Driver Randy Waple celebrates after winning the Breeders Crown Open Trot with local hero San Pail
On Saturday night, Woodbine Racetrack hosted all twelve of the Breeders Crown championship races for all the divisions of trotters and pacers. Racing conditions were ideal, with clear skies, little wind, and a dry fast track, although it was quite cold at about 32 degrees. Each race was carded at the standard 1 mile distance, two turns around the 7/8 mile track.
The big news prior to the start of the 12 championship finals was the absence of drivers Tim Tetrick, George Brennan, Yannick Gingras and Dave Miller, along with trainers Jimmy Takter and Trond Smedshammer, who were unable to fly out of Newark, New Jersey, because of a snowstorm in the northeastern U.S.
The Breeders Crown got underway Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack with a stirring half-length victory by Frenchfrysnvinegar and driver Jody Jamieson, who nailed pacesetter Action Broadway on the wire in 1:53.3 in the $301,170 Open Mare Trot. It was the eighth win in 25 starts this year for Frenchfrysnvinegar, a six-year-old daughter of Angus Hall, who was supplemented to the race by owner David Smith of Rockwood, Ontario, for $31,250.
After Autumn Escapade had taken the field to the half in :56.4, driver Mark MacDonald and Action Broadway took over, getting to the three-quarters in 1:24.4. The leader appeared to be in charge in mid-stretch, before a last second rally on the outside by the winner, who left from the unenviable 10-hole and had come first-over to challenge turning for home. Autumn Escapade faded to third, two lengths back. Meanwhile, the 9-5 favourite, Jersey As, with Ron Pierce substituting for George Brennan, was never in it, eventually finishing ninth.
Trained by Jeff Gillis, Frenchfrysnvinegar, who earned $150,585 for the victory, paid $10.60, $5.60 and $3.80, combining with Action Broadway ($5.50, $3.90) for a $56.90 (10-6) exactor. A 10-6-9 (Autumn Escapade, $4.50 to show) triactor was worth $183.70, while a $1 Superfecta [10-6-9-3 (Emmylou Who)] came back $559.05.
Frenchfrysnvinegar returns after the race. "We supplemented this mare thinking there would only be eight in the race," said winning tranier Jeff Gills. "So we took a chance and it worked out. Halfway around the last turn I didn't think we had a chance to win but then part way down the lane I started to think she had a chance."
"This is amazing. I'm so happy to pick up his trophy for him," said Chris Tymon, nephew of owner Dave Smith. "Jody gave an excellent drive and played it out perfectly.She just came on strong at the end."
Check Me Out lowered the Breeders Crown stakes record in the $602,340 two-year-old filly trot Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack with a 1:54.4 performance. The 2-5 favourite, who picked up driver Ron Pierce, sat behind a :28 opening panel before taking command before the half in :57.1. The pair held the lead past the three quarters in 1:26.4. Check Me Out, who won last week's elimination, opened up in the stretch to score victory by one and three quarter lengths over Win Missy B (Brian Sears) with For A Dancer (Jeff Gregory) finishing third.
The daughter of Donato Hanover-Illusion Bi has a lifetime record of 12-2-0 in 14 starts and career earnings of $824,731 for trainer Ray Schnittker who owns a piece of the bay with Charles Iannazzo of Tappan, NY.
Check Me Out's connections pose with the trophy. "I'm a pretty lucky guy; it was pretty easy," winning driver Ron Pierce said. "I let Sears cross over in front of me, knowing he would give me good cover, raced to the top easy enough. This filly is a very good filly. I didn't have to ask her to go, she did all the work." "When I heard Ron Pierce was driving, I knew we would be ok he's a great driver," said co-owner Iannazzo. "I'm just ecstatic, it's just wonderful. It was a great race at a great racetrack."
Prohibitive favourite Economy Terror and driver Brian Sears roared down the stretch to post a convincing one and one-quarter length win over Handsoffmycookie in the $602,340 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Filly Pace, Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack. It was the seventh win in 10 starts for the daughter of Western Terror-Mattatonic, who paced the mile in a track record-equalling 1:51. Pirouette Hanover finished third, with Shelliscape fourth.
Trained by Chris Oakes for Pennsylvania owners Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor and Edwin Gold, Economy Terror pushed her career bankroll to over $734,000 with the victory. A full sister to 2009 Breeders Crown champion Yellow Diamond, Economy Terror has not finished worse than second in a sparkling juvenile campaign, the runner-up on three occasions, including a second place finish in the rich She's A Great Lady Stakes on September 3 at Mohawk Racetrack.
Economy Terror returns after the race. "She's got good speed and I figured we would be able to use it," said winning driver Sears. "She's got a real good kick closing. She's a real nice horse I felt pretty confident from the spot I was in. She has seemed to be getting bigger and stronger, she's a good feeling mare and there's nothing like a sharp filly going behind the gate."
"She's been a great filly from day one," noted trainer Chris Oakes." I was lucky to get her I'm really thankful to my owners Chuck Pompey and Howard Taylor and Edwin Gold. She's been a real handful, but we have been really patient and taken our time. This shows that good things happen to the patient ones."
Sweet Lou is the world's fastest two-year-old after setting a new world record of 1:49 in the $652,535 Breeders Crown Colt Pace final Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Taking command before the three quarters in 1:21.4, the Ron Burke-trained Sweet Lou sat behind fractions of :26.1 and :54.3. With driver Dave Palone in the bike, the 6-5 favourite extended his lead in the stretch to capture the Crown final by seven and a half lengths. A Rocknroll Dance (Randy Waples) finished second and Hurrikane Kingcole (Luc Ouellette) was third.
The son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, who won his elimination, now has a lifetime record of 10-2-0 in 12 starts and career earnings of $688,117 for Pennsylvania's Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and New Jersey's Lawrence Karr and Phillip Collura.
Sweet Lou in the winner's circle. "He's just super intelligent, he just loves to do his work he doesn't act like a baby at all," said winning driver Dave Palone. "He was so much the best in the sire stakes,that I just wasn't taking any chances I think that he turned the corner in Lexington and Ronny will probably agree. We got him down there and got him to work over the big track and got him settled to race from behind he came into the elimination from racing off the helmet. So I just thought I had the strongest horse going in. The race actually set up perfect I could never have dreamt of a better set up really. He got away pretty alert randy conceded with A RocknRoll Dance which put me in a great spot, I thought I could either wait for Luc or move him back to the front when the breaks come. It actually worked out."
Uncle Peter, with Dave Palone in the bike, sprang an upset in the $602,340 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Trot, collaring the even money choice Possess The Will in mid-stretch, before going on to a two and a quarter length victory in 1:55. Jimmy Takter, his trainer and driver, though, was unable to make it to Woodbine Saturday night, having been stranded in Newark, New Jersey because of a snowstorm earlier in the day. Takter was aboard last week when Uncle Peter won his elim in 1:57. Thus, Palone was named to drive the son of Cantab Hall-Victory Treasure, who was named after the late brother of two of the owners, John and Jim Fielding of Toronto. Palone had the favourite measured down the lane, after a pocket trip through a half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1.25.2. Longshot Delano came on for third.
The lightly-raced Uncle Peter, a $60,000 Lexington Select yearling purchase, won his fourth outing in only six trips to the post this year and in the process earned $301,170.
Uncle Peter's connections pose with the trophy. "This is what keeps us playing this crazy game," said co-owner John Fielding. "Training down he was always a special horse we had high expectations of him, he showed a lot of speed and has really come to hand at the right time. Dave Palone drove a fantastic race and Jimmy Takter, the best in the business, has this horse completely ready to go which was terrific."
Fresh off of winning her elimination, heavy favourite Anndrovette delivered in the $301,170 Breeders Crown Open Mare Pace final, Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The Mark Kesmodel trainee took a new lifetime mark of 1:49.2 while notching her 11th victory of the season in 19 outings. Anndrovette was in the pocket past the opening panel of :26.1 when catch driver Luc Ouellette took her to the front. The four-year-old mare held the lead through splits of :54.2 and 1:21.3, scoring the Crown final by four and a half lengths. Kesmodel's other starter, Chancey Lady (Dave Palone), finished second with Blissful Smile (Jack Moiseyev) rounding out the triactor.
The daughter of Riverboat King-Easy Miss now has a lifetime record of 21-3-6 in 43 starts and boasts career earnings of $1,324,598 for New Jersey's Jeffrey Bamond and Joseph Davino.
Anndrovette in the winner's circle. "If you're going catch a catch drive at the last second this is the one you want," said Ouellette. It was pretty easy, I just point her forward and she just did it on her own. If I could have I would have put Sylvan in behind me but we might have wasted a little time trying to do that, so I figured just let him go and come back."
"She's flying under the radar. I don't think she gets the respect she deserves. I don't think she's thrown in a bad race all year," said co-owner Jeff Bramond, who runs several NJ-based car dealerships. "She shows up every week and tries her heart out. She's been first or second for about the past 10 races. I can't ask for a nicer horse and she's just a pleasure to be around. This is my first horse in the Breeders Crown. Boy, it's a dream come true. One for one; I guess it can't get any better, but I hope it does."
The immensely popular San Pail, with Randy Waples, staked his claim as Horse of the Year in Canada, the United States and the rest of the world with a neck victory in 1:51.4 over Rapide Lebel in the $602,340 Breeders Crown Open Trot, Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack. Sent postward the 3-5 choice, San Pail took over after an opening quarter in :26.2, then led the rest of the way, through a half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:23.1. Turning for home, the seven-year-old gelded son of San Pellegrino-Village Beauty opened several lengths on his pursuers, then had enough left to fend off a game Rapide Lebel, the French challenger who was parked, incredibly, for the entire mile. Another European, Sweden's Commander Crowe, wound up third.
Co-owned by his breeder, Glenn Van Camp of Port Perry, Ontario and his trainer Rod Hughes of Dunsford, Ontario, San Pail was notching his 14th win (with two seconds) in 16 starts this year, after taking 13 of 15 outings last year. San Pail, who earned $301,170 for the victory to push his career earnings to over $2.9 million, paid $3.20 to win.
He's won Canada's premier race for older trotters, the Maple Leaf Trot, three years in a row and has been an O'Brien Award winner as Canada's top older trotter the last two years. Now, Horse of the Year honours await, certainly in Canada and possibly south of the border as well.
San Pail had a huge group with him in the winner's circle. "Well good horses make you look good. He's just an unbelievable horse," Waples said. "But I have to give full credit to Rod, his crew, the Hughses' and Mr. Van Camp. Rod does so much good by this horse. Seems like he has him at his very best when it counts and he's just an unbelievable horse."
"It's wonderful to have a good horse and he's just been superb," said co-owner Glenn Van Camp. "He just keeps right on going. This is spectacular. You can tell by the crowd where the support was. You always wonder; it's a horse race. Anything can happen. The two European horses turned out to be really good. Once he got in front he's pretty tough to catch. They were coming, but he was still motoring on at the last there."
In a stakes record clocking of 1:49.3, three-year-old filly Monkey On My Wheel pulled off a 5-1 upset in the $501,950 Breeders Crown Filly Pace final, Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Driven to victory by Jody Jamison, the Travis Umphrey trainee scored her seventh victory of the season in 17 starts, while also taking a new lifetime mark. Monkey On My Wheel sat in the pocket behind flashy fractions of :25.4 and :53.2 before being flushed out and taken to the front ahead of the three quarter pole in 1:21.1. The Ontario Sires Stakes divisional leader dug in to win by half a length over the hard closing 1-2 favourite, Drop The Ball (Luc Ouellette). Foxy Lady (Sylvain Filion) finished third.
The homebred daughter of Mach Three-Legislation has a lifetime record of 10-10-1 in 24 starts and boasts career earnings of $956,034 for Umphrey who owns a piece of the bay with Mac Nichol of Burlington.
Monkey On My Wheel in the winner's circle. "I was worried about my pocket trip at the half, in 53.2 and I told Trav on the way back that we might have been a little too close to the pace, when I did move her out of the hole, it was more of an instinct thing, rather than knowing what I was doing, because the mare felt great," said winning driver Jamieson. "When I popped out and she dug in I thought it was the right move, and now we just have to hold off the rest. She's just an awesome mare, she's been tough all, year, she got beat a couple starts ago, no fault of her own, probably more of the driver and I think that we redeemed ourselves tonight. She's just an amazing filly. She keeps on rocking."
Favoured Chapter Seven, driven by Jeff Gregory, stormed past the leaders in early stretch to post an overpowering seven length score over Broad Bahn and Daylon Magician in the $612,379 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Trot, Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack. Trained by Linda Toscano, Chapter Seven, who comfortably won his elim last week in 1:53.12, was even better in the final, stopping the teletimer in 1:53. Gregory picked up the catch drive since regular driver Tim Tetrick could not make it to Toronto after a freak snowstorm delayed flights earlier in the day out of Newark, New Jersey. Gregory, through, had been Chapter Seven's regular pilot last year.
Manofmanymissions reached the half in:56.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.3 before being challenged by Daylon Magician turning for home. At that point, Manofmanymissions suddenly made a break, but in a blink of an eye, Chapter Seven, who had been placed in fourth, had swallowed the leaders and was on his way to an easy triumph.
Owned by New York and New Jersey interests, Chapter Seven won his fourth in only eight starts this year, after being plagued with sickness and lameness for much of the season. Last year, the son of Windsongs Legacy-La Riviera Lindy was almost perfect, taking seven of eight starts, with one third.
Chapter Seven returns after the race. Trainer Linda Toscano said, "The last thing I said to Jeff was that he has been primed and he's been prepped and he's ready for this race and he's coming into this race as good as a horse can come."
"It worked out quite well," said winning driver Gregory. "I got to start him out as a two year old and its looking like I will get to finish him off as a three year old, maybe. The trip worked out great, I didn't have to use him at all, he was still fresh at the head of the stretch, I never even pulled the ear plugs on him. He was great."
Cedar Dove didn't disappoint in the $501,950 Breeders Crown Filly Trot final scoring the victory in a stakes equalling effort on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The Noel Daley pupil matched the stakes record of 1:53.3 that was set in 2004 by Housethatruthbuilt. The bay also captured her sixth victory of the season in 15 outings.
Driver Ron Pierce took Cedar Dove to the front after a :27.1 opening panel. The pair remained the leader thought splits of :57 and 1:25.3 before scoring the three and three quarter length triumph. Crys Dream (Luc Ouellette) finished second and Oh Sweet Baby (Mario Baillargeon) was third.
The daughter of Andover Hall-Pine For Her, who also won her elimination, now has a lifetime record of 7-5-2 in 21 starts and career earnings of $688,840 for owners Adam Victor And Son Stable of New York and John Fielding of Toronto.
Cedar Dove in the winner's circle. "It has been going on for 10 years now. We have joined up with Ronnie now and then. We have had a lot of luck in the Breeders Crown for the victors and Ronnie and Noel," said Mike Vand Der Kemp, Noel Daley's assistant trainer."She has had an easy week. She towed a couple of days, trained an easy trip, just make sure she eats and she can do the rest." She likes to go out in the paddock and her care taker, Marie, does a great job with her."
Driver Ron Pierce said, "It's very important to keep her relaxed," he continued. She is a little insecure and unsure of herself and everything going on all around her so you just have to keep her relaxed."
Betterthancheddar, steered remarkably by Mark MacDonald, knifed his way through on the inside in late stretch to nail favoured Roll With Joe on the wire, taking the $501,950 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Pace, Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack. Appearing hopelessly blocked in mid-stretch, Betterthancheddar and MacDonald somehow found a seam in traffic and furiously paced through on the inside to edge Meadowlands Pace winner Roll With Joe by a nose in 1:49.2, with Alsace Hanover just a half-length back in third in a blanket finish. Up The Credit, the Pepsi North America Cup winner in June, closed for fourth, only a length away from the winner. Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John had cut out most of the mile, getting to the half in :53.4, then the three-quarters in 1:21.2. But he was inhaled in early stretch, eventually finishing last.
Trained by Casie Coleman, Betterthancheddar, unraced at two, was winning his eighth of 16 starts this year, including the Cane Pace in September at Pocono Downs. MacDonald, who has successfully teamed with Coleman in past, with horses like Sportswriter, inherited the drive when George Brennan was stranded in New Jersey after bad weather made it impossible for him to make it to Toronto in time for tonight's Crown.
Owned by Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ontario and West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Ontario, Betterthancheddar, a son of 2000 Breeders Crown winner Bettors Delight-Lady Ashlee Ann, had won the fastest of two elims last week in 1:49.1, but still went postward the 9-2 third choice.
Betterthancheddar is offered some cheddar cheese in the winner's circle. "I was trying to get sylvan in the hole so I could follow him," said winning driver MacDonald. "I figured Roll With Joe and Big Jim were going to keep coming. They were the two I thought I had to beat and then around the last turn it didn't look like Big John was the one to beat he was getting a bit tired and I'm pretty sure that Casie would be cursing me out if I didn't find a way to get him out somewhere so I got lucky and got up the rail. I just slipped out there late."
Trainer Casie Coleman said, "I have touted this horse since he was a 2 year old. He's just been a freak ever since day 1. He had a lot of health issues but everything is good now. He is on his game and Mark did an awesome job stick handling him and getting him up the outside, although, it didn't look so good halfway up the lane but he got through."
In the fastest race of the night, Bettor Sweet and driver John Campbell took in the $501,950 Breeders Crown Open Pace final by a head on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. In a 1:48.4 performance, the Thomas Cancelliere trainee notched his eighth victory of the year in 23 starts. The six-year-old bay gelding sat behind fractions of :25.4, :53.3 and 1:21.4, taking command just steps before the wire. Foiled Again (Dave Palone) finished second and the even money favourite, We Will See (Ron Pierce), was third.
The son of Bettors Delight-Sweet Future has a lifetime record of 22-15-11 in 73 starts and now boasts career earnings of $2,216,907 for John Cancelliere of Clark, New Jersey.
Bettor Sweet in the winner's circle. "We got him just at the end. He was a pretty good acquisition," said owner Thomas Cancelliere. "That's the great part. We have had an on and off route with a few of there horses in here. They're some great animals. Just the way he drove him is the way he likes it. He's really good, he's something special."
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