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Alagna Sends 10 To Breeders Crown

Published: October 17, 2012 6:05 pm ET

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A year ago, trainer Tony Alagna was on the sidelines at Breeders Crown time. This season, he has 10 horses making the trip to Woodbine Racetrack for the championships.

Among the group are two-year-old male pacer Captaintreacherous, who has won seven consecutive races and is a neck from being undefeated; three-year-old male trotter My MVP, who won the Kentucky Futurity in straight heats on Oct. 7 at The Red Mile; and three-year-old male pacer Mel Mara, who upset Little Brown Jug winner Michaels Power in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final on Oct. 12 at Flamboro Downs.

Two Breeders Crown eliminations for two-year-old male pacers and single eliminations for two-year-old male trotters and two-year-old filly pacers will be held Friday at Woodbine. The following night, two elims will be contested for each the three-year-old male and female pacers as well as the three-year-old male trotters. There will be a single elim for the older female trotters.

Eliminations were unnecessary for the Breeders Crown Open Pace, Open Trot, Mare Pace, two-year-old filly trot and three-year-old filly trot. All 12 Breeders Crown finals, with total purses of $6 million, will be held Oct. 27 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto.

“It’s a great feeling to enter 10 horses in the Breeders Crown, as opposed to last year when I had a couple fringe players that I didn’t bring up here [to Woodbine] at all,” said Alagna, who is in his third full year of training his own stable after spending a number of years as an assistant to Erv Miller. “These are my first Breeders Crown starts, and I’ve got 10. It’s quite a difference from the first two years, that’s for sure.”

Captaintreacherous is one of three Alagna trainees entered in the eliminations for the Breeders Crown for two-year-old male pacers. He is joined by Emeritus Maximus, who will compete in the same elimination on Friday night, and Wake Up Peter, who is in the other elim.

In September, Captaintreacherous won the $1 million Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. He also won the Woodrow Wilson in a track record 1:49.3 at the Meadowlands in August. He won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes in 1:51.3 on Sept. 29 at The Red Mile and a division of the International Stallion Stakes by a nose in 1:50.3 on Oct. 6 at the same track.

“He’s good,” said Alagna, who has won a career-best $4.45 million in purses already this season. “His last start in Lexington he won in a photo and he didn’t have his usual kick on the end of it. We did an endoscopic examination and he showed three out of 10 scale mucous, so we treated him for that.

“His blood work also showed he was definitely fighting off a bug. He seems to have fought that and his blood work is in normal range and he scoped clean [Tuesday] after training so we’re optimistic that he’s back to his old self.”

My MVP is among three sophomore male trotters from Alagna’s stable heading to the Breeders Crown. He will be joined by Modern Family and Mr Chicago, who will race in the same elim. My MVP, who won the Trotting Triple Crown’s third jewel by capturing the Kentucky Futurity, faces an elim field that includes fellow Triple Crown race winners Archangel (Yonkers Trot) and Market Share (Hambletonian).

For the year, My MVP has won five of 18 starts and earned $712,593. He was third in the Hambletonian and second in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship.

“It was very special [to win the Kentucky Futurity],” Alagna said. “For the patience the owners have shown with the horse, there were so many times when the horse was never able to get into contention because of his post position, it was nice to get a major stakes win because I truly feel the horse deserved that win.

“I think he’s coming into his elimination very well. We trained him [Wednesday] and he was very fresh. I’m really happy with how he’s coming into the race.”

Mel Mara has won four of 16 races this year, but twice in his last three starts. In addition to the Ontario Sires Stakes victory, the colt won a Bluegrass Stakes division in 1:49.4 at The Red Mile on Sept. 29.

“Now that he’s come around and is racing well, a lot of people are asking me if I’m surprised by how good he’s been,” Alagna said. “It’s just the opposite. I’m disappointed he wasn’t this good all year because we’ve always had high expectations for this horse and he’s never lived up to what we thought he was. Now he’s beginning to show people he’s the horse we said he was.”

Alagna also has Nikki Beach in the Breeders Crown elim for two-year-old filly pacers, Rockaround Sue in an elim for three-year-old filly pacers and Handover Belle in the final for two-year-old filly trotters.


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

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