On Tuesday Afternoon at WEGZ Stadium Bar in Vaughan, Ont., Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk served as the Woodbine Entertainment Group's special celebrity drawmaster for the $546,987 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Trot, to be contested along with the 11 other prestigious 'Crown' races this coming Saturday (October 27) at Woodbine Racetrack.
Courtesy of their horse's victories in last weekend's eliminations, the connections of the Muscles Yankee colt Little Brown Fox and the Justice Hall gelding Intimidate earned the right to select their horse's post positions prior to the open draw for the remainder of the field.
The connections of Intimidate picked their charge's starting spot first, and selected Post 3.
A homebred of Judith Farrow of Hemmingford, Que. and trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, Que., Intimidate closed from well off the tempo in his elim last week and got up to record a one and a quarter-length victory in 1:53.1.
Intimidate - 2012 Breeders Crown Elim - 1:53.1
Pilot Sylvain Filion took care of the driving services in Intimdate's elim, but is committed to steer Prestidigitator in the final. Although, as Blais explained at the draw, it was not a tough process to find one of the world's best pilots to fill the void.
"Ron Pierce is going to drive Saturday," Blais told draw emcee Ken Middleton, Jr. "(Pierce) drove him on the Simcoe and he has a feeling for the horse. He told me before the [Breeders Crown elim] that he wanted to drive the horse if I needed a driver."
In addition to clarifying the driving situation, Blais commented on how Intimidate came out of his elim, stating that he came out in "very good" shape and that his charge is "in top shape and is on top of his game."
Farrow and Blais had to supplement Intimidate to the Breeders Crown at the cost of $62,500, as the gelding had not been paid up to the prestigious event.
“It was exciting last week to make the final,” Blais said. “When you’re in the final, it’s not like the elimination. I think there is a little less pressure. We supplemented, and we’re not a big outfit, and you want to make the final. You need to win the elimination.”
Representing the Little Brown Fox camp, co-owner Jim Fielding of Toronto, Ont. then stepped up and selected Post 4 as his colt's starting point. The speedy bay has been flashy this season, and that flashiness was on display in the elims, where he recorded a gate-to-wire 1:53 win by more than five lengths.
Little Brown Fox - 2012 Breeders Crown Elim - 1:53
"He was great," Fielding commented. "He was relaxed in the post parade. He wasn't grabbing on and wasn't foaming up."
When asked how Little Brown Fox came out of his elim, Fielding stated that the Jimmy Takter trainee bounced back "very well," adding that the three-year-old "ate up the next morning" and that "Jimmy was very pleased."
Fielding owns Little Brown Fox along with his brother, John Fielding, also from Toronto, and Christina Takter of East Windsor, New Jersey and Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky.
“The way he raced last week, we’ve got to be in pretty good shape, I think,” Fielding said. “These colts are really nice colts and it’s going to be a great race. We’re really looking forward to it.”
The sport's leading money-winniner standardbred of 2012, Market Share, went into the open draw after finishing second last week and came away with Post 8 to work with for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Tim Tetrick.
“In a perfect world, I’d rather have (post) three, four or five, but it’s not the worst thing in the world,” Toscano said. “He likes to draft along. Timmy will have to figure out what to do. A lot of the speed is in the middle (of the track), so it’s OK.”
Toscano was pleased with the Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic winner's performance, and she had high praise for the colt that collared and defeated her sophomore star.
“We were happy with the race,” Toscano said. “He probably cleared too soon; he gets lazy on the lead and it’s a long stretch. But take nothing away from Sylvain’s horse (Intimidate); he was super.”
(Post - Horse - Driver - Morning Line Odds)
PP1 - Mr Chicago - S. Zeron - 15-1
PP2 - Prestidigitator - S. Filion - 12-1
PP3 - Intimidate - R. Pierce - 5-2
PP4 - Little Brown Fox - Y. Gingras - 3-1
PP5 - Another Amaretto - A. Miller - 20-1
PP6 - Knows Nothing - J. Jamieson - 10-1
PP7 - Guccio - J. Takter - 12-1
PP8 - Market Share - Ti. Tetrick - 2-1
PP9 - Stormin Normand - D. Miller - 25-1
PP10 - Solvato - T. Smedshammer - 25-1
AE1 - My MVP - M. Lachance
AE2 - Modern Family - M. Lachancehttp://www.standardbredcanada.ca/news/10-23-12/breeders-crown-3ct-drawn.html