Winning driver of Somebeachsomewhere, Paul MacDonell, holds up the trophy for the 2-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace in the winner's circle.
The fall Breeders Crown card settles the year-end championships for the 2 and 3-year-old divisions, with eight races contested at Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday night, each at the standard 1 mile distance. With temperatures in the mid 30's and no wind, the track was fast and conditions were ideal for harness racing's biggest night, with $4.7 million in purses up for grabs, with most of the races drawing the maximum field size of ten. A crowd of just 10,750 was on hand at the East Rutherford oval.
Charts for the day can be found here.
Kicking off the Breeders Crown races was the $700,000 Two-Year-Old Filly Trot. A field of 9 lined up behind the starter with Honorable Daughter sent off as the 9-10 favorite over 9-2 Yursa Hanover. Yursa Hanover contested the early pace with 5-1 third choice Musical Mystery through fractions of 28 1/5 and 57 3/5, while Honorable Daughter sat back in fourth out wide early. Yursa Hanover led into the stretch after 3/4 in 1:26 2/5, but Honorable Daughter was closing with every stride. The pair hit the wire together, with Honorable Daughter getting her nose on the line first in a time of 1:55 3/5. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to 8-1 Southwind Wasabi third.
Winning driver John Campbell said, "I think this was one of her best races of the year. She really had to gut it out and she was here when I called on her late and I was very proud of her tonight. The fractions were going to be stiff and didn't want to get her in a speed duel and have her get tired before the wire. I preferred to come with cover but it just didn't work out that way."
# Horse Driver Win Place Show 7 Honorable Daughter Campbell 3.80 2.80 2.40 2 Yursa Hanover Dube 3.80 3.20 4 Southwind Wasabi Manzi 4.20 Final time: 1:55.3 $2 Exacta (7-2) $17.00 $1 Trifecta (7-2-4) $26.90 Results chart Photo Finish Strip
The $700,000 Two-Year-Old Filly Pace featured a full field of 10 including 4-5 favorite Hawaiian Drink, 3-1 Warrawee Key, and 8-1 Thou Shalt Not. 12-1 Break The News battled for the lead with 67-1 longest shot Twist N Clout through fractions of 28 3/5, 56 1/5, and 1:24 3/5. Driver Brian Sears kept Hawaiian Drink well back in fifth, wide around both turns. Entering the stretch, Break The News continued to lead but tired badly in the final furlong. 10-1 Fox Valley Topaz rallied on the outside to get the win by 3/4 length over Twist N Clout in 1:52 4/5. It was another 1/2 length back to 25-1 Racing Star third. Hawaiian Drink failed to rally and finished a disappointing seventh.
Winning driver David Miller said, "Coming into the race I thought with a good trip, she'd have a good shot. I didn't expect to be fourth over, though. I didn't think where I was sitting I had a shot of winning, but she had a big rally. Turning for home, I didn't think I had a chance. She really kicked off cover and just flew home."
# Horse Driver Win Place Show 4 Fox Valley Topaz Miller 22.20 10.80 8.20 7 Twist N Clout Campbell 51.60 26.60 3 Racing Star Gingras 9.40 Final time: 1:52.4 $2 Exacta (4-7) $824.20 $1 Trifecta (4-7-3) $5,101.10 Results chart Photo Finish Strip
A full field of ten went to post in the $500,000 Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. Lantern Kronos was the 8-5 favorite over 5-2 Stage Show and 4-1 Poster Pin Up. Driver John Campbell sent Lantern Kronos to the lead and he set the pace of 29 3/5, 59 1/5, and 1:28, with Stage Show stalking her in second. Lantern Kronos led to mid stretch but stopped badly, as 75-1 Kadealia rallied to get the upset victory by 1/2 a length over Poster Pin Up in 1:56 1/5. It was another 1/2 length back to Stage Show third, while Lantern Kronos faded to ninth.
Winning driver Tim Tetrick said, "George (Teague, trainer) made a bridle change to the open and she was a lot more relaxed than last week. Last week she was very tough to handle and pretty strong in the mouth and tonight, she was like a kitten. I was hoping for money at first and then I was following two good horses and the early flow and fractions were good. It worked out that I got out in time behind the leaders."
# Horse Driver Win Place Show 7 Kadealia Tetrick 152.00 40.40 11.00 2 Poster Pin Up Sears 6.80 4.00 5 Stage Show Palone 3.20 Final time: 1:56.1 $2 Exacta (7-2) $607.20 $1 Trifecta (7-2-5) $1,878.40 10-Cent Superfecta (7-2-5-1) $963.98 Results chart Photo Finish Strip
In the $700,000 Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, Muscle Hill was sent off as the 9-10 favorite in the ten-horse field over 3-2 second choice Explosive Mater and 8-1 third choice Federal Flex. 25-1 Keystone Activator led the field around the clubhouse turn through a quarter of 28 2/5 before Muscle Hill ran by him on the outside to gain the lead into the backstretch. Muscle Hill set fractions of 57 1/5 and 1:25 1/5 with Explosive Matter stalking him second to his outside. Through the stretch, driver Brian Sears asked Muscle Hill for run and got it, as the favorite powered away to win by 3 lengths over Explosive Matter in a new world record time of 1:53 3/5. It was another 1/2 length back to Federal Flex third.
Winning driver Brian Sears said, "I knew he was a nice colt and I knew I never emptied the tank all year, always had something left in the tank. Tonight we're going to empty the tank. He's all business, he knows what it's all about. I knew we'd have to step on the gas." Trainer Greg Peck added, "He was good right from the start. Tom Pontone and I stood together at the Harrisburg sale and bid on him and then Jerry Silva came in and he was good from day one, exceptional from day one."
# Horse Driver Win Place Show 2 Muscle Hill Sears 3.80 2.20 2.10 3 Explosive Matter Pierce 2.80 2.60 10 Federal Flex Jamieson 3.00 Final time: 1:53.3 $2 Exacta (2-3) $7.20 $1 Trifecta (2-3-10) $12.80 Results chart Photo Finish Strip
An overloaded field of eleven lined up behind the starter in the $500,000 Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, with Deweycheatumnhowe sent off as the 4-5 favorite over 2-1 Crazed and 11-1 Holiday Credit. As expected, driver-trainer Ray Schnittker sent Deweycheatumnhowe to the front immediately to set a pace of 27 4/5, 56 3/5, and 1:25 4/5 with 15-1 In Focus stalking him in second the whole way. Deweycheatumnhowe continued to lead to the 1/8 pole but was tiring. In Focus ran right by the tiring favorite and drew off to win by 4 1/4 lengths over late-running Holiday Credit in 1:53 4/5. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Deweycheatumnhowe third.
Winning driver Dave Palone said, "He's a little funny about his head and stuff but when Ray was on the front end going pretty stiff fractions, I was pretty happy. When Ray spoke to Dewey in the final turn, I could tell he wasn't really himself tonight, which worked out great for us." Trainer Jimmy Taker added, "He's been getting better about getting the dirt hitting him in the face. The material is much coarser here at The Meadowlands and I was really worried about that hitting him in the face, but I think he's just about to get over with it." Takter trains the first two finishers in the race.
# Horse Driver Win Place Show 3 In Focus Palone 33.00 14.40 5.40 2 Holiday Credit Pierce 10.40 5.20 8 Deweycheatumnhowe Schnittker 2.10 Final time: 1:53.4 $2 Exacta (3-2) $161.00 $1 Trifecta (3-2-8) $319.40 Results chart Photo Finish Strip
In the $700,000 Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace, Major In Art was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10 over 7-2 Captain Sir and 4-1 Well Said. 8-1 If I Can Dream led the field around the clubhouse turn through a quarter of 27 1/5 before Major In Art took over for the backstretch trip. Major in Art got the half in 55 2/5 and 3/45 in 1:23, holding a 3/4 length advantage in mid stretch. However, the race set up for the closers, as Well Said, who was 8th early, rallied well to get up by a length over 5-1 Art Colony in 1:51. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 9-1 Dial or Nodial, with favorite Major in Art fading to fourth.
Winning driver Ron Pierce said, "He should have a lot more money on his card than he does have. He's one of the fastest 2-year-olds that I've ever sat behind. He has some wicked speed. He actually raced very well in the Metro and should have won it, but he got to slipping around and made a speed break. He showed everybody who he is tonight. They changed some shoes tonight behind with him. I'm looking for bigger things out of him next year." Co-owner Jeff Snyder added, "This was a great thrill. This colt has been a bit of a hard luck colt this year but he started out early in the baby races and he's still sharp at the end of the year as you can see."
# Horse Driver Win Place Show 5 Well Said Pierce 10.40 6.20 5.00 10 Art Colony Tetrick 4.80 3.40 6 Dial Or Nodial Palone 5.40 Final Time: 1:51.0 $2 Exacta (5-10) $69.80 $1 Trifecta (5-10-6) $187.40 10-Cent Superfecta (5-10-6-1) $73.57 Results chart Photo Finish Strip
The $610,000 Three-Year-Old Filly Pace featured a full field of ten, with Native Bride the 4-5 choice over 5-1 Tug River Princess and 6-1 Btwnurheartnmine. 8-1 A and G'sconfusion was quickest away and got the initial quarter in 28 seconds before dropping back to allow Tug River Princess to take over the lead on the backstretch. Tug River Princess got the half in 56 seconds with 15-1 Knock Three Times stalking her to her outside. Knock Three Times briefly poked her nose in front entering the stretch after 3/4 in 1:22 4/5 but she faded to finish last. Native Bride, who was as far back as 7th early, rallied to take a short lead in mid stretch, but A and G'sconfusion, who led the first quarter, came back at the end to win by 1/2 a length over Tug River Princess in 1:51. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to late-running favorite Native Bride third.
Winning driver David Miller said, "I left the gate hard and turned Timmy Tetrick (behind Btwnurheartnmine) loose, but we started to get the shuffle and finally got out at the end." Trainer Casie Coleman added, "Mark Capone had done very well with her and made $1 million with her. She got a little dull and just needed a change. She was feeling great tonight and Dave gave her the perfect steer. I give a lot of credit to my assistant trainer and the caretaker of this horse, too."
# Horse Driver Win Place Show 5 A and G'sconfusion Miller 18.20 8.80 4.20 1 Tug River Princess Campbell 5.00 2.80 3 Native Bride Sears 2.20 Final Time: 1:51.0 $2 Exacta (5-1) $93.60 $1 Trifecta (5-1-3) $125.20 Results chart Photo Finish Strip
Closing out the Breeders' Crown for 2008 was the $500,000 Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace, possibly the final career start for Somebeachsomewhere who was sent off as the 1-5 choice over 9-2 Shadow Play and 12-1 Rudy Rednose in the field of 10. Driver Paul MacDonell sent him to the front right away and he never looked back, clicking off quick fractions of 27 seconds, 54 3/5, and 1:22, drawing clear through the lane to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Shadow Play in 1:48 3/5. It was another 3/4 length back to 35-1 Blueridge Western third.
With the victory, Somebeachsomewhere reached $2.44 million for the year, surpassing Gallo Blue Chip's single-season earnings record set in 2000. The colt is the fastest 3-year-old in history with a 1:46 4/5 victory at The Red Mile in Lexington. Somebeachsomewhere will stand at Hanover Shoe Farms for a $20,000 stud fee next season. Although it had previously been announced that the Breeders Crown would be the colt's final career start, trainer and co-owner Brent MacGrath said that he may go in the Matron at Dover Downs (eliminations Dec. 8, final Dec. 15).
Winning driver Paul MacDonell said, "I had the racetrack immediately and was letting the horses getting settled early and once we made the front, the rest was history. You've got to respect a horse like Shadow Play, he's a great horse in his own respect. Basically I was thinking, 'Bring me home buddy, one last time.' You've got to respect the other horses in there. Respect works both ways. I would have to think he'd get a pretty serious look for Horse of the Year. He's never raced a bad race, ever."
# Horse Driver Win Place Show 3 Somebeachsomewhere Mac Donell 2.40 2.10 2.10 2 Shadow Play Miller 2.80 2.20 1 Blueridge Western Palone 5.00 Final time: 1:48.3 $2 Exacta (3-2) $3.80 $1 Trifecta (3-2-1) $6.40 10-Cent Superfecta (3-2-1-5) $3.86 Results chart Photo Finish Strip
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