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Lyons Sentinel Streaks Into Breeders Crown

Published: October 18, 2019 9:41 pm ET

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"It's just awesome," said trainer/driver Brandon Bates of securing his first Breeders Crown start courtesy of Priceless, who was just awesome winning the first of three eliminations for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Friday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Indiana Sires Stakes star Priceless led all the way, clocking fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:22.4 en route to victory in a career-best time of 1:50.2.

"She did it pretty easy, she's got more in the tank," said Bates.

The Rockin Image-Btwnyurheartnmine filly was a wrapped up winner, finishing 4-3/4 lengths ahead of 9-5 favourite Reflect With Me (Andrew McCarthy) and Baby Your The Best (David Miller). Peaky Sneaky (Dexter Dunn) finished fourth.

"I thought all year that she belongs in the conversation," said Bates when the names of divisional heavyweights Alicorn and Lyons Sentinel were raised.

Priceless, who was making her first start outside the state of Indiana for owners Kevin Miller and Bert Hochsprung, is now seven-for-10 to start her career.

"She's a great shipper, settled right in, ate everything, laid down, took a nap... everything's great.

"She's just a professional," said Bates when asked what makes her so good. "She takes care of herself, she loves to eat, nothing really bothers her."

Sent off at 2-1, Priceless returned $6.50 to win.

The lightly raced New Year wore down 1-5 favourite Alicorn to win the second elimination in 1:52 flat with Corey Callahan in the bike for trainer Ross Croghan.

New Year journeyed first-over from mid-pack to catch Alicorn (Louis Philippe Roy), the popular Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion who had cleared Lady Lou (Andrew McCarthy) past the :27 quarter pole and carved out middle splits of :56.1 and 1:24.4.

New Year prevailed by 1-1/4 lengths, with Alicorn hanging on for second-place just ahead of Lady Lou. Shouldabeenatd (David Miller) finished fourth over Keystone Kalimba (Jody Jamieson).

The Somebeachsomewhere-Drop The Ball filly is owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc., and Dana Parham.

"She's like the perfect combination of Drop The Ball and 'Somebeach,'" noted Callahan, who is familiar with the filly's dam. "Drop The Ball was really quick -- had like a really quick step -- and this filly just carries her speed a long way. When she hits gears, you don't really feel her change gears but she hits it. It's a good feeling.

"I won a couple of races with [Drop The Ball] and set a world record at Pocono so I guess that means you're getting a little bit old when you start driving the babies but we'll take it."

Entering the eliminations off a winning performance in the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile on October 4, New Year paid $6.40 to win. She has won four of her first five starts.

"She's really fresh," said Callahan. "She's gone a couple big heats. That heat there at Lexington was huge. Today, she didn't really have to work quite as hard as she did down there so I think we have fresh legs going into the final."

Lyons Sentinel will ride her winning momentum into the Breeders Crown Championship weekend for trainer Jim King Jr. and Threelyonsracing of Brantford, Ont.

The Captaintreacherous-Tutu Hanover miss extended her win streak to seven in stakes action when she won the final elimination for two-year-old filly pacers in 1:50.3.

After Marloe Hanover (Dexter Dunn) looped Betalady (Trevor Henry) at the :26.4 quarter mark, the 1-5 favourite swept from third to first and never looked back. She reached the half in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:22.4 en route to the 1-3/4-length victory over the pocket-popping Marloe Hanover. Looksgoodinaromper (Chris Page) closed from the backfield to secure third-place ahead of Somebeachsometime (Jody Jamieson).

"She just keeps impressing me the more and more I sit behind her," said Tetrick. "I wasn't going to be on the front, but I didn't want to get away too far back and let some of the better mares get away from me. I put her on the lead, which I don't think is her best game, but she paced all the way to the wire today and the plugs were still in.

"Every time I've driven her she's just been a professional and likes her work, she's easy on herself and she's loves chasing down a target but she shows she can do it either way."

Lyons Sentinel's streak includes victories in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship and Shes A Great Lady Stakes. She has won a total of eight races with three runner-up finishes from 11 starts.

Tetrick wasn't all that surprised by the efforts of fellow elimination winners Priceless and New Year.

"I knew both of them were there before," said Tetrick with a smile. "I followed Brandon Bates' mare in the Kentuckiana. I had a mare that I thought was OK and he blew my doors off there, and the mare of Ross Croghan's, I watched her baby race and race every time and I knew Ross was pointing her for a big effort and he's done that so far."

The top three finishers in each two-year-old filly pace elimination will advance to the championship along with the fourth-place finisher with highest earnings in 2019 (Shouldabeenatd).

Here is a look at the field in post position order for the championship:

$600,000 Two-Year-Old Filly Pace
1. Lyons Sentinel
2. Alicorn
3. Priceless
4. New Year
5. Lady Lou
6. Looksgoodinaromper
7. Marloe Hanover
8. Reflect With Me
9. Baby Your The Best
10. Shouldabeenatd

The 2019 Breeders Crown, presented by Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, will be contested next weekend at Woodbine Mohawk Park with the two-year-old championships set for Friday, Oct. 25.

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