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Fillies & Mares Set For Breeders Crown

Published: October 20, 2017 7:05 pm ET

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The first wave of Breeders Crown eliminations was contested at Hoosier Park on Friday night (October 20) featuring the sport's top fillies and mares in action.

Trot Insider has provided coverage of all the eliminations below. The remaining eliminations for the male divisions will take place on Saturday night at Hoosier.

Mares Pace - $25,000 Eliminations

Driven by Brett Miller, White Birch Farm's homebred Darlinonthebeach and driver Brett Miller closed through the passing lane to overtake defending champion Lady Shadow in the first of two Mares Pace eliminations, winning by one and a quarter length in a season's best 1:49.3. Lady Shadow (Yannick Gingras) settled for second after leading through panels of :26, :54.4 and 1:22.4. Windsun Glory (Trace Tetrick) followed in third with Pure Country (Mark MacDonald) a first-up, fourth-place finisher. Blue Moon Stride (David Miller) was fifth.

"We had a little trouble getting her going here in the beginning of the year," noted assistant trainer Marcus Johansson. "She had some sickness and went through some stuff, but she's been really sharp lately and I'm happy with her effort tonight."

Nancy Johansson trains the four-year-old millionaire daughter of Somebeachsomewhere and Darlins Delight. Darlinonthebeach paid $13.80 to win.

In the second elimination, 2-5 favourite Nike Franco N ($2.80) and driver Tim Tetrick looped the quick-leaving Call M Queen Be after a :26.2 first quarter and never looked back, leading through panels of :55.3 and 1:24 en route to the two and a half length victory in 1:51.2. Bedroomconfessions (Yannick Gingras) closed from the backfield widest of all to edge out L A Delight (Corey Callahan) and Seventhtimesavirgin (John De Long) in a photo for show. Sassa Hanover (Matt Kakaley) earned the remaining spot in the final finishing fifth.

"She's just a sweetheart, does her job, whatever you want her to -- on the pace, off the pace," said Tetrick. "She just takes her time up there. She floats around, when she see horses, she gets in the harness. If they're not racing, they'll let her go 1:24, she likes that too."

A former Horse of the Year in Australia, the seven-year-old McArdle-Nearea Franco mare is trained by Jim King Jr. and owned by Richard Poillucci of North Easton, Massachusetts.

Post positions for the final are as follows:
1. L A Delight
2. Pure Country
3. Nike Franco N*
4. Darlinonthebeach*
5. Windsun Glory
6. Bedroomconfessions
7. Sassa Hanover
8. Lady Shadow
9. Seventimesavirgin
10. Blue Moon Stride
AE1. Medusa
AE2. Wrangler Magic
*Elimination winners draw from posts one through five.

Three-Year-Old Pacing Fillies - $25,000 Elimination

Ella Christina swept up in the final strides for a 35-1 upset in the sophomore filly pace elimination, prevailing over inside closer Idyllic Beach (Yannick Gingras) by a quarter-length in a photo finish.

Nick Surick trains and co-owns the Western Ideal-Arthroscopic filly, who returned $72 to win, with JL Benson Stables Inc., William Daggett Jr., and Lawrence Vukovic.

Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) retook the lead from the quick-leaving Idyllic Beach after a :26.2 first quarter and was then confronted by even-money favourite Blazin Britches (Tim Tetrick), who gained a half-length advantage past the :55.2 half-mile marker. Caviart Ally fought back on the way to three-quarters in 1:23 and turned for home with the lead while Blazin Britches forged on and Agent Q (David Miller) angled out from a three-hole trip down the stretch. Meanwhile, Idyllic Beach shot through the passing lane, but Ella Christina stole the glory with a late kick on the far outside, scoring in 1:51 over Idyllic Beach.

Agent Q finished third while a from-last Carols Z Tam (Ricky Macomber Jr.) came on for fourth. Caviart Ally ended up fifth, with Inverse Hanover (Peter Wrenn), Blazin Britches and Jayes A Lady (Andy Miller) completing the top eight finishers that will move on to the final. They will be joined by New York Sire Stakes champion Obvious Blue Chip and Lismore Pace winner Tequila Monday, who received byes.

Two-Year-Old Pacing Fillies - $20,000 Eliminations

Favourite Rainbow Room ($4.60) was a dominant three-length winner in the first of two eliminations, clearing fellow leaver Percy Bluechip by the :26.3 quarter mark and carving out middle splits of :56 and 1:24.1 before widening her leading margin. David Miller drove the Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Blue filly to the 1:52.3 victory for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Crawford Farms LLC, Val Dor Farms and Theodore Gewertz.

"I was worried about having to cut the whole mile because it is such a long stretch and it's grueling and closers can come on fresh," said Holloway. "But you do want to win and he [David Miller] said she still had pace."

Firestorm (Jody Jamieson) and Come See The Show (Tim Tetrick) closed inside to complete the top three, while Majorsspeciallady (Yannick Gingras) and Rock On Ladys (John De Long) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, and will also advance to the final.

Sent postward as the overwhelming 1-9 favourite, Youaremycandygirl ($2.20) and Yannick Gingras made the winning move early as they swept to command over stablemate Strong Opinion (Matt Kakaley) in the second elimination.

Youaremycandygirl took the lead during the :26.2 opening quarter and carved out middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.3 before holding off inside closer Reign On Me (David Miller) by three-quarters of a length in 1:51. Strong Opinion finished third with Pueblo Blue Chip (Jody Jamieson) and Im With Her (Paul MacDonell) following in fourth and fifth.

"She was a little excited tonight, but she can race out a hole for sure," noted Gingras. "She raced in the two-hole last week in Lexington and she came on really hard in the stretch.

"Down the stretch, I heard the other filly coming. She's a nice filly too and I heard her. I just called on mine. She had some left, but she gave me what she's got. She's a very honest filly and she is a sweetheart."

Ron Burke trains the American Ideal-Sweet Lady Jane filly, who notched her fourth straight win for owner W. J. Donovan of Delray Beach, Florida.

Three-Year-Old Trotting Fillies - $25,000 Elimination

Overdraft Volo ($11) and Andy Miller converted off a pocket trip and held off 2-1 favourite Ice Attraction (Ake Svanstedt) by a head to win the lone elimination for three-year-old trotting fillies in 1:53.3. Julie Miller trains the Yankee Glide-Bank Of Newport filly for owners Pinske Stables and Kentuckiana Racing Stable.

"She raced really good, got the trip I wanted and we went an easy middle half," said Miller. "When I moved her at the top of the lane, she really sprinted away and finished it off from there."

Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan) led through fractions of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:25.3 while fending off eventual breaker Checkmate Time and finished third. Sunshine Delight (Brett Miller) came on for fourth. Highland Top Hill (David Miller), Dream Baby Dream (Rod Allen), Dream Together (Dan Dube), and Checkmate Time (Donald Dupont) completed the top eight finish order. They will be joined in the final by Ariana G and Thats All Moni, who received byes as top money-earners this season.

Two-Year-Old Trotting Fillies - $20,000 Eliminations

Phaetosive ($4.60) and trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer wore down divisional track record holder Basquiat and lowered that filly's mark set in the Kentuckiana to 1:53.3.

Even-money favourite Basquiat (Yannick Gingras) forged to front from the outside post eight and trotted unchallenged through opening panels of :27.4 and :57.1 before 7-5 second choice Phaetosive launched her attack from third heading to three-quarters in 1:25.4. Phaetosive took over command in the stretch and trotted away by three lengths in a record-setting performance. Seviyorum (Andy Miller) came on for second-place honours finishing ahead Jordan Blue Chip (Scott Zeron), with Atlanta (Rick Zeron) and Hey Blondie (Andrew McCarthy) rounding out the top five. Basquiat ended up sixth.

"I just wanted to get away in striking position and I knew Yannick was going to leave," said Smedshammer, who trains the Explosive Matter-Phaeton filly for Purple Haze Stables LLC. "It worked out kind of good because I was able to sit until after the half and I made my move."

Undefeated trotting filly Manchego ($2.10) continued her winning ways in the final elimination of the night and now heads to the Breeders Crown with a perfect 11-for-11 record.

Driven by Yannick Gingras, the 1-9 favourite worked her way to the lead from post four, clearing past the :27.3 quarter mark. After middle splits of :57.1 and 1:26.1, she drew three lengths clear of first-up challenger Lily Stride (Tim Tetrick) for the 1:54.1 victory.

"It would take a heck of a horse to go by this filly," said Jimmy Takter, who trains the Muscle Hill-Secret Magic miss for owners Black Horse Racing of Lebanon, New Jersey, John Fielding of Toronto, Ont., and Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, Florida. "When she's sitting like that, she's extremely brave and so far we haven't seen a horse pass her."

Top Expectations (Marcus Miller) was a close third, with S M S Princess (Ake Svanstedt) and early leader Looking For Zelda (Tony Hall) earning the remaining spots in the final.

"She was a little anxious I saw in the last turn," noted Takter, assessing Manchego's final tune up for Breeders Crown. "Yannick had a little bit too much hold of her. She did that a little bit in the [Peaceful Way] elimination up in Canada, but it's a fresh evening and it's a little cold and she's been in the detention barn 24 hours. I've got to work on that for the final."

Mares Trot - No Eliminations

No eliminations were necessary for the Mares Trot, which attracted five entries including Caprice Hill, Emoticon Hanover, Flowers N Songs, Pink Pistol and Pasithea Face S. All five will advance directly to the October 27 final. Defending Mares Trot champion Hannelore Hanover was entered in this year’s Open Trot against the boys.

Post positions were drawn for the final and the field will line up as follows:
1. Emoticon Hanover
2. Flowers N Songs
3. Pink Pistol
4. Caprice Hill
5. Pasithea Face S (scratched)

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