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Freehold, NJ --- Wiggle It Jiggleit is No. 1 in the final Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll for 2015. A 3-year-old male pacer, Wiggle It Jiggleit continued his winning ways by capturing Monday’s single elimination for next week’s Hap Hansen Progress Pace at Dover Downs. It was Wiggle It Jiggleit’s 21st win of the year, which is tied for the most among all horses in North America and leads all pacers. Rounding out the top five are Freaky Feet Pete, Southwind Frank, Mission Brief and Pinkman. Mission Brief finished her season with a 1:51.3 win over the weekend in the Continentalvictory Stakes at the Meadowlands. Wild Honey finished second. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. FINAL Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 28 – 11/24/2015  Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (30) 3pg 25-21-3-0 $2,031,995 338 1 2 Freaky Feet Pete (3) 3pc 17-15-2-0 $853,774 269 2 3 Southwind Frank (1) 2tc 12-11-0-0 $786,419 267 3 4 Mission Brief 3tf 14-10-3-0 $1,008,517 207 5 5 Pinkman 3tg 17-11-3-1 $1,892,865 202 4 6 Pure Country 2pf 10-10-0-0 $689,968 142 7 7 Always B Miki 4ph 4-4-0-0 $301,210 136 6 8 Bee A Magician 5tm 18-10-5-0 $980,845 81 8 9 Wild Honey 3tf 16-7-7-0 $1,149,532 65 9 10 D’One 5tm 5-4-0-0 $329,150 39 -- by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Katies Rocker rolled in his Governor's Cup elimination last weekend and he will try to provide an encore in the $413,000 final for 2-year-old male pacers Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The Governor's Cup is part of a busy weekend at the Meadowlands. Other top races Saturday include the $489,400 Valley Victory Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters, the $173,500 Tarport Hap for 3-year-old female pacers and the $144,000 Continentalvictory for 3-year-old female trotters, plus the $400,000 TVG Free For All Series championships for male pacers and trotters. Katies Rocker will start the Governor's Cup final from post five with David Miller driving for trainer Jim Campbell. Last week, Katies Rocker won his elimination by a nose over JK Will Power in 1:52.1. For the year, Katies Rocker has won six of 12 races and earned $154,418 for breeder/owner Fashion Farms. The gelding enters the final with three wins in his four most recent starts. "He's been very consistent and we've been very happy with the way he's come along," Campbell said. "He's gotten a lot better as he's gotten some racing into him. He's a pretty good sized colt and he's just kind of coming into himself now. He's very well-bred, that's for sure. He's a real nice-mannered colt, too. He's just a perfect horse to be around in the barn and a nice horse to train." Katies Rocker is a son of Rocknroll Hanover out of the stakes-winning mare Just Wait Kate. His dam is a full sister to Dan Patch Award-winner Kikikatie and the family also includes stakes-winner Katie Said, who races in Friday's $200,000 TVG Free For All Series championship for older female pacers at the Meadowlands, and O'Brien Award-winner Camluck. Among Katies Rocker's wins are the Reynolds Stakes at Tioga Downs and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes over a sloppy track at The Red Mile. He finished a parked-out fifth from post seven in the Matron Stakes and was fifth in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in one of the few starts that he failed to be moving forward in the stretch. "It was a steering issue (in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final) more than anything," Campbell said. "We checked him out afterward and everything checked out OK. It was just kind of a freak thing." Campbell also sends out Show The Fashion in the Governor's Cup. Show The Fashion, also owned by Fashion Farms, has won two of nine races and earned $31,933 this season. He finished fifth in his Governor's Cup elimination, which was won by Big Top Hanover in 1:51. "His race last week was the first time he's gone up against that class of horse and even gone that type of speed," Campbell said. "I wasn't disappointed in him. I thought he raced well. "He was just a little bit slower in coming along (because of sickness) but he's a good-gaited colt and he's got some speed. He's obviously going to need a good trip to get a good piece of it, but we're hopefully that might happen because he does have the speed. We wanted to get some experience into him and see how he handles it." Big Top Hanover, one of four Governor's Cup finalists from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, entered last week's Governor's Cup eliminations off a win in the Matron Stakes and second-place finish in the Breeders Crown. The Governor's Cup final also includes Breeders Crown champion Boston Red Rocks, who was second by a nose to Big Top Hanover last weekend, as well as stakes-winners Ideal Rocky, Spider Man Hanover, Autotune Hanover, and Check Six. "There are some top colts in there," Campbell said. "It's probably going to come down to whoever gets the better trip. It's going to be a very tough competitive race." Campbell's work at the Meadowlands this weekend isn't limited to Saturday. He sends Gallie Bythe Beach into the TVG Free For All Series championship for the pacing mares. The 4-year-old has won three of her four most recent races and finished no worse than third in her past six starts. "She's come around pretty good the last five or six weeks," Campbell said. "She's been racing really good. I was real happy with the way she raced last week. She's coming into the race in pretty good form. Again, a lot of it is probably going to depend on trip, but hopefully she'll get a nice trip and get a chance to get a good piece of it." For Saturday's complete Meadowlands card, click here. Post time is 7 p.m. for the night's first race. by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications

Dog Gone Lucky will try to finish his season with a fifth consecutive win when he faces nine rivals in Saturday’s $489,400 Valley Victory Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The colt, who last week won his Valley Victory elimination by one length over Make Or Miss, will start the final from post five with Corey Callahan driving for trainer Chuck Sylvester. For the year, Dog Gone Lucky has won six of 13 races and earned $331,493 while finishing off the board only twice. His victories include the Matron Stakes and Kindergarten Classic championship, plus two preliminary divisions of the New York Sire Stakes series. Dog Gone Lucky is owned by Sylvester’s daughter Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and her cousin Charles Stansley. The colt was bred by Mike Stoltzfus, who is Amy’s husband, and Sam Stoltzfus Jr. Amy named the horse, a son of former Sylvester star Lucky Chucky out of the Stoltzfus’ broodmare Ebbtide Hall, in honor of her late brother Troy Sylvester. Troy, who passed away in 2009, was known by the nickname “Dog.” “He’s our family horse,” Mike Stoltzfus said. “He’s kind of special. We didn’t really expect what he’s been doing the last few starts. We thought we had a nice sire stakes horse, but he seems to have jumped up to the next level. He’s been pretty impressive. He’s beaten some pretty nice horses.” The Stoltzfus family bought Ebbtide Hall, a daughter of Cash Hall, for $8,000 at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale’s Mixed Sale. Dog Gone Lucky was Ebbtide Hall’s first foal. “We bought her to breed to Lucky Chucky because we thought it might be a good cross for Lucky Chucky,” Stoltzfus said. “It’s worked out all right for us. He’s been a pretty good horse all along. He’s got good manners, and that means a lot. We’ve just been enjoying the ride with him.” Dog Gone Lucky is not the only Valley Victory contender from Sylvester’s stable. Waitlifter K also won his Valley Victory elimination, beating Milligan’s School by a neck at odds of 24-1, and will start the final from post three with driver Tim Tetrick. Waitlifter K, bred and owned by Bob Key, has won three of 13 races and earned $105,379. He has gone off stride three times behind the starting gate, but been competitive in his remaining races, hitting the board seven times. “I wasn’t really surprised by his win,” Sylvester said. “He’s had trouble going to the gate. If he gets off on the wrong foot, he gets pacing. He won’t make the gate if he’s on the pace. It’s either over before you start, or he’s going to be competitive. “When I saw him come to the gate on the trot (in the elimination) I knew he was leaving. And once he gets to the front he’s a good horse. Tim, once he got him out of there, he let him roll, which is OK. He needed that. He was very good last week. I was happy with him.” The Valley Victory is part of a busy weekend at the Meadowlands. Other top races Saturday include the $413,000 Governor’s Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, $173,500 Tarport Hap for 3-year-old female pacers, $144,000 Continentalvictory for 3-year-old female trotters, plus $400,000 TVG Free For All Series championships for male pacers and trotters. Elimination winners Big Top Hanover and Katies Rocker lead a field of 10 in the Governor’s Cup, which also includes Breeders Crown champion Boston Red Rocks. In the TVG championship for male trotters, 3-year-old The Bank will face seven older foes for the title. The Bank, trained by Jimmy Takter, accepted an invitation to the event as a Breeders Crown winner. On the pacing side, series points leader JK Endofanera, also trained by Takter, leads a group of six finalists. The Continentalvictory attracted only four starters, but features harness racing’s top money-earning 3-year-old female trotters: Wild Honey, with $1.11 million, and Mission Brief, with $929,317. Mission Brief defeated Wild Honey in last week’s Matron Stakes with a world-record 1:50.2 performance at Dover Downs. Wild Honey had won her two most recent previous encounters with Mission Brief, in the Breeders Crown and Kentucky Filly Futurity. For Saturday’s complete Meadowlands card, click here. Post time is 7 p.m. for the night’s first race.   by Ken Weingartner   Harness Racing Communications   USTA

Freehold, NJ --- Mission Brief, who won last week’s Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters with a world-record 1:50.2 performance at Dover Downs, moved into the top five in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. The filly improved one spot, from sixth, to join the upper half of the group. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who won the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers, remained No. 1 in the rankings, followed by Freaky Feet Pete, Southwind Frank, and Pinkman. The final Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll will be released Nov. 24. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 27 – 11/17/2015 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (29) 3pg 24-20-3-0 $2,014,495 336 1 2 Freaky Feet Pete (4) 3pc 17-15-2-0 $853,774 271 2 3 Southwind Frank (1) 2tc 12-11-0-0 $786,419 270 3 4 Pinkman 3tg 17-11-3-1 $1,892,865 200 4 5 Mission Brief 3tf 13-9-3-0 $929,317 177 6 6 Always B Miki 4ph 4-4-0-0 $301,210 147 5 7 Pure Country 2pf 10-10-0-0 $689,968 141 7 8 Bee A Magician 5tm 17-10-4-0 $931,345 90 8 9 Wild Honey 3tf 15-7-6-0 $1,113,532 75 9 10 L A Delight (1) 2pf 12-11-0-1 533,127 41 -- Also: D’One (35); State Treasurer (29); Wakizashi Hanover (18); Crazy Wow (16); All The Time, JL Cruze (12); Resolve (11); Artspeak (9); Broadway Donna, Control The Moment (8); Mach It So (6); Red Hot Herbie (4); Panocchio (3); Big Top Hanover (2); Betting Line, Color’s A Virgin, Creatine, Dog Gone Lucky (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications   

Trainer Ron Burke is seven weeks from completing his seventh consecutive season on top of North America's harness racing standings for both wins and purses and will have several opportunities to add to his totals in Thursday's Matron Stakes at the harness racing meeting at Dover Downs. Burke's Crazy Wow is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the $243,550 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and his Mission Brief is the 2-1 second choice in the $187,400 event for 3-year-old female trotters. He also will send out 9-2 contender Sassa Hanover in the $205,150 Matron for 3-year-old female pacers. Crazy Wow heads to his Matron engagement off a win in the Carl Erskine on Oct. 30 at Hoosier Park. He has won eight of 16 races and earned $905,837 this year for owners Our Horse Cents Stables, JT45, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms. His victories also include the Colonial Trot and he finished second in the Canadian Trotting Classic. "He's super," Burke said. "He's as good as anybody right now. He's a very good horse and I think he's going to be a very, very good 4-year-old. He's really has just continued to progress all year and just gets better and better. I really think it will continue down the road." Mission Brief is the second choice behind Wild Honey, who is 9-5 on the morning line, in the Matron for the 3-year-old female trotters. Mission Brief went off stride while leading in the stretch in her most recent start, the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack. Wild Honey seized the opportunity to capture the Crown, which was the Jimmy Takter-trained filly's third consecutive victory since finishing second to Mission Brief in the Elegantimage Stakes. "As long as she maintains her manners and trots, she's tough to beat," Burke said about Mission Brief, who has won eight of 12 races and earned $835,617 this season for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. "She trained super and hopefully she will be very good. She wasn't that good that night (in the Breeders Crown). I don't know why. I don't know if she didn't like the track. She wasn't good warming up and she tipped over in the race. I don't think it was much of anything, she just wasn't good." Wild Honey's wins during her current victory streak include a triumph over Mission Brief in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. She also won the Hambletonian Oaks on the same afternoon Mission Brief finished second to Pinkman in the Hambletonian. For the year, Wild Honey has won seven of 14 starts and $1.06 million for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding. The battle for divisional honors could be decided by the Matron Stakes and Continentalvictory Stakes on Nov. 21 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Mission Brief and Wild Honey are both eligible to the Continentalvictory. Mission Brief, who defeated Wild Honey in the Zweig Memorial filly division and also won the Moni Maker Stakes, was last season's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter. "She could have to win both of them now to have any chance," Burke said about Mission Brief. "It's (Wild Honey's) to lose. We've got to win this and we've got to win the Continentalvictory. I have faith in her. I've never lost faith in her. She's just got to do it." Sassa Hanover's wins this year include the Jugette and the 3-year-old filly pacer is entering her Matron event off second-place finishes in the Breeders Crown and USS Indianapolis Memorial. She has won six of 18 races this season and earned $449,970 for owners Burke Racing, The Panhellenic Stable, Larry Karr, and Weaver and Bruscemi. "The last couple races have been very good," Burke said. "She's been in tough spots and raced hard and just came up short both times." The 2-1 morning line favorite in the Matron for 3-year-old female pacers is supplemental entry Devil Child, who brings a three-race win streak to the race. Her triumphs include the USS Indianapolis Memorial and American-National Stakes. Divine Caroline, who sports a four-race win streak including the Breeders Crown, is the 5-2 second choice after drawing post seven to Devil Child's post four. Burke, who has won 875 races and $22.5 million in purses this year, also sends I'm So Fancy (7-1 on the morning line) to the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters and Yankee Bounty (10-1) to the $201,900 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers. Burke leads all trainers in wins by nearly 500 and in purses by more than $10 million. He set records last year with 1,092 triumphs and $28.4 million in purses. "It's been an up-and-down kind of year," Burke said. "There have been highlights, but there have been some disappointments too. (Breeders Crown champion 2-year-old male trotter) Southwind Frank has probably been the biggest highlight. He is probably the best horse we've got right now." Thursday's first race post time at Dover Downs is 4:30 p.m. and the full card can be found here. Ken Weingartner

Freehold, NJ --- Freaky Feet Pete continued his ascent in the harness racing Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, moving up to No. 2 in the rankings following his win in the American-National last weekend. The 3-year-old male pacer, who debuted in the Top 10 at No. 10 on Oct. 13, garnered five first-place votes. Wiggle It Jiggleit remained in the top spot, followed by Freaky Feet Pete, 2-year-old male trotter Southwind Frank, 3-year-old male trotter Pinkman, and 4-year-old male pacer Always B Miki. No newcomers joined the Top 10. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 26 – 11/10/2015 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (26) 3pg 23-19-3-0 $1,913,545 330 1 2 Freaky Feet Pete (5) 3pc 17-15-2-0 $853,774 272 3 3 Southwind Frank (2) 2tc 12-11-0-0 $786,419 270 2 4 Pinkman 3tg 17-11-3-1 $1,892,865 205 4 5 Always B Miki (1) 4ph 4-4-0-0 $301,210 147 8 6 Mission Brief 3tf 12-8-3-0 $835,617 142 5 7 Pure Country 2pf 10-10-0-0 $689,968 134 6 8 Bee A Magician 5tm 16-10-4-0 $929,345 114 7 9 Wild Honey 3tf 14-7-5-0 $1,066,682 88 9 10 Wakizashi Hanover 3pg 19-11-4-2 $1,153,700 38 10 Also: L A Delight (37); D'One (36); State Treasurer (33); JL Cruze (13); Artspeak (10); Broadway Donna, Control The Moment (8); Devil Child (7); Womans Will (6); The Bank (5); All The Time, Crazy Wow, Master Of Law (4); Homicide Hunter (3); Color's A Virgin, Il Sogno Dream (2); Betting Line, Creatine, Panocchio (1). Note: LA Delight received one first-place vote. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications    

After battling each other in races across North America, Delaware-connected horses Wiggle It Jiggleit, Wakizashi Hanover, and Dude's The Man will enjoy something of a "home match" Thursday in the $201,900 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs for 3-year-old male pacers. Wiggle It Jiggleit, owned by Harrington's George Teague Jr. and driven by Teague's son Montrell, will start from post one in the Matron. Wakizashi Hanover, trained by Harrington' s Joann Looney-King, will leave from post four and Dude's The Man, owned by Delaware's Doug and Rosalind Paul and Victoria Dickinson, starts from post two. "I think most everybody is excited for those horses to show up," Looney-King said. "It's exciting. We've been looking forward to this all year." Dover Downs also on Thursday hosts the $243,550 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters, $201,450 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers, and $187,400 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters. Wiggle It Jiggleit, harness racing's No. 1-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, has won 19 of 23 races this year and earned a North America-leading $1.91 million. Trained by longtime Teague assistant Clyde Francis, Wiggle It Jiggleit's wins include the Meadowlands Pace, Little Brown Jug, Hempt Memorial, Battle of the Brandywine, and Milstein Memorial. He finished second in two recent races at Hoosier Park, bested both times by 1-1/4 lengths by Breeders Crown champion Freaky Feet Pete after pace-setting trips. "(Wiggle It Jiggleit) is doing good," George Teague Jr. said. "When you lose, it's always disappointing, but I do believe the losses came because of the trips he got. The trips were good to the other horse, but that's what happens sometimes. But he didn't underperform. I don't see him being much different. He just got beat by a nice horse." After competing just once at age 2, Wiggle It Jiggleit began this season racing in winter series at the Meadowlands. He has made at least one start every month this year, with the exception of April. "That speaks volumes about this horse and how good he's been," Teague said. "When you create a schedule, it's only a schedule, and you're hoping they can make 80 percent of the engagements. I really never thought he'd make this many, and I supplemented him to two races. "He's just been an incredible horse. I don't know of too many horses that can start racing in January when there's snow on the ground and go almost to December and still be this good and competitive. He's a rarity. He's just pounding away, really." Wakizashi Hanover has won 11 of 19 races this year and earned $1.15 million for the Nova Scotia-based Tri County Stable and driver Tim Tetrick. His victories include the North America Cup, by three-quarters of a length over Wiggle It Jiggleit, plus Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Jenna's Beach Boy. He will be facing Wiggle It Jiggleit for the first time since finishing second in the Battle of the Brandywine on Aug. 22 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "When (Wiggle It Jiggleit) draws the rail, it's kind of tough," Looney-King said. "Fortunately, I'm not the driver; he gets to make those decisions what to do when the wings swing. "But (Wakizashi Hanover) is feeling good. I'm just hoping he gives us a good one this week. We're as ready as we're going to be. It's been a long campaign. He's developed a lot, but it's a tough go for those 3-year-olds, with the traveling and going new places. Fortunately, he's fallen into line in each place." Dude's The Man, trained by Jessica Okusko and driven by Dover Downs' leading driver Corey Callahan, has won three of 18 races this season and earned $658,176. His wins include the Adios and he finished second in the Meadowlands Pace and third in the Battle of the Brandywine. The remainder of the Matron field includes Cane Pace champion Dealt A Winner, Badiou Hanover, Artistic Major, Rock N' Roll World, and Yankee Bounty, whose owners include Harrington's Frank Chick. Thursday's Matron might not be the final time this group meets at Dover Downs this year. All of the Matron entrants with the exceptions of Badiou Hanover and Artistic Major are eligible to the Hap Hansen Progress Pace at the end of the month. The Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters features the division's top two money-earners, Wild Honey and Mission Brief, while the event for the 3-year-old male trotters includes Crazy Wow, who with a victory would top $1 million in seasonal purses. Breeders Crown winner Divine Caroline brings a four-race win streak to the Matron Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. Thursday's first race post time is 4:30 p.m. and the full Dover Downs card can be found here. By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

David Miller enjoyed one of the most memorable days of his harness racing career less than two weeks ago when he won a record five Breeders Crown finals at Woodbine Racetrack. On Saturday, he will be reunited with two of those champions, pacer Always B Miki and trotter The Bank, in American-National Stakes events at Balmoral Park. Balmoral Park hosts eight American-National Stakes on Saturday, with the final three races in the group featuring Breeders Crown winners: Freaky Feet Pete in the $150,000 contest for 3-year-old male pacers, The Bank in the $204,000 race for 3-year-old male trotters, and Always B Miki in the $136,500 event for older pacers. Post time is 6:50 p.m. (CST) for the night's first race, which is the non-wagering $101,350 American-National for older trotters. The pari-mutuel card begins 20 minutes later. Always B Miki, trained by Jimmy Takter, is undefeated in three races this year since returning from two injuries that left the stallion sidelined for 11 months. He won his Breeders Crown final by 5-1/2 lengths and has not seen anyone finish nearer than three lengths in his three starts. For his career, the 4-year-old has won 17 of 34 races and earned $1.15 million. Always B Miki is owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable, and Christina Takter. "He's taking on older horses with not much racing under his belt this season," Miller said. "I feel that makes it pretty special to do what he's done. He amazes me at times." The American-National for older pacers also includes the sport's all-time richest horse, Foiled Again, who is coming off a win in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby that pushed his lifetime earnings to $7.28 million. Ben Franklin Pace winner Luck Be Withyou, Bettor's Edge, Ultimate Beachboy, and Let's Drink On It complete the field. "It's not going to be a cakewalk, that's for sure," Miller said. "You can never take Foiled Again too lightly and it's a nice bunch of horses. But (Always B Miki) will give a good effort, I'm sure of that. If he comes back to the way he was in the Breeders Crown, he should be fine." The Bank, who surpassed $1 million in career purses with his Breeders Crown win, meets a group of rival 3-year-old male trotters Saturday that includes multiple open stakes-winners Habitat and Muscle Diamond, two-time Ontario Sire Stakes champion Dont Rush, and Homicide Hunter, once beaten in 17 starts in 2015. For the year, The Bank has won four of 16 races and finished second on eight occasions. In the Breeders Crown, he upset stablemate Pinkman at odds of 14-1. Two of The Bank's runner-up finishes this season came to Hambletonian champion Pinkman, who is the sport's leading money-winning trotter this year. The Bank is trained by Takter and owned by Christina Takter, Goran Falk, and Goran Anderberg. "Any time you can upset a horse like Pinkman, it's pretty special," Miller said, reflecting on the Breeders Crown. "The horse raced unbelievable that night. The trip he went and doing what he did was pretty neat. He picked a good night to stand up on his own." Miller will try to upend Freaky Feet Pete --- who has won 14 of 16 races this year --- with Lost For Words in the American-National for 3-year-old male pacers. Lost For Words has won only once in his most recent 13 starts, but during that span finished no worse than third in the Breeders Crown, Little Brown Jug, Adios, Tattersalls Pace, Milstein Memorial, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Lost For Words has earned $661,673 this year for trainer Brian Brown and owners Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo, and Strollin Stable. "He didn't win any of the major races this year, but they've definitely known he was there," Miller said. "He battled all summer with the top colts and he's had a great season. He's been right there knocking at the door. He's a good horse. The season is catching up with him a little bit, but he'll be all right in there (Saturday)." Miller will drive in two other American-National Stakes, sitting behind Muscle Baby Doll in the $125,000 3-year-old filly trot, and behind supplemental entry Triple V Hanover in the $120,000 3-year-old filly pace. Muscle Baby Doll has won 10 of 14 races this season, with two of the victories coming with Miller in the sulky. She heads to the American-National off a triumph with Miller in the Crossroads of America last Friday at Hoosier Park. She won by a neck over Bright Baby Blues, who also is in the American-National. "I got to race her once this summer and I was real impressed with her," Miller said. "I was happy to get back with her. She battled the whole length of the stretch with Bright Baby Blues last Friday and she put her nose in front at the end. I was impressed with her. She's easy to get along with, she's got a nice gait, and she's got some strength and stamina. She has the fight in her to put her head in front. She's pretty brave." Muscle Baby Doll is trained by Tony O'Sullivan and owned by Frank and Joe Bellino. Triple V Hanover, who has won five of 16 races this year for trainer Brian Brown and owners Donald Robinson, King McNamara, and Strollin Stable, finished fourth in her most recent race, the USS Indianapolis Memorial. The race was won by American-National contender Devil Child. Horses driven by Miller have earned $10.79 million this year, good for second place among all drivers in North America behind Yannick Gingras. It is the 13th time in the last 15 years that Miller has surpassed $10 million. No driver in history has reached $10 million in a season as often as Miller. Miller said his Breeders Crown night ranked among his greatest days in racing. "I was proud," Miller said. "I've had some good days, some really good days, and great moments. But that was one I'll always remember." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Dog Gone Lucky is proving himself to be doggone good. A harness racing 2-year-old male trotter, Dog Gone Lucky heads to Thursday's $216,300 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs off a win in last weekend's Kindergarten Classic Series championship. He has won his most recent two starts and finished second by a neck to Brooklyn Hill in a stakes race at The Red Mile three races ago. Dog Gone Lucky drew post No. 1 for the Matron. Corey Callahan, Dover Downs' six-time leading driver, will be at the lines for trainer Chuck Sylvester. "He seems like he's getting a little bit better toward the end of the year," said Sylvester, who trains Dog Gone Lucky for owners Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley. "We prepped him for the sire stakes and took our time with him. He's developed more than we thought he would." Dover Downs also hosts Matron Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters and 2-year-old male and female pacers on Thursday. Post time is 4:30 p.m. for the day's first race. The Matron for female trotters features Kathy Parker and Womans Will, who finished 2-3 in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Kindergarten Series championship runner-up Lookin Sharp. Stakes-winners Big Top Hanover, Ideal Rocky, and Autotune Hanover are among the eight horses in the Matron for male pacers while stakes-winner Shezarealdeal leads a field of eight female pacers. Big Top Hanover and Shezarealdeal both finished second in the Breeders Crown. Dog Gone Lucky is a son of former Sylvester star Lucky Chucky out of the mare Ebbtide Hall. He won the Kindergarten from post nine, beating fellow Sylvester-trainee Waitlifter K by two lengths in 1:54.2. Dog Gone Lucky has won four of 11 races and earned $213,343. "He leaves the gate well and he got a nice trip after he went to the front at Vernon," Sylvester said. "Some of the best colts aren't in (the Matron) so he'll be OK I think. Our plans were not to race him so early, but in these late races. If everything goes good he'll be in the Valley Victory." Waitlifter K also is in the Matron and will start from post five with driver David Miller. The colt, who has won two of 11 races and earned $95,379, is owned by Robert Key. Waitlifter K is a son of Muscles Yankee, another former Sylvester standout, out of the mare Treasure Forever. "He's a horse I just couldn't race every week, so we took our time with him," Sylvester said. "Mr. Key said it was OK to do whatever was best and to do it at our own pace. He raced very good last week and he'll be sharper this week. If all goes well, he'll be going to the Valley Victory too." Sylvester is looking forward to seeing how the horses develop over the winter. "I don't think we've over-raced them," he said. "They'll have two more starts and then get a nice rest. We'll keep our fingers crossed for next year." Among the horses joining Dog Gone Lucky and Waitlifter K in the Matron are stakes-winners Milligan's School and Love Matters. For Thursday's full card at Dover Downs, click here. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Staffan Lind and Karl-Erik Bender hope Future Secured lives up to her name. A filly trotter, Future Secured sold for a record-equaling $500,000 during the first half of Monday’s (Nov. 2) opening day of the Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg. When the final price was hammered down, observers at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex responded with applause. The price equals the auction-sales record for a yearling filly trotter, which was set by Courtney Hall in 2003. It is tied for the fourth-highest auction price for any yearling and is the highest price for a yearling at auction since Detour Hanover sold for a record $825,000 in 2011. Future Secured sold for $500,000, which equals the auction-sales record for a yearling filly trotter, which was set by Courtney Hall in 2003. Future Secured, bred by Stefan Balazsi’s Order By Stable, is by stallion Cantab Hall out of the stakes-winning mare Thatsnotmyname. The second dam is Graceful Touch, the mother of 2010 Hambletonian winner Muscle  Massive as well as stakes-winner Muscle Mass. The third dam is stakes-winner Act Of Grace, the mother of 2001 World Trotting Derby winner Cobol, and the extended family includes top performers such as Passionate Glide and Marita’s Victory. “She’s a beautiful filly and she’s out of a family where those horses don’t come around too often for sale,” Lind said. “She moves good, she has a good conformation; she’s just a very nice filly.” Lind said he was unsurprised the filly brought a hefty price. “Those horses hardly ever come for sale,” Lind said. “It’s like buying a painting by Picasso; it’s hard to put a price on it. And she has huge residual value. “We’ll train her just like any other horse,” he added, noting there was no additional pressure because of her price. Future Secured was one of two yearlings to sell for at least $300,000 and among four horses to sell for at least $200,000. Colt trotter Royal Dreams, a son of Cantab Hall out of the stakes-winning mare Bold Dreamer, sold for $300,000 to agent Robert Lindstrom. He is a half-brother to multiple Dan Patch Award-winner Pampered Princess and O’Brien Award-winner Was It A Dream. Ken Weingartner

Freehold, NJ --- Brian Brown is enjoying the best season of his harness racing career, and it got even better last weekend when the Ohio native won his first Breeders Crown trophy with older female pacer Color's A Virgin. Now the 51-year-old conditioner will look to keep the good times rolling when he sends three horses to stakes engagements Friday at Hoosier Park; Lost For Words in the $285,500 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers and Serious Filly and Triple V Hanover in the $100,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. Also on Hoosier's card Friday are the $265,000 Carl Erskine for 3-year-old trotters, $165,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, and $140,000 Crossroads of America for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Monument Circle features the pride of Indiana, Breeders Crown champion Freaky Feet Pete, and the sport's No. 1-ranked horse, Wiggle It Jiggleit. The two stars split two previous encounters. Brown has been a force on the Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania sire stakes circuits, but is now also making noise on the Grand Circuit. Last year's highlight came when Color's A Virgin won the Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, which is Brown's base in central Ohio, providing Brown with his top open-stakes victory at the time. Of course he has seen some disappointments along the way since then. Color's A Virgin had a chance to give Brown his first Breeders Crown last year, winning her elimination but then finishing fourth in the final as the 1-2 favorite. This year, he saw Lost For Words lose the Little Brown Jug by a nose to Wiggle It Jiggleit in an epic battle. Lost For Words also finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Milstein Memorial and was second, by a neck, to Artspeak in the Tattersalls Pace. And one race prior to Color's A Virgin's Breeders Crown triumph, Brown watched Lost For Words lead his race into the stretch before finishing third behind Freaky Feet Pete and Artspeak. So when Color's A Virgin won by a nose over Sandbetweenurtoes to claim her Crown, Brown was understandably elated. It was the 1,079th training victory of his career. "Tonight was very rewarding," Brown said after the race Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. "To finally get over the hump in a major race, hopefully it will open the gates and we can be here again." "I'm glad for Brian," said winning driver David Miller, who is also an Ohio native. "He's a great guy and works hard. He deserves it." After spending his childhood summers watching his father Robert H. Brown and uncle William Brown campaign horses around Ohio, Brown fulfilled his dream to become a driver in 1981 at the age of 16. He won nearly 250 races over the ensuing decade, but turned his attention to training in the early 1990s. Brown's stable has already set career highs this year with 141 wins and $3.27 million in purses, bettering his previous highs of 106 victories and $2.11 million in earnings set just last season. He had three Breeders Crown finalists last weekend, with Spider Man Hanover finishing seventh among 2-year-old male pacers and Lost For Words finishing third. Color's A Virgin had shown signs of illness during the previous week, but came up big. "I was getting more disappointed (as the night went on)," Brown said. "Lost For Words came up a hair short and I thought my 2-year-old would be great and he didn't race as well as I expected. We were worried (Color's A Virgin) might be getting sick, but she was great jogging and we were all relieved, but we had no idea we'd come here and win. I was just hoping for money with her. David did a bang-up job and put her in the right places. "It was wonderful." Color's A Virgin also gave breeder/owner Bruce Trogdon's Emerald Highlands Farm its first Breeders Crown win. "Bruce and the guys get her ready on the farm and she comes to me to race and I have to thank them or we wouldn't be standing here," Brown said. "And what can you say about David Miller? He won five Breeders Crowns (Saturday)." On Friday, Lost For Words and Miller will start from post seven in the Monument Circle. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who has won 19 of 22 races this year and earned $1.84 million, will leave from post one with Montrell Teague at the lines for trainer Clyde Francis. Freaky Feet Pete, with 13 victories in 15 starts this season and $633,024, is in post three with Trace Tetrick driving for Larry Rheinheimer. Hambletonian winner Pinkman leads the Carl Erskine, which also includes Colonial winner Crazy Wow and Yonkers Trot champion Habitat. Following are the full fields in post order for Friday's stakes events. Monument Circle: 1. Wiggle It Jiggleit, 2. Yankee Bounty, 3. Freaky Feet Pete, 4. Nobles Finesse, 5. My Hero Ron, 6. Cooperstown, 7. Lost For Words, 8. Americanprimetime, 9. Roland N Rock, 10. The Big Year. Carl Erskine: 1. Homicide Hunter, 2. Suit And Tie, 3. Uncle Lasse, 4. Pinkman, 5. Muscle Up The Goal, 6. Dont Rush, 7. Muscle Diamond, 8. Crazy Wow, 9. Bluebird Reverend, 10. Habitat. Hoosier Park Pacing Derby: 1. Foiled Again, 2. All Bets Off, 3. Limelight Beach, 4. Bettor's Edge, 5. JK Endofanera, 6. Let's Drink On It. Crossroads of America: 1. I'm So Fancy, 2. Muscle Baby Doll, 3. Smokinmombo, 4. Livininthefastlane, 5. Fox Valley Yoko, 6. Churita, 7. Armatrading, 8. Speak To Me, 9. Bright Baby Blues, 10. You're Majestic. USS Indianapolis Memorial: 1. Mystical Treasure, 2. Serious Filly, 3. Rockin Good, 4. Sassa Hanover, 5. Devil Child, 6. Better Said, 7. Southwind Roulette, 8. Triple V Hanover, 9. Bettor N Better, 10. Feetonthedashboard. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

TORONTO --- Owner Tristan Sjoberg will be watching Dupree in Saturday's $600,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters at Woodbine Racetrack, but regardless of the horse's performance he is already feeling out of this world. Sjoberg, who is among the owners of rare white pacing colt White Bliss, said this week via email that he has bought another rare white horse --- this one a filly trotter born on April 4, 2014 in Italy. The filly, bred by Sergio Carfagna in Assisi, is named Via Lattea, which translates to Milky Way. Via Lattea is a daughter of stallion Gruccione Jet out of the mare Melodiass. Both parents are described as dark bay. Gruccione Jet's sire is two-time Breeders Crown winner Pine Chip and his dam is the Valley Victory mare Petite Victory, who made $210,647 in the U.S. at ages 2 and 3. White Bliss, owned by Sjoberg and his brother Michael Knutsson under the Knutsson Trotting Inc. banner, is a son of the bay colored stallion Art Major and bay mare Coochie Mama. He was the first white Standardbred born of bay parents since 1998. He sold for $240,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. Via Lattea will be trained in Sweden, initially by Andre Eklundh before moving to Stig H. Johansson next summer. "She is the only white trotter I know of," Sjoberg said. "As you know, there is very little 2-year-old racing in Sweden so we are targeting a 3-year-old debut. She will compete in Europe and after her racing career is over I will breed her to White Bliss." The 3-year-old White Bliss has won one of 14 races in his career. He broke his maiden on July 25 at Vernon Downs and had picked up two more top-three finishes in his next four starts, but has been sidelined by a minor ligament issue. Sjoberg hopes the pacer will return to action by April. "It's a shame because he was just starting to race really well on the New York circuit," Sjoberg said. "The plan is to keep him racing as a 4-year-old and we also plan to offer his stud services to any interested parties. He will combine stud and racing duties if there is a demand. We will also freeze some semen and ship to Europe for breeding to some of our trotting mares there and possibly any interested third parties." As for Sjoberg's Breeders Crown hopeful, Dupree is 20-1 on the morning line. He enters the race off a seventh-place finish in the sole elimination race for the 2-year-old male trotters, but had posted stakes wins in his previous two starts at The Red Mile. He starts from post eight with Svanstedt driving. "He scoped bad after the elimination, so we are expecting a better effort in the final," Sjoberg said. * * * * * D'One, who has won three of four starts in North America since arriving from Sweden during the summer, is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot. She is trained by Roger Walmann and will be driven by David Miller, who guided the 5-year-old daughter of world champions Donato Hanover and Giant Diablo to a two-length victory over Harley Momma in 1:51.3 in the Allerage Mare Trot on Oct. 10 at The Red Mile. "She was awesome again," said Malin Boman-Friberg, who is the caretaker of D'One and also was the caretaker of Giant Diablo. "Before the race, she wanted to go. I think David (driving her for the first time) just has to get to know her. But he didn't have to use her at all and she raced very good. "We're looking forward to the Breeders Crown. Everything comes down to the Breeders Crown. We just hope she likes the Woodbine track. But it's exciting. It's a big race." Classic Martine, who was beaten by a head by Bee A Magician in last year's Breeders Crown Mare Trot, is the 7-2 second choice Saturday. She is coming off a win over male trotter Intimidate, who won a Crown in 2012, by a neck in 1:54 in a prep last Saturday at Woodbine. "I thought it was a good race for her," driver Tim Tetrick said. "She's coming into (the Breeders Crown) better than she's been in the past. We tried to change tactics a little bit and let her race from the back and I think she likes that better. Her last couple starts she was stuck on the front. I think she will look good in the final. She got a good draw and she was very good (in her prep)." Charmed Life finished third in the prep race, making up nearly four lengths in the stretch. "I was really happy with the way she closed up," trainer Dave Menary said. "She's better in the cooler weather. Maybe it didn't look like it on paper, but I think last week (Oct. 9) was the most life she's showed in the last couple months. Hopefully everything is pointing in the right direction. She did the same thing last year, got real good at this time of year. She fights bad allergies all summer. Everything has aligned itself pretty good right now and she's in good shape and hopefully we'll have some luck next week." Also in the field is Shake It Cerry, the 2014 Trotter of the Year and a Breeders Crown winner at ages 2 and 3. With a win Saturday, the Jimmy Takter-trainee will join Peace Corps, Grades Singing and Mack Lobell as the only trotters in history with three or more Breeders Crown titles. * * * * * Ron Burke's Southwind Frank is the 2-5 morning line favorite in the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters. The colt brings a nine-race win streak to the final and has won 10 of 11 races overall. His connections turned down a bye to advance straight to the final. Southwind Frank won the single elimination by five lengths in 1:55.2. "He was well in hand and just jogged, for lack of a better word," Burke assistant Shannon Murphy said. "We were either going to race him or train him hard, so you might as well go for the purse money. And he seems a little sharper when he's working. He likes his work." * * * * * Jimmy Takter's All The Time is the 7-5 morning line favorite in the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters. She won her elimination by four lengths over Caprice Hill in 1:56.1. "She was amazing," Takter said. "I was very impressed with her. That was a helluva performance; (1):56.1 and the way she did it, never pulling the plugs. She's the one to beat. I don't know what happened (when she made a break in the Peaceful Way). She got terrible on the left line. She had a bad day. But she's got the right attitude." The division's other elimination winner, Haughty, also comes from the Takter Stable. She is 7-for-7 this season and won her elim by three lengths in 1:59. "She's undefeated, so you've got to respect a horse like that," Takter said. "I didn't like her much early. She was a pain in the (butt). She couldn't trot; she was terrible. I don't know how many times she was close to being put on the truck and sent back to the farm. Very close. But she got out of it. She was just extremely immature." Caprice Hill, who has won seven of nine races and never finished worse than second, is 2-1 for trainer Tony Alagna. She will start the final from post 10 with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. "She ended up having to come first up over a lighter half and the other filly got the jump on her, but she raced well," Alagna said. "We just had the misfortune to draw the 10 hole (for the final), but I'll just have to leave that up to Timmy. Things will have to go her way. It makes it a tougher task, that's for sure, but she can overcome it if everything goes right. She's been wonderful. She hasn't put a bad race in." * * * * * Tymal Tempest is 30-1 on the morning line for the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters, but trainer Ervin Abdulov is just happy to be in the race. Tymal Tempest finished fourth in her elimination, which was won by All The Time. For the year, she has won one of 10 starts. "This is my biggest race and I know for my owners, John and Shelagh McKinley, this will be their biggest race also," Abdulov said. "It's overwhelming, to be honest with you." The 42-year-old Abdulov, who is from London, Ont., has trained horses on a part-time and full-time basis over the years. He was introduced to harness racing through a friend whose father, Wayne Bloomfield, was a longtime horseman. "I got the bug by going over there and hanging out with them," Abdulov said. "I bought a couple horses with Wayne and here we are today. It started out by just wanting to be a part of it, but then being on the sidelines wasn't good enough. I wanted to be in the driver's seat, jogging them and training them. "I was 19 when I bought my first horse. As many downs as I've had, I just can't walk away from this. I do it fulltime now. I did it part time and would send the odd horse to Gregg McNair and try to get out there on the weekends and whenever else. There was a layoff at the plant where I worked at, and I decided this was my opportunity to do this fulltime again. I'd done it fulltime, I got away, and then I came back again to do it fulltime. I hope to stay this time." * * * * * Mission Brief and Wild Honey have split their last two meetings --- with Mission Brief winning the Elegantimage Stakes and Wild Honey taking the Kentucky Filly Futurity --- and they will see each other again in the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female trotters. The Ron Burke-trained Mission Brief had won four consecutive races, by a total of 28-1/2 lengths, since finishing second against the boys in the Hambletonian on Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands. She won the 2014 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters in a stakes-record 1:51.4 at the Meadowlands. Mission Brief, who has won 17 of 24 career races, is the 2-5 morning line favorite in this year's final, followed by Wild Honey at 7-5. Jimmy Takter's Wild Honey has won 16 of 25 lifetime starts. One does not have to go back far in the record book to find the last female trotter to win Breeders Crown trophies at ages 2 and 3. It was Takter's Shake It Cerry in 2013-14. 'CINDERELLA STORY' FROST DAMAGE BLUES HEADS TO BREEDERS CROWN Bill Augustine is the proud owner -- and you can underline the word proud -- of a horse that is good for both of his businesses. In his harness racing world, Augustine's Frost Damage Blues is going off at 12-1 at Saturday's Breeders Crown championships at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. In her first year of racing, the 3-year-old filly has earned $51,750 by winning her first seven starts in overnight competition at Saratoga, Yonkers and Pocono. Making her stakes debut in her Breeders Crown elimination, the daughter of 2000 Open Pace champion Western Ideal was driven to a second place finish by Brian Sears, finishing one length behind Solar Sister. When he's not focusing on horses, Augustine is a blueberry farmer and owns a 150-acre farm in South Jersey and a 1,200-acre farm in North Carolina. Between them both, Augustine Farms Inc. is the largest single owned and operated blueberry production and packing enterprise on the East Coast. And his business gets a boost from his filly. "She loves blueberries," Augustine said. "She tears my hand off eating them. After each race I bring a little pack and feed her." The horse's name is a reference to farmers battling frost damage to their crop. "I name them all after blueberries," Augustine said. "The next one is going to be called Hail Damage. I was real excited to come up with (Frost Damage Blues). All my buddies in the blueberry business kind of laughed when I called her that, but now she's a superstar." She didn't start out that way. Augustine bought her on opening night at the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for a modest $6,000 under the name Media Matters. She is a full sister to stakes-winner Ideal Matters. Augustine attributed her final price to an ankle that had blown up at the auction. "Her ankle wasn't broke, she was just skinned up," he said. "On opening night, they're all bluebloods; everyone is looking for the cream of the crop. I checked her out, there were no broken bones. Horses get skinned up all the time. She was a nice little gamble." Frost Damage Blues had some health issues and didn't race as a 2-year-old. She was turned out for three months and brought back slowly under trainer Tom Fanning. "Tom does an outstanding job," Augustine said. "I told him don't rush her, that her biggest races are at the end of the year. And here we are, at the end of the year." There is a forecast for rain in Toronto on Saturday, which would please Augustine since Frost Damage Blues is a medium-sized horse going against some bigger fillies. "The rain usually bothers bigger horses," he said. "Other than that, she's always been on the front or near the front. I'm hoping Brian goes out with her. He'll do a great job. Brian's the best in the world and he's a good friend of mine." One thing is certain, Frost Damage Blues won't be stressing before the race. "This horse is so perfect," Augustine said. "She goes to sleep before the race. She's very easy to manage. She jogs around the track real nice and easy, but when she gets behind the (starting) car, she turns into a rocket." Augustine has been around successful horses before as he shared ownership of 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share, who finished third in the 2012 Breeders Crown and was the Open Trot winner in 2013. The farmer paid the horse back by putting his picture on more than six million of his Winners Circle blueberry cups around the world. "This one means a little more to me because I'm her only owner," Augustine said of Frost Damage Blues. "She's a Cinderella story, a very classy horse. I bought her with the hopes of being in the Breeders Crown." And if she wins on Saturday? "Oh," Augustine said, "she'll definitely be on a blueberry cup." * * * * * Divine Caroline, who won her Breeders Crown elimination by 2-3/4 lengths over Bedroomconfessions in 1:51.3 is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the 3-year-old filly pace final. She has won three starts in a row and hit the board in a total of 17 of 19 races this year. "I'm pleased with her," trainer Joe Holloway said. "She's blossomed over the last month and gotten real good. She's always been there, she just wasn't firing. Now she's putting it all together. Sometimes it takes some longer than others, but she's always had speed. Hopefully she stays good." Holloway also sends out Bettor Be Steppin, who is 9-2 on the morning line. Bettor Be Steppin is seeking her first win since capturing the Valley Forge Stakes on Aug. 22, a span of four starts. She finished fifth in her Crown elimination, beaten 2-1/2 lengths by Solar Sister. "I said (in the days prior to the elimination) we've been on the front, we're going to race from behind," Holloway said. "She had to come from a ways back, she paced her last quarter in :27, and fortunately she got in there. But I thought she needed it. It's tough whenever you tell a driver one way to drive a horse. I told Corey (Callahan) no more, but I just thought she needed that. Fortunately it worked out enough where she got in." * * * * * Solar Sister, who won her elimination by one length over Frost Damage Blues in 1:52.1, is 7-2 on the morning line. Solar Sister won the Ontario Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly pacers on Oct. 10 at Woodbine after finishing off the board in her two previous starts. She has won eight of 15 races this year. "I raced her in the Simcoe (on Sept. 5) and she came first up through a pretty good half," trainer Gregg McNair said. "We were a little bit disappointed because she faded badly, which was the first time she did that. The next start at Flamboro, she made the front easy and then came to a stop. "The next morning she was hobbling around her stall and you could tell there was (an abscess) in her foot. We worked on it and the Tuesday before the Super Final it broke out and she won, and she was good again (in her Crown elim). I think that was maybe bothering her for the Simcoe too. It was her right front foot. That can bother them for a long time and sometimes you never know what's wrong with them until it blows out." Solar Sister was guaranteed a starting spot in posts 1-5 because of her elim win. She drew post three. "I'm really happy (she drew post three) because that makes a big difference with her," McNair said. "If you draw outside you've got to use her. Not that she can't leave, but that usually shows up at the end of the mile if you use her hard leaving." * * * * * Overheard: "I told Brian (Sears) after the race, there goes the winning streak," trainer Tom Fanning said, laughing, after Frost Damage Blues lost for the first time in eight career races. "But she was great and I couldn't have been happier. We'll see what happens in the final. I think she'll fit in pretty good. The biggest question was the class jump. She tries hard and it's hard to find fillies like that. And she has some speed as well. That's a good combination. The big track helps her. The bigger the track, the better she is." "John (Campbell) was happy with her," trainer Chris Ryder said about The Show Returns'fourth-place finish in the elimination won by Solar Sister. "She had pace. She didn't really get out. I was happy, especially after her last two races at Lexington. She was in the wrong spot both weeks. The second week she was on the front in :54 (seconds) flat and she can't handle that. She packed it in. It was tough to come here off those two races. We almost didn't come. But we came because any time she gets a trip, she's got pace." "She was super; she's just not a sprinter," trainer Tony Alagna said afterBedroomconfessions' second-place finish to Divine Caroline. "It takes a little while for her to get rolling, but she was doing her best pacing at the wire. That's all we can ask for. She's had a really good year as far as being steady. I think she got a little flat on us, but the Jugette (in September) really woke her up. Two heats really worked into what she needed. I thought she was as good as she has been tonight. I'm really happy." "The front end is not her trip," Ron Burke assistant trainer Shannon Murphy said afterSouthwind Roulette finished third in her elimination, which was won by Solar Sister. "She's better off the pace, but she raced good. We were happy with her. She'll be off a helmet next week for sure." "She had a tough go of it," Murphy said about Sassa Hanover's third-place elim finish behind Divine Caroline and Bedroomconfessions. "She was parked out a long way and that didn't help her chances any, especially the way the track was going tonight. She drew the 10 hole for the final, so she'll have to go forward again. We'll see what happens." by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications   

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

TORONTO --- The comeback kid is ready to meet the kid who refuses to go away. Always B Miki and Foiled Again, the winners of last weekend's Breeders Crown Open Pace eliminations, lead a field of 10 horses into Saturday's $400,000 final at Woodbine Racetrack. Always B Miki, who is 2-for-2 this year after returning from two separate injuries in the past 11 months, is the 4-5 morning line favorite. Foiled Again, an 11-year-old who is the richest horse in harness racing history, is the 6-1 third choice. Foiled Again snapped a 12-race skid with his elimination win, which came by 1-1/2 lengths over JK Endofanera in 1:50. JK Endofanera is 3-1 on the final's morning line. Saturday's 12 Breeders Crown championships, with total purses of $5.8 million, begin at 6:30 p.m. at Woodbine. "How about Foiled Again?" marveled Jimmy Takter, who trains both Always B Miki and JK Endofanera. "He's tough. Hats off to him." Foiled Again, who at the age of 7 in 2011 became the only horse older than 4 to be named the Dan Patch Award Pacer of the Year, has won 85 races and $7.18 million in his career. His Breeders Crown elim victory was his second triumph in 18 starts this season, but he has earned $278,632 thanks to a win in the Battle of Lake Erie and top-three finishes in the William Haughton Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Quillen Memorial, and Roll With Joe. "He's just amazing," said Shannon Murphy, an assistant to Foiled Again's trainer Ron Burke. "They always count him out and he always shows up. Yannick said he was as good in his elimination as he's ever been. He just needed a little bit of luck. He's just had bad trip after bad trip. When he gets a trip like (last week) where he can sit that long and come first up, he just loves it. He swells right up." Foiled Again, owned by Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and JJK Stables, won the Breeders Crown Open Pace in 2013 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. At the time, he was the oldest horse to ever win a Breeders Crown. Commander Crowe claimed that title from Foiled Again when he won the Breeders Crown Open Trot in 2014 at the Meadowlands at the age of 11. "Every time people write him off --- I've written him off, and I'm done writing him off," said Yannick Gingras, who drove Foiled Again to victory last weekend and has been behind the gelding for the vast majority of his starts since the horse joined the Ron Burke Stable in 2008. "I've done that four or five years in a row and he's made a liar out of me. "Wow. He's unbelievable. It's been a tough year for him. He's had a lot of outside post positions and he's not able to do two and three moves like he used to, but last week it worked out perfect. I got away third and I was able to pull around the five-eighths. Around the last turn I knew he was the winner, and he knew it too. He felt pretty good about himself." Always B Miki, a 4-year-old stallion, was the favorite in last year's Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old male pacers after being supplemented to the event for $62,500. But minutes before post time, Always B Miki was scratched because of lameness. It was discovered the colt had a fractured pastern bone, which required surgery two days later. During the winter, Always B Miki joined the Takter Stable and began preparing for a return to action. But in May, Always B Miki suffered a fracture of the opposite pastern bone and was sidelined again. He finally made it to the races on Oct. 3, winning by 5-1/4 lengths in 1:49 at Hoosier Park in a division of the Indiana Sire Stakes. Always B Miki, owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, won his Breeders Crown elimination by three lengths over Bettor's Edge in 1:49.4. He has won 16 of 33 career races and earned $954,366. "He is a fantastic horse," Takter said. "I think he looked pretty darn good (in his elim) and I'm really fortunate to be a part of his life. It is a heck of a story, really, for this horse. They supplemented him to the Breeders Crown last year and he won his elimination and never got to race in the final. Now, hopefully he can continue the story." Always B Miki brings a seven-race win streak dating to September 2014 into the Breeders Crown final and has finished no worse than second in 14 consecutive starts. The Open Pace also includes McWicked, who won last year's Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers, which helped propel the Casie Coleman-trainee to receiving the Dan Patch Award as the division's best horse. McWicked, who finished fifth in his elimination, starts the final from post nine and is 15-1 on the morning line. It has been eight years since a 4-year-old won the Open Pace --- Steve Elliott's Artistic Fella in 2007. The last male pacer to capture Breeders Crown trophies at both ages 3 and 4 was Art Major in 2002-03. State Treasurer, the richest older pacer in harness racing this season, with $861,807, is 8-1 on the Open Pace morning line. He will start from post seven for trainer Ian Moore, who also sends out 25-1 Melmerby Beach from post one and 30-1 Arthur Blue Chip from post 10. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications  

Toronto --- Yannick Gingras will have nine drives in Saturday night's 12 Breeders Crown finals at Woodbine Racetrack as he looks to continue his hot streak in harness racing's championship event.   Gingras has won 10 Breeders Crown titles in the past three years, including four last year at the Meadowlands. He captured three trophies each of the previous two years, in 2013 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and in 2012 at Woodbine. Gingras' streak began five years after he won his first --- and only other --- Crown with 50-1 long shot Southwind Serena at the Meadowlands.   Tim Tetrick is second to Gingras in the past three years with eight Breeders Crown trophies.   "It's a great thrill, not only to be in the Breeders Crown, but the last few years I've had great horses to drive in it," said Gingras, a Quebec native who now lives in New Jersey. "That definitely makes it more exciting. It's like Hambletonian Day, where everybody wants to be part of those days. To be able to win some of the races makes it very enjoyable.   "This is as big as it gets. It all comes down to the Breeders Crown; that's the old saying, but it's the truth. Thankfully and luckily, I've been able to do well in it lately."   Ironically, Gingras' success in the Breeders Crown followed a Breeders Crown night he would like to forget. In 2011, Gingras and several other drivers and trainers were unable to fly from New Jersey to Toronto for the Breeders Crown at Woodbine because of a fluke snowstorm on the East Coast.   Gingras lost the chance to drive several top contenders that year, including A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again.   "It took me a while to win a Breeders Crown (after Southwind Serena) and I thought I had a great shot that year," Gingras said. "I had a great card that night. It was very disappointing. But it's been a good run since then."   Gingras, a third-generation horseman, moved to the U.S. in 2001 and began driving at Yonkers Raceway. Two years later, he won 426 races and received the Rising Star Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association. The 36-year-old Gingras now has 5,750 career wins and $128 million in purses. He was the second youngest driver to reach $125 million, behind Tetrick.   Last year, Gingras set a career high with 556 wins and led all drivers in North America in purses with $17.29 million, the fourth highest total in history. He was voted Driver of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.   Gingras has enjoyed working with trainers Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter in recent years, and eight of his 11 Breeders Crown victories have come behind horses from those two powerful stables. This year, six of his Breeders Crown finalists are from Burke and two are from Takter. The remaining one is trained by Mark Silva.   Three of Gingras' drives in this year's Breeders Crown are with past champions: Burke's Mission Brief in the 3-year-old filly trot and Foiled Again in the Open Pace plus Takter's Pinkman in the 3-year-old male trot.   Foiled Again, who won the 2013 Open Pace, heads to this year's final off a win in his elimination on Saturday at Woodbine. The 11-year-old Foiled Again is the richest horse in harness racing history, with $7.18 million in lifetime purses. He snapped a 12-race skid with his victory in his Breeders Crown elim, which was the 85th triumph in his award-winning career.   "Every win is special with him," Gingras said. "He's the greatest horse I've ever driven."   Not surprisingly, Foiled Again's Breeders Crown win at the age of 9 at Pocono in 2013 is Gingras' top memory in the championship series. Foiled Again won by a nose over Pet Rock on a sloppy track and became, at the time, the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown trophy.   "He had been so close a few times," Gingras said. "I felt really guilty when I missed here in Canada (in 2011). I thought he had a great chance that night and he finished second. To be able to get it done with him, especially the way he did it, was special. He took on all challenges and went a hundred miles an hour the whole race, for a full mile. It's not often you see a horse that can go that hard for that long and be able to finish it off."   Mission Brief, a world-record-setting daughter of Gingras' first Crown champ Southwind Serena, and Pinkman both advanced straight to their respective finals this year because eliminations were unnecessary. Pinkman's wins this year include two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown --- the $1 million Hambletonian, where the Gingras-driven Mission Brief finished second in her bid to become the first filly to win the race since 1996 --- and the Kentucky Futurity. Pinkman also won the Canadian Trotting Classic.   Other top contenders for Gingras on Saturday include Breeders Crown elimination winners Yankee Moonshine in the 2-year-old filly pace, Southwind Frank in the 2-year-old colt trot, and All The Time in the 2-year-old filly trot. Yankee Moonshine and Southwind Frank are trained by Burke, who last week topped $20 million in purses for the third consecutive year, and All The Time is trained by Takter.   "I have a lot of power this year," said Gingras, who in August captured his fourth consecutive driving title at the Meadowlands. "I train a lot of young horses during the year between Jimmy and Ronnie, and I enjoy it. I like going to the barn in the spring and watching them develop. To see them come to this point now is very exciting."   No driver has ever won more than four Breeders Crown finals in a single year, and Tetrick is the only driver to win four on a single card. Gingras is unconcerned with trying to rewrite the record book.   "I don't think about things like that at all," Gingras said. "I just take them one at a time. We'll see how it goes. But you've got to be in it to win it."   by Ken Weingartner for Breeders Crown

TORONTO ---Harness racing trainer/driver Jimmy Takter made his first appearance in the Breeders Crown in 1986, but it was seven years before he got to hoist a trophy. Takter, who trains and sometimes also drives, had two second-place finishes and one third-place effort in eight championship starts before driving Gleam to victory in the 1993 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters at Florida's Pompano Park. And if the waiting was the hardest part, it also made the triumph all the more satisfying. "That is my No.1 memory in the Breeders Crown, my first one," Takter said. "It was hard to win that first one. I drove her, too, and when she won it meant a lot to me. That to me was the most emotional." Takter has created many more Breeders Crown memories since that first win with Gleam. He heads to Saturday's 12 Breeders Crown finals at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack as the top trainer in the history of the series, with 21 victories and $9.48 million in purses. He has posted three victories in each of the past three years and 10 triumphs overall in the past four editions of harness racing's championship event. "I'm very proud of that," Takter said about his Breeders Crown record. "I really am. Winning 21 of them to me is amazing. It's really hard. It's like the saying, 'It all comes down to the Breeders Crown,' and I believe that. That's what it is. I think the Breeders Crown is the most prestigious. It's the end of the year and every horse normally is most mature and most ready." Takter moved to the U.S. more than three decades ago, but could have enjoyed a comfortable career in Sweden, where his father, Bo, was already established as one of the sport's top trainers. But after getting a taste of racing in the States as a teenager during a 10-month stint with the powerful Continental Farms Stable, Takter decided at the age of 22 to leave his homeland for good. The decision was not easy. Takter and his wife, Christina, had a 1-year-old girl, Nancy, and Takter knew he was unlikely to see his family in Sweden very often. Nancy is also now a trainer and in 2014 conditioned Dan Patch Award Horse of the Year winner JK She'salady. "It was a big decision to start all over, but I loved the United States; it was something special," said Takter, who became a U.S. citizen in 2000. "The harness racing was so different compared to our country. It was a big sacrifice for my wife and me, but I'm glad I did it. It's a special country." Takter rose to prominence in 1997 when Malabar Man won the Hambletonian and Breeders Crown and was named Horse of the Year. Malabar Man was followed by the trotting mare Moni Maker, who was Horse of the Year in 1998 and 1999. She was an international star thanks to victories in major races in Europe, including the Prix d'Amerique and Elitloppet, and is the last mare to win the Breeders Crown Open Trot, which she won in 1998. This year, Takter has 17 horses in Saturday's Breeders Crown finals. His group is led by returning Breeders Crown champion Pinkman, who captured last year's Crown for 2-year-old male trotters and is the sport's second-richest horse this year, with $1.75 million in purses. Pinkman's wins this season include two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown - the Hambletonian Stakes and Kentucky Futurity - as well as the Canadian Trotting Classic. Takter, who was voted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2011, has won the Hambletonian four times and this year became the first trainer since 1992 to win the race in consecutive years. Takter has three horses joining Pinkman in the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters: French Laundry, The Bank, and Uncle Lasse. Last year, French Laundry finished third, Uncle Lasse fifth, and The Bank sixth in the Breeders Crown. "They all are players," said Takter, who is a four-time Trainer of the Year Award winner in the U.S. "They all belong there. Overall, they've had a great season." Takter has won the two most recent Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-old male trotters, and three of the past four trophies. He sends out Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Lagerfeld in Saturday's final for 2-year-old male trotters. He also has captured two of the most recent three finals for 2-year-old female trotters, where this year he sends out elimination winners All The Time and Haughty --- who is 7-for-7 this year --- plus another contender in Kathy Parker. "(All The Time) is the one to beat," Takter said. "I was very impressed with her in her elimination. That was a helluva performance; (1):56.1 and the way she did it, never pulling the plugs. She was amazing. "Haughty is undefeated, so you have to respect a horse like that. I didn't like her much early. She was a pain in the (butt). But she's good. She won in (1):54.1 for me in Lexington. I know she's got the gear." Other top contenders for Takter include undefeated Pure Country in the 2-year-old filly pace, Always B Miki and JK Endofanera in the Open Pace, Wild Honey in the 3-year-old filly trot, Shake It Cerry in the Mare Trot, and Creatine in the Open Trot. Shake It Cerry, a 4-year-old mare, won Breeders Crown trophies at ages 2 and 3. She can join Peace Corps, Grades Singing, and Mack Lobell as the only trotters in history with three or more Breeders Crown titles. Wild Honey won this year's Hambletonian Oaks --- giving Takter a sweep of the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks for the second consecutive year --- and defeated Mission Brief, last year's divisional Breeders Crown champ, in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. Always B Miki was the favorite in last year's Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers, but was scratched because of injury. He joined the Takter Stable during the winter, suffered another injury setback in the spring, but has returned to win his first two starts of this season, including his Crown elimination by three lengths in 1:49.4. "This is what it's all about for me, with this horse," Takter said. "It was 10 months to get here. He's the king. He's unbelievable. They supplemented him to the Breeders Crown last year and he won his elimination and never got to race in the final. Now, hopefully, he can continue the story." Ken Weingartner for the Breeders Crown

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