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Crowns For The Captain's Court?

Published: October 27, 2018 9:32 am ET

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When it comes to Saturday’s Breeders Crown finals for two-year-old pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, trainer Tony Alagna might not have any favourites in the program, but his horses represent a favourite in his heart.

Captain Trevor, a colt, and fillies Tall Drink Hanover and Treacherous Reign are by two-time Pacer of the Year and 2013 Breeders Crown champion Captaintreacherous, who was trained by Alagna during his racing career. Tall Drink Hanover and Treacherous Reign are the richest horses from Captaintreacherous’ first crop of two-year-olds and Captain Trevor is the second fastest.

Tall Drink Hanover and Captain Trevor won their respective Breeders Crown eliminations last week.

“(Captain Trevor) is a real laid-back horse, him and Tall Drink Hanover; neither of them even wear ear plugs,” said Alagna, who has won a total of three Breeders Crown trophies. “They’re just very laid-back horses and don’t have any problems as far as getting too aggressive. They’re very easy to drive, so when they were going reasonable fractions I wasn’t worried about that at all.

“I thought that (Saturday) Tall Drink was very reminiscent of her sire. (Captaintreacherous) was here and he always seemed to do just enough, but he was a very laid-back horse. I see a lot of those characteristics in some of his offspring. You know they get the job done and we couldn’t be any more excited about what he has done.”

Captain Trevor, out of It Was Fascination, has won six of eight races and earned $125,904 for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant, and Captain Trevor Racing. His best win time of 1:49.2 trails only Captain Crunch’s 1:49.1 among Captaintreacherous’ offspring. Captain Crunch, trained by Nancy Johansson, also advanced to Saturday’s final, with a second-place finish behind Proof.

“His last start at Lexington (winning a division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 6) he came off the pace and raced phenomenal,” Alagna said about Captain Trevor. “He is very tactical. He can leave, he can sit, and he can come from off the pace. He is just a very handy horse.”

Proof, trained by Brian Brown for owner Diamond Creek Racing, is the 3-1 morning-line favourite in the final for two-year-old male pacers. He won his elimination by 2-1/2 lengths over Captain Crunch in 1:52.1 after back-to-back losses at Red Mile led to a bridle change last weekend.

“That horse had been great early in the year, tried hard, did everything right, and then the two races at Lexington he was just dull,” Brown said about his colt, who has won six of 10 races and $298,435. “I made a bridle change and it made him a lot more aggressive; but he sat at the back and came flying home.

“He’s had a good year already and hopefully next week makes it even better. He’s been so consistent, which is why we were disappointed in him at Lexington. (His elimination) made us feel a lot better.”

Captain Trevor is the 7-2 second choice followed by Captain Crunch at 4-1 and No Mas Amor at 9-2. No Mas Amor, trained by Linda Toscano for owner Ken Jacobs, won his elimination by a half-length over Air Force Hanover in 1:50.3. It was his first start for Toscano. The colt has won two of nine races and $73,556.

“I made a couple little changes on him, nothing major, and he was good,” Toscano said. “He was far off the pace, but in a short field it worked out really well and he finished up great. I watched all his races and he seems to be better from off the pace. He’s kind of one of those horses that just seems to do everything right at this point. We’ll see.”

Alagna’s filly Tall Drink Hanover, out of Take Into Account, has won seven of 10 races and $449,517 for owners Alagna Racing, Marvin Katz, and Riverview Racing. She won her Breeders Crown elimination in 1:51.3 by a head over Zero Tolerance after rebuffing a challenge from favourite Warrawee Ubeaut, who earlier this month paced the fastest mile by any two-year-old in history, 1:48.3 at Red Mile.

“She was vicious,” Alagna said. “To leave like she did, remove, pace up the backside like they did against the fastest two-year-old in history and put her away and still have pace in the tank. I asked Andrew (driver Andrew McCarthy) how she was down by the wire and he said he grabbed hold of her again and still had pace. That’s a good feeling going into the final.”

Tall Drink Hanover is 4-1 on the morning line, the third choice behind Warrawee Ubeaut at 5-2 and St Somewhere at 3-1. St Somewhere, trained by Ron Burke, won by three-quarters of a length over Annie Hill in 1:52.2. She has won five of 12 races and $181,268 for owners Burke Racing, Phil Collura, J&T Silva – Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi.

She was driven in her elimination by Yannick Gingras, but will have Matt Kakaley in the final because Gingras will drive Warrawee Ubeaut.

“(St Somewhere) raced really good,” Gingras said. “She got a good trip, good fractions, but I thought she raced great. She’s been good all year. She’s got high speed. We worked on her manners a little bit in the middle of the year and she was really relaxed. When she’s like that, she’s definitely much better.”

All 12 Breeders Crown finals, with $6.4 million in total purses, will be raced Saturday at Pocono. Post time is 5:30 p.m. (EDT) for the first race.


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