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Bax On His Stubborn 'Crown' Contender

Published: November 12, 2014 6:45 pm ET

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It might have taken a while, but trainer John Bax has gotten the best kind of “stubborn” from two-year-old female trotter Stubborn Belle.

“She’s a lot like her name, she’s a fighter,” Bax said. “You need that to have a good horse.

“But it took a while to get on the same page with her. She was pretty single-minded. At first, you had to do things her way. As the year has gone on, she’s gotten a little more manageable. But there sure was a learning curve with her. She’d always rather fight than switch.

“It’s frustrating sometimes, but when it goes right it’s pretty good.”

Stubborn Belle starts from post seven in the second of two eliminations in the Breeders Crown for two-year-old female trotters. The top five from each elim advance to the $500,000 final on Nov. 21.

A daughter of Taurus Dream-Musetta Hanover, Stubborn Belle is owned by Al Libfeld and Bax’s Parkhill Stud Farm. She has won five of 12 races, including the Peaceful Way Stakes, and earned $448,354 (U.S.), a total good enough to lead all two-year-old female trotters and trail only colt Habitat.

She enters her Breeders Crown elimination off a second-place finish to Smexi in the Goldsmith Maid.

“A lot of times it’s a deal with the females that you have to let them think they’re boss, and usually they are,” Bax said. “It’s a fine line.”

Stubborn Belle went off stride in her first two races, but has since won five of 10 starts and finished on the board a total of eight times.

“She’s big and strong,” Bax said. “She actually looks like a colt. There’s nothing petite about her. Hopefully down the road she can keep it going.

“At the end of the day, she’s been pretty good to me.”

Wild Honey, who has won nine of 10 races and finished second in her only loss, is the 4-5 morning line favourite in Stubborn Belle’s elim. Wild Honey, a daughter of Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy, is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding. She heads to the Breeders Crown off a win in the Matron Stakes on Nov. 6 at Dover Downs.

Multiple stakes winner Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena, is the 3-5 morning line favourite in the first elimination. She has won seven of 11 races for owners Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. She is the fastest two-year-old trotter in history, thanks to a 1:50.3 win in October at The Red Mile, but has gone off stride in all four of her losses.


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

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