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By Kimberly Rinker, for the Hambletonian Society — Warrawee Michelle took top honors across three $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old trotting fillies, held Thursday (Oct. 19) at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, with a 1:53.4 win in the third split. Buy A Round and Drawn Impression captured the other eliminations over a sloppy racing surface.

Even-money favorite Warrawee Michelle (Walner) took advantage of a garden trip to best five rivals in the final of three elims. Chaparmbro (Dexter Dunn), the 3-1 choice, led the field to the :28.3 first quarter, with Warrawee Michelle in close pursuit and 4-1 Date Night Hanover (Brian Sears) right on her heels to the :57.4 half and 1:26.2 three-quarter marker. From there, it was an easy stroll home for Warrawee Michelle, who barely needed any urging from her trainer-driver to take down her five rivals.

Driven by her trainer, Åke Svanstedt, Warrawee Michelle is co-owned by Svanstedt, Santandrea Inc. and Young Guns. The win was her third of the season in eight starts and pushed her career earnings to $128,125. She also has a pair of second-place finishes and one third to her credit this year.  

Warrawee Michelle was a $200,000 purchase at the 2022 Lexington Select Yearling Sale and is the third foal out of her Yankee Glide broodmare Sound Check, 2, 1:58.2f ($23,832), making her a full sister to both Testing Testing 3, 1:52 ($128,115) and Warrawee Yes 3, 1:54.4s ($128,110).

Buy A Round, a daughter of Walner, got up in the late going to take the first elimination, stopping the clock in 1:55.2 by a whisker over 19-1 long shot Chapalonia and driver David Miller.

R Melina, the eventual fifth-place finisher, took the lead for driver Tim Tetrick, taking the field through fractions of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:27 before tiring as her six rivals surrounded her in late stretch. Buy A Round used a strong late kick to prevail, with Chapalonia a whisker behind, and Sierra Girl third at 5-1 for Åke Svanstedt.

Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, Buy A Round is trained by Noel Daley for owner-breeder Frederick W. Hertrich III, of Seaford, Del., and was driven by Andrew McCarthy to her sixth win of the season in eight tries. The victory pushed her career earnings to $280,000. Buy A Round is the first foal out of the unraced Cantab Hall mare On Your Tab.

“The footing is good enough, just a little sloppy, so with the long, slow steady rain, it’s hard to keep it up, but it’s not bad,” said McCarthy. “Worst case scenario, my filly had to come first-up, but I knew she could handle it. This was actually a pretty regular trip for her, I took her off the gate and wanted a second or third-over trip. Going into the first turn I figured Åke (with Sierra Girl) would drop in there, but I wasn’t concerned as this filly is fast enough to go with them.”

“Noel is an unbelievable trainer — this filly is not easy — she’s a Walner and he’s done an amazing job keeping her calm and getting her to finish the way she does.”

As expected, Drawn Impression, a Muscle Hill lass and 4-5 choice, easily bested her rivals in 1:57 in the second elimination. Louis Roy piloted the filly to her fourth career win in five starts for trainer Luc Blais and owner-breeder Determination, of Montreal, Que.

Sugar Instead was hustled out of the gate early, taking the field to a :27 first quarter and leisurely :58.1 half, before 3-1 Pizzelle (David Miller) came first up to challenge to the 1:28.3 three-quarter marker. Drawn Impression, who had been stalking the leaders behind Pizzelle, came charging at the wire to secure the triumph for her connections. Getting up for second was 7-1 Senorita Palema for Tim Tetrick, with Sugar Instead holding on at 3-1 for Ronnie Gillespie.

“I was a little more off the gate than I wanted to be, but she’s a pretty smart filly and tonight she was more on the bit than she has been. She kind of made a break on me going into the first turn for no reason and I thought her being a bit hot might be the reason, but I am so confident in this filly,” said winning driver Roy. “Luc (trainer Blais) knows how to manage a horse and even if they’re off for a little while you know he’ll have them sharp.”

The victory pushed Drawn Impression’s career earnings to $194,625.

Drawn Impression is the first foal out of the top mare Emoticon Hanover (by Kadabra), who earned $1,778,033 and recorded a 4-year-old record of 1:50.2f.

The winners from each of the eliminations and Soiree Hanover — who won the $400,000 Jim Doherty Memorial at Hoosier Park on Sept. 15 — will draw for post positions one through five, and all others will go into an open draw, which will take place at a later time to be determined. Below are the contestants for the $700,000 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Filly Trot final:

Soiree Hanover
Buy A Round
Sierra Girl
Drawn Impression
Senorita Palema
Sugar Instead
Warrawee Michelle
Date Night Hanover

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