From Pony Races To The Breeders Crown

Published: October 24, 2018 08:08 pm EDT

With Springsteen and When Dovescry in his stable, trainer Rene Allard may have what it takes to top the charts Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Both horses have made it into rich Breeders Crown finals, another major step in a career that has taken Allard from pony races in his native Quebec to Standardbred racing's biggest events in a span of 16 years.

"If we could win a race like that, I would say we made it. When I think of where we started, my brother (driver Simon) and I, it's a dream to be competing at this level. To be doing it with your brother makes it extra special. It was a dream for us just to get into Standardbred racing," said Allard.

At 31, he already has more than 4,000 training victories. They include major wins such as the $500,000 Max Hempt Pace at Pocono with Springsteen and a pair of $500,000-plus George Levy finals at Yonkers with Keystone Velocity, but so far no Breeders Crown. From five previous starters, his best finish was fifth by pacing mare Yagonnakissmeornot.

That isn't likely to be the case beyond the weekend. When Dovescry has won her last four races, including her Crown elimination, and drew post one for the $600,000 final for two-year-old trotting fillies. Simon Allard, a regular at Pocono, will steer her again Saturday.

"We took our time with her and I believe it's paying off now," said Rene Allard, currently second to Ron Burke with more than 300 training wins in 2018.

Springsteen also appears to have a fighting chance in what is shaping up as a wide open final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The Rock N Roll Heaven colt's biggest win came at Pocono and he will start from post three after finishing third in his elimination.

"He's been inconsistent but he's a very fast horse and is coming into the race fresh," Allard said.

"I've got two talented animals who drew good and I believe are peaking at the right time, so I'm happy. Whatever happens, it should be a great night of racing that I'm just happy to be part of."

The posts for the Breeders Crown Open Pace and Trot were drawn on Tuesday to complete the fields for this Saturday's all-star card of harness racing, with $6.4 million in total purses, slated for The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Post time for the first race will be at 5:30 p.m. (EDT).

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)