Mission Accepted Is 'Very Special'

As Kris Brechler watched his family’s homebred trotter Mission Accepted grow up, he saw nothing that stood out about the horse. The colt was, in a word, average.

But once Mission Accepted began his racing career, what Brechler couldn’t see began to become apparent. The horse was filled with a desire to succeed. And now at the age of six, the stallion is nearing $1 million in career earnings as he prepares for the $135,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot on Thursday (May 6) at Eldorado Scioto Downs.

“When he was young, he didn’t make an impression one way or another,” Brechler said. “He was just average looking. But I wish you could see inside of them and see what kind of heart they have, because that’s a lot of it. He gives his all, all the time. He gives 100 percent every time he’s on the track. You always feel you have a chance with him.

“He’s just been a wonderful horse to have and it’s extra special because we bred him. He’s one of those horses that you wish you could have 10 of in your barn.”

Mission Accepted is by Manofmanymissions out of Witty Girl. He was bred by the Mount Vernon-based Knox Services Inc., headed by Brechler’s mom Carolyn, and is one of three Ohio Sire Stakes champions out of Witty Girl—the younger full-brother Wittyville and younger half-sister Merry Ann.

“We bought his mom as a yearling,” Brechler said. “She was OK, nothing super. We kept her and she’s been a great broodmare for us.”

Mission Accepted, trained by Jeff Conger at ages two and three and by Ron Burke since turning four, has won 23 of 69 starts and $926,997. He is the 9-5 morning-line favourite in the Charlie Hill, where a win would push his earnings to within $6,000 of a million.

In addition to capturing an Ohio Sire Stakes title in 2017 at age two, Mission Accepted’s victories include the Harry Harvey Invitational and the Vincennes, both in 2019. That year also saw the stallion finish second in the Caesars Trotting Classic and Crawford Farms Trot and third in the Charlie Hill.

“He’s taken us to levels we never knew we would be able to get to,” said Brechler, whose family’s Knox Services now owns Mission Accepted with Burke Racing Stable, David Wills and Weaver Bruscemi. “He’s just a fantastic horse. He’s very special to the family. He’s right up there being a once-in-a-lifetime horse for us at this point. He’s just been a great horse for us. Money-wise, he’s the best horse we’ve had.”

Brechler’s father Ronald, who passed away in 2011, got the family started in harness racing in the early 1980s. His top horses included homebred pacer Trick Man, who earned $317,150 and set his career mark of 1:49.3 in beating Foiled Again in an open at The Meadows in 2011, as well as numerous Ohio standouts.

The family’s stable now includes homebred Ohio Sire Stakes champion Summer Touch as well as Grand Circuit winners such as Southwind Gendry and Brookview Bolt.

“We’ve got some nice horses,” said Brechler, who with his brother Doug manages a dairy co-op. “My dad got us started and we just kept branching out. The last three or four years we started buying more at yearling sales, but we mostly raise our own.

“We enjoy going to the races and watching our horses, especially the ones we’ve bred. You see them progress from babies (to racehorses) and it’s that two minutes of excitement, knowing that anything can happen in a race. It’s always great to have a good horse and get your picture taken.”

Mission Accepted will look to get his picture taken Thursday. He will be driven by Chris Page and start from post 1.

“Chris grew up about four houses down from our house, so we’ve known Chris for a long time,” Brechler said. “It would be a special thing if it happened. It’s a tough race but we’re all excited and hoping he represents us well, which I have a great feeling he’s going to.”

The Charlie Hill will go off as Race 9 on Thursday evening’s 11-race card. Racing begins at 6:15 p.m. (EDT). Scioto Downs offers free programs online for each live racing card, as well as qualifiers. For free program pages, click here.


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