Atlanta and Plunge Blue Chip score in Crown Filly Trot eliminations

from the Breeders Crown

Wilkes-Barre, PA — From start to finish, Atlanta and driver Scott Zeron led the six-horse field and won the second $25,000 Breeders Crown elimination for 3-year-old trotting fillies on the “sloppy” track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday (Oct. 20), skillfully holding off a late-closing Lily Stride to win in 1:53.1.

Curtis Salonick photo

Atlanta held off a late-closing Lily Stride to win in 1:53.1.

The field lined up behind Atlanta, with Lily Stride next, followed by Manchego, then Ciao Dolce, Supergirl Riley and Phaetosive. Atlanta cut the fractions in :28.2, :57.4 and 1:26.

At three-quarters the only movement behind Atlanta came from Phaetosive. She came to the outside after lagging behind the five others and picked off enough of them to finish fourth and make the final.

Manchego rolled in the stretch to get third as Lily Stride was pushed futilely to try to catch Atlanta and finished second.

Atlanta is by Chapter Seven out of Hemi Blue Chip. She was bred by Order By Stable.

“I wanted to command the lead early,” Scott Zeron said in the winner’s circle, “And (Atlanta) stole the first fraction. It took her a bit to get back after the two heats in the Hambletonian and she was coming off two heats at the Red Mile, so tonight was good.”

Rick Zeron trains Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian winner, and he co-owns her with Crawford Farms, Howard Taylor, Brad Grant and Holland Racing Stable. She paid $4.20 to win.

Plunge Blue Chip and driver/trainer/co-owner Ake Svanstedt once again dominated a field of 3-year-old trotting fillies, this time in the Breeders Crown’s first $25,000 elimination for her division, winning easily in 1:53.3 on a track rated “sloppy.”

The daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato sat fourth off the gate as Top Expectations grabbed the lead with Looking For Zelda in the catbird seat and Courtney Hanover behind her in single file. The first quarter was clocked in :27.

Leading the field to a half in :56.2, Svanstedt pulled Plunge Blue Chip into the first-over position to challenge the leader. She tagged alongside of Top Expectations until the 1:25 three-quarters near the final turn when she eased to the front the entering the stretch. Plunge Blue Chip drew away to win in 1:53.3 with a lot of trot left.

Passing tired foes, Impinktoo slid into second, while Looking For Zelda locked into third and Courtney Hanover checked in fourth. Top Expectations was fifth.

Ake Svanstedt owns Plunge Blue Chip along with Blue Chip Bloodstock, also the breeder, Tomas Andersson and Rick Zeron Stables. Plunge Blue Chip paid $3.20 to win.

Here is the draw for the $500,000 Breeders Crown 3-year-old trotting filly final, to be held next Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono (* – elimination winner), followed by the trainer and the driver in the elimination:

1 — *Plunge Blue Chip – trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt

2 – Supergirl Riley – Erv Miller – Marcus Miller

3 — *Atlanta – Rick Zeron – Scott Zeron

4 – Lily Stride – Mark Harder – Tim Tetrick

5 – Looking For Zelda – Norm Parker – Matt Kakaley

6 – Courtney Hanover – Rick Zeron – Scott Zeron

7 – Phaetosive – trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer

8 – Manchego – Jimmy Takter – Yannick Gingras

9 – Impinktoo – Ron Burke – Brian Sears

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