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Star Pelling Trainee Acing Her Tests

Published: October 28, 2021 2:23 pm ET

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The Brett Pelling-trained Test Of Faith, the No. 2-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, will head to Saturday’s $600,000 Breeders Crown for three-year-old female pacers at The Meadowlands as the 2-1 morning line favourite.

A daughter of Art Major-Cannae Cammie, Test Of Faith has won 12 of 14 races this year and 20 of 23 lifetime, earning $1.2 million. She has never finished worse than second.

Test Of Faith received a bye to the Breeders Crown final. Her most recent start was a track record-equalling 1:50.2 triumph in the Courageous Lady Stakes at half-mile MGM Northfield Park on October 16. It was her third consecutive win.

“She’s very, very special,” Pelling said prior to the race. “I think she’s a bit of a freak. She’s push-button, and she’s bottomless. She’s unreal.”

Pelling has won 11 Breeders Crown trophies in his career, which is fifth most in the event’s history despite a decade-long hiatus from training that ended in 2017.

Test Of Faith will start the Breeders Crown from post eight with driver David Miller. She did not race in last year’s Breeders Crown for two-year-old female pacers, which was won by Fire Start Hanover. Last week, the Richard “Nifty” Norman-trained Fire Start Hanover finished second by a head to stablemate Grace Hill in the Breeders Crown elimination.

Grace Hill, leaving from post five with Todd McCarthy, is the 7-2 second choice. Fire Start Hanover, starting from post nine with Dexter Dunn, is 4-1. The two fillies have combined to win 11 races in 2021 and nearly $1 million.

“I thought Grace Hill was very good,” said Norman, a six-time Breeders Crown winner. “She raced real tough and held off her stablemate and (third-place Blue Diamond Eyes) coming at her. She’s been rock solid all year.

“'Fire Start' was very good too. She came first-over a long way. She drew nine, but Test Of Faith drew eight, so maybe she can get a trip behind her. She just has to get lucky. Her year has been pretty good. She hasn’t done much wrong. Test Of Faith is just sort of better than her, but otherwise she’s been solid.”

Blue Diamond Eyes, who was beaten a neck in the elimination, will start from post seven with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke. She is 5-1.

“I raced her from the back, and she had good pace finishing, but I still don’t think she’s giving me a hundred per cent,” Gingras said. “I talked to Ronnie and we’re going to do some equipment changes on her this week, and I really think it’s going to help her.

“I think she is in a good spot. Post seven might not be ideal, but all the speed drew outside of her. Obviously, we’re going to go forward to try to get position somewhere and then get a trip after that. It’s a great group of fillies. Test Of Faith might be a little notch above the rest of them right now, but it’s a horse race, and we’re going to race.”

The Breeders Crown for three-year-old female pacers is race four Saturday, the first of the eight Breeders Crown finals. Free full-card TrackMaster past performances are available for Friday and Saturday by visiting the Meadowlands website here.


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