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Gingras Sweeps Freshman Filly Trot 'Crown' Elims

Published: October 18, 2019 8:14 pm ET

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Sister Sledge kicked off the first night of Breeders Crown eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park by defeating the previously undefeated Hypnotic AM in the first of two $32,500 eliminations for the freshman filly trotters.

The top five finishers from each two-year-old filly trot elimination will advance to the final, with the winners drawing from post positions one through five.

Sent postward as the 1-5 favourite, the Marcus Melander-trained Hypnotic AM was undefeated in seven starts heading into the eliminations and she worked past Sister Sledge into the first turn for driver Brian Sears. After reaching the quarter pole in :27.2, she trotted by the half-mile mark in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24.4.

However, Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion Sister Sledge emerged from the pocket down the stretch and collared Hypnotic AM before the wire in a 1:53.1 career-best performance with Yannick Gingras aboard. She paid $13.80 to win as the 5-1 second choice.

Shishito (Dexter Dunn) finished third, with Violet Stride (Tyler Buter) and Madame Sherry (Tim Tetrick) fourth and fifth, respectively.

"I think she might have got there last week but coming out of the hole maybe I rushed her a little bit and she got a little rough on me so tonight when I came out of the two-hole I gave her time to get her gait right and it was right tonight," said Gingras, referring to the filly's close second-place finish in the International Stallion Stakes last time out on October 4 at The Red Mile. "She was really strong; she's a really, really good filly."

Ron Burke trains Sister Sledge for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Jason Melillo, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The Father Patrick-Behindcloseddoors filly now boasts eight wins and has yet to miss the board in 10 career starts.

Yannick Gingras completed a sweep of the two-year-old trot eliminations (including the colt division) as the Per Engblom pupil Ms Savannah Belle glided by the front-stepping May Baby for a 1:53.2 score.

Leaving from the outside posts, May Baby (James Yoder) cleared Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Ms Savannah Belle for the lead while Jula Shes Magic (Jody Jamieson) was forced to the safety lane when that filly broke stride from third on the opening turn.

May Baby set fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:24.4 before Ms Savannah Belle swept by in the stretch and opened up 3-1/2 lengths. Wine Rack Hanover (Sylvain Filion) followed in second with 1-5 favourite Ramona Hill (Andrew McCarthy), who was five-for-five entering the elims, edging out May Baby for third off an overland journey. Peaceful Way Stakes champion Dip Me Hanover (David Miller) completed the top five finish order.

"Tonight has been easy," said Engblom, who also trains Shishito and two-year-old trotting colt elim winner Synergy. "We've got good horses and we had some good spots tonight so I was feeling confident coming here.

"She [Ms Savannah Belle] got a little unlucky with some bad posts in the [Jim Doherty] at The Meadowlands there, she raced great. She was super down in Lexington; we only raced her the first week there, we skipped the second week just to aim her for this and I think she'll be even sharper next week.

"I think my filly will do good. She hasn't raced in three weeks, she'll be a little sharper next week and my other filly was third in the first elimination and I think she'll step up and be a little better next week too."

Ms Savannah Belle returned $10.60 to win as the 4-1 second choice.

Owned and bred by Al Libfeld, the Muscle Hill-Stubborn Belle filly sports a record reading 4-2-1 from eight starts.

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

$600,000 Two-Year-Old Filly Trot
1. Hypnotic AM
2. Sister Sledge
3. May Baby
4. Dip Me Hanover
5. Ms Savannah Belle
6. Wine Rack Hanover
7. Madame Sherry
8. Shishito
9. Violet Stride
10. Ramona Hill

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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