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Hoping History Doesn't Repeat

Published: October 23, 2015 8:49 am ET

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The last time the Breeders Crown was held at Woodbine Racetrack in 2012, the Ron Burke stable sent out 11 starters. While that number might not be surprising, the numbers of winners on that card certainly isn't what most would expect.

In fact, of the 11 starters in the 12 Breeders Crown events that year, Burke's best finish was a second with Sweet Lou in the Three-Year-Old Colt Pace.

Fast forward to 2015 and Burke will send out returning champion Mission Brief and favoured Southwind Frank among the 14 starters heading to the gate on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack.

Assistant trainer Mickey Burke was present at Tuesday's post draw and press conference. Burke ran through his thoughts on his stable's chances in this SC video feature. He also discussed which races he felt would be most competitive, which division he'd most like to win and which horse not sent out by his own outfit impressed him the most in last week's Breeders Crown eliminations.

Of the stars not mentioned in the video (due to technical difficulties), he also offered his thoughts on trotters Gural Hanover (Race 11, Open Trot) and Im So Fancy (Race 6, Three-Year-Old Filly Trot)

Gural Hanover: "He is a trip horse. Very consistent all year but is better off a trip. Hope we get some battles."

Im So Fancy: "The short field will help her. Hopefully she can be in the mix at the head of the stretch and get a good piece of it."

The dozen remaining contenders are as follows:

  • Race 1: Open Mare Trot; Handover Belle (starting from PP11, Matt Kakaley, 20-1)

  • Race 2: Two-Year-Old Filly Pace; Lyons River Pride (PP4, Brian Sears, 15-1) and Yankee Moonshine (PP5, Yannick Gingras, 6-1)

  • Race 3: Two-Year-Old Colt Trot; Southwind Frank (PP5, Yannick Gingras, 2-5)

  • Race 4: Three-Year-Old Filly Pace; Southwind Roulette (PP6, Yannick Gingras, 10-1) and Sassa Hanover (PP10, Matt Kakaley, 15-1)

  • Race 6: Three-Year-Old Filly Trot; Mission Brief (PP7, Yannick Gingras, 2-5)

  • Race 7: Two-Year-Old Pacing Colts; Big Top Hanover (PP7, Yannick Gingras, 12-1) and Pretty Boy Hill (PP9, Brian Sears, 12-1)

  • Race 12, Open Pace; Foiled Again (PP4, Yannick Gingras, 6-1), Bettors Edge (PP5, Brian Sears, 12-1) and All Bets Off (PP6, Matt Kakaley, 15-1)

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:

(Pictured in photo, clockwise from top centre: Southwind Frank, Foiled Again, Sassa Hanover, Southwind Roulette, Yankee Moonshine, Mission Brief. Photos cuortesy WEG/Michael Burns.)

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