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Competitive Colts Vie For The 'Crown'

Published: October 27, 2021 11:46 am ET

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Noel Daley thinks he has one of the horses capable of winning Friday’s $600,000 Breeders Crown for two-year-old male pacers at The Meadowlands. He also thinks he is not alone.

Daley-trained Pebble Beach was one of three elimination winners last week, along with Monte Miki and Six Feet Apart. They lead a group of 10 Breeders Crown finalists that have combined to win 51 races and hit the board in 73 of 81 starts.

“I think it’s a very competitive race,” Daley said. “To me, it looks like there are six or seven real legit horses in there. That’s going to be a good race.

“That might help (Pebble Beach) because he’s not going to be the target for anybody. I think he can outsprint all of them, it’s just a matter of the trip. As I said, there is a bunch of horses in there going good.”

Pebble Beach, by Downbytheseaside out of Santa Rosa, has won seven of 10 races and finished no worse than third. He has two second-place finishes, by a neck to Caviart Camden in a world-record 1:48.3 mile, and by a head to Early Action in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes. His victories include the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship and a division of the International Stallion Stakes.

He will start the Breeders Crown from post three with driver Todd McCarthy. He won his elimination by a nose over Gulf Shores in 1:51.3.

“I was happy with him,” said Daley, who trains Pebble Beach for Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco, Country Club Acres, and LA Express & JAF Racing. “He goes to them really quickly, but he seems to pull up once he gets to the front and can’t see anybody. Todd said once he got the horses fighting back, he kicked on again.

“We only have one pacing colt, and it’s him, so he’s done a good job for us. He’s got a real good attitude. He’s good to be around, a good-feeling horse. And he’s got the will to do it.”

Monte Miki, trained by Mark Evers, has won five of six races and finished third in his defeat. His victories include the Metro Pace. The son of Always B Miki-Montenegro will start Friday from post two with Scott Zeron driving for owner Velocity Standardbreds. He won his elimination by a half-length over Hammering Hank in 1:50.4.

“When you stand beside him, he’s a gorgeous horse, beautiful stature,” Zeron said. “If anything, he’s a little immature. Mark did a great job changing up his bridle to a can’t-see-back from a closed. When I was on the front with the can’t-see-back, the second he saw someone he fought back. He’s on top of his game. To come and do this (in his elimination) really showed me he is a good horse.”

Six Feet Apart is one of three finalists for trainer Brian Brown, who saw Gulf Shores and Gentle Giant also advance. Six Feet Apart, a son of Sweet Lou-Ideal Love, won his elimination by a half-length over Beach Glass in 1:50.2 with David Miller in the sulky. He will start the final from post four.

The colt has won five of eight races, with one second and one third. His wins include the Kentucky Commonwealth Series final. He is owned by Michael Dean Robinson, Bob Mondillo, David Meola, and Rich Lombardo Racing.

“David started that horse out in Lexington, and he talked us into staying in the (Kentucky Commonwealth Series),” Brown said. “He taught him how to race, never over-raced him. He’s not a big sprinter, but he’s a good-trying horse. The horse never gives up. He’s always finished good every time. I think he’s a nice horse. He’s just coming into his own. He’s come on at the right time.”

Gulf Shores, the Ohio Sire Stakes champion, and Gentle Giant will start the final from posts six and one, respectively. Brown plans to make a bridle change on Gulf Shores, opening it up, following his narrow loss to Pebble Beach.

“I’m happy going in,” Brown said. “We got a good post with all of them. You want to avoid the things that can go wrong; post is the first thing we avoided. We still need trips even though we have posts, but when you have good drivers, they usually take care of that.”

The Breeders Crown final for two-year-old male pacers is race nine Friday, the last of the card’s four Breeders Crown championships for two-year-olds. The live card of harness racing begins at 6:20 p.m. (EDT). To view the entries, click on the following link: Friday Entries - Meadowlands Racetrack.

Breeders Crown finals for horses ages three and up are Saturday at The Meadowlands. Racing gets underway at noon Saturday.

(USTA)


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