Takter extends Breeders Crown trainers' win record
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The second night of the 30th annual Breeders Crown at turned into a family affair on Saturday as Hall-of-Fame trainer Jimmy Takter saw two of his horses take Crown titles and his daughter, trainer Nancy Johansson, win her first.
Takter, the all-time leader with 21 Crown winners, had 19 horses in the two-night, 12-race event, and cashed in with Father Patrick in the $500,000 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot and Pinkman in the $500,000 2-year-old Colt & Gelding Trot on Saturday.
Johansson's JK She'salady took the $500,000 2-Year-Old Filly Pace to keep a perfect 12-race winning record intact and put herself in contention for Horse of the Year honors.
Pinkman, driven by Yannick Gingras, covered the mile oval in a stakes record-tying 1:53 2/5, holding on at the wire to beat a charging John Campbell-driven Muscle Diamond by half a length. Pinkman went off at even money and paid $4.00.
Gingras said he could have driven Muscle Diamond, but decided on Pinkman because ''Pinkman came into the race super sharp.'' It was Pinkman's fourth consecutive win.
Father Patrick, with Gingras winning his fourth race in two nights, kept the lead almost the whole race to win his 12th in 17 outings in a stakes-record 1:51 4/5, paying $4.60. Father Patrick beat out E L Titan by a neck, earning redemption for breaking stride in the Hambletonian and finishing out of the money.
JK She'salady, driven by Tim Tetrick, kept her undefeated year intact in Filly Pace by beating Sassa Hanover in a stakes- and track-record 1:50 2/5. JK She'salady paid $2.20.
The win was Johansson's first, and she took the opportunity to throw a playful dig at her dad.
''I asked him if he had any good 2-year-old pacing fillies,'' Johansson said. ''And then I told him he could leave them home because I had the best one. I knew she'd be good, but I didn't know she'd be that good.''
Saturday's card included the final eight stakes races of the two-night event worth a total purse of $5,556,250. The late-season harness event is the sport's equivalent of thoroughbred racing's Breeders Cup, and its champions can take a major step toward winning Horse of the Year honors.
Hall-of-Fame driver John Campbell won his second of the night and all-time Crown-record 47th by mounting a stretch charge with Shelliscape in the $281,250 Open Mares Pace. The upset winner paid $23.00 to win and ran a 1:49 4/5 to finish a half-length ahead of the Ron Burke-trained Rocklamation, who had joined him in the stretch surge in overtaking Voelz Hanover. Shelliscape, who Campbell jetted from the back of the pack, had won just three times in 24 previous outings.
Campbell won his 46th, his first since 2011, in the $400,000 Open Pace as he rushed Thinking Out Loud up from fifth in the stretch to nip Sweet Lou at the wire in 1:43 3/5. The winner paid $10.40.
Commander Crow became the oldest Crown champion ever when the 11-year-old won what turned into a four-horse race in the $500,000 Open Trot. Commander Crow pushed his career earnings past the $5 million mark while running in 1:51, equaling a stakes record. Commander Crow, runner-up Maven, show horse Creatine broke away from the pack along with Archangel early and stayed in a bunch all the way to the end.
Commander Crow, who spent most of his career in Europe, looked strong from start to finish, and held off Maven's challenge by three-quarters of a length to pay off $12.00.
Favorite Always B Miki became a late scratch in the $531,250 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace, leaving the way open for Mcwicked to beat Somesizesomestyle and give driver Brian Sears his second win in this Crown and 26th overall. Mcwicked paid $5.60 to win, running at 1:49. Mcwicked never lost the lead after overtaking show finisher JK Endofanera at the half-mile pole.
Traceur Hanover made a big charge with Go Daddy Go at the three-quarter pole and hung on by a half-length against In The Arsenal in the $500,000 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace. He won it in 1:51. The win marked driver Andy Miller's fifth Crown victory, trainer Corey Johnson's first, and paid $9.80 to win.