Been there, done that. It could be the slogan for this Saturday’s (Oct. 20) Breeders Crown eliminations for three-year-olds and older horses at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Eleven former Breeders Crown champions will be in action Saturday, led by two-time winners Hannelore Hanover, Ariana G, and Pure Country. A twelfth former champ – McWicked, who claimed his trophy at age three in 2014 – will advance directly to the Open Pace final because eliminations were unnecessary. Another winner from 2014, Pinkman, who was two when he captured his Crown, also is back for another try in the Open Trot.
Completing the list of former champions are Broadway Donna, Call Me Queen Be, Emoticon Hanover, Fiftydallarbill, Manchego, Stay Hungry, and Youaremycandygirl.
Ariana G, Broadway Donna, and Emoticon Hanover all are in the Mare Trot. The connections of trotting mare Hannelore Hanover opted to face the boys, as they did in 2017, in the Open Trot.
The only other division with multiple previous champions is the Mare Pace, with Pure Country and Call Me Queen Be.
Talent is not limited to past winners. Divisional money-leaders Atlanta, Courtly Choice, Crystal Fashion, Kissin In The Sand, Marion Marauder, and Shartin N also were among the 106 horses entered Tuesday for Saturday’s eliminations. History’s fastest trotter, Homicide Hunter, New Zealand’s two-time Horse of the Year Lazarus N, and International Trot champion Cruzado Dela Noche add to the star power.
Kissin In The Sand will not race Saturday. Her connections accepted a bye to advance directly to the final for three-year-old filly pacers. Also accepting a bye were the connections of Baron Remy. One elimination will be contested, with the top seven finishers from a nine-horse field joining Kissin In The Sand and Baron Remy.
Eliminations for two-year-olds were drawn Monday and will be raced Friday. A total of 177 horses entered the Breeders Crown. Last year, the number of entries was 166.
Post time for Friday and Saturday is 7 p.m. (EDT). All finals, with purses totalling $6 million, will be contested on Saturday (Oct. 27) at Pocono. Elimination winners, in an order determined by lot, will draw for post positions one through five for the finals.
The draw for the $421,000 Open Pace will take place on Tuesday. The eight-horse field for the final will consist of All Bets Off, Dealt A Winner, Donttellmeagain, Filibuster Hanover, Lazarus N, McWicked, Rockin Ron, and Western Fame. Lazarus N was supplemented to the event for $50,000.
Following is a look at Saturday’s eliminations, which have purses of $25,000 apiece.
THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT AND GELDING PACE
Returning champion Stay Hungry leads a group of 20 horses. Stay Hungry will attempt to become the first male pacer since Artiscape in 1997 and 1998 to win a Breeders Crown at both ages two and three. Stay Hungry’s victories this year include the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes.
Also in the elims are Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug winner Courtly Choice, North America Cup champion Lather Up (a $62,500 supplemental entry), Adios winner Dorsoduro Hanover, Max C. Hempt Memorial champ Springsteen, Carl Milstein Memorial winner Thinkbig Dreambig, and Tattersalls division winners American History and Grand Teton. The top-three finishers from each elimination will advance to the final.
1-Thinkbig Dreambig-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
2-Ideal Feeling-Tim Tetrick-Michael Deters
3-Dorsoduro Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke
4-Cinnamack-David Miller-Brian Brown
5-Nutcracker Sweet-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter
6-Springsteen-Simon Allard-Rene Allard
7-Hitman Hill-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes
1-Talbotcreekwhiskey-Bob McClure-Luc Blais
2-Wes Delight-George Napolitano Jr.-Chris Oakes
3-American History-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna
4-Courtly Choice-David Miller-Blake MacIntosh
5-Im A Big Deal-Brett Miller-Chris Ryder
6-Decoy-David Miller-Jimmy Takter
7-This Is The Plan-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke
1-Shnitzledosomethin-David Miller-Dylan Davis
2-Stay Hungry-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna
3-Grand Teton-Andrew McCarthy-Jimmy Takter
4-Hayden Hanover-Andy Miller-Julie Miller
5-Lather Up-Montrell Teague-Clyde Francis
6-Done Well-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke
THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Youaremycandygirl is the returning champion and will try to become the first female pacer since My Little Dragon in 2005 and 2006 to win a Breeders Crown at both ages two and three. She won this year’s Empire Breeders Classic and finished second to Kissin In The Sand in the James M. Lynch Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, and a division of the Glen Garnsey.
The connections of Youaremycandygirl and Jugette winner Alexas Power both turned down the seasonal-earnings-based bye that went to Courageous Lady winner Baron Remy. The top-seven finishers from the single elimination will advance to the final.
1-Youaremycandygirl-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke
2-Double A Mint-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke
3-Im Trigger Happy-Corey Callahan-Ross Croghan
4-Strong Opinion-Andrew McCarthy-Ron Burke
5-Alexas Power-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell
6-Percy Bluechip-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke
7-Solitary-Brett Miller-Nick Surick
8-Sidewalk Dancer-George Napolitano Jr.-Chris Oakes
9-Dance Blue-Andrew McCarthy-Nancy Johansson
THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT AND GELDING TROT
Fiftydallarbill is the returning champion and will try to become the first male trotter since Father Patrick in 2013 and 2014 to win a Breeders Crown at ages two and three. His wins this season include the Indiana Sires Stakes final. Also entered were Canadian Trotting Classic and Earl Beal Jr. Memorial winner Crystal Fashion, Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial winner Mets Hall, and Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity winner Six Pack. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings will advance to the final.
1-Mets Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller
2-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
3-Tactical Landing-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter
4-Jula Downton-TBA-Susanne Kerwood
5-Lawmaker-Anthony MacDonald-Andrew Harris
6-Evaluate-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander
7-Gemologist-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt
1-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt
2-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
3-Cruising In Style-Anthony MacDonald-Andrew Harris
4-Run Director-Sylvain Filion-Benoit Baillargeon
5-Fiftydallarbill-Brett Miller-Bill Crone
6-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell
THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Manchego is the returning champion and will try to join stablemate Ariana G (2016-17) on the list of female trotters to win a Breeders Crown at ages two and three. Her wins this year include the Hambletonian Oaks and Moni Maker Stakes. She is joined in this event by Hambletonian and Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Atlanta and Elegantimage winner Phaetosive. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings will advance to the final.
1-Highland Dynamite-Simon Allard-Marty Fine
2-Looking For Zelda-Matt Kakaley-Norm Parker
3-Plunge Blue Chip-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt
4-Courtney Hanover-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron
5-Top Expectations-Marcus Miller-Erv Miller
6-Impinktoo-Brian Sears-Ron Burke
7-Seviyorum-Andy Miller-Julie Miller
1-Lily Stride-Tim Tetrick-Mark Harder
2-Manchego-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
3-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron
4-Ciao Dolce-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt
5-Supergirl Riley-Marcus Miller-Erv Miller
6-Phaetosive-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer
Hannelore Hanover, the 2017 Horse of the Year, is the defending champion and will try to become the first repeat winner of the Open Trot since Fools Goal in 2002 and 2003. She also would become the first mare to win the event twice and her three Breeders Crown trophies would tie her with Grades Singing and Mack Lobell for the second most for a trotter. Peace Corps holds the record with four. Hannelore Hanover’s wins this year include the Armbro Flight and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial.
Homicide Hunter, who trotted his world-record 1:48.4 mile in winning the Allerage Open Trot at the Red Mile, joins Hannelore Hanover in the event along with multiple-stakes-winner and 2016 Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder, Will Take Charge, Cruzado Dela Noche, and Pinkman. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings will advance to the final.
1-Yes Mickey-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt
2-Guardian Angel As-Matt Kakaley-Anette Lorentzon
3-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander
4-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood
5-Pinkman-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
6-Lindy The Great-David Miller-Domenico Cecere
1-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis
2-Hannelore Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke
3-Dunbar Hall-Jody Jamieson-Stephanie Jamieson
4-Homicide Hunter-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes
5-Top Flight Angel-Andy Miller-Julie Miller
6-Warrawee Roo-Dan Dube-Luc Blais
Emoticon Hanover is the defending champion and will try to become the event’s first repeat winner since Buck I St Pat in 2009 and 2010. Ariana G will try to become the first female trotter since Peace Corps (1988-89-90) to win a Breeders Crown at ages two, three and four. She would tie Grades Singing and Mack Lobell for the second-most trophies for a trotter. Peace Corps holds the record with four. Broadway Donna won her Breeders Crown in 2016 at age three.
The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings will advance to the final.
1-Emoticon Hanover-Dan Dube-Luc Blais
2-The Erm-Charlie Norris-Charlie Norris
3-Celebrity Ruth-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer
4-Charmed Life-Simon Allard-Rene Allard
5-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
6-Royal Witch-Sylvain Filion-Benoit Baillargeon
7-Ice Attraction-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt
1-Dream Together-Bob McClure-Luc Blais
2-Broadway Donna-David Miller-Jim Campbell
3-Barn Bella-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedhammer
4-NF Happenstance-Jack Parker Jr.-Carol Jamieson-Parker
5-Caprice Hill-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes
6-Pink Pistol-Tim Tetrick-Peter Shody
Pure Country is the defending champion and will try to become first female pacer since Shelliscape in 2013 and 2014 to repeat as the event’s winner. She also would join Jennas Beach Boy, Eternal Camnation, and My Little Dragon as the only pacers to ever win three Crowns. Call Me Queen Be won her Breeders Crown in 2016 at the age of three.
Shartin N (a $31,250 supplemental entry) is the season’s richest female pacer. Her wins include the Roses Are Red, Lady Liberty, Artiscape, and Blue Chip Matchmaker championship. The top-four finishers from each elimination plus the fifth-place finisher with highest seasonal earnings will advance to the final.
1-Newborn Sassy-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.
2-Agent Q-David Miller-Chris Oakes
3-Divas Image-Joe Bongiorno-Jennifer Bongiorno
4-Carols Z Tam-Brian Sears-Jamie Macomber
5-Lakeisha Hall-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke
6-Pure Country-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter
7-Bettors Up-Doug McNair-Scott McEneny
8-Call Me Queen Be-Eric Carlson-Ross Croghan
1-Caviart Ally-Andrew McCarthy-Noel Daley
2-Nike Franco N-Matt Kakaley-Scott DiDomenico
3-Frost Damage Blues-Jody Jamieson-Kyle Caulfield
4-Tequila Monday-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes
5-Twinkle-Scott Zeron-Ross Croghan
6-Blue Moon Stride-Corey Callahan-Mark Harder
7-Seventimesavirgin-Corey Callahan-Jimmy Nickerson
8-Shartin N-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.