Post Positions Drawn for Breeders Crown Trotters Ready
by Frank and Ray Cotolo for Breeders Crown
The Breeders Crown Open Trot and Mare Trot were drawn on Saturday, Oct. 2. Nine will go to the post in the $600,000 Open Trot and seven make up the $250,000 Mare Trot, both part of the $6 million 12-race final program at Mohegan at Pocono Downs on Oct. 9 with a special post of 5:00 p.m.
Here is the Open Trot field with assigned drivers:
1 Hot Shot Blue Chip, David Miller; 2 Slave Dream, John Campbell; 3 Neighsay Hanover, Tim Tetrick; 4 Define The World, Paul Macdonell; 5 Enough Talk, Ron Pierce; 6 Lucky Jim, Andy Miller; 7 Triumphant Caviar, Luc Ouellette; 8 All Cantab Trevor Ritchie, 9 Lanson, Mike Lachance.
Lucky Jim, trained by Julie Miller and driven by her husband Andy, heads to the Open trot off a track-record 1:52 win at Vernon in the $195,000 Credit Winner on Sept. 17, his first start after a two-month layoff.
"I was a little concerned he wasn’t tight enough, but Andy drove him exactly how we’d talked about and he got up there," Julie said about Lucky Jim’s return performance. "He was the same old Jim."
Last year, Lucky Jim won the Breeders Crown on his way to the Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. This season, he has won five of 11 starts, finished second four times, and earned $417,344. He will try to become the first horse to repeat as Breeders Crown Open Trot champion since Fool’s Goal (2002-‘03). The only other multiple winner was No Sex Please in 1990 and 1992.
"I would have liked to race [before the final], but the fact we’re not is fine too," Miller said. "I was very indifferent about it."
Enough Talk won the $235,750 Titan Cup in July at the Meadowlands and was second to Slave Dream in the $300,000 Nat Ray in August.
Triumphant Caviar is coming off a track-record 1:53.1 victory at Indiana Downs in the $100,000 Pride In Progress free-for-all. Christopher Beaver, his trainer, is happy how the four-year-old is doing now but was not excited about drawing post 7. "I was hoping for the middle or closer to the rail but it could be worse. The way I saw them racing [in the elims], it may be all right from our post."
Chris says "Caviar" likes the outside. "He’s not a front-racing horse. I’ll leave the tactics to Luc but I can’t see the horse coming fast off the gate. Besides, when he gets on top be becomes a bit lazy; he’s much better when he is chasing down a horse. He’s very competitive."
Here is the draw for the fierce older trotters in the Mare Trot, with assigned drivers.
1 Windsong Soprano, Ron Pierce; 2 Elusive Desire, John Campbell; 3 Yursa Hanover Daniel Dube, 4 Southwind Wasabi, Yannick Gingras, 5 Autumn Escapade, David Miller; 6 Jersey As; George Brennan, 7 Buck I St Pat, Tim Tetrick.
Buck I St Pat was third in the $93,500 Ms Versatility Series Final at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. She finished behind Autumn Escapade and Windsong Soprano in a world-record-equaling 1:53.2 mile.
For the year, Buck I St Pat has won six of 16 races, including the $340,470 Armbro Flight and $100,000 Maxie Lee Memorial, and earned $483,695. She has won 46 of 89 races and banked $1.88 million and was voted the best trotting mare the last two years by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
"I was a little disappointed with her last start, but she went first up into a world-record mile," trainer Ron Burke said. "We were a little bit worried we over-raced her. She really doesn’t respond to being raced a lot. I was thrilled there were no eliminations this week; I think that really plays much better for her to just come right in and race."
Yursa Hanover won the $150,000 Conway Hall at Vernon Downs on Sept. 10. She also won the $25,000 Ms Versatility at Tioga Downs on Aug. 22. She has been an outcast to this whole group, finishing fifth almost every start.
Windsong Soprano is winless since June, but has finished second in her last six starts. Three of those seconds were in the Ms Versatility Series and final.