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Breeders Crown Weekend Begins

Published: November 21, 2014 10:03 pm ET

Last Comment: November 24, 2014 8:18 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Breeders Crown weekend began at Meadowlands Racetrack with Friday night's card dubbed 'Ladies Night,' featuring the first four championships.

The 2014 championships kicked off with defending Horse of the Year and Breeders Crown winner Bee A Magician holding on for a gusty 1:51.4 triumph in the $250,000 Mares Open Trot for trainer Richard 'Nifty' Norman.

Driver Brian Sears continued his streak of winning a Breeders Crown each year for the past 12 years with the victory -- his 25th in the championship series.

Sears left with Bee A Magician from post three and cleared to the lead over favourite Classic Martine (Tim Tetrick) with the leaving outsider Mistery Woman (Andrew McCarthy) parked and forced to take back to third past the hot :26.1 first quarter.

Bee A Magician continued to lead the trotting mares through middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:24.2 while Handover Belle (Matt Kakaley) advanced first over from fifth up to the leader's wheel with Charmed Life (Jody Jamieson) following her cover.

Down the stretch, Bee A Magician dug in to hold off the pylon-skimming Classic Martine on the inside and Handover Belle and the wide-rallying Charmed Life on the outside by a head for the stakes record victory.

Following the race, a judges' inquiry examined whether Bee A Magician had drifted into Classic Martine in deep stretch, however, they ruled that Classic Martine never had full clearance to come through at the pylons and the results were made official.

"[The first quarter] definitely could have taken a toll, but I did get a pretty good middle half in there so she was really strong. I can't complain," said Sears.

"She bared out a little bit," he said of the incident in the stretch, "but I really couldn't give up the inside right away and she was trotting real strong to the wire, so that's part of racing."

The Ontario-sired daughter of Kadabra out of the Balanced Image mare Beehive, who went undefeated in 17 sophomore starts, is owned by Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Ont., Quebec native Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, Florida and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida.

This year, she had just four wins in 15 races entering the Breeders Crown and earnings of $297,914.

"It's a big step up in class and she was raced real hard last year -- on her toes all last year," said Sears. "It was a slow start, but 'Nifty' did a great job tonight and Lasix probably didn't hurt."

“I think she’s kind of been the same all year. It’s just getting the right trip on the right night," commented Norman. "We put her on Lasix at the end of the year, to get ready for this start a little bit out of desperation, really to get a lift somewhere. Maybe it made a difference. I don’t know.”

Bee A Magician provided her trainer with his third Breeders Crown trophy.

“It’s fantastic," said Norman. "She deserves it, but it’s kind of a pleasant surprise. It’s fantastic to win it two years in a row.”

Norman noted that if Bee A Magician doesn't race in the TVG this would be her last start of the season. When asked if he would entertain the idea of racing the mare in Europe, he said it would be a year from now if he did. "We’ll think about that. It’s a long way away."

Bee A Magician paid $7.40 to win as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering.

While she has made a few breaks in big money events this season, there was never an anxious moment for Mission Brief in the $500,000 Two-Year-Old Filly Trot.

In fact, it was her main rival and fellow elimination winner, Wild Honey (Ron Pierce), who made the miscue tonight and ended her 10-race win streak.

Wiclet Hanover, with Ake Svanstedt making his Breeders Crown debut, left for the lead over Wild Honey, who broke stride taking herself out of contention. Meanwhile, Mission Brief and Yannick Gingras moved into second and then overtook the early leader past the :26.4 opening panel.

As Mission Brief trotted by the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:24.1, Danielle Hall (Jody Jamieson) was flushed first over from third by fellow Canadian trainee Stubborn Belle (Paul MacDonell).

However, Mission Brief took off down the stretch to win by four and three-quarter lengths and match the finish time of the previous older mares trotting final in 1:51.4 -- a divisional stakes record. Danielle Hall chased her home in second and Livininthefastlane (Tim Tetrick) came on for third.

"The strategy was making the front whenever I had to," said Gingras, when asked if the break by Wild Honey, who he also drove in the eliminations, changed his plans. "I didn't really want to press her too much in the first turn for no reason -- try to let the dust settle. She was so well behaved tonight, she was letting me do what I had to do. She showed what she can do actually.

“She could have gone in [1]:50 tonight here just as easy as she went in 1:51.4. I showed her the whip around the last turn and she got in to another gear and she had more than that. The talent this filly has is unbelievable. As long as she stays sound, and she wants to do what we want to do with her, she’s going to do amazing things.”

The world champion Muscle Hill filly is out of Southwind Serena, who had provided Gingras with his first Breeders Crown trophy in 2007.

Mission Brief is trained by Ron Burke, who has a record 27 starters in this year's championships. She is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, J And T Silva Stables LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

Mission Brief now boasts nine wins in 13 starts with earnings totalling $594,540. She will now head to North Carolina to Olive Branch Farm until resuming training next year in Florida.

The filly paid $2.80 to win.

After the race, Pierce commented on Wild Honey's miscue. “We were going extremely fast around the first turn," he said. "Ake beat me to the top, so my next option was to go around him and get on Mission Brief’s back. The filly just got a little sideways on me, caught herself and made a break. She’s a sweetheart. It wasn’t her fault.”

Defending champion Shake It Cerry earned back-to-back Breeders Crown titles and pushed her lifetime earnings over the $2 million mark with a 1:52.2 victory in the $500,000 Three-Year-Old Filly Trot.

The John Simpson Sr. Memorial trophy awarded to the winning connections was trainer Jimmy Takter's 19th in the Breeders Crown.

"She's stands out quite a bit," said the 'winningest' trainer in the championship series. "She had a bad day here on Hambletonian Day [in the Oaks]. Besides that she's been totally flawless. She's one of the better horses I've been around."

Riveting Rosie (Paul MacDonell) crossed over to take the lead early from post eight, but Lifetime Pursuit (Yannick Gingras) -- Shake It Cerry's stablemate and the Oaks champion -- swept around her to take over at the :27.1 first quarter mark. Meanwhile, driver Ron Pierce had settled Shake It Cerry away fifth and flushed out cover in the form of Cee Bee Yes (Scott Zeron) nearing the midway point in :55.3.

Cee Bee Yes towed Shake It Cerry up into contention towards the 1:24.4 third quarter station then Pierce sent the heavy favourite three-wide and charged to the lead, drawing away down the stretch for the two and a quarter length victory. She paid $2.40 to win. Cee Bee Yes finished second and Struck By Lindy (David Miller) came on for third.

"It's just the way things worked out, they were mixing it up early," said 30-time Breeders Crown winning driver Pierce of the change in strategy for the filly, who had won racing mostly on the front this year. "They were mixing it up pretty good and we decided to relax a little bit. We're lucky we found a live helmet to take us halfway up around the last turn anyway and 'Cerry' did the rest, I just sat there. She just cruised by them, very little encouragement."

The homebred Donato Hanover-Solveig filly is now 15-for-17 in her million-dollar sophomore year for Solveigs Racing Partners.

Takter noted that the connections plan to race Shake It Cerry next year as a four-year-old.

Supplemental Breeders Crown entry Sayitall BB lived up to her connections' expectations with a wire-to-wire victory in the $593,750 Three-Year-Old Filly Pace.

The Tell All-Challo B B filly gave Gingras, Burke and her owners from Weaver Brucemi LLC a Breeders Crown double in capturing the Max C. Hempt Memorial trophy.

Gingras hustled Sayitall BB to the lead from post eight and carved out fractions of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:24.1 en route to the 1:50.3 victory by three-quarters of a length. She held off the pocket-pulling Major Dancer (Brian Sears) down the stretch with Beach Gal (David Miller) following in third. Favourite Colors A Virgin (Trace Tetrick) -- another supplement and an elimination winner -- came on from the backfield to finish fourth. Defending champion Uffizi Hanover broke stride behind the gate. Gallie Bythe Beach was scratched from the final (sick) after winning her elimination for the second year in a row.

"She's Go On BB's sister. It's a great family we've made a lot of money with," said Burke, who was confident in the filly to pay the $62,500 supplement fee to make her eligible for the championship series. "Last week we thought we missed the final. I thought we were sixth. I had already started sending out the apology texts to all the owners for putting up the money. We slide in [fifth] and you just need a little luck once in a while."

Sayitall BB's Breeders Crown victory more than doubled her career bankroll, which climbed to $524,935. After going five-for-five in conditioned races as a freshman, she has won nine of her 15 sophomore starts although she did not race in July through September.

"She really didn't have any stakes races," said Burke, explaining her mid-season hiatus. "She was lightly staked so I just turned her out [after her second-place finish in the Lynch at the end of June] and figured we'd have her good for the end of the year. For once, the plan worked."

Burke's Breeders Crown win total climbed to eight while Gingras earned his ninth victory.

After the race, trainer Brian Brown commented on Colors A Virgin's fourth-place finish. “My mare’s a grinder, not a sprinter. I knew at the quarter-mile marker that we didn’t have a shot. Trace [Tetrick] didn’t do anything wrong. The outer flow never really got going. Ronnie [Pierce’s] horse [Beach Story] was out there and never really went anywhere. The outer flow never started moving until the three-quarters and by then she was three-wide and finally starting to go. That’s her style. She never really leaves much. She might leave once in awhile and get an early hole, but, generally, she grinds it out from the back.”

The remaining female finals for two-year-old filly pacers and open pacing mares will be contested on Saturday night along with all six male divisions. First race post time is 7:15 p.m.

November 24, 2014 - 8:18 pmAs I stated before San Pail

As I stated before San Pail is a nice horse but he is not and never will be Commander Crowe. Viva Le Difference::)

November 22, 2014 - 1:20 pmNice to see the Queen Bee

Jim Brown SAID...

Nice to see the Queen Bee buzzing once again. What a great mile she was well-deserving, she earned this one. To go with my last year's 17/0 (win ticket, exactor, and triactor), five dollar win ticket, two dollar exactor, two dollar triactor, and two dollar Superfecta. They are all memorabilia pieces.

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