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“It Did Take Some Time To Process”

Published: November 16, 2017 2:48 pm ET

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As he witnessed his charge swing out from fourth at the three-quarters pole and stride through the long Hoosier Park lane with his eye seeking only the wire, trainer Bill Crone’s mind may have been a bit detached from his body as Fiftydallarbill became the first Breeders Crown victor he had conditioned after decades in the sport.

In fact, it’s been 19 days and Crone still may not fully comprehend what transpired over the Anderson oval on October 28 in the $600,000 Breeders Crown two-year-old colt and gelding trot.

“I watched the race down on the rail and I just kept thinking to myself if nothing happened he was going to win,” he said. “I can’t explain what it felt like, but it was so special. For that to happen right in our backyard and all the congratulations I received from everyone in Indiana, it was something and it did take some time to process. David Miller, who my daughter knew from working for Brett Pelling, probably forgot all about me, but to have him say something about what a nice colt he is meant the world.”

A two-year-old son of Swan For All-CR Dixie Chick, Fiftydallarbill was purchased for $16,000 from last year’s Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale by John Barnard and is a half-sibling to Intimidator (Andover Hall, $185,007). While his pedigree might not jump off the page, the colt is a product of Carl, Rod and Dawn Allen’s breeding program as his broodmare sire is Royal Troubador, who is also responsible for none other than the legendary CR Kay Suzie.

Although the Allens did not capture the Breeders Crown with another descendent of their magnificent mare in the three-year-old filly Dream Baby Dream (fifth in the three-year-old filly trot) or Dover Dan (sixth in the three-year-old colt and gelding trot), another colt they bred who just happens to be a son of CR Kay Suzie, their efforts were represented through Fiftydallarbill.

“I knew as soon as we broke him he had talent,” Crone said. “And I do love his family. Swan For All has turned out to be something as we have Swan Chase too (Indiana Sire Stakes three-year-old male trotting champion).”

Despite Crone recognizing Fiftydallarbill, who has a resume of 17-7-3-1 and $458,950 in the bank, possessed ability in his early days of training, he and Barnard both attribute his success to considerable efforts of his driver, Trace Tetrick; Crone’s assistant Louis ‘Tony’ Estrada; and his groom, Eldorado Berrea.

“We have a stable in Chicago too so I spend a lot of time there,” Crone said. “Tony and his groom put in so much time with him and deserve all the credit and so does Trace. He told me right after he qualified him he was a nice colt and the whole Tetrick family is so nice. Trace stuck with him and told me we needed to make him wider because he was interfering with himself slightly. He suggested pulling his shoes off at the Indiana fairgrounds (for the Wilfong Memorial, 10th place finish after a break) and I asked him, ‘What about putting some back brace bandages on him?’ Trace said, ‘Why not?’ Since then it seems like every race he just became stronger.”

Prior to this performance in the Breeders Crown elimination (second place finish) and final, Fiftydallarbill had experienced some issues in regards to staying on stride. Barnard and Crone were not exactly certain Fiftydallarbill was prepared to perform with the sport’s elite two-year-old trotters and nearly did not enter him in the Breeders Crown.

Fiftydallarbill and driver Trace Tetrick winning the Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Trot on October 28 at Hoosier Park

“He drew the 10-hole in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Super final,” Crone said. “He didn’t know what he was doing all the way out there and broke behind the gate. He was like 24 or 26 lengths behind them at the start. He ended up recovering and finishing fourth, so that’s when we thought he deserved a chance. He was eligible to the Breeders Crown and it was home for him, so why not? He didn’t win that race but he showed he deserved the opportunity for the next one.”

Crone and Barnard anxiously await what Fiftydallarbill can accomplish as a three-year-old, but plan on keeping him close to Hoosier Park.

“We will give him some time off and see how he comes back, but we intend on racing him in the Indiana Sire Stakes program and not traveling with him even after winning the Breeders Crown,” Barnard said. “We want to see how he returns next year and putting him in another stakes race is not out of the question, but we will still stick to what we laid out for him.

“It is still difficult to explain how much his win in the Breeders Crown meant to us and it still might take awhile for it to truly sink in. I became involved in this sport in 2004 and there are simply no words to describe having this happen.”

Barnard’s trainer concurs with his assessment, but also has his own outlook on the impact Fiftydallarbill’s Breeders Crown has provided.

“There are so many trainers that work so hard for years and never have something like this happen to them,” he said. “And the same work goes into all the horses every day, even a horse that is not like this one and may not be much. This horse just wants to do it and to win. I’m just really looking forward to what we have with him and maybe I will need some time to realize just what he has done.”


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