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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

CONFEDERATE TOPS CROWN

By Ken Weingartner, USTA — Confederate, ranked No. 1 in the sport’s Top 10, and returning champions Ammo, Jiggy Jog S, Grace Hill, Treacherous Dragon, and Gaines Hanover will be among the horses in action Saturday when Harrah’s Hoosier Park hosts the last of three nights of Breeders Crown eliminations.

Elims will be contested Saturday for 3-year-old male pacers and trotters as well as older male and female pacers and trotters. Eliminations for 2-year-old trotters are Thursday, followed by 2-year-old pacers and 3-year-old fillies on Friday.

The finals for 2-year-olds will be Oct. 27 at Hoosier Park. The remaining champions will be crowned Oct. 28.

Eighty-nine horses were entered in Saturday’s eliminations, bringing the total for the entire event to a record 185. Eliminations, going for $25,000 each, are necessary for all 12 divisions. Elimination winners will draw for posts one through five in their respective finals. The finals will be raced with 10-horse fields, with post 10 being in the second tier.

Confederate, the unanimous No. 1-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, will bring an eight-race win streak to the first of three eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers. He has captured seven in a row by a margin of at least two lengths and is a head from being undefeated in 11 starts this season. His triumphs include the Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace, and Max C. Hempt Memorial.

His only setbacks in his past 17 starts dating back to August 2022 were second-place finishes in this year’s North America Cup to It’s My Show and in last year’s Breeders Crown final for rookie male pacers by a half-length to Ammo.

Confederate, who leads the sport with $1.23 million in purses this year and is the fastest 3-year-old in history thanks to his 1:46.1 mile on Sept. 4 at the Red Mile, will start Saturday from post four with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Brett Pelling.

It’s My Show, who has earned $1.06 million this season and also counts the Little Brown Jug among his nine wins, starts from post six in the second elimination. It’s My Show is ranked No. 7 in the Top 10. Ammo, who won last year’s Breeders Crown at odds of 52-1 from post nine at Woodbine Mohawk Park, also is in the second elim, leaving from post three.

Delvin Miller Adios winner Cannibal, who has captured 11 of 14 races this year, leads the field in the third elim, and starts from post seven.

The top-three finishers from each elimination plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest seasonal earnings will advance to the $600,000 final.

In the three eliminations for 3-year-old male trotters, Hambletonian and Kentucky Futurity winner Tactical Approach will start from post two in the second split. Ranked No. 5 in the Top 10, the colt has earned just shy of $1 million this season. The second elim also includes last year’s freshman Crown champ, Gaines Hanover, who leaves from post five.

Canadian Trotting Classic winner Celebrity Bambino, who finished second in last year’s Breeders Crown, starts from post five in the first elimination. The field also includes Hambletonian runner-up Oh Well, from post four, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champ French Wine, from post six.

Elimination three includes Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Series winner Ari Ferrari J, leaving from post six, and Ontario Sire Stakes champion Ghostly Casper, starting from post two. Supplemental entry Helpfirstedition, the Indiana Sire Stakes champ, is in post four.

The top-three finishers from each elimination plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest seasonal earnings will advance to the $672,000 final.

In the Open Pace, last year’s runner-up Tattoo Artist will bring a six-race win streak to the first of two eliminations. The Canadian Pacing Derby winner, ranked No. 4 in the Top 10, will start from post five. Multiple Grand Circuit-winner Bythemissal, ranked No. 9, leaves from post four in the second elim.

The top-five finishers from each elimination advance to the $600,000 final.

Eleven horses entered the Open Trot, resulting in two horses — Maple Leaf Trot winner Alrajah One IT and Rattle My Cage — receiving byes to advance directly to the $600,000 final. The remaining nine horses will compete for the eight spots left in the final. It’s Academic, who earlier this year won the Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier and John Cashman Memorial, will start from post six.

Two Crown winners from a year ago, Grace Hill and Treacherous Dragon, were among the 13 horses entered in the Mare Pace. Treacherous Dragon, last year’s 3-year-old filly champ, will race from post six in the first elimination while Grace Hill, last year’s Mare Pace champ, leaves from post seven in the second. Grace Hill is ranked No. 8 in the Top 10.

The first elimination also includes Lady Liberty winner Silver Label and Dorothy Haughton Memorial winner Mikala. The top-five finishers from each elim will advance to the $400,000 final.

Jiggy Jog S leads the first of two eliminations for the Mare Trot. Jiggy Jog S, last year’s 3-year-old champ, will start from post three. She won this season’s Dayton Oaks and Graduate Series final and finished second in the Yonkers International Trot.

M-M’s Dream, who won the Hambletonian Maturity and Dr. John R. Steele Memorial, headlines the second elim. She also will leave from post three.

The top-five finishers from each elimination advance to the $400,000 final.

Racing begins at 6:15 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. For complete entries, click here. For free daily program pages, click here.

For more information go to www.Hambletonian.com or Harrah’s Hoosier Park.

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