Breeders Crown comes to Meadowlands Friday and Saturday
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki continue their rivalry Friday night in the $421,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace with harness racing's Horse of the Year title on the line.
The Meadowlands Racetrack hosts 12 Crowns worth a combined $6.2 million over two nights this weekend.
The four season-ending championships for older horses will be contested Friday. The stakes for 2 and 3-year-olds will go Saturday.
The Wiggle It Jiggleit vs. Always B Miki showdowns have been among the sport's most compelling all season. They have met seven times, with each earning three wins.
Wiggle It Jiggleit, the defending Horse of the Year, is the 8-5 second choice from post 7. Owner George Teague Jr. paid a $50,000 supplement to enter the 4-year-old gelding.
''People like to see him race and these two together, while they may meet another time, for him to be in the Breeders Crown is really good for the business,'' Teague said.
Always B Miki, winner of this race last year when it was held at Woodbine in Toronto, is the 6-5 favorite from post 4.
The 5-year-old became the world's fastest standardbred by pacing a mile in 1:46 at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky, earlier this month.
''You don't get horses like this for long, and it's definitely emotional to be around him,'' trainer Jimmy Takter said.
Other notable performers on Friday include the 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician in the $250,000 Filly & Mare Older Trot and Resolve, fresh from a win in the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway, as the headliner in the $500,000 Older Trot.
The Saturday lineup features Walner, the early favorite for next season's Hambletonian, in the $600,000 2-year-old Trot; Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder in the $500,000 3-year-old Trot; and Hambletonian Oaks winner All The Time, who battled back from a life-threatening bout of colic to make the $500,000 3-year-old Filly Trot.