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Breeders Crown Weekend Begins

Published: October 28, 2016 7:00 pm ET

Last Comment: November 3, 2016 10:41 am ET | 50 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The 2016 Breeders Crown weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey began with Friday's (October 28) harness racing card featuring the first four championships for older horses.

Hannelore Hanover kicked off the 2016 Breeders Crown weekend with a 1:53.3 victory in the $250,000 Open Mares Trot.

Driven by Yannick Gingras for the Ron Burke stable, the four-year-old Swan For All-High Sobriety mare defeated two-time Breeders Crown champions Bee A Magician (Brian Sears) and Shake It Cerry (David Miller) as the 3-5 favourite.

Racing with Lasix added, Hannelore Hanover left from post two with 8-5 second choice Bee A Magician firing out from post five to make the front in the first turn. After a :27.4 first quarter, Hannelore Hanover looped to the lead and reached the half in :56.1 with Shake It Cerry (David Miller) underway from the backfield and advancing to second-place to apply pressure past the 1:25.4 third quarter mark. Hannelore Hanover continued to lead the field of eight mares into the stretch with Shake It Cerry looming to her outside and Bee A Magician locked in the pocket until late in the mile. However, Hannelore Hanover kicked clear of her rivals approaching the wire with Bee A Magician tracking two lengths behind and Shake It Cerry finishing third.

Hannelore Hanover now boasts more than a million dollars in seasonal earnings, with a 16-for-19 record in 2016. Despite entering the Breeders Crown off a seventh-place finish after an early break in the International Trot at Yonkers Raceway on October 15 -- her only result worse than second-place this year -- Gingras remained confident in his mare.

"I didn't doubt my mare. There was no doubt, I think she's a great horse," said Gingras. "The International was a race to forget -- the half-mile track. But there was definitely a Bee A Magician factor; she's a great horse and she looked really good at Yonkers last [time]. I definitely thought she would give me a run for my money."

Hannelore Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino, and J And T Silva Stables LLC.

"It’s always special to finish off a good year with a Breeders Crown win," said Burke. "I think that sews up -- maybe there wasn’t a doubt -- Aged Trotting Mare and keeps her in the running for Trotter of the Year. I was a little surprised when Yannick removed to the front, but I think he wanted to control the race and make sure she didn’t get boxed in. Bee A Magician I’m sure had a little bit more trot, but I think we had a lot more too, so even if she got out I think we could have held on. Whatever it is, we got there. If we get the win, we’re happy."

Hannelore Hanover paid $3.40 to win.

Runner-up Bee A Magician's trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman has been amazed by his mare's comeback and noted she could be headed overseas to race in France following the TVG.

"She was super. She had lots of trot," said Norman of Bee A Magician. "She was good enough to win, she just didn’t get any room. I was happy with everything. She raced good and Brian drove her good, I thought he put her in the right spot. She just didn’t get the shot at it. She went over $4 million, but it would have been nice to get another Breeders Crown.

"She’s such an athlete. She’s overcome a lot and she’s right back at a very high level. It seems a shame to shut her down. She’s right back to where she should be. We’re going to look into [going overseas]. I’d like to take her to France, perhaps not to race in the Prix d’Amerique, but some of those races that Maven raced in, just to give her another month of racing. It’s just option. We haven’t really gotten very far with it. We wanted to get this over with and see how we finished up here."

The highly anticipated $421,000 Open Pace featured another epic duel between arch-rivals Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit, with the former hauling down the latter late to defend his Breeders Crown title.

Reigning U.S. Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Montrell Teague blasted off the gate from post seven to take the lead with defending Breeders Crown champion Always B Miki and David Miller following in second-place after leaving from post four. The rest of the field followed in single-file alignment to just before the midway mark while Wiggle It Jiggleit carved out opening fractions of :27.1 and :55.1. Just past the half, Miller pulled Always B Miki from the pocket with Shamballa (Scott Zeron) progressing from fourth. Wiggle It Jiggleit continued to lead past three-quarters in 1:22.1 with the determined Always B Miki in pursuit down the stretch and ultimately surging by late to prevail by three-quarters of a length in 1:49 flat. Shamballa finished three and three-quarter lengths behind in third.

After facing off seven times this season heading into the Breeders Crowns and each winning three races, Always B Miki one-upped his rival as, in the words of track announcer Ken Warkentin, he "delivered a knockout blow" in the final strides.

With the victory, Jimmy Takter, the leading trainer for wins in Breeders Crown history, earned his 28th trophy.

"We saw two great, great horses, fighting side by side down the stretch," said Takter. "To me, it was one of the better races, maybe the best race I ever had a horse participate in, and it was so exciting to see it. When he dug in that little extra, that’s what a champion has. I am so proud of this horse and I’m speechless -- what a horse.

"Two weeks now [will be his last start in the TVG] and I hope everyone will come back. Everybody should see it, it’s going to be his last appearance here in the TVG. It's so wonderful to do it here on my home track, to win with this horse here on a cold night like this, it's a fantastic feeling."

"I couldn’t be happier with him, he’s a tough horse," added Miller. "He shows up and he was determined to get his head in front there."

The incredible comeback story of Always B Miki now includes 15 wins in 21 starts over the past two racing seasons. The double millionaire also boasts the title of being harness racing's fastest horse courtesy of his 1:46 victory at The Red Mile on October 9.

A five-year-old son of Always A Virgin and Artstopper, Always B Miki is owned by Takter's wife Christina, along with Bluewood Stable and Roll The Dice Stable.

Sent postward as the 3-5 favourite, Always B Miki paid $3.20 to win.

Despite the loss in this match-up, Teague said he was happy with supplemental entry Wiggle It Jiggleit's runner-up effort.

“Me and 'Miki' have been trading wins and losses the whole season," said Teague. “One race isn’t going to deter me; I was happy with my horse, he put in a game effort. There was a big headwind and just the wind played a factor today and the horse got on the left line a little bit, but from having all those difficult problems he still put in a game effort.

"I think it would be boring racing if we didn’t have these two, Miki and mine," he added. "We’ve both got one more crack at each other at the TVG final, so I’m excited. I’d rather race against him than be a layover and race against myself. I like the racing. I’m glad [Wiggle It Jiggleit] is a gelding so I get to keep racing him."

Lady Shadow asserted her divisional dominance in the $250,000 Open Mares Pace, returning to the scene of her Golden Girls and Lady Liberty victories from earlier this year to post another winning effort for Canadian-based trainer Ron Adams.

Driver Yannick Gingras sent the 1-5 favourite Lady Shadow to the front past the :27 first quarter ahead of rival Solar Sister (Doug McNair), who had split horses to secure the early lead, and proceeded to the half in :54.2. While Divine Caroline (David Miller), last year's three-year-old filly Crown champion, edged out from fourth, Lady Shadow opened up a few lengths on top on the way to three-quarters in 1:21.4 and dug in down the stretch to maintain her advantage to the wire for the 1:49.4 victory. Sassa Hanover (Matt Kakaley) closed for second-place honours and Frost Damage Blues (Brett Miller) finished third off a three-hole trip.

Lady Shadow earned her 11th win of the season from 19 starts and pushed her 2016 earnings to $849,121.

The five-year-old millionaire daughter of Shadow Play and Lady Camella is owned by David Kryway of Amherstburg, Ont., Carl Atley of Xenia, Ohio, Edwin Gold of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and Bfj Stable of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"We put a group together and bought her last year at the start of her four-year-old year," explained Adams in a post-race interview. "She had a good two and three-year-old year for Gregg McNair. I really like the mare and was glad we got a deal put together and got her bought. She’s had a good year this year, a career year, actually. She beat herself a little bit when she was younger, she had issues at the gate in a couple of big races. She made miscues behind the gate and it cost her a lot of money I think early on in her career. But she’s put that behind her and she’s turned into a really nice mare. She likes the big track and she likes the speed. Speed is her game and she gets to use it here on this big track.

"It’s a really good feeling, it's a good way to end, puts a good stamp on the end of the year. After Kentucky [where she finished eighth at The Red Mile on October 9], she bounced right back. Hopefully she will be in the TVG in a couple of weeks here."

Lady Shadow paid $2.40 to win.

Flanagan Memory stormed home off cover to defeat heavy favourite Resolve in the $500,000 Open Trot for his Canadian connections.

Newly minted Hall of Famer Brian Sears worked out the winning trip aboard the six-year-old millionaire son of Kadabra and Classy Stacy for trainer Rene Dion and co-owner Liette Flanagan of Repentigny, Que.

"We got a nice trip tonight with him; we got to follow Resolve second-over until halfway down the lane so it worked out really well," said Sears. "The horse has been racing really good and Rene and Susie [Kerwood], they really deserve it, they've done a great job with the horse so it's great to get it done for them and Liette also."

While Windsun Revenge (Scott Zeron) led the field through fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.2, Sears moved Flanagan Memory underway from sixth and flushed out cover in the form of International Trot champion Resolve (Ake Svandstedt), the 1-5 favourite, near the half-mile mark. Resolve began to close in on Windsun Revenge down the stretch with Crazy Wow (Yannick Gingras) rallying inside and JL Cruze (John Campbell) coming through between horses, but it was Flanagan Memory who stole the glory, flying home on the far outside to prevail in 1:52.1 by one length. Resolve edged out JL Cruze in a photo finish to earn his second straight runner-up finish in the Breeders Crown, while Windsun Revenge was fourth over Crazy Wow.

Flanagan Memory paid $10.60 to win as the 4-1 second choice in the wagering.

He has now earned 11 top-three finishes from 14 starts this year, including six wins, to add $663,728 to his bankroll.

After the race, Sears commented on Flanagan Memory's current form as the trotter matched his lifetime mark of 1:51.2 in winning the Allerage at The Red Mile earlier this month and finished a game third in the International Trot on October 15 prior to his Breeders Crown victory.

"It was a really big effort in the International Trot a few weeks ago and I'm just really happy with that," said Sears. "He came out of it good, but to finish third with the overland trip that he got that day and kept coming at the wire, you know, this horse, he just likes to pick them off late.

"He's a solid horse," he added. "He's always a contender. He's always going forward at the wire."

Sears will look to add to his own Breeders Crown win count, which now stands at 27, as the championships continue on Saturday night.

"We've got a big night tomorrow night," he said. "I've got a few that I like a lot and some just trying to get some pieces."

The remaining eight Breeders Crown championships for two and three-year-olds will be contested on Saturday night at Meadowlands Racetrack. Post time for the first race on Saturday will be 6:35 p.m.

Kindergarten Trotting Series Prelims Wrap Up

The fifth and final preliminary leg of the Kindergarten Classic Series for two-year-old trotters was contested on the undercard with Feed Your Head (Yannick Gingras) winning the $10,000 filly division to open the Friday program. The Muscle Hill-Flawless Bluestone filly, who was also victorious in a previous Kindergarten leg on August 18 at Vernon Downs, cleared to the lead from post eight at the quarter-pole while 8-5 favourite Caviart Wonder (Andrew McCarthy) broke at the start, and went on to score by two lengths in a career-best time of 1:55.4 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Mellby Gard Inc.

The colt division was won by 9-5 favourite New Jersey Viking (Andrew McCarthy), who worked to clear Explosive Ridge (David Miller) from post seven during the opening panel and held off that pocket-pursuer and the advancing International Moni in 1:55.3. Ake Svanstedt trains the Muscle Hill-Hall Of Wishes colt for owners Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Little E LLC.

The Kindergarten Classic finals, with trotters vying for a combined $350,000 in estimated purses, are scheduled for next Saturday, Nov. 5 at The Meadowlands.


Important Links

November 3, 2016 - 10:41 amKevin... We never engage in

carl roberts SAID...

Kevin...
We never engage in "what would Miki do" if this and if that.
Why?
Because he does everything and more.
Crush world records almost every other week it seems.
BTW - the book of excuses that you have been reading?
I think you are on the last paragraph.

November 3, 2016 - 10:09 amTrevor... you are absolutely

carl roberts SAID...

Trevor... you are absolutely right.
If WIJI wins the TVG he deserves aged pacer of the year.
Same can be said for Miki... if MIKI wins the TVG he deserves aged pacer of the year.

I had to laugh at your comment stating about all the fiction I engage in.
You are like the George Orwell of this blog :)

And for you Non-fiction fans out there...
Miki - 4
WIJI - 3
And in the poll it clearly states the highest rated horses.
WIJI is in second... Miki on top

November 3, 2016 - 9:05 amWhat will be more laughable

What will be more laughable is that neither horse races this week and are both waiting for the TVG final. Yet, I can almost guarantee that in next Tuesday's poll WIJI will be closer to MIKI in the standings.

All year long this has been the trend... when WIJI wins the votes change drastically..... when they don't race WIJI gets more votes (opens up lead etc).... and when MIKI wins the poll slowly changes.

Why should their opinion change when neither races. Is it because the owners do a meet and greet so the horse deserves to be HOY because of it? I honestly can't understand why it would or should change unless they are biased but what I am glad is they don't determine the real HOY's etc in any category.

November 3, 2016 - 8:52 amhaha Kevin: So you feel if

haha Kevin:

So you feel if WIJI beats MIKI in the TVG final he is horse of the year.

Hmmmmm...fair enough, I don't feel that way as they would be tied and I think MIKI has had a way better year, speed wise, caliber of opponents and record but that doesn't matter. That's my opinion and you will have yours.

Real Question is: When MIKI wins the TVG final (and he will, unless he draws the 8-10 hole then possibly a shot for WIJI) are you going to admit MIKI deserves to be HOY because his record is way better heads-up, speed-wise, earnings per start and on and on....... or will you make more excuses and say something silly like WIJI has raced everywhere, has more fans and more wins overall so he should be HOY??? Probably you will just stop commenting but that's ok as we wouldn't want certain fans of WIJI thinking for a second they could give credit to another horse.

The one thing you are correct on is the fact there is no guarantee MIKI will be a success at stud. What is guaranteed though is he will make more in one year at stud then WIJI will the rest of his career and he actually has 3 years of breeding before we get to see if he is a success or not so that's a heck of a lot of money. After 3 more years though even if he is only a little successful he will still be making far more than WIJI will each year as his earnings are going to drop hard over the next few years.

Only losers in all this are the fans who don't get to see these two and other stars keep racing because of the change in stallion rules again.

November 2, 2016 - 2:46 pmTrevor: I'm not going to

Trevor:

I'm not going to entertain all the fiction you and Carl engage in about what MIKI would do if this and if that.

Suffice it to say, if WIJI wins the TVG he deserves to be HOY. He will have more earnings, more victories, and the edge in head to head competition.

November 2, 2016 - 11:46 amTrevor: I don't believe MIKI

Trevor:

I don't believe MIKI was ever hurt this summer. In short, I don't believe Takter would ever race MIKI at less than 100%. And by 100%, I mean ready to race and in good health. And I know about MIKI's rear leg injuries. How revealing of you to think otherwise.

You write the following:

In the summer prior to the July race Jimmy Takter said when interviewed BEFORE THE RACE, that MIKI's legs are flaring up and he hasn't been able to have him out of the barn even jogging. Then his next start in August, he just got him out on Wednesday of that week jogging. Still no workouts or training miles. You conveniently put the exact dates in your response and yes it was just over 6 weeks for the two starts (3 weeks between each start). WIJI beat him barely in his second race, and in his first race Shamballa won and MIKI finished 4th.

No excuses were made by fans of MIKI. He has lost before and since. But facts are facts --> He is the fastest of all time. He has the fastest 4 trips this year (1:46, his 3 world records in 1:47) plus he also has a few 1:47.1 trips. And fact is he is racing hurt and still this great.

[End of Quote]

You are making excuses. Plain to see. No more needs to be said.

I understand why you go on and on about MIKI going to stud since WIJI has accomplished so much more on the track. You truly are in MIKI fan mode.

MIKI is no cinch to be a success at stud, but no one would ever give it a thought reading your posts.

MIKI, a Rolls Royce? Well, according to you he is a Rolls Royce who spends much time in the garage or on up on the rack.

The only reason WIJI moves from track to track and wins the big bucks is because he can and MIKI doesn't because he can't. It has nothing to do with his future at stud. If his future at stud is so valuable, why is Takter racing MIKI while hurt? And they pushed him to set a so-called world record while hurt? Your story makes no sense to me.

November 2, 2016 - 10:33 amHarness racing does not do

John Carter SAID...

Harness racing does not do enough to promote the sport. I have always said that.
They should try and arrange a match race between WIJI ans Miki. Now if the connections of Miki have decided the tvg final is his last race and the match race is out of the question then perhaps the connections of Nickle Bag could step up to the plate and have a match race with WIJI and may the better horse win.

November 2, 2016 - 10:30 amYes MIKI is tops in the polls

Yes MIKI is tops in the polls but it really means little unless people are swayed by it. If WIJI won by a nose in 1:50 in the TVG final they would have every excuse to rerank him higher. And it would be by a huge margin. LOL

I will say Ted Decker is a WIJI fan and has viewed the races in an open view and commented on MIKI. Honestly I think many of the WIJI fans feel the same way as Ted as seen by the race favorite. There just seems to be a few fans who have elevated WIJI to the "best horse ever" and have stated so that they can't see the race any other way except others got lucky etc.

Kevin; Yes WIJI races on lots of half mile tracks. If you had followed the history of the polls this year you would have seen several times I mentioned that WIJI greatest asset is his tremendous gate speed. Maybe only Rainbow Blue faster off the gate. That is why he will last and be a top horse for several years also. He can always race many of the bigger purse races at half mile tracks and not worry as much about post position. Also note this carries through to the mile tracks where he left the other day from 7 hole and was immediately on top. He has left from outside a few times and same result.

What you should also see is that when he hasnt had the race his way he often loses and this is evident in Rockin Ron beating him twice. He definitely doesn't race most of his races coming first over going the tougher trip like MIKI.

I also feel as John does that if MIKI were sound without the problems he has overcome he would be undefeated again this year. The exception probably may be his first start where he came home in 25.4 from the back of the pack. He may have lost that race but it was only a tightener race anyway to get ready for the big races. There is no doubt he could have easily won in 48 or 49 that night but it wouldn't be nearly as good for him as his trip coming from the back and home so well even in a slower mile.

Even Mel Mara when he went in 1:47, He deserves credit but I think it would have been way different race if there was big money involved. It was an overnight race to keep him tight as there were no feature races at that time of year.

November 2, 2016 - 5:52 amWhen horses go thru the type

John Carter SAID...

When horses go thru the type of operations on there legs that Miki went thru they are never usually the same. Even though Miki has come back and has raced great it would be foolish to believe that the operations and the screws in the legs haven't taken a toll on him. If his leg injuries didn't occur and he was 100% sound, I honestly believe he would have paced in 1:45 and probably would have went unbeaten as an aged pacer. He is just that good.

November 1, 2016 - 10:06 pmKevin... don't look now but

carl roberts SAID...

Kevin... don't look now but Miki averages more per start than Wiji.
the reason WIJI races as many half mile tracks is because he is dam good at the tight turns and the shorter stretches.
Miki races on the bigger tracks because he is dam good getting to stretch his long legs out. Hard to do that on the 1/2 mile tracks... that and his injuries that he has valiantly over come.
You really need to look up that average earnings per starter index...
I am shocked a guy like you couldn't find it.
Keep looking.
Kevin... don't take it so personally.
2nd place isn't all that bad now is it?

November 1, 2016 - 9:58 pmdon't look now but the

carl roberts SAID...

don't look now but the inevitable just took place. Miki beating WIJI...yes that too.
Miki is now tops in the poll.

Miki 4
Wiji 3

Well said Trevor.
I had been saying that for awhile that Miki fans are mature an can tip their hat when Wiji wins. The reverse has yet to be said.
WIJI is of course thats good for racing.
Whats even better is a rivalry that is usually measure by inches in the photo.
Miki and Wiji.
Sounds like a Chuck Lorre sitcom.

November 1, 2016 - 6:08 pmKevin, WIJI`s index actually

carl roberts SAID...

Kevin, WIJI`s index actually goes up when racing against MIKI...
weak point because Miki`s index goes up even further when racing against WIJI.
But the actual comparison of Wigit and Miki you do not add in Wiji or Miki into the calculation. This gives a true reflection of earnings that each horse is racing against when they do race against each other.
You may not find it as it has been replaced by class ratings.
Class rating are more practicable as the earnings is always changing and a daunting task indeed.
The truth is that we were comparing WIJI and MIKI races head to head on who finished first.
It`s just that some WIJI fans are a tad juvinile and just cannot accept when WIJI gets beat.
It`s like a dump truck backing up with all the excuses to flow.
MIKI fans have certainly tipped their hat when WIJI beats Miki.
all you have to do is look at the archives for proof.
It would certainly be nice if WIJI gets beat the fans could just be mature and applaud a great effort by others.
They just don`t be able to give credit where credit is due.
All the best...We still have the TVG`s on Saturday Nov 12...should be a great night.

November 1, 2016 - 4:20 pmWhat is amazing about these

What is amazing about these polls and responses is that I have yet seen a WIJI fan state how great MIKI really is. MIKI's fans have no problem stating WIJI is a great racehorse. It is like they are scared to admit that there might be a better horse out there or something.

Other point is that WIJI seems to have the largest fan group but yet it seems MIKI has more supporters in these panels. Is that due to the fact that the majority of WIJI fans know he is a great horse just not the best? Possibly, and that leaves us in conversations with the few who see a kaleidoscope view of the races or facts and try to alter them to suit their need.

Last point is: Even though WIJI is supposed to have all these fans, how come they never back it up with money??? MIKI is always betting race favorite over WIJI (even though WIJI has raced these tracks and attracted all the fans)

If the horse is so good, has so many fans, and never misses, why is he not race favorite? They don't have confidence in him or know MIKI is better is the only answer.

Also Kevin, since you are on race stats and point to MIKI's 4th in the summer when he wasn't out of the barn for 3 weeks prior to the race ---> How many times has he been third? 0 times; WIJI 2. MIKI has only lost to WIJI and a couple others who took lifetime marks or required world records to do so to beat him.

November 1, 2016 - 4:07 pmKevin... You really don't

Kevin... You really don't understand the reasons why MIKI had the rest. First, as mentioned, MIKI was hurt during the summer. Yes he needed rest.

Even if MIKI didn't need the rest though he wouldn't have raced all over the tracks trying to get 25 starts in. He doesn't need to as there are no earnings for it. MIKI went to the Allerage (as all the other top horses did) to attempt to set the world record. They were going to push MIKI that day and honestly if he had someone cut a faster race or carried it longer he would have went even faster. WIJI went for $250 000 in a race that wasn't a scheduled race at the start of the year, but because of International Day they made a race and inflated the purse to $250,000. The same horses that race there in the weekly opens were in it except WIJI and of course Yonkers did want him there as he is a fan favorite (rightfully so) and it looks better on their feature card. They can afford the luxury of the inflated purse because of the casino revenue and overseas market they had that day.

So to sum it up...the reason WIJI has raced more times than MIKI and chased all the big purses only is due to the fact.... WIJI isn't going where MIKI is going... to stud.

November 1, 2016 - 3:35 pmKevin... Miki 4 WIJI 3 We

carl roberts SAID...

Kevin...

Miki 4
WIJI 3

We have only been talking about 2016 races won.

The 2016 record to see who gets Aged Pacer award at years end.
that's it...

November 1, 2016 - 11:59 amCarl: I googled 'average

Carl:

I googled 'average earnings index' and 'average earnings index harness racing'. Google returned nothing about average earnings index for standardbred racing, only as a thoroughbred breeding metric. Those terms should find it.

You introduced the number, the burden is yours to validate it. I'm not doing your homework. You haven't even provided a source for your number so I'll just disregard until you do.

I get a kick about posters squawking about 1/2 mile tracks. If you are counting 5/8ths tracks in that, then you are talking about most of the harness tracks in North America. There is simply not that many 7/8ths and 1 mile tracks in existence.

However, the biggest kick I get is, knowing nothing stopped MIKI from racing in those races, and you know it. Where was MIKI? Taking another rest? You have to face it, Carl, MIKI needs to race at certain tracks and needs lots of rest to accomplish what he does. On the other hand, his main opponent, WIJI, races just about anywhere, does very well everywhere, and requires almost no breaks. George Teague vans WIJI just about everywhere so race fans can see him race in person, while Miki skips a $250,00 invitational at Yonkers to race in the $138,000 Allerage at Lexington. See the difference? I sure do!

Finally, MIKI actually gets a nice bump in his average earnings index when racing against WIJI because, you know, he is the earnings king in harness racing the last two years. So, MIKI's Avg Earn Index, if even meaningful, relies on WIJI for some of its strength.

November 1, 2016 - 11:08 amJohn Thomas,

John Carter SAID...

John Thomas,

It's funny you should mention the great Secretariat in your post because i was thinking during the course of this discussion that if Miki had cut such a
pedestrian half of 55 and change even the great Secretariat probably wouldn't have got by him in the lane. Off those soft fractions Miller just would have gave a tap of the whip and zoom Miki would have been gone.

November 1, 2016 - 10:42 amKevin.... I never said MIKI

Kevin....

I never said MIKI didn't race for 6 weeks. I said WIJI beat him twice in the summer when MIKI never left the barn for 6 weeks. All fact. MIKI's legs got sore. FYI: MIKI has had TWO different serious injuries -> He broke both hind pastern bones on two separate occasions (yes an injury that forces most horses into retirement). In the summer prior to the July race Jimmy Takter said when interviewed BEFORE THE RACE, that MIKI's legs are flaring up and he hasn't been able to have him out of the barn even jogging. Then his next start in August, he just got him out on Wednesday of that week jogging. Still no workouts or training miles. You conveniently put the exact dates in your response and yes it was just over 6 weeks for the two starts (3 weeks between each start). WIJI beat him barely in his second race, and in his first race Shamballa won and MIKI finished 4th.

No excuses were made by fans of MIKI. He has lost before and since. But facts are facts --> He is the fastest of all time. He has the fastest 4 trips this year (1:46, his 3 world records in 1:47) plus he also has a few 1:47.1 trips. And fact is he is racing hurt and still this great. No other horse has ever went anywhere near the trips he has went and to be able to be in the stall and go out and race those two races shows what a champion he is. Next fact is his next start Jimmy once again BEFORE THE RACE stated that he has been able to train MIKI and that he is has been a lot better. MIKI won.

Check out the other previous co-world record holder He's Watching in 2014 Meadowlands Pace. Watch the trip MIKI goes from 10 hole. 4-5 wide in opening turn, 3 wide at quarter and still hung out 3 wide almost the entire race and I think his final quarter was 25.4 and timed in 1:47. He has had the speed as a 3 year old prior to getting hurt before Breeders Crown final, he came back won BC as 4 year old (a feat rarely accomplished) and won BS this year.

Yes WIJI has went more trips than MIKI, shipped more etc. That is normal for geldings and similar to all he faces and what Foiled Again raced when he was on top circuit. WIJI is a great horse.

WIJI shipping all around is smart on the ownership group as it wont last forever. MIKI has a long breeding career ahead of him where he will earn more in a single year than WIJI will his entire life.

Comparing the two really is like this. One is a Cadillac that you drive everywhere and one is a Rolls Royce, that is a little more special and has a lot more value.

November 1, 2016 - 8:54 amCarl: I didn't change the

Carl:

I didn't change the topic, I presented it in a more accurate fashion. You have provided no valid reason to ignore the race MIKI and WIJI did not win. They still competed against one another and MIKI finished out of the money. And I can see why your wife needs to keep you straight during discussions.

I asked a question in a earlier post, that you among others chose not to answer. MIKI and WIJI have ran against each other 8 times this year. Name the only horse to finish in the money in all 8 races. Well, we all know who it is.

You know, MIKI could earn a lot more money if he didn't require three week vacations multiple times during the racing season.

November 1, 2016 - 7:27 amWow, Carl...thats an old one.

john thomas SAID...

Wow, Carl...thats an old one. The opponents average earnings index.
Been awhile since I heard that.
It' kind of the way Brisnet labels the class of a race by using the average current class.
Class rating 96 / Speed 89 / Power 92 etc
Your numbers are up to date just prior to the Breeders Crown.
I see that. It's just so much easier to use the class rating.
No knock against WIJI for racing on all those 1/2 mile races.
After all, thats where most of the aged pacer races are carded on early in the season.
take the money while the gettins good.
On those 1/2 mile tracks you will find inferior horses who are lucky enough to have won an overnight event.
Rockin Ron beat WIJI or on the big track where WIJI finished a bad 3rd to Nickle Bag.
You won't find Secretariat getting beat by Zippy Chippy now won't you?

November 1, 2016 - 7:09 amKevin...the average earnings

carl roberts SAID...

Kevin...the average earnings index was created by taking the total amount that the opponents have earned and then dividing it by the number of opponents.
Nothing to do with potential earnings per sire.
Look it up.
I am not doing your homework for you.

By The Way......

Miki 4
WIJI 3

November 1, 2016 - 6:03 amKevin, You say

John Carter SAID...

Kevin,

You say how unreliable and meaningless speed is. In other words you are trying to downplay or disparage the fact that Miki has 5 wins all faster then WIJI'S race record. In many cases i would agree with you that speed is not always the most important factor but when you combine speed with class and with toughness, then speed counts and Miki has all 3 of these in abundance. Miki and WIJI both have class and toughness but in there case what separates them is speed and Miki is clearly the faster horse. No one can argue that. You want to talk about toughness many of Miki's wins were grinding away 1st over. You want to talk about class, Miki has won back to back breeders crowns as an aged pacer and you want to talk about speed, Miki has raced over many of the same tracks as WIJI and has gone faster.

October 31, 2016 - 10:40 pmThe only average earnings

The only average earnings index is know of was created by Joe Estes in 1948 when he was the editor of the Blood Horse. As such, the number measures the earning power of a sire's progeny by comparing the average earnings of his runners with all other runners of the same age that raced in the same country during a given year (Fast Facts Blood Horse). What that has to do with either MIKI or WIJI, I have no idea.

MIKI has a track record at Lexington. That's really it.

MIKI 4 WIJI 4.

Remember that awful 4th MIKI had. It counts, even if you choose to ignore it.

Tell me more about this average earnings index.

October 31, 2016 - 7:27 pmKevin... it is very clear...

carl roberts SAID...

Kevin... it is very clear... The CURRENT best hose is Miki...
If you want to slice and dice numbers in your favor be my guest... There is a reason Miki is the favorite in the betting every time they meet.
You can always change the subject too?
How about most wins on a half mile track against B horses.
The average earnings index WIJI faces is 325,675k
Miki faces tougher by the earning index by a large amount at 473,110k
World and track records...
Go ahead...

Bottom line is:
MIKI 4
WIJI 3

October 31, 2016 - 7:09 pmKevin... my wife often does

carl roberts SAID...

Kevin... my wife often does that while arguing. She changes the topic so she can win.
The topic is Wins against each other... wins qualify as finishing 1st.
Miki 4
WIJI 3

October 31, 2016 - 4:18 pmIs that Doug's brother Gord ?

Mike Scott SAID...

Is that Doug's brother Gord ? It would be nice to hear hall of fame Doug's view on this matter.

October 31, 2016 - 2:37 pmKevin, I

John Carter SAID...

Kevin,

I appreciate you passing this info on to me to help me with my ratings, it is much appreciated. Rest assured, I will have WIJI ahead of Nickle Bag on my ratings list, unless of course they hook up again and Nickle Bag puts another beating on him :)

October 31, 2016 - 1:04 pmJohn: While you are doing

John:

While you are doing your ratings, don't forget MIKI has found himself behind Mel Mara, Rockeyed Optimist, and Dealt a Winner.

And for time-watchers: Mel Mara beat MIKI in 1:47 at the Meadowlands on 06/04/16. WIJI has never paced faster than 1:47.1 and that in a losing effort. And yet, Mel Mara has never finished in front of WIJI. How do you suppose that can happen?

I don't make excuses for WIJI like some do for MIKI, but if you look at the Nickle Bag race, it's not hard to see something wasn't right with WIJI that night. (Mohawk - 05/07/16 - 9th race)
He didn't start well, he sat fourth a good part of the race, gapping at least two lengths. Did show one good spurt on the turn heading for home, but did not pace in the stretch like he usually does (28.3). Is this an excuse? No, it's not. It's just a fact that some times even great horses don't feel their best, and the Nickle Bag race was one of those times.

October 31, 2016 - 11:58 amTrevor: Horses don't suck

Trevor:

Horses don't suck along. It's a horse racing myth and there is no evidence to support it.

I can post dozens of examples of horses racing at Lexington in October, 2016 at faster times than they ever have before. It's Lexington's hyper-fast surface that allows extraordinary race times. That's why MIKI paced 1:46 at Lexington and only 1:49 at Meadowlands, and so on. And the notion that Shamballa tagged along conveniently ignores the fact Shamballa has beat MIKI before, so there is no reason to believe Shamballa is a "suck along" horse. Of course, there is no good reason to believe any horse is a "suck along" horse.

I'm not a horse racing novice. I was exposed to horse racing at the age of four, and have been following and studying the sport ever since.

October 31, 2016 - 11:41 amAaron Rodgers the QB of the

John Carter SAID...

Aaron Rodgers the QB of the Green Bay Packers once famously told the Packer fans to RELAX and that is what I say to the many fine fans of WIJI--R E L A X. Nobody on here
is saying that WIJI is not a great horse. I could put forth a solid argument that he is one of the 20 best horses of all time. As a matter of fact when this year is over and I sharpen my pencil and re-do my list I may move him into the top 15 of all time or maybe just outside the top 15. I will keep an open mind on him and if he has a great year next year and stops getting beat by overnight horses like Nickle Bag and Rockin Ron I may even find a spot for him in my top 10 list.

October 31, 2016 - 10:24 amKevin: Horses suck along all

Kevin:
Horses suck along all the time in races including world records. The only times horses aren't sucked along is when a horse opens up considerable distance of a five lengths or so on the field, such as Falcon Seelster's world record (watch it). In those cases the second place horse is racing as if he's leading the others. The old saying goes "he's so far behind he thinks he's first"

In today's speed era it is rare for a horse to open up considerable lengths on the field and continue that speed, especially in the open division. Winning by 5 lengths doesn't mean they opened up on the field either, if they only opened up coming down the stretch. (i'e MIKI's open race in Meadowlands two weeks ago) The other horses are still sucked along if the open lengths are only gained in the stretch. Basically that means that winning horse could have went much faster if required.

October 31, 2016 - 7:57 amTrevor: At no time this year

Trevor: At no time this year did MIKI have six weeks off. How do you come up with such things? MIKI's longest off" periods were 5/14-6/4 - 20 days, 7/16 - 8/6 - 21 days and 8/12 - 9/3 23 days - all about three weeks, not six.

If you believe these various three week layouts hurt MIKI on the track, then I have to ask why he needs so many extended rest periods?

So, the fact is WIJI didn't win any races against MIKI due to MIKI being off for six weeks because that simply never happened.

WIJI is an extraordinary horse racing almost every 10 days this year and never finishing out of the money ( 241 days (4/16 - 10/28) / 24 starts. While competing at the pinnacle of his sport, traveling all over North America (15 tracks this year), he never finishes out of the money, and has finished ahead of MIKI as many times as MIKI has finished ahead of him. Could MIKI handle such a schedule as stated above? It seems doubtful, given all the rest he requires.

As for HOY, you kid yourself to think that is over. For one, MIKI and WIJI have another race to run, and you forget about Betting Line, Marion Marauder, and Hannelore Hanover.

And speed? If you are a bettor, remember speed is near the most unreliable piece of data on a racing program.

October 31, 2016 - 5:55 amIt's not disparaging at all.

John Carter SAID...

It's not disparaging at all. It happens all the time irregardless of the class of the horse. They will follow or suck along in faster times then they could go on their own. Had WIJI been in the race where Miki won in 1:46, WIJI never would not have won but he would have followed like the rest of them and been timed in 46: and change... something he has not done on his own.

October 30, 2016 - 11:12 pmKevin and Mike keep pointing

Kevin and Mike keep pointing out that WIJI has the higher earnings all the time. They really do not consider the times, the trips the horses had, or even that when WIJI won 2 of his races against MIKI he (Miki) didn't leave the barn for almost a 6 week period in the summer.

Both of them are great horses but MIKI is the best aged pacer for a long, long time and probably ever. I think Beach and Niatross are better overall and as for aged the only other one in that category is the great Cam Fella for aged horse.

Best part is we are lucky to get to see WIJI all next year and beyond. MIKI has one more race. MIKI: aged pacer of the year and HOY.

October 30, 2016 - 10:14 pmHorses don't "suck along" in

Horses don't "suck along" in world record time and making such a claim is disparaging to the efforts of the other horses in the race.

October 30, 2016 - 9:59 pmIn this race it was one of

John Carter SAID...

In this race it was one of the best and most accurate race calls that I ever heard. Ken Warkentin said after they passed the wire that Miki delivered the knock out blow to WIJI. Game, set, match, my friends.

October 30, 2016 - 5:06 pmIs it silly season around

John Carter SAID...

Is it silly season around here. Of course Shambella is not the 2nd fastest horse of all time. Lots of horses suck along in fast times that they could never go on their own, happens all the time. Miki's 5 wins ranging from 1:46 to 147:1 says all you need to say and lets not forget that Miki won the Breeders Crown last year as a 4 yr old, defeating the older pacers. That is something that WIJI had the opportunity to do but failed to do so and the reason is simple, Miki is the king.

October 30, 2016 - 5:02 pmCarl: We are now talking

Carl:

We are now talking about the eighth race because I've introduced into the conversation. There is no good reason it should not count. Question Carl: MIKI and WIJI have raced against each other eight times. Can you name the only horse to be in the money in all eight? I'll wait for your answer.

I see you ignored my earning per start figures for MIKI and WIJI. For horses at their level, I define a cheapie start as any race that has a purse under $50,000, and MIKI has 24 of them. That is slightly more than 46% of MIKI's starts. WIJI has 14 or 27.45% of his starts. Why has MIKI raced in so many inferior races?

Looking ahead, it remains to be seen if MIKI is successful at stud.

I hope for only the best for MIKI.

October 30, 2016 - 3:25 pmThe only thing we were

carl roberts SAID...

The only thing we were talking about here Kevin is the 2016 WIN record against each other.
Miki - 4
Wiji - 3

October 30, 2016 - 1:10 pmMr Scott.... please blow your

carl roberts SAID...

Mr Scott.... please blow your smoke somewhere else.

October 30, 2016 - 12:53 pmWIJI got away with pedestrian

carl roberts SAID...

WIJI got away with pedestrian fractions and should have scored easily but he didn't.
Miki was in the 2 hole for 1/2 the race and then went 1st up. Thats not the first time he has done that. He is such a powerful horse.
Miki - 4
WIJI - 3
Mike, I dare you to give credit where credit is due.
All we hear is excuses.
1 race left... The TVG

October 30, 2016 - 7:05 amGreat race... Miki gets the

Tim Dean SAID...

Great race... Miki gets the tip tonight... I should say David Miller gets alot of the credit ... he kept WIJI locked on the inside of his horse... WIJI naturally drifts outside like most horses in the lane... great horses..... Miller wins this one.

October 29, 2016 - 11:48 pmSo glad MIKI was able to pull

So glad MIKI was able to pull this off. The race went exactly the way I said it has to for it to be WIJI kind of race. WIJI of course, used his tremendous gate speed to get the jump. He always does and hats off to him. WIJI also slowed the pace way down, like I said he needed to, as these are the only races he ever beats MIKI in when they go slow and its a quarter to half mile sprint.

It did turn into the sprint and MIKI was able to get the job done anyway. Great driving race by Montrel. He did what he had to to try get WIJI to win. Unlike what Mike Scott sees differently, it wasn't a perfect 2 hole trip as WIJI should have been able to hold him off with the fractions that he cut. They both faced the strong headwind and MIKI was outside second half of race. Even Montrel said that.

Great race and in my opinion the best horse won. Even though WIJI has more fans, in the opinion of the ones that know racing, the best horse won. That is evident in the fact of the race favorite. In fact, almost every race they had this year MIKI has been the favorite by the bettors.

It was a great race, and great year by both horses but MIKI clearly is the Aged HOY and maybe HOY with Betting Line missing Crown.

October 29, 2016 - 7:15 pmHold on there, John. You

Hold on there, John. You didn't include the race when WiJi finished second and Miki finished fourth. You know that race counts, right?

If Miki's race time (in Lexington) is legitimate, then the times of the other horses in that race are also legitimate. Given that, you must say Shamballa is the second fastest horse in history.

Let's talk about these two fine horses from a different perspective. So many of the posters here only want to talk about speed. How about earnings per start? Are you surprised to know Miki's earnings per start is $50,580 while WiJi's is $79,468?

How about consistency? Miki 52 starts/First 29/Second 13/Third 3/ Out of the money 7. And WiJi 51 starts/First 38/Second 10/Third 2/ Out of the money 1.

So it's clear, when we look at the overall record of Miki and WiJi, WiJi is clearly the superior horse. And remember WiJi is only 4, and has lifetime earnings of $4,052,882.

October 29, 2016 - 5:29 pmI have been a big fan of WIJI

Ted Decker SAID...

I have been a big fan of WIJI for a long time and still am. He comes to race week in and week out. Hats of to Miki on winning the Breeders Crown. If it comes down to this race for the awards honor then Miki wins. Still would take WIJI over any other horse personally.

October 29, 2016 - 3:58 pmMike... maybe give credit

Gord Brown SAID...

Mike... maybe give credit where credit is due. Perfect two hole trip? David had him out just pass the half. No excuses ie running out, big head wind. Maybe just listen to Jimmy who thinks he's the greatest of all time.

October 29, 2016 - 3:48 pmMr.Scott, I guarantee you if

John Carter SAID...

Mr.Scott, I guarantee you if Miki was cutting the mile and had a half of :55 and change no horse including WIJI is going by him in the stretch. Miki is the king of the aged division and any person knows that.

October 29, 2016 - 10:08 amDefinitely a sound case for

Joe Riga SAID...

Definitely a sound case for Miki, John. Hard to argue against that. He looked beat last night and somehow found another gear in the last 10 feet. It was a great race, a real slugfest. Hats off to both Miki and WIJI for a great entertaining race. Lived up to the hype.

October 29, 2016 - 8:20 amHe needed a perfect two hole

Mike Scott SAID...

He needed a perfect two hole ride to win. Wiggleit Jiggle It gets the HOY.

October 29, 2016 - 6:38 amI felt all along that Betting

John Carter SAID...

I felt all along that Betting Line should be horse of the year but him missing the Breeders Crown throws that up in the air and if the people who vote on the award looks elsewhere they need not look any further then Always B Miki. He has beat his arch rival WIJI 4 races to 3 and won the most important aged race of the year, the Breeders Crown. He has the all time world record of 1:46, has won 3 times in 1:47 flat, has won another time in 1:47;1 where his arch rival WIJI has a race record of 1:47.2. So Miki has 5 wins faster then WIJI'S race record. If you take emotion out of it , it is undeniable that Miki is the superior horse. He has a turn of speed that the competition just doesn't have.


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