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ANDERSON, Ind. -- On A Streak and harness racing driver Bob McClure surged down the stretch to overcome pacesetter Captain Corey and then held off In Range by three-quarters of a length to win Friday's (Oct. 30) $600,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters in a stakes record 1:52.4 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Venerate finished third. McClure left quickly from post four with On A Streak and led heading to the first turn before yielding the top spot to Captain Corey and driver Ãke Svanstedt through a :26.4 opening quarter. Venerate, the 4-5 favorite, and driver Andy Miller began a bid for the front with a first-over move from fifth up the backstretch, but were unable to pass Captain Corey as they hit the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:24.1. In the stretch, McClure angled the pocket-sitting On A Streak to the inside and took the lead en route a 9-1 upset. "My colt is so handy," McClure said. "Getting him off the gate, I wanted to leave and hopefully follow Ãke or Andy, or even both. When I saw Ãke look over and try to take off on Andy, I thought it looked really good. "Andy's horse seemed like he was coming (in the stretch), so I just tried to get into the passing lane and get my horse re-motivated. It's not easy for 2-year-old trotters to dive into the passing lane and try to advance; it's not really taught to them. But he's such a professional that, as soon as he saw open air, he took off." On A Streak, a son of Cantab Hall out of Habit's Best, has won two of nine races this season and $646,184 for owner Determination and trainer Luc Blais. He was bred by Fredericka Caldwell. The colt's previous victory came in the William Wellwood Memorial at Woodbine Mohawk Park in September. It was the first Breeders Crown title for McClure and fourth for Blais. "To win a Breeders Crown is always special," Blais said. "It's the end of the year, it's a long season, and when you win that, you're fresh for the winter." The previous stakes record of 1:53 was set by Walner in 2016. On A Streak paid $20.80 to win.   by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown

Chris Ryder says having a horse like Bettor's Wish is probably the highlight of his harness racing career as a trainer. Having another like Party Girl Hill is not far behind. "That's exactly right," Ryder said. "It's great to have two horses like this." Bettor's Wish, a 4-year-old stallion, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Five races earlier, Party Girl Hill, unbeaten in 14 lifetime starts, is the 2-5 choice in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old female pacers. Party Girl Hill is the No. 2-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, behind 3-year-old male pacer Tall Dark Stranger. Bettor's Wish is No. 8. Bettor's Wish, co-owned by Ryder, has won five of 10 races this year and $384,732. His triumphs include the Sam McKee Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. He was second in the Dan Patch Stakes. For his career, the son of Bettor's Delight-Lifetime Star has won 23 of 41 starts and $2.30 million. He led the sport in earnings in 2019 with $1.64 million and was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male pacer. At the end of the season, Bettor's Wish will retire to stallion duties at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania. "Bettor's Wish is probably the highlight of my training career," Ryder said. "He's like part of the family. He's got such a great personality, I really appreciate him around the barn, and he just keeps coming out and producing time after time. Right now, he's just got a couple starts left. Then you realize it's going to be done. It's going to be bittersweet. But we're pleased it's working out the way it is. "He's going to retire sound and at the top of his game. He's got a great gait, a great attitude, a big heart, he knows how to win, and he's from a great family; I don't know what more people could want in a horse. He's going to be a popular stallion. It's going to be fun to see his babies." Bettor's Wish was purchased for $20,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Ryder owns the horse with Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. Last year in the Breeders Crown, Bettor's Wish finished second by a head to Dancin Lou. This year, he starts from post nine, the outermost spot on the gate. He brings a three-race win streak to the final. "No matter how it goes, he's the horse to beat," said Ryder, who has won four Breeders Crown trophies in his career. "He had the seven (post) in the Allerage and eight in the Sam McKee, and he got the job done. He's real good at the moment. If he stays healthy, I think people are going to see something pretty good."   Something pretty good could be in store with Party Girl Hill, as well. Unraced at age 2 because of an injury, she has dominated at 3. Her victories this season include the Fan Hanover, Jugette, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Tattersalls Pace division, where she became only the second pacing filly to beat male rivals in a race worth at least $100,000 in the last 30 years. She won her Jugette elimination in 1:49.3, the first sub-1:50 mile on a half-mile track by a female pacer in history. "It's all systems go," Ryder said. "It's not like she's done a lot of easy races, they've all been top of the line. "She's a phenomenal filly. I feel confident going into (the final), although there are some tremendous horses here. She has many qualities. She's got class. She's got speed and she can relax. She's got it all. She is versatile and takes everything that comes at her. She's undefeated, you can't beat that." Party Girl Hill, a daughter of Captaintreacherous-Look Cheap, is owned by breeder Tom Hill. Lyons Sentinel, the 2019 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly pacer, is the 9-2 second choice in the Crown final. Peaky Sneaky is 5-1. Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown Open Pace. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Sectionline Bigry-Tyler Smith-Steve Bauder-8/1 2-Filibuster Hanover-Chris Page-Ron Burke-12/1 3-Western Joe-Andrew McCarthy-Christopher Choate-30/1 4-Dorsoduro Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20/1 5-Sintra-Trace Tetrick-Tyler George-20/1 6-Backstreet Shadow-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke-9/2 7-Century Farroh-David Miller-Ian Moore-4/1 8-Dancin Lou-Brian Sears-Tahnee Camilleri-20/1 9-Bettor's Wish-Dexter Dunn-Chris Ryder-8/5 10-This Is The Plan-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5/1 This Is The Plan starts from the second tier. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly pacers. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Drama Act-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-15/1 2-Party Girl Hill-Dexter Dunn-Chris Ryder-2/5 3-Lyons Sentinel-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-9/2 4-Peaky Sneaky-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Takter-5/1 5-Pettycoat Business-Trace Tetrick-Brian Brown-30/1 6-Rocknificent-Scott Zeron-Linda Toscano-12/1 7-JK First Lady-David Miller-Nancy Takter-10/1 8-Lady Lou-Brett Miller-Tony Alagna-30/1 9-Hen Party-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna-30/1 10-New Year-Joe Bongiorno-Chris Ryder-30/1 New Year starts from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Perfect Sting can do what's never been done in Friday's $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old male harness racing pacers. With a win, the Joe Holloway-trained colt will finish his campaign 10-for-10. In the history of the event, none of the 36 male pacers to win a trophy at age 2 ever finished his rookie season undefeated. Holloway said the Breeders Crown start at Harrah's Hoosier Park will be Perfect Sting's last race of 2020. The colt heads to the final off a 1:50.4 score in his elimination last week. He defeated Summa Cum Laude by 3-3/4 lengths and his time over a sloppy surface was just a tick off the track record. Perfect Sting will start Friday from post two with David Miller in the sulky. He is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. "He just keeps feeling better and better, so that's a good thing," said Holloway, a seven-time Breeders Crown winner. "I hope he gets the job done. I think he deserves it because I truly think he's a great horse. Hopefully, he can show it on Friday." Perfect Sting is a son of Always B Miki out of Shebestingin. Always B Miki, a two-time Breeders Crown Open Pace winner trained by Holloway at ages 2 and 3, shares the record for history's fastest mile, 1:46. Shebestingin, trained by Holloway throughout her career, was the all-time fastest female pacer until 2019, when Shartin N's 1:46.4 mile bettered her mark by one-fifth of a second. In his three starts prior to the Breeders Crown, Perfect Sting won the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship before picking up his first Grand Circuit scores in divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. He rallied from third in the stretch to win the International Stallion by a head. In his Crown elim, he led in the stretch and extended his advantage by an additional two lengths. "There is something every time," Holloway said, referring to Perfect Sting's improvement. "Two starts prior, he ran that horse down; I thought he had an insurmountable lead. His last start, when he was on the front, when David called on him, he was out there going. "I think he's learned how to be a racehorse now. He knows what he's doing now, so I think he'll do what he has to." Perfect Sting's path to perfection will not be easy. Southwind Gendry won the other Breeders Crown elimination by three lengths over Caviart Lotus in 1:51. He has captured nine of 11 starts, including the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion. He brings a seven-race win streak to the final. Southwind Gendry, a son of Always B Miki-Gambler's Passion, is the 8-5 second choice on the morning line, leaving from post three with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke. The final will be the first meeting between Southwind Gendry and Perfect Sting. "I know he's been racing well and he's tough," Holloway said about Southwind Gendry. "But I think my horse is better. I'm supposed to think that way. They're supposed to think that way. We'll find out come Friday." Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Friday's Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt-and-gelding pace final. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-JK Going West-LeWayne Miller-LeWayne Miller-12/1 2-Perfect Sting-David Miller-Joe Holloway-7/5 3-Southwind Gendry-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-8/5 4-Always A Miki-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-12/1 5-Bayfield Beach-Trace Tetrick-Brian Brown-20/1 6-Summa Cum Laude-Brian Sears-Ron Burke-10/1 7-Abuckabett Hanover-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna-20/1 8-Caviart Lotus-Tim Tetrick-Nancy Takter-15/1 9-Captains Place-Tyler Smith-John Ackley-30/1 10-Literl Lad Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-20/1 Literl Lad Hanover starts from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Six weeks ago, harness racing trainer Nifty Norman said he couldn't be happier with the way Amigo Volo looked heading into the rest of the season. As the horse prepares for Saturday's $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters, it's safe to say he remains enthusiastic. Amigo Volo, who was the Breeders Crown champion at age 2, won the Kentucky Futurity on Oct. 11 at Red Mile and followed up with a track-record victory in his Crown elimination last Saturday at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Going back to mid-August, he has won five of six races and finished second in the other. "He has not let me down," Norman said. "Even last week, I was kind of mildly shocked at how good he was. He's just solid. He's raced in just about every race there is, and he's as good now as he was at the start. He maybe even better. That's a good sign for a horse." Amigo Volo won his elimination in 1:51.2, the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old trotter at Hoosier Park. The time was just one-fifth of a second off the track's overall record. In Saturday's Breeders Crown final, Amigo Volo will start from post two with driver Dexter Dunn. He is the 6-5 morning-line favorite. Three male trotters this century have won Crown trophies at ages 2 and 3: Gimpanzee, 2018-2019; Father Patrick, 2013-2014; and Muscle Hill, 2008-2009. Amigo Volo is by Father Patrick out of Margarita Momma. For the year, Amigo Volo has won seven of 13 races. Lifetime, the multiple world-record-setting gelding has won 13 of 25 starts and $1.21 million in purses for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. "It won't be easy, but I think that at the moment he's probably the best horse," said Norman, who has won four Breeders Crown finals. "I've got a good driver, a good draw, so I've got as good a shot as anybody." Norman also sends out Chestnut Hill in the event. Chestnut Hill finished second by a neck to Capricornus in the other Breeders Crown elimination. For the year, Chestnut Hill has won three of 14 races, including the Canadian Trotting Classic. The colt is by Muscle Hill out of Poof She's Gone, a filly that provided Norman his first Breeders Crown trophy in 2009. He is owned by Mel Hartman, David McDuffee, and Little E. Hartman and McDuffee bred Chestnut Hill with Herb Liverman. Chestnut Hill will start from post nine, the outermost spot on the gate, with David Miller in the sulky. The colt is 15-1 on the morning line. "I thought he raced really good last week, but then the draw just crushed him," Norman said. "Now you're really relying on luck. But you know what, he's had some bad draws or rough trips and got good finishes out of them. A few things went his way, and he always gets home good. The horse himself is in good shape." Ready For Moni, who won the Goodtimes Stakes and Harry M. Zweig Memorial after finishing second in the Hambletonian, is the 7-2 second choice. Capricornus is 6-1. Norman's Breeders Crown weekend begins Friday with Fire Start Hanover in the $600,000 final for 2-year-old female pacers. The filly had a five-race win streak snapped with a second-place finish to Continualou in her elimination. Fire Start Hanover is the 3-1 favorite, starting from post seven with driver Dunn. "I was very happy with her run," Norman said. "She was sick after Lexington, we brought her home, she had five days off. I only trained her once. I thought she would be kind of short, but she was actually really good. Even though she's drawn seven, I think she'll go really good. I think that run last week will really help her and she's good either way, she can leave or she can race from off the pace. "She's a nice filly and I think she's got a good shot. She's a big, strong thing, and has just gotten better as the year has gone on. I've got a lot of confidence in her." Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt-and-gelding trot final. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Capricornus-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander-6/1 2-Amigo Volo-Dexter Dunn-R. Nifty Norman-6/5 3-Ready For Moni-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Takter-7/2 4-Play Trix On Me-Joe Bongiorno-Linda Toscano-20/1 5-Hillexotic-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-20/1 6-Maesteraemon-Scott Zeron-Marcus Melander-15/1 7-Back Of The Neck-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-8/1 8-Beads-Brian Sears-Per Engblom-8/1 9-Chestnut Hill-David Miller-R. Nifty Norman-15/1 10-Gangster Hanover-Andrew McCarthy-Ake Svanstedt-20/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Atlanta has done plenty to impress harness racing trainer Ron Burke in the two seasons she has been in his stable, including win eight Grand Circuit finals, set speed records in the U.S. and Canada, and receive a Dan Patch Award. Yet as she prepares to take on nine male rivals in Saturday's $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot at Harrah's Hoosier Park, Burke has never felt better about the 5-year-old mare. Atlanta heads to the race off a 1:50 win over a "good" surface in the Allerage Farms Open Trot on Oct. 11 at Lexington's Red Mile. Only a half-length loss to Gimpanzee in the Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier in September keeps her from a four-race win streak. "I could not be happier with her, she's the best she's ever been for us," said Burke, who took over the training of Atlanta at the beginning of 2019. "I like getting the week off because she loves to race off multiple weeks off, so she's going to come in sharp for the final. I'm thrilled." What has made Atlanta even better? "I think she's matured a little bit more," Burke said. "I've always worried about her weight, and it's really not an issue now. She looks great. And maybe the year, the way her schedule has been, it's really helped. She hasn't raced that much, and I don't think she really wants to race a lot, because when she races she gives everything every step every time." Atlanta has won five of 10 races this season. In addition to the Allerage, her victories include the Maple Leaf Trot, Dayton Trotting Derby, and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial. She will attempt to become the fourth mare to win the Breeders Crown Open Trot, joining Hannelore Hanover (2017), Moni Maker (1998) and CR Kay Suzie (1996). Atlanta, the Trotter of the Year in 2018 and Dan Patch Award winner for best older female trotter in 2019, is seeking her first Crown. Last year, Atlanta finished third in the Open Trot behind Bold Eagle and Six Pack. Burke leads all active trainers in Breeders Crown hardware with 17 trophies. Jimmy Takter holds the record with 34. Atlanta, who has won 25 of 49 career races and $2.52 million, will start Saturday from post five with driver Yannick Gingras, a 23-time Breeders Crown winner. The mare is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, and Howard Taylor. With the way Atlanta is racing, Burke cannot help but think ahead a bit to 2021. "I think it points to next year being her best year," Burke said. "I'm excited. Right now, it's all go to race next year again. I think we can do special things next year." Atlanta is not alone in looking to add her name to the Breeders Crown record book Saturday. Four-year-old stallion Gimpanzee is aiming for his third win in a Crown final. Only three trotters have captured three or more Breeders Crown trophies in history. Female trotter Peace Corps holds the record with four. Grades Singing, another female, won three as did male trotter Mack Lobell. Gimpanzee, a Dan Patch Award winner at age 2, has won seven of 10 races this year, including the John Cashman Memorial, and 24 of 33 lifetime. He has earned $2.45 million for owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. He enters the Crown final off a 1:52 win last Saturday in an invitational at Hoosier. He starts from post three with Brian Sears in the sulky. Sears has won 32 Crown finals, second most in history behind John Campbell's 48. Prior to winning the invitational, Gimpanzee was sixth in the Allerage, his only off-the-board finish of the campaign. "The result in Lexington was a little disappointing, even if I wasn't disappointed in the horse, but the result," trainer Marcus Melander said. "I could feel in the warmups (Saturday) that he was in form. I told Brian that too. "We were both very excited that he bounced back the way he did. It was a perfect prep race for him. Brian drove him perfectly and he didn't have to chase him hard down the lane, he did it very easily. I couldn't have been happier." The Open Trot field also includes Fiftydallarbill, who won a Breeders Crown at age 2 in 2017 at Hoosier, as well as Lindy The Great and Majestic Player A, who are among three horses sharing the Hoosier track record of 1:51.1 for a trotter, and millionaire Crystal Fashion. Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Mission Accepted-Chris Page-Ron Burke 2-Majestic Player A-Brett Miller-Walter Haynes Jr. 3-Gimpanzee-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 4-Reign Of Honor-David Miller-Marcus Melander 5-Atlanta-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 6-Lindy The Great-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 7-Soul Strong-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 8-Katkin American-James Yoder-James Yoder 9-Crystal Fashion-Jordan Stratton-Jim Campbell 10-Fiftydallarbill-Trace Tetrick-Luis Quevedo Fiftydallarbill starts from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

After watching Venerate become the fastest 2-year-old trotter ever at Harrah's Hoosier Park by winning his Breeders Crown elimination in 1:52.2 last week, harness racing trainer Julie Miller offered a succinct summary of the colt's effort. "If he minds his manners and stays focused, that's the kind of performance we thought he could put in," Miller said. Venerate heads to Friday's $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old male trotters with four wins in his last six starts. He went off stride in the two losses. In addition to capturing his Crown elimination, Venerate's victories include the inaugural Mohawk Million and the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. Overall, the son of Love You-Peaceful Kemp has won five of nine races and earned $703,114. He is owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable Inc. "He can be his own worst enemy," Julie Miller said prior to the elimination. "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." On Friday, Venerate will start from post five with Andy Miller, Julie's husband, in the sulky. Julie and Andy have won one Crown together, with Lucky Jim in the 2009 Open Trot. Andy has a total of five trophies as a driver. "(Venerate) is the horse to beat in my opinion," said trainer Marcus Melander, who conditions In Range, the winner of the event's other elimination. "That's a great horse." In Range won his Crown elimination by a neck over Brookview Bolt in 1:54.1. The colt, by Bar Hopping out of Ilia, has won five of nine races and earned $276,003 for owners AMG Stable, Kenneth Kjellgren, Tomas Hans Asell, and Rick Wahlstedt. He has finished worse than second only once, a sixth-place finish in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes. Tim Tetrick will drive In Range, starting from post three. "He's only had one bad race this year, and that was the first week of Lexington, and we didn't really know what was going on with him that week," said Melander, who has won two Breeders Crown trophies, both with trotter Gimpanzee. "Otherwise, he's been great. You can never count him out because he's always right there. He'll be right there with them." Friday's final also includes William Wellwood Memorial winner On A Streak and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Captain Corey, who was undefeated in five races before finishing second to Venerate in their Crown elimination. "He raced good," trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt said about Captain Corey, "but Venerate was better." He added, "We're not giving up. We're going to fight (in the final)." Captain Corey is one of two Svanstedt-trained colts in the race. Yannick Gingras will drive Delayed Hanover, who was third in the elimination won by In Range. "He raced OK, but I expected more of him," Svanstedt said. "He didn't come home so good. Maybe it was a long trip (to Hoosier) too close to the race. Now, he is there for a week and can take it easy, so maybe he can be better." Jim Campbell also has two finalists, Cricket Fashion and Take All Comers, who punched his ticket to the Breeders Crown by winning a Bluegrass Stakes division on Oct. 2 at Red Mile. The gelding finished third in his Crown elimination, which was won by Venerate. "I'm very happy with him," Campbell said. "He was a very confident third. We've kind of taken it week to week with him. When we brought him to Lexington, we were going to race him the first week and see how he raced. He went out and raced super and that's when we decided to go to the Breeders Crown with him. We chose not to race him the second week (in Lexington) intentionally." Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for the $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old male trotters. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Take All Comers-David Miller-Jim Campbell 2-Cricket Fashion-Dexter Dunn-Jim Campbell 3-In Range-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander 4-On A Streak-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 5-Venerate-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 6-Muscle Dynasty-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood 7-Captain Corey-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 8-Delayed Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ake Svanstedt 9-Moonstone S-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 10-Brookview Bolt-Dexter Dunn-Ron Burke Brookview Bolt starts from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

When it comes to online harness racing purchases, Spoiled Princess looks like a royal buy. The 3-year-old filly trotter is a nose from being undefeated in three races for trainer Nancy Takter since her father Jimmy acquired the horse for $90,400 last month in an onGait.com auction. On Saturday, she races in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old filly trotters at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Spoiled Princess heads to the race off a 1:53 win in her elimination this past Friday, when she defeated favorite Hypnotic AM by a neck. "It's 2020, the year of COVID-19, and everybody learned to shop online," Takter said, adding with a laugh. "Even Jimmy Takter learned how to buy horses online." Jimmy Takter, the Hall of Famer who retired from training following the 2018 season, and happens to be the winningest trainer in Breeders Crown history with 34 trophies, was interested in Spoiled Princess as a broodmare prospect. Five days before she sold online, Spoiled Princess won a division of the Buckette Stakes at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. Nancy Takter was at the track that day, watching her stable's Caviart Eva win the other division. "He called me and asked about her," Nancy Takter said. "He was really looking for a mare that he could breed to Ready For Moni later, that would cross well with Ready For Moni. She looked good, a nice-gaited filly, a nice big strong-looking filly. I knew she was sound. I didn't see where you could go wrong with buying her." Jimmy Takter made the buy, with Black Horse Racing's Barry Guariglia. The filly now races for Black Horse Racing and Christina Takter. Since joining her new group, Spoiled Princess finished second by a nose to stablemate Sorella in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, won a 3-year-old filly open, and captured her Breeders Crown elimination. For her career, Spoiled Princess has won eight of 21 races and $171,136. The daughter of Trixton-Fashion Spooner was trained previously by Nifty Norman. Spoiled Princess will start the Breeders Crown final from post five with driver Dexter Dunn. "She was in really good shape when she got to me; she was sound and a well-mannered filly," Nancy Takter said. "She's beautifully gaited. We just made some bridle changes and stuff like that, and I put her on Lasix. She's maybe a little fresher than some of the other ones now. That plays to her advantage as well." Spoiled Princess is one of three finalists for Takter. Her others are Sorella, the Hambletonian Oaks winner, and Caviart Eva. Sorella finished third, beaten a half-length, in Spoiled Princess' elim. Caviart Eva was fourth in the other elimination, which was won by Next Level Stuff in 1:53.4. "I was happy with both of them," Takter said. "Eva is a game, honest filly. She's really an overachiever. She tries really hard. You can't help but like her. I was happy with Sorella too. She's not really as much of a sprinter as maybe Princess is. I think she raced good. She raced with shoes and she's better without shoes. She'll race without shoes in the final. She's been good all year. It's tough to maintain your form from May to November." Next Level Stuff rallied to win her elimination by a neck over tempo-setting Ab'sattitudexpress. She has won three of her last four races for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Runthetable Stables. Her only loss during that span was a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. She will start the final from post one with driver Tim Tetrick. For the year, the daughter of Sebastian K S-Nantab has won six of 12 races and $231,361. "I couldn't be happier with her, the way she's been going," Campbell said. "She's been very consistent all year long. She had a real good race the other night and hopefully we can keep her going for the final. "She was really good in the Kentucky (Filly) Futurity final, she just had some bad racing luck. She was pinned in and didn't get out until late. But she raced really good there and she took advantage of a good trip Friday at Hoosier." Ab'sattitudexpress, trained by Lucas Wallin, and Hypnotic AM, trained by Marcus Melander, will start the Breeders Crown final next to each other, in posts six and seven, respectively. "I was very happy with how Ab's raced and she never gave up," Wallin said. "With an eighth of a mile left it looked like she would get beat by two lengths or so, but she tried her best. She hasn't disappointed me yet this year." Said Melander about Hypnotic AM, the Oaks and Filly Futurity runner-up, "I was very happy with her in the elimination. She got to the lead and just got beat by a neck. She's always right there in these races, she always shows up. She's never missed the board in her entire life. You can always count on her. She's a great horse and definitely one of the fillies that can win the race." Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Love A Good Story finished third in her elimination, beaten a length by Next Level Stuff. She will start Saturday from post 10, in the second tier. "I think she was really coming on for a good-closing third," trainer Julie Miller said. "I wasn't tickled with the 10-hole, but that's better than the eight or nine. We'll see what happens with her. I think she's really peaking right now." $500,000 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Filly Trot PP-Horse-Trainer 1-Next Level Stuff-Jim Campbell 2-Crucial-Ron Burke 3-May Baby-James Yoder 4-Sorella-Nancy Takter 5-Spoiled Princess-Nancy Takter 6-Ab'sattitudexpress-Lucas Wallin 7-Hypnotic AM-Marcus Melander 8-Caviart Eva-Nancy Takter 9-Rock Swan-Erv Miller 10-Love A Good Story-Julie Miller by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Bettor's Wish and Gimpanzee prepared for next week's Breeders Crown finals with wins in their respective $25,000 invitational races Saturday (Oct. 24) at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The Breeders Crown Open Pace, Open Trot and Mare Trot did not require eliminations, so the invitationals were an opportunity to get a start prior to next Saturday's finals. Bettor's Wish won the invitational pace, a seven-horse field with four Breeders Crown finalists, by three-quarters of a length over Brassy Hanover in 1:50.2. Century Farroh finished third. The Breeders Crown finalists in the race were Bettor's Wish, Century Farroh, Sectionline Bigry (fourth) and Dancin Lou (sixth). Last year, Bettor's Wish finished second by a head to Dancin Lou in the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers. Gimpanzee won the invitational trot, a seven-horse field with six Breeders Crown finalists, by 1-3/4 lengths over Manchego in 1:52. Majestic Player A finished third. The Breeders Crown finalists in the race were Gimpanzee, Manchego, Majestic Player A, Lindy The Great (fourth), Fiftydallarbill (fifth) and Reign Of Honor (seventh). In the invitational pace, Bettor's Wish and driver Dexter Dunn were fourth as Century Farroh led the field to the quarter in :26.2 and half in :55.4. Bettor's Wish made his move heading to the final turn and was a half length from the leader when they reached three-quarters in 1:24.4. Bettor's Wish came home in :25.3 to get the win. "He's such a gutsy horse, his attitude is amazing, and makes my job easy because he's so versatile," Dunn said. "It's not an easy move (from age 3 to 4), but you know he's going to go out there and give you 100%. He's stepped up very good." Chris Ryder trains Bettor's Wish, a son of Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star. The 4-year-old has won five of 10 races this season, earning $382,232. For his career, he has won 23 of 41 starts and $2.29 million. He is owned by Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettor's Wish Partners. He was bred by Brittany Farms. Bettor's Wish will stand at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania in 2021. "I'll miss him, that's for sure," Dunn said. "He's like an old mate. I'll definitely miss him, but I'm looking forward to see what he can produce on the racetrack once he becomes a stud." Bettor's Wish, the 4-5 favorite, paid $3.60 to win. In the invitational trot, Lindy The Great set the fractions -- :27, :56.3 and 1:25.2 -- while Gimpanzee and driver Brian Sears bided their time in third behind Reign Of Honor. Once in the stretch, Gimpanzee took control and cruised to victory. Manchego, who was sixth until well into the stretch, charged late with a :25.1 last quarter to get the place spot. The 4-year-old Gimpanzee, trained by Marcus Melander, is a two-time Breeders Crown champion. With a victory next week, he would join Mack Lobell as the only male trotters to win trophies at ages 2, 3 and 4. Gimpanzee has won seven of 10 races this year and $728,464. For his career, he has won 24 of 33 races and $2.44 million. He is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. The son of Chapter Seven and Steamy Windows was bred by Order By Stable. Sent off as the even money favorite, Gimpanzee paid $4.20 to win. by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Mazzarati, a 24-1 long shot, motored down the stretch to win the first of Friday's (Oct. 23) two $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old filly harness racing trotters in a lifetime best 1:54.3 and Lady Chaos captured the second in 1:54.2, both over a sloppy surface at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $600,000 final on Oct. 30 at Hoosier Park. Joining Mazzarati in the final from the first elim were Gotta Believe, Splash Blue Chip, Iteration and Ima Diamond Babe. Donna Soprano, the 3-5 favorite, went off stride behind the gate and third choice You Ato Dream made a break on the first turn. Beautiful Game also made a break.   Joining Lady Chaos in the final from the second elim were Presto, Swift Swanda, Big City Pearl and Hello I Love You. Flawless Country, the morning line favorite, was scratched. In the first elimination, Mazzarati and driver Tim Tetrick were third as Iteration, with Brian Sears in the sulky, led the field through fractions of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.2. As the group turned for home, Mazzarati hit another gear and sped home to victory by 1-1/4 lengths over Andy Miller-driven Gotta Believe, who was sent off at 50-1. Ãke Svanstedt's Splash Blue Chip was third.   Lucas Wallin trains Mazzarati for owners Mazza Racing Stables and Stormi and Bruiser Stable. Mazzarati, by Cantab Hall out of Falls For You, has won four of nine races this season and earned $83,785. She was bred by Fair Winds Farm. Mazzarati paid $50.80 to win. In the second elimination, Lady Chaos and driver David Miller sat second as Dexter Dunn guided May Karp to fractions of :27.3, :57.4 and 1:26.4. Presto, the 8-5 favorite driven by Yannick Gingras, came first-over from fifth to take the lead, but was unable to hold off Lady Chaos in the stretch. Lady Chaos, the 5-2 second choice, won by three-quarters of a length over Presto. Swift Swanda, with Trace Tetrick, finished third.   "I was really happy with her," said Linda Toscano, who trains Lady Chaos for owners Richard Gutnick, Tom Pontone, Joseph Lozito Jr. and Enviro Stables. "David gave her a really good trip and she finished up good. She was sick her last start in Lexington and we opted to not race her the second week, and so far it looks like it's paid off. "I have a lot of confidence in the filly. She's been a pleasure all the way through." Lady Chaos, the Kentucky Sire Stakes champion and Peaceful Way Stakes runner-up, has won five of nine races this season and earned $260,803. A daughter of Cantab Hall out of Strong Legacy, she was bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and AV & Son Bloodstock. Lady Chaos paid $7.80 to win. by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown

After a career-best 2019 that included winning his first Breeders Crown trophy, driver Joe Bongiorno hopes to add to his success in the championship event at Harrah's Hoosier Park this year. And he will have more opportunities than ever to try to accomplish that goal. The 27-year-old Bongiorno heads to this weekend's eliminations with eight drives, including with Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa. Prior to this year, the most drives he ever had in a Breeders Crown was five, in his debut year in 2016 at The Meadowlands. He has driven a total of nine horses in the event, elims and finals combined. Bongiorno won his Crown last year in the Open Pace with American History, trained by Tony Alagna, at Woodbine Mohawk Park and finished his season with a career-best $5.89 million in purses. "It was unbelievable," Bongiorno said. "To win a Breeders Crown at the age of 26 is something special. It's something special at any time in your life, but to win it that early in my career, I'm just very thankful. "To have these opportunities this early in my career is not something I expected. I'm very grateful. This weekend with the Breeders Crown is a big opportunity and now I just have to try to make the most of it." Bongiorno drives in three Breeders Crown eliminations Saturday, with 3-year-old male pacers Captain Barbossa and Save Me A Dance, and 3-year-old male trotter Play Trix On Me. Captain Barbossa, who won the Little Brown Jug a month ago the day after Bongiorno's 27th birthday, is 4-1 on the morning line in his elim, which includes the sport's No. 1-ranked horse, Tall Dark Stranger, who is the 3-5 favorite. In his most recent start, Oct. 4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile, the Tony Alagna-trained Captain Barbossa finished second by a half-length to Tall Dark Stranger. He has one win in 14 races this season but has been no worse than second in his last five starts. "The horse raced unreal in the Little Brown Jug," Bongiorno said. "Then he came back in (1):48.3 at Lexington. He's definitely going to be fit. It's going to be 21 days from his last start, but Tony always has his horses ready to go. "This year being able to win the Jug for Tony, I can't thank him and his owners, his whole team, for the opportunities they've given me." Save Me A Dance, trained by Andrew Harris, is 10-1 in his elimination. It will be Bongiorno's first drive behind the colt, who spent most of the season on the New York circuit before heading to Red Mile for the recent Grand Circuit meet. He was third in a division of the Bluegrass and fourth in a division of the Tattersalls Pace. "He's been pacing hard to the wire in some big miles," Bongiorno said. "I think he's a nice colt. He just needs a little bit of luck." Play Trix On Me is 12-1 in his elimination, where he starts from post nine. Play Trix On Me, trained by Linda Toscano, is a two-time New Jersey Sire Stakes champion and finished second in the Canadian Trotting Classic in September. Bongiorno drove the colt for the first time Oct. 15 at Hoosier Park and won in 1:54.1 on a "good" track. "He was very good," Bongiorno said. "He had been off for three weeks and won as easily as a horse can do it. I look forward to racing him. The nine hole is not ideal, but it doesn't bother me. The horse has gate speed, and he can put himself in the race. I think he can go with them. If things work out, I think he has just as good a shot as anyone in that division. "He got a good run over Hoosier. Even though it's a big track, it's tighter turns than you would think, and the stretch is so long. It was good to see how he felt as far as being straight and shod properly for that track." In addition to his Breeders Crown drives Saturday, Bongiorno has five on Friday. Following are his thoughts on those eliminations. Exploit, a 2-year-old male pacer trained by Alagna, who is 12-1 in his elim. He counts the Metro Pace among three wins this year. "I've never raced him but, obviously, I've paid attention to what he's done," Bongiorno said. "He can do it either way, from up close or behind. He's got a quick turn of foot. I'm really looking forward to driving him. He's a really nice horse." Nashville Elgenna, a 2-year-old female pacer trained by Alagna and the first foal out of four-time Dan Patch Award winner Anndrovette. She is 2-for-2 this year and 9-2 in her elim. Bongiorno has driven her once. "I think that's a horse on the upswing and the sky is the limit," Bongiorno said. "She's been super impressive in her two lifetime starts and we really don't know what her bottom is. I expect her to keep getting better. She hasn't had to race against these top fillies yet, but I think she can hold her own. I was super impressed with her." Lady Lou, a 3-year-old female pacer trained by Alagna, who is 15-1 in her elim. She was second in the Fan Hanover Stakes and Shady Daisy. "I've never raced her," Bongiorno said. "There are a lot of really nice horses in that division. If she can put herself in the race, she's going to have a chance. She's been on the wire with some good horses before, so hopefully she can do it again." Hello I Love You, a 2-year-old female trotter trained by Alagna, who is 5-1 in her elim. She has two wins, including a division of the Bluegrass, and was second in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. "She is a really, really nice filly," Bongiorno said. "I've liked her since the first time I drove her; I thought she would win some big races this year. The first week of Lexington she was really good, as sharp as sharp could be. The second week, I came late first over with her. (Insta Glam) drifted out and allowed (Flawless Country) up the inside. If she doesn't get that clear run up the inside, I win the second week of Lexington with her too. "She was very impressive both weeks. I think if she's on her 'A' game both weeks, she's got as good a shot as anybody in that division." Ms Savannah Belle, a 3-year-old female trotter trained by Per Engblom, who is 9-2 in her elimination. She was a Breeders Crown elimination winner in 2019 (seventh in the final). Bongiorno drove her for the first time Oct. 11 in the Kentucky Filly Futurity, finishing fifth over a "good" Red Mile surface. "I had to go to the inside in the stretch and the track was deep there, more so than on the outside," Bongiorno said. "She raced even better than the line looks. She was very good, but I know that she's got more than that. She's handy, that's what I like about her. I think she's going to be really good." Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday and Saturday at Harrah's Hoosier Park. For Saturday's complete entries, click here. For Friday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Harness racing Jamie Macomber has fond memories of the first time Harrah's Hoosier Park hosted the Breeders Crown in 2017. Now, with the event back again at the Indiana oval the trainer calls her home track, she would enjoy creating more. Macomber won a Breeders Crown trophy three years ago with 3-year-old male pacer Beckhams Z Tam, who stormed down the stretch and bested eventual Pacer of the Year Downbytheseaside by a quarter-length. This time, her hopes rest with a 3-year-old male trotter, Swan In Motion. Swan In Motion races Saturday in the first of two eliminations for the 3-year-old colt-and-gelding trotters. He will start from post seven in a field of nine with Ricky Macomber Jr. in the sulky and is 12-1 on the morning line. Ready For Moni, the Zweig Memorial and Goodtimes Stakes winner, is the 3-1 favorite. Hoosier hosts $25,000 eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers and trotters as well as older female pacers on Saturday. Eliminations for 2-year-olds and 3-year-old fillies are Friday. Elims were unnecessary for the Open Pace, Open Trot, and Mare Trot. Swan In Motion has won six of 10 races this season and heads to his Breeders Crown elimination off a win in last week's Indiana Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old male trotters. The colt began his campaign with five consecutive victories before being slowed by a few minor issues but appears back to top form. He kicked home in a race-best :27.2 last week and won in a career-best 1:53.1. "I feel pretty confident," Macomber said. "I think he's going in the right direction leading up to it. If you asked me a month ago, I might not have been so confident. But I'm more confident now. I think he is back to normal." Macomber trains Swan In Motion for M & M Racing and Norbert Joseph Maza. The son of Swan For All-Keystone Sadie has won eight of 21 career races and $396,845. "I think his best quality is his ability to trot home fast," Macomber said about Swan In Motion, who three times this year trotted his last quarter in :26.3 or faster. "And he's got heart. Hopefully, his heart and his speed can take us where we need to be." The top-five finishers from each of the two eliminations advance to the $500,000 final next week at Hoosier Park. Elimination winners draw for posts one through five. When Macomber won the Breeders Crown in 2017, she was in her first full season with her own stable after spending 10 years running Ron Burke's Indiana outpost. She shared the Hoosier Park training title that year and is tied for second this season. "I have awesome memories of that Breeders Crown," Macomber said. "Hopefully, we can make those same memories again. "Could it happen two times? Let's hope." Amigo Volo, a returning Breeders Crown champion and fresh off his win in the Kentucky Futurity, is the 8-5 favorite in the second elimination for 3-year-old male trotters. The gelding has won four of his last five starts, with only a second-place finish to Back Of The Neck keeping him from an unbeaten string. Back Of The Neck is the 5-2 second choice in the second elim. The most recent male trotter to win Breeders Crown trophies at ages 2 and 3 was Gimpanzee, who did it last year. There also are two eliminations Saturday for 3-year-old male pacers, with the top-five finishers from each advancing to the final. Stakes-winner Capt Midnight is the 5-2 favorite in the first, which also includes Adios winner Catch The Fire, world-record-equaling Cattlewash, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champ No Lou Zing. In the second elimination, returning Breeders Crown champion Tall Dark Stranger is the 3-5 favorite. Tall Dark Stranger is the No. 1-ranked horse in harness racing, with 10 wins in 11 races. His victories include the Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup, and Cane Pace. The elimination also includes Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa and stakes-winner Warrawee Vital. The most recent male pacer to win Breeders Crown titles at ages 2 and 3 was Artiscape in 1997-1998. Only one elimination is necessary for the Mare Pace, where the top-eight finishers will join bye recipients Trillions Hanover and Rockin Nola in the final. Kissin In The Sand, on a four-race winning streak that includes the Milton, Dayton Distaff Derby, and Allerage Mare Pace, is the 8-5 favorite. Shartin N, last season's Horse of the Year, is 9-5. Caviart Ally, who won last year's Breeders Crown Mare Pace, is 9-2. The most recent pacing mare to repeat as champ was Shelliscape in 2013-2014. In addition, the elim includes Warrawee Ubeaut, who won Breeders Crown titles at ages 2 and 3. She is attempting to become the first 3-year-old female pacing champion to win at 4. If successful in winning a third Breeders Crown trophy, she would tie the record for a pacer, shared by Jenna's Beach Boy, Eternal Camnation, and My Little Dragon. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) at Harrah's Hoosier Park. For Saturday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

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

When Robert Lindstrom saw the then-yearling Captain Corey in person for the first time, he quickly arrived at two conclusions. First, the harness racing colt was going to cost more than he originally anticipated. Second, he needed to be the one to buy him. Lindstrom was correct about the first assumption and successful in accomplishing the second, purchasing Captain Corey for $150,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Sale. The trotter was the co-sales topper for the session. "It was very exciting," Lindstrom said. "I had some idea how much I could spend for him. When I saw him, I understood it would be impossible. I was much over my limit to buy him, but I couldn't let him go. To me, he was the best horse in the sale at that time." Captain Corey, who is undefeated in four races this year as he prepares for Friday's $61,500 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at The Meadowlands, is by Googoo Gaagaa out of Luv U All. Googoo Gaagaa was a record-setting sensation at ages 2 and 3, with a career mark of 1:50.4 established at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 2012, best known for being the son of a pacing stallion, Cam's Rocket. Lindstrom long admired Googoo Gaagaa and last year brokered a deal with Richard Hans, who was the horse's breeder, owner, and trainer, to buy the stallion and bring him to Sweden. Googoo Gaagaa, through frozen semen transport, had already sired a small group of successful horses in Sweden prior to the move. They include Group 1 winners Bythebook, Hail Mary, and Power. "To pick a stallion, it's good if they have a good pedigree, but it's all about performance, that they are an exceptional horse," Lindstrom said. "Googoo had such a trotting technique, with the way he could go around turns, and he wanted to win. That is what I think you need for a great stallion. "If you're really a nerd about pedigree, if you follow his maternal line way back, he comes from the same maternal line as Muscle Hill. It's there. Some people say that he doesn't have the pedigree, but I don't think his pedigree is bad." Lindstrom's interest in Captain Corey, therefore, was not unexpected. The colt, named in honor of Googoo Gaagaa's driver Corey Callahan, was bred by Carter Duer and when Lindstrom visited the farm and saw Captain Corey in the paddock, he was immediately hooked. "He was such a tremendous horse," Lindstrom said. "Just when you saw him, not only his body, but when you saw him in the eyes, he looked intelligent. He looked right through you. I got such a feeling from the horse." Lindstrom partnered with S R F Stable and Knutsson Trotting Inc. on the purchase of Captain Corey and sent the horse to trainer Ake Svanstedt (who also became an ownership partner). Svanstedt, too, found it easy to admire Captain Corey. "From day one when we hooked him to the jog cart he was like an old horse," Svanstedt said. "He is a very smart horse, never nervous for a race. His gait is very good, a long stride. I don't think he needs to use too much energy to do his job. He has a long stride, and I can never feel the speed of him because he has such a nice gait. It feels like it is easy for him. I'm impressed with everything he does." Captain Corey's four wins this season all came in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, including a track-record 1:54.1 debut at The Meadows, a track-record-equaling 1:55 second start at Harrah's Philadelphia, and a 1:53.3 stakes-record score in the series championship at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "He was so big, I didn't think he was going to be this good so early," Lindstrom said. "Ake has done a tremendous job to make him so good and develop him in the right way." Captain Corey's start Friday will be his first since winning the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final Sept. 5. The colt battled a little sickness after the race and got an extended respite in preparation for the upcoming Breeders Crown. "I think it was good for him to have a break," Svanstedt said. "He was training the whole time and has trained good." Lindstrom said the plan was to limit Captain Corey to 10 or fewer races this season. "The most important thing this year was not to race too much," Lindstrom said. "Next year is important. The 3-year-old season is where we thought he would shine. This season is just a bonus. "We're very excited about what has happened so far, but even more for what could happen. It's very thrilling." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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

The "Big Three" in harness racing's Top 10 poll -- Tall Dark Stranger, Ramona Hill, and Party Girl Hill -- will be in action Sunday (Oct. 11) at The Red Mile, with each looking to add a big win to their  resume. Tall Dark Stranger and Party Girl Hill will compete in separate $239,500 divisions of the Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-olds, with Party Girl Hill attempting to become only the second female pacer in 30 years to beat male foes in a race worth more than $100,000. Ramona Hill, who earlier this season bested the trotting boys in the Hambletonian, faces 11 rivals in the $255,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old female trotters. Sunday's card also includes the $444,000 Kentucky Futurity, with a field of a dozen 3-year-old male trotters led by morning-line favorite Ready For Moni, two divisions of the Glen Garnsey for 3-year-old filly pacers, and Allerage Farm stakes for older pacers and trotters. Tall Dark Stranger is the 9-5 favorite in the first of the two Tattersalls divisions and will have Yannick Gingras in the sulky. The son of Bettor's Delight-Precocious Beauty has won nine of 10 races this season and $1.05 million for trainer Nancy Takter. His victories include the Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup, and Cane Pace. In his two most recent races, both at Red Mile, he won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes by a half-length over Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa and the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship by a neck over Fortify. Tall Dark Stranger, who has won 17 of 19 career races and $1.77 million, is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor. "He's never one that's going to win by five (lengths), but he just keeps winning," Gingras said. "What else can you ask? You can't ask anymore from that horse. He just goes on the track and does his job. He's not flashy, he's a fighter; he just wants to beat them. He's just a tremendous racehorse. It's going to be hard to find another one like him." Tall Dark Stranger leads the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll with 18 first-place votes and 329 points. Party Girl Hill has the second-most first-place votes, 10, but trails Ramona Hill, who received the remaining seven first-place votes, by two points, 302-300. It is the first time in at least a decade that three horses received at least 300 points. Party Girl Hill, who was unraced at 2, is undefeated in 12 races this year with earnings of $616,870 for breeder/owner Tom Hill and trainer Chris Ryder. Only one 3-year-old filly pacer who was unraced at 2 ever banked more, Yellow Diamond, with $1.31 million in 2009. A daughter of Captaintreacherous-Look Cheap, Party Girl Hill enters her Tattersalls split off a Bluegrass division win by 3-1/4 lengths over Lyons Sentinel in 1:48. She is the 5-2 favorite, with Dexter Dunn driving, from post one. Her other victories this year include the Jugette, where she won her elimination with a 1:49.3 world record for a 3-year-old filly pacer on a half-mile track, as well as the Fan Hanover Stakes and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. See You At Peelers is the only pacing filly in the last 30 years to defeat male rivals in a race worth six figures. She won the 2011 Art Rooney Pace. "People have been talking about us (taking on the boys) for a while; I just thought it was the right time to try it," Ryder said. "It'll be on a mile (track) and, obviously, she's done good enough to give it a shot. That kind of goes without saying. She's thriving, she's doing as good as a horse can do. So, now's the time. "She seems to be getting better and better. The Jugette was good and she was tremendous last week. So, here we are." Ramona Hill has won six of eight races this year and earned $915,615. In addition to her stakes-record-equaling 1:50.1 Hambletonian win, her triumphs this season include the Elegantimage Stakes, Del Miller Memorial, and Zweig Memorial for fillies. She has won 12 of 15 career races and $1.32 million. A daughter of Muscle Hill-Lock Down Lindy, she is owned by Brad Grant, breeder Crawford Farms, Robert LeBlanc, and In The Gym Partners. She is trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Andy McCarthy. Ramona Hill enters the Kentucky Filly Futurity off a second-place finish to Ab'sattitudexpress in a Bluegrass division last week. She is the 7-2 second choice behind 3-1 favorite Sorella. Ramona Hill drew post three, Sorella post four. "I know she wasn't quite herself last week, I think she was a little sick, and I'm expecting a much better effort this week," McCarthy said. "In mid-stretch, I could tell she was getting tired and that's not her at all. Usually, that's when she's getting ready to take off. Turn the page on that one. "When she won the Elegantimage, I think she felt as good as she's ever felt. I've got a good draw (Sunday) and I definitely think I've got the best horse in the race, so I've just got to figure it out." Gingras will drive the morning-line favorites in both the Kentucky Filly Futurity and Kentucky Futurity. The Takter-trained Sorella captured a Bluegrass division last week, beating Spoiled Princess and Hypnotic AM both by a nose, and has won seven of 10 races this season with $485,424 in purses. She is ranked No. 7 in the Top 10. "She was really good last week," Gingras said. "It was three tough fillies at the wire and we were lucky to come out on top. It was real close, I had no idea who won the race. "Ramona Hill is the one to beat, for sure, but I think mine is coming into the race good and we're going to go from there. She's got a good post and I think she'll definitely give a good account of herself." Ready For Moni, also trained by Takter, will start the Kentucky Futurity from the second tier's post 11 and is 5-2 on the morning line. Marion Marauder won the 2016 Kentucky Futurity from post 11 to complete a sweep of the Triple Crown. "Of course, you would always rather have your nose on the gate, but it's not the worst spot in the world," Gingras said. "I think we'll get away fairly close and take a shot from there after that. I'd rather have (post) 11 than the outside with the way the race shook out." Ready For Moni has won five of seven races this year and $575,670. He finished second in the Hambletonian but came back to win the Zweig Memorial for colts and geldings and both his elimination and final of the Goodtimes Stakes. A break in the Canadian Trotting Classic halted his win streak. He is ranked No. 8 in the Top 10. "He made a break his last start, so that's not ideal, but before that he was super sharp," Gingras said. "From what I heard, they did a little bit of work on him, changed his shoes and he's really good now. I'll find out on Sunday. I think when he's on his game, he's as good as anybody." Gimpanzee and Atlanta, ranked No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, in the Top 10, meet in the $148,500 Allerage Farms Open Trot. Gimpanzee is 9-5 on the morning line and Atlanta is 2-1. One other horse in the Top 10, Kissin In The Sand, will be in action Sunday at Red Mile. She is the 3-2 favorite in the $72,000 Allerage Farms Mare Pace. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Red Mile. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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