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'Danny' A Diamond In The Rough

Published: October 22, 2015 9:31 am ET

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"He’s just a short, little, fat horse. We nicknamed him ‘Danny,’ after Danny DeVito. But right from day one he was a natural. He shows up every week and does his job."

Dustin Jones hopes no one can get shorty.

Jones co-owns and trains two-time Ontario Sires Stakes champion Dont Rush, who is among the 11 horses in Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders Crown for three-year-old male trotters at Woodbine Racetrack. The colt is 20-1 on the morning line but has already surprised people -- beginning with Jones.

Eleven years ago, Jones bought a filly named Color Me Pretty as a yearling for $18,000 at the Tattersalls Sale. She never raced because of a tendon issue, but Jones kept her as a broodmare. Dont Rush, whose sire is former Italian star Infinitif, is Color Me Pretty’s sixth foal. Just one of her previous five foals made it to the races.

“It was a free breeding I got from (Infinitif owner) Jean Pierre Dubois,” Jones said, adding about Color Me Pretty’s broodmare record, “When I was breaking Dont Rush, I thought it was a waste of time. It just goes to show you how much everybody knows.

“He’s tiny, but he pumps himself on the racetrack. He looks bigger on the track. He gives you 110 percent every week; it’s just sometimes his little legs can’t go fast enough.”

Pinkman, whose wins this year include the Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity and Canadian Trotting Classic, is the 3-5 morning line favourite from post No. 1 in the Breeders Crown final for the three-year-old colts and geldings. Muscle Diamond, who finished second to Pinkman in last season’s Breeders Crown, is the 9-2 second choice from post four.

Dont Rush has won five of 12 races this year and earned $220,881 for owners Jones and Greg Judson. For his career, the colt has won nine of 23 starts and $488,895. All of his victories have been on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit, including the championship for two-year-old male trotters in 2014.

Last year, Dont Rush finished second to French Laundry in a division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk. This year, he finished fourth in a division of the Simcoe Stakes and seventh in the Canadian Trotting Classic. He heads to the Breeders Crown final off consecutive wins in the Ontario Sires Stakes, including the championship on Oct. 10.

Jones also trained Dont Rush’s grandam, the Garland Lobell-sired Mathers Grincheuse. Jones’ brother Michael owned Mathers Grincheuse.

“She was a $6,000 filly and she made around $70,000,” Jones said. “She paid for my brother’s house, like a lot of those Garland Lobells did. They did a lot of good things for a lot of people.”

Jones, a native of Quebec now based in Ontario, trained and drove Emilie Cas El, who was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 1994. He has won two Breeders Crown titles, with Martiniontherocks in the 2010 Breeders Crown for two-year-old filly trotters and in 2012 with Wheeling N Dealin in the two-year-old colt trot. He is after his first Crown as a breeder and an owner.

Judson is making his first appearance in the Breeders Crown. Judson’s father George is a longtime owner, and one of the owners of 2014 O’Brien Award-winning trotter Harper Blue Chip. The Judsons own and operate a funeral home in Athens, Ontario.

Jones and Judson also share ownership of Dewdle All Day, who is a finalist in the Breeders Crown for two-year-old filly trotters. Dewdle All Day is 30-1 on the morning line. All The Time, from the Jimmy Takter Stable, is the 7-5 favorite.

“I’m happy that we’re in it and can participate,” Jones said. “She’s pretty honest. If some people make a mistake, she could be there to pick up the pieces. We’ll see what happens.”

$500,000 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Trot
Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1. Pinkman - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 3-5
2. Lookslikeachpndale - Sylvain Filio - n-Luc Blais - 20-1
3. Fashion Creditor - Brian Sears - Tom Fanning - 30-1
4. Muscle Diamond - John Campbell - Brett Bittle - 9-2
5. The Bank - David Miller - Jimmy Takter - 6-1
6. French Laundry - Brett Miller - -Jimmy Takter - 5-1
7. Crescent Fashion - Scott Zeron - Ake Svanstedt - 12-1
8. Dont Rush - Chris Christoforou - Dustin Jones - 20-1
9. Uncle Lasse - Johnny Takter - Jimmy Takter - 8-1
10. Southwind Mozart - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svanstedt - 30-1
11. Infiniti As - Tim Tetrick - Anette Lorentzon - 20-1

For the first time in three years, Woodbine Racetrack will again host the Breeders Crown, harness racing’s most spectacular evening, when 12 championship finals, offering more than $6 million in purse money. It’s the richest day of horse racing in Canada as North America’s best two-year-olds, three-year-olds and older pacers and trotters will be in the spotlight seeking to claim divisional and possibly Harness Horse of the Year honours. TSN2 will air a special one hour telecast across Canada from 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. and will televise two of the 12 Crown finals live, the $500,000 Three-Year-Old Colt Trot at 9:19 p.m. and the $531,250 Three-Year-Old Colt Pace at 9:44 p.m. ET.

Among the marketing activities on Breeders Crown night are WEG’s First Bet On Us $2 voucher and a free toque (while supplies last), available on the 3rd Floor; $10,000 in Instant Cash Giveaways (wager through a self-serve wagering terminal at Woodbine for 100 chances to win $100) and a mandatory Jackpot Hi 5 payout on Race 13 (the carryover pool is currently at $557,000) scheduled for 11:27 p.m.

In addition, there will be two $100,000 Guaranteed Pick 4’s, Early (Races 4-7) and Late (Races 8-11).

To view the entries for the Breeders Crown card, and for past performances for the Breeders Crown entrants courtesy TrackIT, click one of the following links:

2015 Breeders Crown Finals:

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

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