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COMMANDER CROWE FAVORED IN BREEDERS CROWN OPEN TROT

COMMANDER CROWE FAVORED IN BREEDERS CROWN OPEN TROT

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — November 18, 2014 -- European star Commander Crowe is the 3-1 morning line favorite for the $500,000 Open Trot, the final event of the $5.4 million Breeders Crown this weekend at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The Breeders Crown consists of 12 championship races that help to determine divisional titles and Horse of the Year.

This will be the first time the Crowns are raced at one track over two nights.




Four filly and mare championships will be contested Friday. The remaining races go the following night, with the Open Trot the marquee event of the evening.

The Open Trot attracted four former Breeders Crown winners: Arch Madness, Intimidate, Market Share and Maven.

The most intriguing horse is Commander Crowe, an 11-year-old gelding making only his second U.S. start. He was second in latest effort, the International Trot at Yonkers Raceway. He is 60-for-107 in his career, earning $4.8 million.

He starts from post 9 with Orjan Kihlstrom driving for trainer Fabrice Souloy.

The full field for the Open Trot, in post-position order with morning-line odds: Your So Vain, 8-1; Market Share, 7-2; Arch Madness, 12-1; Maven, 4-1; Flanagan Memory, 30-1; Archangel, 10-1; Creatine, 9-2; Wishing Stone, 20-1; Commander Crowe, 3-1 and Intimidate, 8-1.

In the Friday night Crowns:

—Color's A Virgin was won seven straight heading into the $593,750 3-Year-Old Filly Pace as the 6-5 choice from post 5.
—Mission Brief, the fastest juvenile trotter in the history of the sport, is the 4-5 favorite from post 5 in the $500,000 2-Year-Old Filly Trot.
—Shake It Cerry, a defending Breeders Crown champion, is the 4-5 favorite from post 3 in the $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot.
—Defending Horse of the Year Bee A Magician is the 9-5 favorite from post 3 in the $250,000 Mare Trot.

Also on Saturday:
—Always B Miki, winner of nine of his last 10, is the 8-5 favorite from post 4 in the $531,250 3-Year-Old Colt Pace.
—Nuncio, winner of the Yonkers Trot and the Kentucky Futurity, is a slight 6-5 choice from post 3 over stablemate Father Patrick at 7-5 in the $500,000 Three-Year-Old Colt Trot.
—JK She'salady, puts an 11 for 11 mark on the line in the $500,000 2-Year-Old Filly Pace as the 3-5 favorite.
—Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter trains half of the 10-horse field in the $500,000 2-Year-Old Trot. Pinkman tops the Takter brigade as the 2-1 choice from post 5.
—John Campbell, the all-time leading Breeders Crown driver with 45 victories, pilots Go Daddy Go, the 5-2 favorite from post 5, in the $500,000 2-Year-Old Pace
—Trainer Ron Burke sends out four of the seven horses in the $400,000 Open Pace, including 5-2 favorite Clear Vision from post 6.
—Yagonnakissmeornot was supplemented for $31,250 to the $281,250 Open Mare Pace and wound up the 5-2 choice from post 5.


FINAL FOUR BREEDERS CROWN DRAWS HELD AT MEADOWLANDS
By Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ --- November 18, 2014 -- Post positions were drawn Tuesday for the Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-old male pacers, 3-year-old male pacers and trotters, and older trotters.

Elimination winners drew for posts 1-5 followed by an open draw for the remainder of each field. There was no elimination for the 3-year-old male trotters and only one elimination for the older trotters.

$500,000 2-YEAR-OLD-COLT PACE
1. Cooperstown, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 20-1; 2. Traceur Hanover*, Andy Miller, Corey Johnson, 7-2; 3. Lyons Levi Lewis, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 8-1; 4. Franzo, Scott Zeron, Jimmy Takter, 20-1; 5. Go Daddy Go*, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 5-2; 6. Sicily, Corey Callahan, Nik Drennan, 20-1; 7. Tomy Terror, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 8-1; 8. Soto, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 30-1; 9. Lost For Words, David Miller, Brian Brown, 9-2; 10. In The Arsenal, Brian Sears, Kelvin Harrison, 4-1.


Horsemen attending the Breeders Crown post position draws included [left to right] Tom Fanning, Robert McIntosh, Nancy Johansson, Jimmy Takter, John Campbell and Kelvin Harrison. [Photo by Mike Lisa, Lisa Photo Inc.]


$531,250 3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
1. Let’s Drink On It, Tyler Smith, Joe Seekman, 15-1; 2. Somesizesomestyle, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 30-1; 3. McWicked, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman, 6-1; 4. Always B Miki*, David Miller, Joe Holloway, 8-5; 5. Limelight Beach*, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-1; 6. JK Endofanera, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 7. Doo Wop Hanover, Ron Pierce, Steve Elliott, 20-1; 8. Somestarsomewhere, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 30-1; 9. Luck Be Withyou, Brian Sears, Chris Oakes, 20-1; 10. Capital Account, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 30-1.

$500,000 3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
1. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 20-1; 2. Hillustrious, David Miller, Ron Burke; 50-1; 3. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 6-5; 4. Don Dorado, Brian Sears, Bob Baggitt Jr., 20-1; 5. Il Sogno Dream, Matt Kakaley, Chris Beaver, 20-1; 6. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 7-5; 7. Odds On Amethyst, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 20-1; 8. Sumatra, Brian Sears, Tom Fanning, 50-1; 9. Harper Blue Chip, Tim Tetrick, Mark Steacy, 12-1; 10. E L Titan, Ron Pierce, Riina Rekila, 8-1.

$500,000 OPEN TROT
1. Your So Vain, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 8-1; 2. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 3. Arch Madness, George Brennan, Trond Smedshammer, 12-1; 4. Maven*, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 4-1; 5. Flanagan Memory, Brett Miller, Rene Dion, 30-1; 6. Archangel, Brian Sears, Ron Burke, 10-1; 7. Creatine, Ron Pierce, Bob Stewart, 9-2; 8. Wishing Stone, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 20-1; 9. Commander Crowe, Orjan Kihlstrom, Fabrice Souloy, 3-1; 10. Intimidate, TBA, Luc Blais, 8-1.

*Elimination winner

SPEEDY MARES TO BATTLE IN CROWN TROT
By Ken Weingartner and Ellen Harvey, for the Breeders Crown

FREEHOLD, NJ --- November 18, 2014 -- Entering this year, no 4-year-old female trotter had ever won a race with a time quicker than 1:51.4. This season, five 4-year-old mares went faster in victorious miles and another one equaled 1:51.4.

On Friday night, four of those six horses compete in the $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot at the Meadowlands.

Mistery Woman, who is the current world-record-holder for a 4-year-old female trotter thanks to her 1:51 triumph in the Allerage Farms Mare Trot at The Red Mile, is joined by fellow fleet-footed “fours” Classic Martine and Bee A Magician, both with marks of 1:51.1, and Handover Belle, who has won in 1:51.4.

It could produce a wide open, not to mention quick, Breeders Crown event, particularly when 5-year-old D’Orsay, who was one of the previous world-record-holding 4-year-olds, Ma Chere Hall, Charmed Life and Intense America are added to the equation.

“No one has really said anything (about this division), but it’s been unbelievable,” said Jonas Czernyson, who trains Mistery Woman, Ma Chere Hall and D’Orsay. “Everybody in there can do it, it’s anybody’s race. It’s whoever gets the best trip, I think.

“I think (Mistery Woman) could do it with the right trip. She’s done it before. Hopefully we can get her to bounce back to that again. It would be a good way to end the season.”

Mistery Woman finished third behind Handover Belle and Classic Martine in a Breeders Crown prep race last Friday. Handover Belle won by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.2. That time was only two-fifths of a second off Buck I St Pat’s Breeders Crown Mares Trot stakes record set in August 2009.

“We got a great trip, so I didn’t have to move her until the top of the stretch,” Matt Kakaley said after driving Handover Belle to victory in the prep race. “She got home pretty easy and did it pretty easy too. It’s just kind of a prep for (the final), but I think she’s got the talent. If the trip works out next week the way it did tonight, I don’t see why she couldn’t win next week too.

“Hopefully we’ll get a little luck and things will go our way.”

Classic Martine, Bee A Magician and Charmed Life are the three richest trotting mares heading into the Breeders Crown final.

The winner of nine of 17 starts this season, Classic Martine has earned $376,412. Her victories include the Armbro Flight Stakes, Miss Versatility Series championship, and Ima Lula Series final.

“She was awesome, very good,” driver Tim Tetrick said after the prep race. “I was very happy with her effort. My cover kind of backed up, if anything, and I had to go three wide early. Otherwise I catch (Handover Belle). She got to slide out and got the jump on me, but I was super happy with her effort.

“They’re good mares. My mare has made the most money and she’s been able to be on top in a lot of these. Hopefully it keeps going that way.”

Bee A Magician, who was the 2013 Horse of the Year and won the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female trotters in a stakes-record 1:52.4 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, finished fourth in the Mare Trot prep after leading at the top of the stretch.

“She was a bit flat, probably a little short maybe,” trainer Nifty Norman said. “It was good to get a prep. I was probably a bit easy on her (last) week, but she needs to improve quite a bit. It’s a good bunch, a good field.

“But it’s wide open next week, I think.”

Following is the field in post order for the Breeders Crown Mare Trot: 1. Intense America, John Campbell, Rene Dion; 2. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick, Chris Oakes; 3. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman; 4. Handover Belle, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 5. Ma Chere Hall, Brett Miller, Jonas Czernyson; 6. Charmed Life, Jody Jamieson, Dave Menary; 7. D’Orsay, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson; 8. Mistery Woman, Andrew McCarthy, Jonas Czernyson.


* * *

Rene Dion knows he is sending a longshot in Intense America into Friday’s $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot at the Meadowlands, but the Quebec-based trainer is hopeful the 6-year-old daughter of Taurus Dream-Intensite can give a good account of herself.

Intense America has won one of 13 races this year and earned $18,387 for owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc., and won eight of 49 lifetime starts for $273,475. In 2010, she won her elimination of the Peaceful Way Stakes and finished second in the final.

She has gone off stride in five races this year, although she rallied to finish third in one of them by trotting the second half of the mile in :55.3 over a “good” track at Woodbine.

“This year she has been struggling a little,” Dion said. “She’s a mare with speed; she just sometimes does not behave herself. If she does, I think she can get a piece of the pie. This year she is struggling, but in the years before, last year, she got a few good times (including a career-best 1:53 win at Mohawk Racetrack).

“We think she has speed and the owner wanted to put her in. I know it’s a big step up and I told that to the owner. We realize it’s not going to be easy, but if she behaves herself she could be a contender. I don’t think she can beat Bee A Magician or something like that. If she behaves herself, in the stretch she is usually pretty strong.”

In her most recent start on Nov. 7, a conditioned race at Woodbine, Intense America took the lead from post nine in a :27.2 opening quarter-mile and remained in front until the stretch before getting beaten by a length.

“Last time out she was in front by four or five (lengths) and finished second, but I think she is better off the pace than on the front, so we will see how it’s going to go Saturday,” Dion said. “She’s strong willed, but she can be grabby and can be a handful behind the gate, but after that she’s usually pretty good.”

Dion is not limited to one Breeders Crown starter. He sends Flanagan Memory, a 4-year-old male trotter he owns with Liette Flanagan, into Saturday’s $500,000 Open Trot.

Last year, the son of Kadabra-Classy Stacy won seven of 11 races and earned $396,855. His victories included the Goodtimes Stakes and Ontario Sire Stakes championship and he received the O’Brien Award as Canada’s best 3-year-old male trotter.

This year, he has won two of 17 races and earned $135,060. He finished third in the single Breeders Crown Open Trot elimination, behind Maven and Your So Vain, timed in 1:52.4.

“At the half I was quite nervous,” Dion said, referring to Flanagan Memory being in seventh, and then later eighth, place. “He was pretty much locked in. I was very happy in the stretch when he came down the lane and it opened up for him.”

Although he has only picked up two wins, Flanagan Memory was third in the Hambletonian Maturity, which was restricted to 4-year-olds, and earned checks in the Maple Leaf Trot and Crawford Farms Open Trot.

“I think he’s been racing OK,” Dion said. “He’s a 4-year-old racing against the top trotters. They’re tough trotters. He’s been holding his ground I guess for a 4-year-old.

“We gave him a month off to kind of refresh him. The last two races he did at Woodbine, he raced pretty good. He finished fourth in the preferred, but he was locked in with nowhere to go, so we were happy with that one. The following week, he won by like four lengths. He’s fresh, so that’s why we decided to give this a go.”

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