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Woodbine Top Ten: #3

Published: April 6, 2018 9:21 am ET

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For 25 years, fans at Woodbine Racetrack have witnessed some of harness racing's best horses and some of Canadian harness racing's greatest memories.

Over that time, the track has hosted 13 North America Cups, 11 Breeders Crowns and countless other events.

March marked the final full month of Standardbred racing at Woodbine, and in the Greater Toronto Area. After the April 9, 2018 program, harness racing will permanently move to Mohawk Racetrack in Milton, Ont. The facility, to be known as Woodbine, Mohawk Park is being upgraded and improved to become the permanent home to Canada's top harness racing meet. Thoroughbred racing will continue at Woodbine.

TROT Magazine asked racing fans and participants for their fondest memories of racing at Woodbine. Trot Insider will count down your list of the top 10 harness races ever held at Woodbine.


OCTOBER 24, 2015 - The last Breeders Crown dash ever to be contested at Woodbine Racetrack was fittingly, a race that will long be remembered.

Always B Miki scored in the $518,960 Breeders Crown Final for Open Pacers, defeating a cast that included seven rivals that would each earn more than $2 million over their racing careers, including Foiled Again, the richest pacer of all time.

A number of horses in the 10-horse field left for early position, with public Choice Always B Miki, driven by David Miller, off the pace early in fifth. Miller then floated the favourite first up and cleared to the front just after the :55.2 half-mile marker. After hitting the three-quarters in 1:23, on a sloppy track, rated off by two seconds, Miller asked Always B Miki for another gear, and the pacer gave him one, maybe two. A sizzling :26.3 closing quarter over the off-going was the dagger to the rest of the field, back nearly six lengths from the winner, as he tripped the timer in 1:49.3. JK Endofanera (Brett Miller) knifed through horses for second, nosing out Mach It So.

With the victory, driver David Miller set a Breeders Crown record with five wins in one night and trainer Jimmy Takter’s six wins for a trainer is also the most on a single Breeders Crown card.

“For him to go that kind of mile, on a night like tonight,” stated Miller after the win. “If you only knew what he’s overcome this year and last. These are nights I’ll never forget, they’re the ones you dream about.”

Takter has won many stakes and enjoyed some tremendous success in harness racing, but he still considered this day the biggest of his career.

“I have to thank all my crew and my owners, without them we wouldn’t stand here. These horses are fantastic.”

The story behind Always B Miki’s earlier absence from the racing scene has been well documented, starting with a late scratch from the 2014 Breeders Crown, requiring two surgeries and finally returning to win the race many thought he would a year earlier.

“I end up with ‘Miki,’ I’ve had him now for 10 months and it’s been a bumpy road, but I’ve always liked him from the first moment I started working with him,” said Takter. “Standing here, it feels very, very special. He’s a unique animal and I put him up with the top horses that have ever been in this sport.”

Always B Miki (Always A Virgin - Artstopper) was owned at the time by breeder Roll The Dice Stable of Wilmington, Delaware, along with Jimmy’s wife Christina and Bluewood Stable of New Jersey.

Previous Races:

Woodbine Top Ten: #10
Woodbine Top Ten: #9
Woodbine Top Ten: #8
Woodbine Top Ten: #7
Woodbine Top Ten: #6
Woodbine Top Ten: #5
Woodbine Top Ten: #4

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