Emoticon Hanover, NF Happenstance win Crown Mare Trot elims

from the Breeders Crown

Wilkes-Barre, PA — The field for next Saturday’s $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot is set after Emoticon Hanover and NF Happenstance won their respective eliminations Saturday night (Oct. 20) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

The next three finishers — Ariana G, Ice Attraction and Celebrity Ruth from the first split and Barn Bella, Pink Pistol and Caprice Hill from the second elimination — will join the winners in the final, along with Broadway Donna from the second division, the fifth place finisher with the highest earnings.

Curtis Salonick photo

Emoticon Hanover held off Ariana G in a time of 1:52.4.

Second choice Emoticon Hanover, trained by Luc Blais, sat in the pocket behind Ariana G to win the first $25,000 elimination in 1:52.4, going by the favorite in deep stretch to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4. Ariana G posted fractions of :27.4, :57 and 1:24.4 to set up the Emoticon Hanover win. Both are previous Breeders Crown champs.

Emoticon Hanover, a 5-year-old bay mare by Kadabra from the Ken Warkentin mare Emmylou Who, posted her 20th career win and pushed her earnings past $1.24 million for owners Determination of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Bred by Linda Wellwood, Tammy Aspden, Anne Shunock and Diane Ingham, Emoticon Hanover was a $165,000 yearling purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pa.

The second $25,000 division went to 9-1 NF Happenstance, who cleared to the front just before the :27 first quarter pole and then took the field past fractions of :56.3 and 1:25.1 over the sloppy racing surface before facing a modest challenge from favored Dream Together, who eventually made a break in stride, wiping out the second choice, Broadway Donna, and opening up the easy win for the Jack Parker Jr.- driven NF Happenstance. Her winning margin was 3-1/4 lengths.

Barn Bella survived an inquiry to finish second and 95-1 Pink Pistol finished third. Caprice Hill was fourth. Broadway Donna finished sixth in the race, but was placed fifth due to interference from Dream Together, and that placing means the millionaire daughter of Donato Hanover will also race next week in the final.

NF Happenstance is an 8-year-old bay daughter of SJ’s Caviar, from the Conway Hall mare Moira Hall. She is trained by Carol Jamieson-Parker for owner James D. Moore III of North Carolina. The win was her 11th this year and 31st in 110 career starts as she pushed her lifetime earnings over $600,000. NF Happenstance was bred in Pennsylvania by John Hurtgen.

The $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot is one of 12 Breeders Crown finals to be featured Saturday (Oct. 28) at Pocono. First race post time is set at an early 5:30 p.m. (EDT).

Here is the draw for the $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot championship; (*-elimination winner), followed by trainer and the driver in the elimination (a choice will have to be made).

1. – Broadway Donna – Jim Campbell – David Miller
2. – Barn Bella – trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer
3. – *NF Happenstance – Carol Jamieson-Parker – Jack Parker Jr.
4. – Caprice Hill – Chris Oakes – Brian Sears
5. – *Emoticon Hanover – Luc Blais – Daniel Dube
6. – Celebrity Ruth – trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer
7. – Pink Pistol – Peter Shody – Tim Tetrick
8. – Ariana G – Jimmy Takter – Yannick Gingras
9. – Ice Attraction – trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt

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