Wilkes-Barre, PA -- Maven and driver Yannick Gingras made a first-over march at the halfway point and powered past Cedar Dove in the stretch to win the $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52.3 over a sloppy track Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
The time equaled the stakes record on a five-eighths-mile track. Maven, the 1-5 favorite, had won her Breeders Crown elimination last weekend in a world-record 1:51.4.
Cedar Dove got the early lead from post eight, followed by D’Orsay, Unefoisdansmavie and Maven. The group remained in that order until Maven made her move as the field reached the half-mile point in :56.4. Maven was second to Cedar Dove when they hit three-quarters in 1:24.1.
Maven was a length back at the top of the stretch, but took control from there to win a Breeders Crown for the second consecutive year. Cedar Dove finished second and D’Orsay was third.
“It was early to come first up, but I’m confident in my mare,” Gingras said. “I thought the only horse that could beat me was Check Me Out, and when she ran (on the backstretch) I thought we could coast first up.
“(Cedar Dove) gave me a good battle, but the minute I got alongside of her I knew I had her beat. It was just a matter of taking my time getting around the last turn and not doing anything stupid and let her trot in the stretch.”
The 4-year-old Maven is trained by Jonas Czernyson for owner Bill Donovan. A daughter of Glidemaster-M Stewart bred by All La Nuova Sbarra, she has won 10 of 13 races this season and earned $465,220. She has won 25 of 39 career starts and earned more than $1.37 million.
“She did it the hard way, but she’s a tough little filly,” Czernyson said. “She’s been digging it out and slugging it out this year and racing very hard. She got a little stronger this year and is a very nice horse to have in the barn.
“I’ve got two Breeders Crowns now; it’s incredible. I don’t know what else to say.”
Driver Ron Pierce was pleased with the performance of Cedar Dove, who was gallant in defeat.
“I timed the gate perfectly and got out of there in good shape and got away with some easy fractions. She just couldn’t go fast enough far enough and Maven just caught us at the end. No shame in that.”
By Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown