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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

8 BREEDERS CROWN FINALS

Edited from Combined SourcesBy Kimberly Rinker, for the Breeders Crown: Jiggy Jog S, the 1-9 favorite, cruised to a track-record clocking of 1:51.1 in the $400,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot on Saturday night (Oct. 28) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.

Steered by Dexter Dunn for trainer Ake Svanstedt, the 4-year-old mare notched her seventh win of the year in 10 starts, upping her career earnings to $2.07 million for owner Jorgen Sparredal Inc.

Jiggy Jog S took the lead from fourth place after a :55.1 half, following a feisty opening panel of :26.2, and took the field through an easy third-quarter clocking of 1:24.1, before holding off a late surge from M-M’s Dream in deep stretch to get the half-length victory. HP Mama B, an 86-1 longshot in rein to Louis Roy, was third.

“I put (M-M’s Dream) away a couple times and then toward the line she’s come back at me in a few races,” Dunn said. “It’s been a good rivalry with those two. They’re two great mares and it’s fun being out there with them.”

The previous track record was 1:51.2 was set by Bella Bellini in 2022.

Jiggy Jog S, a daughter of Walner-Hot Mess Hanover, was bred in Sweden by Vestmarka AB, and now has 17 wins, 10 seconds and two thirds in 34 career starts.

The victory was Dunn’s third in this year’s Breeders Crown and his fourth in the Mare Trot in five years.

“Manchego, Bella Bellini, and this mare – I’ve been so lucky to sit behind them,” Dunn said, referring to his Crown winners. “They’re just champion mares. There is no better feeling than driving a great trotter and these girls have done a great job for me.”

By Frank Cotolo, for the Breeders Crown – Continuing her strong sophomore season, Bond won the $600,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old filly trotters at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Saturday. Driving the filly to the track-record victory was her trainer Ake Svanstedt.

Svanstedt had his filly in the thick of the mile from the start, sitting second behind Rose Run Yolanda and ahead of Baroness Hill. Bond left those two behind after a :26.3 first panel and took authority with a move to the top into a :56.4 half.

It was Svanstedt’s other entry, Special Way, making the only challenge in the mile, taking the lead into a swift 1:24 three-quarters. Bond chased her stablemate and in deep stretch, got to her, and won by a half-length in 1:51.2, a Hoosier speed badge for sophomore filly trotters.

Special Way completed the exacta. Railee Something was third and Rose Run Yolanda was best of the rest.

About the late duel with his other trainee, Svanstedt said, “The only to beat Special Way was to go behind her in the stretch,” and Bond picked up the momentum to become the winner at the wire. He was obviously happy about another win in the series, saying his weekend was “going great so far.”

He said from the start he felt Bond had a “special thing” about her. Bond’s sophomore season has been tougher than her campaign at 2, but the issues were resolved, he said.

Svanstedt’s stable continues to prosper, picking up its third Breeders Crown of the weekend, and he was quick to say, “I’ve never had as many nice horses as I do this year. I am happy. It’s easy to go out every morning to train the horses.”

Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and L Berg Inc. own Bond, a daughter of Southwind Frank-Boccone Dolce who was bred by Diamond Creek Farm and has now earned $1.39 million in two years of competition. She has 15 wins in 21 career starts.

Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, she paid $2.60 to win.

By Ray Cotolo, for the Breeders Crown – Odds-on favorite Sylvia Hanover persisted through a first-over siege to grab, lose, and retake the lead to the finish of a 1:49.2 mile to capture the $600,000 Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Filly Pace final on Saturday night at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.

Driver Bob McClure landed in sixth while Twin B Joe Fresh forged forward through a shuffle on the lead to a :26.2 first quarter. Settling on the point, Twin B Joe Fresh soon faced a blitz from Sylvia Hanover as she rushed along the rim to match strides with the pacesetter up to a :54.4 half but stalled to the far turn.

Twin B Joe Fresh accelerated through the final turn to clock three-quarters in 1:21.2 as Sylvia Hanover began rallying again on the outside. Sylvia Hanover powered to the lead in the straightaway and held firm as Charleston kicked off her cover to dive through the inside and take a slight lead in the final yards. Sylvia Hanover reengaged to the outside and repelled Charleston’s charge by a neck. Always B Naughty, a 69-1 shot, finished third and Beach Cowgirl at 41-1 took fourth.

“That’s one of the most impressive performances I’ve ever seen,” McClure said. “That was a really, really tough trip and some great fillies, and I’m just really glad she’s as tough as she is. She’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse. I think I speak for myself, the trainer, and the owners that we’re never going to see another Sylvia Hanover, so we’ll just really enjoy her while she’s here.”

“Calm is from the furthest thing from what I’m feeling,” co-owner Tony Infilise said. “I did not lose faith in her at all when she was on the outside. As we’ve seen before, she can gut it out. She’s very gutsy (with) lots of heart and lots of talent. I think Charleston surprised her up the rail and got her head in front and as soon as she saw her, she popped her head back up and showed her class. And that field… there is not a weak filly in that field. It was a very competitive field.”

Sylvia Hanover has now won 18 times from 22 starts and banked $1.44 million for owner Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. The victory gives Sylvia Hanover back-to-back Breeders Crown trophies, having won the 2022 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Filly Pace. She became just the sixth pacing filly to win a Breeders Crown at 2 and 3, a feat last achieved in 2018 by Warrawee Ubeaut.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said co-owner Betty Infilise.

The father-son team of Mark and Shawn Steacy train Sylvia Hanover, a daughter of Always B Miki-Shyaway bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. The Steacy Stable has won five Breeders Crown trophies.

Sylvia Hanover paid $3.80 to win.

By Jay Bergman, for the Breeders Crown – Scott Zeron captured two of the three legs of the Trotting Triple Crown with Tactical Approach by finding room inside deep in the stretch. On Saturday night, Zeron guided the son of Tactical Landing to a live third-over cover trip and then responded in the homestretch to win the $672,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in a 1:51.2 mile.

Tactical Approach, trained by Nancy Takter, started from the second tier in post 10, making Zeron’s handling key to the outcome. With local favorite Helpfirstedition making a few moves to gain control, Zeron managed to follow the cover of Ari Ferrari J and Celebrity Bambino before the half and that pair kept him in contention with an honest pace set by Helpfirstedition.

In the homestretch Tactical Approach, bred by Steve Stewart and Oakwood Farms, kicked into high gear, with Zeron asking him and the colt responding as he has all season long. Only Up Your Deo and driver Ake Svanstedt threatened in the deep stretch after finding room in the passing lane. Up Your Deo settled for second, beaten by 1-1/4 lengths, with French Wine coming on late for third ahead of Air Power and Dire Straits.

Now a winner in half of his 22 career starts, Tactical Approach, out of the mare Sarcy, increased his career bankroll to $1.35 million for owner Robert Leblanc, John Fielding, Joe Sbrocco & JAF Racing.

“On the opening turn, I was right where I wanted to be,” said Zeron of his driving strategy. “I was following two very nice horses.”

Owner Leblanc returned to the Breeders Crown winner’s circle and was ecstatic.

“What a horse, Scott put him in the perfect spot. He’s been in the top of his game since April,” Leblanc said.

The win gave Takter her second Breeders Crown of the weekend and 10th of her career. It was Zeron’s seventh trophy.

Tactical Approach, who earlier this year won the Hambletonian and Kentucky Futurity, paid $6 to win as the 2-1 favorite.

By Frank Cotolo, for the Breeders Crown – Confederate extended his victory streak to 10 races in a row, winning the $600,000 Breeders Crown final for sophomore colt and gelding pacers at Harrah’s Hoosier Park on Saturday in 1:48.1 with Tim Tetrick aboard.

The track was listed as “sloppy” because of rain late in the program, but “the fastest horse I’ve ever been around,” as trainer Brett Pelling called Confederate after the race, made the conditions moot by putting four lengths between crossing the wire and his next rival, Stockade Seelster. Cannibal finished third.

Tetrick settled Confederate in fifth by the :25.3 first quarter before Stockade Seelster rushed to the top over It’s My Show in a :53.4 half. Confederate came with a first-over move toward a 1:22.1 three-quarters and gobbled up the wet surface from there.

The Sweet Lou-Geothermal colt won his 12th of 13 starts this season and pumped up his lifetime earnings to $1.9 million. He has hit the board in all 20 of his lifetime races, winning 17.

“He does it all on his own,” said Pelling, who picked up his 13th Breeders Crown trophy to move into a tie with Chuck Sylvester for fourth most in history. It was Tetrick’s 23rd Crown.

The trainer said he had “a couple blemishes with (Confederate) but he’s just unbelievable. He’s so fast. He’s so willing.”

And the sloppy track? Pelling said, “I didn’t really think about it. There are so many other things going on and (the other pacers) are all in the same boat together. He has been on an off track in the morning, so it’s not really a big deal. He’s faster than any other horse I’ve ever been around.”

Diamond Creek Racing owns the homebred Confederate.

“It’s wonderful,” Diamond Creek’s Adam Bowden said. “He’s a homebred and it’s a family we started way back when I first started. The culmination of this … he’s the best horse we’ve ever had. I would put him up against any 3-year-old ever. We kind of hoped he was this kind of horse all along.”

Confederate paid $2.60 to win as the 1-5 favorite.

By Kimberly Rinker, for the Breeders Crown – Max Contract rallied in the late going to win Saturday’s $400,000 Breeders Crown Mares Pace in 1:50.2, with Andy Miller driving for trainer Julie Miller at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. 

When the gate wings folded, 6-5 favorite Grace Hill wasted no time taking command, leading the field to the :25.4 first quarter and :54.4 half, before yielding to Kobe’s Gigi after the 1:23.3 three-quarter marker. Max Contract followed Kobe’s Gigi down the stretch, then moved outside and powered to victory.

Max Contract, a 4-year-old mare, notched career win 15 and seasonal victory eight for Team Miller, upping her career earnings to $635,305. Max Contract, sent off as the 3-2 second choice, finished one length ahead of 20-1 longshot Silver Label and third-place Kobe’s Gigi.

“I just didn’t want to rush her early,” Andy Miller said. “They got out of there pretty good. I really didn’t want to get away fourth, but it was OK. I just bided my time and then I moved her. (Kobe’s Gigi) came out of the two-hole, so she carried me a little ways. Then I moved her over and she took off.” 

Bred by Steve Jones, the daughter of Huntsville-Big Mcdeal, is owned by Andy Miller Stable and Jean Goehlen.

“It’s tough to transition (from age 3 to 4) but she’s a really fast mare and we kind of spaced her races out,” Miller said. “We didn’t race her a whole lot. We were kind of shooting for this.”

The win gave Andy Miller his sixth Breeders Crown and Julie Miller her second. The Millers won together with Lucky Jim in the 2009 Open Trot.

Max Contract paid $5 to win.

By Ray Cotolo, for the Breeders Crown — Trainer Ake Svanstedt again found the winner’s circle in the $600,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot, though not with his 3-5 trainee Alrajah One IT. Svanstedt steered stablemate Southwind Tyrion off a pocket ride to a 1:52.2 victory on Saturday night at Harrah’s Hoosier Park.

Logan Park powered for the lead to a :26.2 first quarter with Southwind Tyrion settling into second. Alrajah One IT raced in fifth and found himself forced to tip first over up the backstretch to a :56.2 half.

The favorite marched forward through the final turn to loom alongside Logan Park, passing three-quarters in 1:25.2, but found himself in troubled waters through the straightaway and began losing ground in the final eighth. When the passing lane opened, Southwind Tyrion darted inside of Logan Park and pulled clear by 1-3/4 lengths to land the spoils over It’s Academic. Rattle My Cage, off at 73-1, finished third and Logan Park held fourth.

“He had a good post and he’s quick behind the gate, so when he got the position he had, I was satisfied,” Sarah Svanstedt said. “We had the same trip last week, but we did some equipment changes on him for this night and obviously it worked out. He’s like a car to drive (and) very nice to manage. When he leaves that helmet, he’s 100 percent into the work.”

The victory by Southwind Tyrion gave trainer Ake Svanstedt three straight victories in the Open Trot, making him the first trainer to win the event for three straight years as well as the first trainer to win it three times. Svanstedt scored back-to-back victories in the Open Trot from 2021 to 2022 with Denmark import Ecurie D.

Southwind Tyrion also marked the fourth victory of the 2023 Breeders Crown for Ake Svanstedt. He is the first to win four events in the same year while many trainers have won three. The record stands at six victories in one year set in 2015 by Jimmy Takter.

It was Southwind Tyrion’s 12th win from 24 career starts and has now earned $813,123. The 5-year-old stallion by Muscle Hill-Taylor Jean competes for owners S R F Stable, Ake Svanstedt, Knutsson Trotting, and Brittany Farms & Riverview Racing. Southwind Farms bred the winner, who was 6-1 and returned a $14 mutuel.

By Jay Bergman, for the Breeders Crown – In perhaps one of the most contentious races in the dozen Breeders Crowns in 2023, Bythemissal and driver Yannick Gingras were able to pass favored Tattoo Artist and capture the $600,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace on Saturday night at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in a 1:48 mile over a track rated “sloppy.”

From the outset, Bythemissal and Tattoo Artist were locked in a duel for the front end, with Gingras keeping Tattoo Artist and driver Louis Roy parked three wide for much of the first turn. Tattoo Artist needed nearly a half mile to gain control and that was cut in :53.2 to accomplish.

Lou’s Pearlman and Tim Tetrick rambled without cover to challenge the leader on the far turn, with Allywag Hanover in tow second over, but they would not reach the leader until the homestretch.

Gingras tipped Bythemissal, a son of Downbytheseaside-Dismissal, out to take on Tattoo Artist in midstretch and they steadily were able to go by a determined favorite. Lou’s Pearlman, after taking much air, was still fighting to the wire and at odds of 45-1 got up for second giving trainer Ron Burke a one-two finish in the contest. Tattoo Artist held third, with Allywag Hanover and Abuckabett Hanover rounding out the top five finishers.

The margin of victory was 1-1/2 lengths.

Bred by Stephen Dey III, Bythemissal was a winner for the 10th time in 14 starts this year for owners Burke Racing Stable, Eric Good, Rich Lombardo Racing, and Weaver Bruscemi. The victory snapped a seven-race win streak for Tattoo Artist. Sent off as the 9-5 second choice in the field, Bythemissal returned $5.80 to win.

“That’s how your supposed to race,” said Burke following the victory, giving credit to his driver to forcing the action. “Nobody gives an inch.”

“There was a lot of pushing on the first turn,” said Gingras. “I wanted to follow Tattoo Artist and thankfully we were able to do it.”

Burke won two trophies on Breeders Crown weekend, giving him 20 in his career. He is No. 2 among trainers in the history of the event, trailing only Jimmy Takter’s record 34. Gingras also won two Crowns, upping his lifetime total to 26, sixth most among drivers in history.

Combined source material gathered by Ken Weingartner, USTA

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