Ultimate Cameron Needs Ultimate Effort to Take $500,000 Breeders Crown
by Jay Bergman for the Breeders Crown
She may have trotted the fastest of three elimination heats a week ago, but it seems that Ultimate Cameron will have her work cut out this weekend when she meets a solid group in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot for sophomore fillies at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The impeccably bred daughter of Yankee Glide and 2002 Crown champion Cameron Hall has earned more than twice the money of any of her eight rivals this season, yet those credentials only brought with them slight 5-2 favoritism after her connections selected post two.
“She got a little weak late,” said driver George Brennan following the 1:54 mile. It was her second straight victory at Pocono for owner Diamond Creek Farm LLC and trainer Bob Stewart. He was a bit more enthusiastic than the driver, “She went a big mile. She was pestered the whole way.”
With five wins in ten starts this season Ultimate Cameron appears just one win away from perhaps a division title. She finished second to Bar Slide in the Hambletonian Oaks and will not get a return match with that filly having failed to make the final.
Driver Dave Palone must have been wondering what happened to the rest of the trotting fillies when Behindclosedoors virtually ran away and hid from her rivals in another elimination heat. The Andover Hall-sired filly recorded an eased-up 1:54.3 mile, her third consecutive win and promptly selected the pole position for Saturday’s final. Despite the ease of victory Palone wasn’t ready to claim the title just yet. “They’re not going to give any money away next week, so it’s going to be tough,” he said.
Behindclosedoors has been steadily improving since a fourth place finish in the Hambletonian Oaks for trainer Chuck Sylvester and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and Dave McDuffee.
Trainer Jim Campbell’s stable has been primed for the Crown races and he’s very happy with the return to form of Fashion Feline. A standout in Pennsylvania a year ago, Fashion Feline was having trouble finishing her miles this year.
“She was the top filly last year, said Campbell, “but she’s had a lot of bad things happen to her this year. We’re trying to regroup from the Oaks and she’s come back very well so far. Hopefully she can keep that going again. She’s coming out of the 3 hole.”
Campbell sent her to Cornell where they discovered she had been bleeding internally. The Fashion Farms LLC-homebred was put on lasix and has responded with back-to-back victories at Pocono including a Crown elim last week.
There’s plenty of closing speed on the outside of this draw with Impressive Kemp and Bramalea Hanover in prime striking position should the pace be quick.
The complete field for Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders Crown three-year-old filly trot in post order reads: Behindclosedoors (Dave Palone) 3-1, Ultimate Cameron (George Brennan) 5-2, Fashion Feline (Jim Morrill Jr.) 4-1, Spicy Wings (John Campbell) 5-1, Impressive Kemp (Ron Pierce) 6-1, Bramalea Hanover (Dave Miller) 10-1, Merger Blue Chip (Luc Ouellette) 20-1, Up Front Juansteen (Tim Tetrick) 15-1, Wilsonator (Scott Zeron) 12-1.