Indiana’s Hoosier Park is aplenty with Breeders Crown (BC) eliminations on Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 and this exclusive blog, dedicated since August to the events that would lead to the cast of characters in the super stakes of the season, now features the last affairs ($20,000-$25,000 each) that decide the foremost fields.
Along with the main harness blog, let’s analyze some elim miles, in this case from the Oct. 20 program at Hoosier.
BREEDERS CROWN MARE PACE
Thirteen mares entered, including two BC winners, allowing two elims where the first five finishers from both advance to the final. Six go in the first round and seven in the second elim.
Half of the field is familiar in the goings of mare pacing this season—Pure Country, Darlinonthebeach and Lady Shadow. Of the lower-profile three, Wrangler Magic may shine here and be able to take control over the other five for a win. She most likely will not get the attention afforded the others but won’t be ignored, either. From the inside post, the Erv Miller mare could be at her best against solid speed (Pure Country and Darlinonthebeach), as well as she may be peaking as Lady Shadow seems to be leveling off for the year.
The second Mare Pace elim has seven that have reasons to provoke arguments. The now horse, Nike Franco N, has the biggest bankroll but could wind up a favorite here. Get a good look at the John De Long entrant, Seventimesavirgin, though, who may be an outside contender for lack of national fame. Almost 50-percent wins in a dozen starts and on home turf makes her a possible winner here and at a price.
BREEDERS CROWN TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
The frosh-filly pacers battle in a pair of elims, with eight in each chapter. This, like most volatile frosh group, is competitive, and the first elim presents no definitive dominant horse. Certainly, Percy Blue Chip and Rainbow Room will share a great deal of the win pool but our interest lean towards a late-season improving filly from James Morrison. Firestorm is apt to improve when the going is most expensive and if she puts in a great mile here her price in the final will not be as handsome. The Shadow Play filly has only raced five times but one three and was off the board just once.
In the second grid the crowd will storm to Youaremycandygirl, who woke up at a big price and offered less and less as she won five of seven. Of the two fillies by Well Said, we take a serious look at Reign On Me. Nifty Norman has sent out sharp fillies all season and this one is a worker, with 10 starts and 50-percent wins, giving her all the reason to be a threat to the best in the field.
BREEDERS CROWN TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
The frosh-trotting filly fields are also packed into two elims, eight on the gate in both.
We were high on Trond Smedshammer’s filly, Phaetosive early this season, though we thought she might have raced more. Still, her five races (three wins, two seconds) were profitable to bettors. We were confident that Trond was being careful with the Explosive Matter filly because he aimed to fire best in the “Crown” and mature the well-bred trotter for the trainer’s next shot at the “Oaks.” She can be trusted here to trot a hole in the evening wind against two obvious crowd-pleasers, Basquiat and Hey Blondie, both representing the prolific and productive sire, Cantab Hall.
In the next filly-trot contest, we are all challenged to find a reason Manchego won’t storm through another field of her division’s foes. Jimmy Takter’s whirlwind daughter of Muscle Hill has not tasted defeat in any of her 10 races this season, so why would she lose here? The only reason is this is horse racing and every “lock” has a key. If you dare to defy Manchego the win or if you want to hook up a gal that can increase an exotic price, try using Courtney Hanover. Rick Zeron drives and trains this Cantab Hall gal who has won or been second in six of her nine starts.
BREEDERS CROWN THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Two soph-fillies got a bye for this—Ariana G and That’s All Moni—so the single elim, where nine horses compete for eight spots—becomes a good race to wager upon.
On the inside, Kentucky Filly Futurity-winner Ice Attraction won’t be going off at 30-1 this time around, in fact, she may turn out the favorite for Ake Svanstedt. Luc Blais’ Dream Together, regardless of post 8, will get a fair share of action and Southwind Avanti should be in the top three or four choices with Fine Tuned Lady.
Outside-contender support is bound to be worthy of a wager and in that upset position we like the chances of Overdraft Volo. Julie Miller’s student has been smooth earning well and may be overlooked for the few others we assume will be backed for more obvious reasons. Never count the Millers out in races such as these.
Follow major 2017 Breeders Crown champion hopefuls battling at Hoosier Park in the Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, with archived reports on the results at the Hambletonian Society web site.