Summer & Natalma Stakes
Prince of Wales Stakes
Del Mar Futurity Day
Del Mar Debutante Day
Driver Dexter Dunn poses with the Open Pace trophy celebrating his fourth Breeders Crown win of the night.
The 2022 Breeders Crown, North American harness racing's year-end championships, were decided at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville west of Toronto. The 4 races for juveniles were run on Friday night with the remaining 8 championship races run on Saturday. It was a cold but a bit warmer than Friday with the temperature holding around 6 C (43 F) and almost no breeze at all. All Breeders Crown races are contested at the standard 1 mile distance, a 2-turn trip over Mohawk Park's 7/8 mile stonedust track rated fast.
Results chart Race 9
Left: Bulldog Hanover in the winner's circle. Winning co-owner and trainer Jack Darling said, "It's been exciting, but I mean the pressure going into this race for me was excruciating. The fans, I just wanted him to win so badly for the fans. It felt so good when we started to step away. I felt really good about it. I knew he was right back to himself, and I've seen him do it so many times that I'm kind of counting on him."
Right: Bulldog Hanover warms up before the race. Winning driver Dexter Dunn, winning his fourth Crown race on the night said, "The fractions were fast, we had a good helmet, and took him to the backstretch right after the first quarter and when he merged on there he got to the front, he grabbed a hold of me like he has most of the year. I could feel [Allywag Hanover] on my helmet there. I know he had to do pretty good tonight to try to get past me. I probably didn't feel the same as I did at Lexington. It's a bit of a shame, but he's an amazing horse."
The $600,000 Open Trot featured an overflow field of 11 older horses behind the starting gate. Maple Leaf Trot runner-up and Yonkers International 9th place finisher Ecurie D was sent off as the 5-4 favorite over 11-4 second choice Back of the Neck, second in the Yonkers International after winning the Dayton Derby, and 3-1 third choice Jujubee, winner of the Allerage Open Trot at Red Mile. Driver Dexter Dunn sent Ecurie D to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 27 1/5, 55 2/5, and 1:23 while pressed by Jujubee and stalked by 63-1 Logan Park. Turning for home, Ecurie D opened up a 3 1/2 length lead on the tiring Jujubee. Kept to task by Dunn, Ecurie D cruised to a 3 length win over Jujubee in a stakes record equalling 1:51. It was another 1/4 length back to 102-1 longest shot Amigo Volo third. However, Jujubee broke strike in deep stretch, so after an inquiry the judges disqualified him for a double lapped on break and placed him 4th behind 22-1 It's Academic.
Results chart Race 8
Left: Ecurie D in the winner's circle. Note that on the official charts he is listed as "Ecurie D DK", the DK indicating he is a Danish-bred. Winning driver Dexter Dunn said, "He's been impressive since coming to the States and this year as well. When they asked me last week to drive him I was more than happy to jump on him. He led the way around there and put in a good mile. He was a little aggressive going out of the gate and to the first quarter still. After that he relaxed pretty good. He was coming into the last turn and he had both ears fully pricked. He still felt like he had some trot, so we gave him a growl and away he went."
Right: Ecurie D heads back to the barn after the race. Winning owner-trainer Ake Svanstedt added, "We had a blind bridle on him at Yonkers [when he ran off in the International Trot], and he scored down nice but then when we came behind the gate and horses came, he shied and he started pulling."
Results chart Race 7
Left: Pebble Beach in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Noel Daley said, "They're usually better if they have the aluminums on and the last time he raced in Lexington, I raced him with no shoes and he won. He was no more impressive than he'd been, but last week was the most impressive he's been. Just looking for that extra edge, I put the four aluminums on him rather than just the two." Driver Todd McCarthy added, "He does very well up here, he feels happy when I sit behind him, and he shows it when he races as well. He was certainly very impressive tonight."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Bythemissal in the post parade.
A full field of 10 went to post for the $600,000 Three-year-old Colt Trot, with Kentucky Championship Series winner and Kentucky Futurity 10th place finisher Branded by Lindy sent off as the 9-4 favorite over 5-2 second choice Cool Papa Bell, winner of the Hambletonian but third in the Kentucky Futurity, and 9-2 third choice Double Deceiver, third in the Kentucky Championship Series. Driver Mark MacDonald sent 5-1 fourth choice King of the North to the front through fractions of 26 2/5, 54 3/5, and 1:22 1/5 while pressed by 45-1 World At War Deo and stalked by Cool Papa Bell. Into the lane King of the North opened up a 4 length lead, easily holding off fast closing Double Deceiver in 1:50 3/5, a new stakes, track, and Canadian record. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 11-2 Slay third, while favorite Branded by Lindy was wide around both turns failing to rally checking in sixth beaten 10 1/2 lengths.
Results chart Race 6
Left: King of the North in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Ray Schnittker said, "He raced really good in Lexington and in the Canadian Trotting Classic. I kind of thought he was coming [around] but I didn't think he was going to be this good. Now he's showing what I really thought he was."
Right: King of the North in front of the teletimer showing his new track record. Winning driver Mark MacDonald said, "I did not think I could relive the American Ideal moment again, where I just was asking a horse at the head of the stretch to please not stop. But it happened. The first quarter was a little hotter. When the half popped up, I planned on tapping the brakes to the last turn to try and race Cool Papa Bell, because I didn't like the one behind me. He just felt so good, I thought ‘You know what, it's all or nothing now."
The $600,000 Three-year-old Filly Pace featured a field of 11 with Glen Garnsey Memorial winner Niki Hill sent off as the 3-4 favorite over 7-2 second choice Treacherous Dragon, winner of the Jugette, and 17-2 third choice Max Contract, third in the Glen Garnsey. Treacherous Dragon was quickest away through an opening quarter of 26 seconds before Niki Hill took over on the backstretch through a half in 54 1/5 and 3/4 in 1:22. Into the lane Niki Hill continued to hold the lead but Treacherous Dragon with Scott Zeron in the bike fought back to win by a neck in 1:49 1/5. It was another 3/4 length back to late-running 14-1 Boudoir Hanover third.
Results chart Race 5
Left: Treacherous Dragon in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Nancy Takter said, "She likes to pass horses and it was just a matter of finding room down the stretch and I ‘m happy that Scotty found it, I was getting a little worried there, I didn't think we were going to win. She's a nice big sized filly, she's going to race next year and hopefully she's got a bright future." Driver Scott Zeron added, "Honestly, I didn't even think I'd be here; when I was injured (broken pelvis and wrist) I kind of gave up the dream of making it to this year's Breeders Crown. I felt great, just to have the opportunity to race late in the mile. Looking on paper I dreamed of following Niki Hill and it came to fruition. I didn't have a lot of room and when I did she's an exceptional filly to sprint up into gear with 100 feet left."
Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Niki Hill first time by.
A full field of 10 contested the $675,000 Three-year-old Filly Trot, with Delmonica Stakes and New York Sire Stakes winner Joviality sent off as the 4-5 favorite over 5-2 second choice Jiggy Jog, wunner of the Kentucky Filly Futurity, and 11-2 third choice Fashion Schooner, winner of the Hambletonian Oaks and Moni Maker Stakes. 66-1 Misswalner Fashion set the early pace of 27 1/5 and 56 1/5 pressed by 53-1 Raised by Lindy and stalked by Jiggy Jog. On the far turn Misswalner Fashion broke stride allowing Jiggy Jog to inherit the lead through 3/4 in 1:24 1/5. Kept to task by driver Dexter Dunn, Jiggy Jog held off Raised by Lindy to win by a length in a new stakes, track, and Canadian record 1:51 1/5, lowering the old records she set a week ago in the eliminations. It was another 1/2 length back to favorite Joviality third.
Results chart Race 4
Left: Jiggy Jog in the winner's circle. Note that on the official charts she is listed as "Jiggy Jog S", the S indicating she is a Swedish-bred. Winning driver Dexter Dunn said, "(Jiggy Jog S) was so good last week. I came into the race with a lot of confidence. I knew I had Joviality on my back on the far turn, but my filly went on strong."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Joviality first time by. Note that on the official charts she is listed as "Joviality S", the S indicating she is a Swedish-bred.
The $400,000 Open Mare Pace featured a field of 10 with Milton, Dayton Distaff, and Allerage Stakes winner Test of Faith sent off as the 2-5 favorite over 4-1 second choice Mikala, runner-up in the Milton Stakes, and 11-2 third choice Grace Hill, 4th in the Milton. 64-1 Amazing Dream was quickest away through an opening quarter in 27 2/5 before driver Doug McNair moved Grace Hill to lead through a half in 54 3/5 and 3/4 in 1:21 3/5. Grace Hill opened a 2 length lead at the 1/8 pole but held off fast-closing favorite Test of Faith to win by a head in a stakes record tying 1:48 4/5. It was another 1/2 length back to 11-1 So Much More third.
Results chart Race 3
Left: Grace Hill in the winner's circle. Winning driver Doug McNair said, "We had a pretty good post and I thought a lot of the better ones were to the inside of her. Leaving the gate, there wasn't a whole ton of speed right off the bat. I took advantage of that, but she did all of the work and she deserved to win. It feels great [to win a Breeders Crown]. These trophies are very tough to get for sure. They're tough to get into races and to win them is even tougher, so it's a thrill."
Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Test of Faith in the post parade.
Kicking off Breeders Crown Saturday was the $325,000 Open Mare Trot featuring a field of 8 with last year's Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Filly Trot winner Bella Bellini sent off as the 9-10 favorite over 2-1 second choice When Dovescry, winner of the Dayton Oaks and Robert Miecuna Invitational Trot, and 4-1 third choice Atlanta, making her final career start off her win in the Allerage Stakes. 9-1 fourth choice Next Level Stuff was quickest away through an opening quarter in 27 seconds before Atlanta was sent to the front by Yannick Gingras to post a half in 55 3/5 and 3/4 in 1:24 1/5. Atlanta continued to lead to midstretch but Bella Bellini, parked wide all the way with driver Dexter Dunn as far back as 6th, rallied to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:51 1/5. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 47-1 Refined third.
Results chart Race 2
Left: Bella Bellini in the winner's circle. She became harness racing's newest $2 million winner with the victory. However, before the race the sulky had a flat tire requiring a last minute change. Winning trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman said, "We didn't have the spare which is my responsibility, and Dexter gets a little nervous when he doesn't have his own bike."
Right: Bella Bellini warms up before the race. Norman added, "She was picture perfect, just the way you want. She's very special, she's a beautiful animal, so nice to be around, just a really, really nice horse."
Back to Horse-Races.Net main page