. Sunday morning (Oct. 27), Pierre Pilarski, Thomas and Sabine Bernereau, and Francois Jamier sat around a high-top table near the front of the Quest Restaurant on the ground floor of the Hilton hotel in Mississauga. Situated about halfway between downtown Toronto and Woodbine Mohawk Park, the hotel was quiet, save for a few families checking out and a handful of early risers enjoying the pool and hot tub, and only a few of the restaurant's tables were occupied. Outside, overnight downpours late in the preceding evening and early that morning gave way to gray, overcast skies. The sharp, cold air left flags in tatters and whipped open hotel doors as high winds gusted through the Eastern Ontario city. Despite the dreary conditions, Bold Eagle's connections sat looking relaxed and content. Bright-eyed and with smiles on their faces, they enjoyed each other's company and cordially entertained the occasional visitors who offered congratulations, accolades, and thanks to the team who brought their champion trotter across the Atlantic to post a dominating victory in the Breeders Crown Open Trot only 11 hours before. While the aftermath proved tranquil, the hours leading up to Bold Eagle's victory were fraught with nerves and stress. Bold Eagle arrived in the Mohawk paddock around 8 p.m. on race night and took his place in a stall in the northwest corner near the test barn. With his cotton-stuffed ears forward and head held up in the crossties, Bold Eagle stood quietly with a black-and-red cooler draped cleanly over his back as the finishing touches were put on his braided forelock. As the time to warm up grew closer, though, the stallion became animated. While longtime caretaker Monthule and trainer Sebastien Guarato began to pull equipment out of the black tack box positioned in the aisle just in front of the stall, Bold Eagle began lowering his head and pawing at the rubber-matted floor. Gentle pats on the shoulder, stern warnings, and kisses on the nose from Monthule helped stem the trotter's eagerness, but Bold Eagle soon grew more excitable. As Breeders Crown winners made their way past to the test barn, Bold Eagle fixed his gaze on them, extended his neck, and delivered deep, loud roars. His demonstrations intensified as the sophomore trotting fillies, stationed in the row across from Bold Eagle's stall, lined up to head out to the track. Jamier, an agent, the Bernereaus, co-owners, and Priscilla Navillod, Bold Eagle's masseuse and dentist, joined Monthule and Guarato as Bold Eagle prepared for his warmup around 9:45 p.m. Absent from the group was Pilarski, who remained in the clubhouse. "He was too nervous to come see 'Bold,' " said Kim Gudmand, a Danish photographer and fan who has followed Bold Eagle around Europe since the trotter's 3-year-old campaign and has become close with the trotter's owners. "He wanted to stay upstairs." "I was nervous, but it was not so much pressure from outside, it was more inside pressure," Pilarski explained via translation by Jamier. "Now (Bold Eagle) is getting on the edge where he is not so easy in front like he used to be. We came over here, so of course there was some pressure. "We arrived (Friday). We were pretty tired (Friday) night. We were at the racetrack," Pilarski said. "We went to downtown Toronto (Saturday) to get lunch and we all tried to get time just to destress. But when we arrived here, we could feel the pressure." In the early years of Bold Eagle's career, the trotter would warm up twice on race day, once with Monthule and once with his driver. Now, the 8-year-old is too excitable on the track and only goes for one light preparation with his driver. Two races after winning a Breeders Crown with Winndevie and immediately after driving McWicked to a fourth-place finish in the Open Pace, Brian Sears met Bold Eagle in the paddock and headed out onto the track with him, led by Monthule and with the rest of the team in close pursuit. The warmup was Sears' first time taking the lines behind Bold Eagle and although he talked briefly with the connections in the days leading up to the race, there was little other prep work the Hall of Famer could do ahead of hopping in the sulky. Sears took Bold Eagle one lap clockwise around the seven-furlong oval during a short break in the rain. Although high-strung, Bold Eagle quickly trotted up on the heels of two other joggers near the end of his lap and slowed to match their pace. Sears took Bold Eagle past the paddock and down the stretch, turned him, and went a short spurt at a quicker tempo before returning Bold Eagle to the hands of Monthule. Sears hopped off the bike outside the paddock door and made a B-line for the front of the paddock, darting down a narrow alley formed by the building's exterior and the parked starting gate. The White Knight's colors were tarnished with wet stone dust and the driver chomped furiously on a piece of gum. "He was alright, pretty grabby," Sears quickly commented before jumping in the bike behind Greenshoe and heading out for another heat. After his warmup, Bold Eagle's attitude changed again. After returning to his stall, Bold Eagle stood with all four feet planted firmly on the ground. Neck bowed and ears pinned back, the trotter put on his game face as the final preparations were made for his start. Boosted by Bold Eagle's work leading up to the race, Guarato had been steady all night. The trainer felt confident his trotter would earn a check after training Bold Eagle over the Mohawk oval Thursday (Oct. 24) "I was very satisfied and confident about the fact that he trained well," Guarato said via translation by Jamier. "He handled the turns the right way and he was calm and relaxed and had good energy. I was confident to be one-two-three." A chink in Guarato's armor of confidence finally showed as the trainer watching unnervingly as a Go-Pro was affixed to one of the shafts of Bold Eagle's sulky shortly before race time. Only after being reassured that American History carried the camera in his Open Pace victory earlier in the evening did Guarato's fixation on the device subside. At 10:40 p.m., Guarato and Monthule were at work in Bold Eagle's stall making the final preparations for the race. Sabine Bernereau found a seat on the edge of the tack box while Thomas stood in front of the stall, hands shoved in his pockets, shuffling his feet. Finally, Monthule unhooked the crossties and led Bold Eagle into the aisle. Guarato and Navillod hitched the brand new black-and-red Gorilla race bike to Bold Eagle's harness and tightened the Go-Pro mount a final time. The Gorilla was one of two equipment changes that evening, replacing the Custom model bikes used by Björn Goop and Franck Nivard overseas. Bold Eagle would also race without an undercheck in the Breeders Crown. "He has a tendency to play with it. It was the first time I took it off," Guarato said. Sears donned Pilarski's black-and-red colors, slipped a yellow cap over his helmet, and adjusted his goggles before striding up to Bold Eagle. Tucking the whip under his right arm, Sears clipped the pull-cord for the earplugs in place near his left stirrup, took the lines in his brown-gloved hands, and then came the call from the judge crackling over the paddock's loudspeakers. "Bring 'em out." Monthule led Bold Eagle to the paddock door, Sears hopped in the bike, and the trio made their way out. While the rain had given way for Bold Eagle's warm up, it returned with a vengeance for his race. In combination with high winds blowing down the stretch, the monsoon delayed the start of the 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace as pylons floated up out of their moorings and blew into the center of the track. Earlier in the evening, a wayward pylon forced a recall. Such delays and recalls proved Bold Eagle's undoing before the 2018 Elitloppet elimination. Although there were no such hindrances before the Open Trot, Bold Eagle still appeared agitated in the post parade. He threw his head up and down, darted left, then right, and looked to the grandstand as something caught his eye. Monthule watched from the porch outside the paddock, seeking refuge from the weather under the overhanging roof. Photographers, journalists, and fellow horsepeople - by now, friends - put their hands on his shoulders, hugged him, and wished him luck. Monthule politely accepted each, but his gaze never left his champion on the track. Each time Bold Eagle passed in front of the paddock, Monthule hopped down from his perch and ran to the edge of the track, black-leather shank in hand, ready to lend assistance to Sears if needed. Once, he obliged and Monthule led Bold Eagle up the stretch, past the row of photographers before turning Bold Eagle loose again. Monthule remained out on the track at the end of the line of cameras as Bold Eagle and his 10 rivals faced the gate for the Open Trot. Even as his competitors put their noses on the barrier, Bold Eagle lagged behind from his inside post position, throwing his head and jerking from side to side. However, as he caught the gate, Bold Eagle picked up his head and put his nose to the wings. As the truck sped away, Bold Eagle trotted straight and true, quickest off the car for the first several strides before letting Atlanta, Guardian Angel As, and Lindy The Great dictate the tempo. Reaching the backstretch, Sears yanked on the right line, tipping Bold Eagle's face into the stiff wind. Bold Eagle glided up from a 4 1/4-length deficit to take the lead passing the half. Lindy The Great faded in the pocket while Six Pack tried to follow Bold Eagle's move, but was left without cover, and Atlanta rode the pylons. Bold Eagle straightened away with the lead as Six Pack continued to give chase and Atlanta angled wide. Sears turned the whip onto Bold Eagle's hind end, and as easily as Bold Eagle left the gate, he put up 2 lengths in deep stretch. Sears took three glances over his right shoulder and on the last, realizing he could not be caught, raised his whip in victory. Bold Eagle trotted past the finish post with the plugs still in and his ears pricked as he completed the mile in 1:52.0. A huge smile lit up on Monthule's face and the caretaker thrust both arms straight up over his head as he part-ran, part-skipped, part-jumped up the stretch watching Bold Eagle cross the line. In the clubhouse, Pilarski, the Bernereaus, and Jamier stood pressed up against the glass. They clapped, clamored, and leaned as Bold Eagle neared the finish. Just like Monthule, the quartet threw their hands up as he crossed the line before embracing in a group hug. The pent-up stresses of the evening were instantly lifted, and the heavy rains went unnoticed to the dozens of owners, friends, and fans of Bold Eagle who flooded the track on the way to the winner's circle. Pleas of "clear the track, clear the track," from the outriders as a new batch of horses started their warmups went unheeded as Bold Eagle returned to the winner's circle. Sears threw a Bold Eagle scarf around his neck, "Allez Bold Eagle" and French flags flew, and smiles lit up the night as the cameras clicked away. Back in the paddock, after completing the post-race testing procedures and getting cleaned off, Bold Eagle stomped around with his neck bowed and his ears pinned back, looking none the worse for his dominant display. "I'm very, very happy for Bold, just to get this race in his record. To come here and to win," Pilarski said, looking over his champion. "It's going to make all his fans very happy." Although Bold Eagle is most regarded for his victories in the French classics going 2,700 meters, Guarato praised the trotter's abilities at 1-mile. "The first time he went to Solvalla, he beat the European record. It was amazing. The first time he went to Solvalla, nobody saw that before, what he did there," the trainer said. "The first time he's come here, he's a monster." The Breeders Crown Trot is Bold Eagle's 46th victory and boosts his earnings to $5,692,680. It is the first North American win for the horse, owner, and trainer. Although Bold Eagle and Pilarski had never raced in North America before, Guarato sent Rapide Lebel to a second-place finish behind San Pail in the 2011 Breeders Crown Trot at Woodbine. "I'm extremely satisfied and happy," Guarato said. "This horse brings a lot of happiness to everybody. The last couple of months, he was maybe not as good as he used to be. But he's still a champion and today, to win in front of everybody in North American is huge, huge." Bold Eagle traveled home to France Friday, Nov. 1. He will seek a third victory in the Grand Prix d'Amérique at Vincennes this January. "The plan is to probably race every four weeks to prepare for the Prix d'Amerique," Guarato said." It depends on how he takes the trip back home, but he could race in the Prix du Bourbonnais (Dec. 8) or the Prix du Bourgogne (Dec. 29)." The connections have since stated the Dec. 8 race at Vincennes will be Bold Eagle's next start. The morning after their Breeders Crown win, as Jamier sat with Pilarski and the Bernereaus back at the Hilton, it wasn't too early to dream about the future. "Maybe we'll be back next year," Jamier teased with a smile. by Brandon Valvo, for the Breeders Crown

Andy McCarthy was looking for his first Breeders Crown trophy when he arrived at Woodbine Mohawk Park this past Friday. By the time the weekend was completed, he had put himself among a small group of drivers to win four or more finals in a year. He set himself apart by doing it without the benefit of a favorite. McCarthy became the eighth driver with at least four Crowns in a year, joining record-holder David Miller (five in 2015), John Campbell, Yannick Gingras, Mike Lachance, Ron Pierce, Brian Sears, and Tim Tetrick. Campbell, Gingras, Pierce, and Sears accomplished the feat twice. But none sans chalk until McCarthy scored with 2-year-old filly trotter Ramona Hill (14-1), 2-year-old filly pacer Reflect With Me (27-1), pacing mare Caviart Ally (5-2), and 3-year-old male pacer Dancin Lou (5-1). "It's surreal," the 33-year-old McCarthy said. "It makes me feel pretty good about where I'm at right now. You want to give yourself a little pat on the back after hearing something like that. It's a pretty nice little niche to be in." McCarthy, a native of Australia who has raced regularly in North America since 2007, has seen his purse earnings increase annually since the start of 2013, reaching a career-best $6.56 million this season. For his career, he has won $44 million in purses and nearly 2,400 races. He got Breeders Crown triumph No. 1 in the first of the event's 12 races, capturing the 2-year-old filly trot from post 10 with Tony Alagna-trained Ramona Hill. "I was quietly confident going into the weekend; I didn't expect four, but I knew I had four or five decent chances," McCarthy said. "Ramona Hill, even though she had the 10-hole, I still considered her one of the better shots I had throughout the weekend because I know how talented she is. She wasn't herself the week before, but I knew Tony would get on top of that and have that figured out. I hold her in high regard as one of the better horses I've ever driven. I think she's that talented." McCarthy was happy to get his first trophy quickly. "It's always really nice to break the ice," he said. "Winning the first of anything, it's always nice to get that out of the way, then you can kind of relax and move on and not have that monkey on your shoulder. Just being able to concentrate on your job without any added pressure as the weekend goes on is definitely nice." He was back in the winner's circle again in the very next race with another Alagna trainee, Reflect With Me. Then on Saturday night, he again got off to a fast start when Brett Pelling-trained Caviart Ally upended her nemesis, Shartin N, in the mare pace. Caviart Ally had finished second to Shartin N on five occasions this season before winning their most recent two outings. "She's been terrific all year, I just haven't been able to get the better of Shartin until now," McCarthy said. "It does feel good. That rivalry, I think it's a good rivalry as much as any rivalry. Even though Shartin has had the better of us all year, it still is a rivalry. When people turn on that race, they're wondering how it's going to go down. I think we put on good racing. I think it's very good for racing. It's very cool to watch and even more to be a part of it." McCarthy wrapped up his four wins with Dancin Lou, trained by another Aussie import (and first-time Crown winner) Tahnee Camilleri. "That was special because I'm good friends with Tahnee," McCarthy said. "She's a special person. She's so happy and emotional. She was crying in the winner's circle and couldn't stop hugging the horse and I just love to see that. That worked out really cool. It was a lot of fun." The weekend was also cool because McCarthy's younger brother Todd, an accomplished driver in Australia, came to visit for the Breeders Crown. The two spent the week together and got to hang out in Toronto the day prior to the Breeders Crown's opening night. "I had a quiet week back home, so I thought I'd jump on a plane and come over and cheer him on," Todd said. "It's pretty awesome to be here and experience it with him. These races are so hard to win. I think that's what we're all here for, to try to win these sorts of races. To be here is pretty special. I called home and mom and dad were buzzing. It's great." Also cheering on Andy was his wife Katrina. "It was even more special having her there as well," Andy said. McCarthy was grateful to all the trainers and owners that gave him the chance to drive horses in the Breeders Crown. "Without them, none of this would be possible," McCarthy said. "Everybody always remembers these nights. As far as winning big races, this is right up there. I know there's a lot of them, but still it's nice to have at least one of those trophies on your cabinets." After a moment, he said with a laugh, "I might even have to buy a trophy cabinet now." * * * * * * McCarthy was not the only driver from Down Under to get his first Breeders Crown at Mohawk. New Zealand native Dexter Dunn, in his first full season of racing in North America, got two trophies. His first came with 2-year-old male trotter Amigo Volo for trainer Nifty Norman and the second with trotting mare Manchego for trainer Nancy Johansson. "I probably have to pinch myself a little; really, it's hard to believe," Dunn said in a winner's circle interview. "Back in New Zealand, I followed the American races, like (Hambletonian) Day and Breeders Crown, and I'd be back in New Zealand watching them on TV and now I'm here. It's pretty cool. It's very exciting. "I've been extremely lucky with the support I've gotten since I've been here. I have a lot of people to thank. It's been a great ride and I'm enjoying it thoroughly." Dunn has won 336 races and $10 million in purses this year. His earnings rank third in North America. "It's been a great year," Dunn said. "(Trainers) Chris Ryder and Nifty Norman were two of the first ones to jump on me and supported me when I got over here and got me kickstarted. Without their huge support I wouldn't be here. "I've been very fortunate this year with the horses I've gotten to sit behind. It's been a pleasure." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

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