Mission Brief dominates in Breeders Crown
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Mission Brief shattered the stakes record with a dominant victory Friday in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Filly Trot at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
The $5.8 million Breeders Crown is harness racing's equivalent of the Breeders' Cup. It includes 12 season-ending championships that determine division titles and Horse of the Year.
There were four distaff Crowns on Friday; the remaining stakes are set for Saturday night.
Mission Brief beat Danielle Hall by 4 3/4 lengths in 1:51 4/5 for the mile, slicing a full two seconds off the mark set by Shake It Cerry last year.
Mission Brief took charge down the backstretch with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke.
''The talent this filly has is unbelievable,'' Gingras said. ''As long as she stays sound, she's going to do amazing things.''
Mission Brief improved to 9 for 13, paying $2.80 to win.
Gingras and Burke also teamed up for a victory in the richest race of the night, with Sayitall BB taking the $593,750 3-Year-Old Filly Pace in a 9-1 upset.
She led gate to wire, beating Major Dancer by three quarters of a length in 1:50 3/5. It was her ninth victory in 15 starts this year. She paid $21 to win.
Gingras now has nine Crown wins. Burke has eight.
One race after her record was erased, Shake It Cerry won a second straight Crown, taking the 3-Year-Old Filly Trot in 1:52 2/5 in another stakes record.
She powered to the victory on a powerful three-wide sweep for driver Ron Pierce and Jimmy Takter, the career-leading Crown trainer. She beat Cee Bee Yes by 2 1/4 lengths, paying $2.40 to win.
It was the 30th Crown win for Pierce and the 19th for Takter.
The consistent Shake It Cerry improved to 15 for 17 this season, making her a Horse of the Year contender. Over all, she is 23 for 28.
Defending Horse of the Year Bee A Magician held off Classic Martine by a head in the $250,000 Open Mare Trot. It was a solid end to a disappointing season in which the 4-year-old won only four of 16 races.
Brian Sears was at the lines for his 25th Crown victory. He has won at least one Crown every year since 2003.
Bee A Magician, trained by Richard ''Nifty'' Norman, trotted the mile in a stakes record 1:51 4/5. She paid $7.40 to win.