Elusive Desire not to be denied in Breeders Crown elimination
Saturday, October 17, 2009 - by Karen Briggs, WEG Media
Toronto, ON --- The 7-5 favorite, Elusive Desire, front-stepped to a 2-1/4 length victory in the first of two C$25,475 Breeders Crown eliminations for 3-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday evening (Oct. 17) at Woodbine Racetrack.
Paul MacDonell fired his filly to the front straight from the gate, and Elusive Desire had a view of clear racetrack from there on in, with Mike Lachance and Dont Wear PJs riding the pocket. Elusive Desire stepped through fractions of :26.3, :56.2, and 1:26.1 without serious challenge as the expected duel with Raising Rachel (Jack Moiseyev) never materialized. Elusive Desire stopped the timer in 1:55.1 with Hambletonian Oaks winner Broadway Schooner stepping up for second and Dont Wear PJs third. Sirenuse (John Campbell) and Raising Rachel rounded out the top five who will advance to the $600,000 final on October 24.
Trained by Mike Keeling, Elusive Desire is owned by PC Wellwood Enterprises, Charles Armstrong, and Bob Fasken. The daughter of Angus Hall-Valley Amber now has 10 wins in 16 tries as a sophomore, and is in prime position to surpass C$1 million in earnings in the Breeders Crown final next week.
"She really is (as good now as in the spring). We didn't have to race a lot after Hambo Day (where Elusive Desire was a very close third to Broadway Schooner in the Hambletonian Oaks)," said Keeling.
"We've been fortunate -- we didn't have to go to Kentucky like some of these other girls did. That kind of stuff makes a big difference this time of year. And she likes Woodbine, she really likes this track."
Keeling noted that Elusive Desire's training schedule has been minimal going into this race.
"She really does very little. She's seen a harness twice in the last three weeks. She just hates jogging and training, so we do very little with her. She goes on the wheel, she's in the field, she takes care of herself."
The trainer clearly has a soft spot for the filly, who was Canada's top distaff 2-year-old trotter in 2008.
"Any 3-year-old filly who can (surpass $1 million in earnings) -- it absolutely means a lot to her future as a broodmare. It's pretty exciting; she's my first one (to earn a million). She's just been special."
In the second Breeders Crown elimination for this division, Ron Pierce hustled Margarita Momma to the victory in 1:54.1.
The lead changed hands several times in the early going, with Seaside (David Miller) setting the early fractions while Friendly Amigo (Bruce Richardson) rode the pocket and Margarita Momma, who was sent off at 2-1, was slotted comfortably into third.
Yursa Hanover and Tim Tetrick rushed up to overtake just past the half-mile station, and set a furious third panel of 1:24.4, but a stalking Margarita Momma took command from the outside in deep stretch and left Yursa Hanover behind.
Margarita Momma crossed the finish line 2-3/4 lengths to the good, with 45-1 shot The Ice Queen (Jim Morrill, Jr.) a surprise second and Yursa Hanover hanging on for third. Seaside and Windsong Soprano (Steve Condren) also qualified for the final by hitting the wire fourth and fifth, respectively.
Margarita Momma, by Yankee Glide, is trained and co-owned by Jan Johnson with Jorgen Jahre. She is coming off a win in the Bluegrass Stakes and has racked up a total of five wins in 10 tries as a sophomore.
"(Margarita Momma) beat some very nice fillies out there tonight," remarked Pierce. "I was very happy with her. Mr. Johnson made some changes for this track, and it really helped her along.
"This filly has always been tough," he added. "At two she was as tough as they came. I don't think I've ever raced a 2-year-old trotting filly nearly as tough as she was. I give Jan Johnson a lot of credit; he was able to get her back on her toes every week. He's just done a great job with this filly."
Following the eliminations, the field for the $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old trotting fillies was drawn. Here are the entries for the October 24 final:
1. Margarita Momma, Ron Pierce, Jan Johnson
2. The Ice Queen, Jim Morrill Jr., Trond Smedshammer
3. Yursa Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Ben Baillargeon
4. Elusive Desire, Paul MacDonell, Mike Keeling
5. Raising Rachel, Jack Moiseyev, John Kopas
6. Sirenuse, John Campbell, Jerry Silverman
7. Broadway Schooner, Brian Sears, Jim Campbell
8. Seaside, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson
9. Windsong Soprano, Steve Condren, Bob McIntosh
10. Dont Wear PJs, Mike Lachance, Harald Lunde
AE1: Littlemscantbewrong, Jody Jamieson, Per Henriksen
The field was also announced for the 3-year-old pacing filly division, which did not have an elimination.
1. Kabbalah Karen B, Mark MacDonald, Tracy Brainard
2. Yellow Diamond, Jim Morrill Jr., Tracy Brainard
3. West Of L A, Ron Pierce, Bob McIntosh
4. Special Sweetheart, David Miller, Tom Artandi
5. Shanghai Lil, Mike Lachance, Peter Foley
6. Shacked Up, Tim Tetrick, Tracy Brainard
7. Ginger And Fred, Dave Palone, Ron Burke
8. Blogette Hanover, Randy Waples, John Burns