from the Breeders Crown
Wilkes-Barre, PA —Woodside Charm further established her credentials as a superstar in the making when she won her $25,000 elimination of the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old trotting fillies Friday (Oct. 19) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a startling 1:53 — almost a second faster than any divisional Crown final has gone on a five-eighths-mile track.
Owner/trainer/driver Verlin Yoder made the lead on the first turn, and when second choice Sonnet Grace made a break in the pocket late on that bend, the daughter of Chapter Seven–Fireworks Hanover controlled her own destiny.
Yoder guided his star filly to early fractions of :27.2 and :57.2, then asked his horse for more speed down the back, and she reached the three-quarters in 1:25. The winner trotted home in :28 as her lead increased to double digits, and she crossed the wire 12-1/2 lengths to the good, with 50-1 shots Stella Jane second and Miss You Kelly third to advance to the final.
Woodside Charm is now undefeated in six lifetime starts, with earnings of $221,658 — and another $300,000 looming in a week’s time.
Bob McClure, a top Canadian driver who has shown an ability to coax the most out of trotting females, worked his magic again in the first of Friday’s three $25,000 eliminations of the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old trotting fillies, guiding Champagne Jane to her maiden victory in 1:55.4 with a strong stretch burst.
Special Honor and Andy Miller went to the lead late on the first turn, passing the quarter in :27.4 and then keeping Conway Kellyanne outside to and past the :56.2 half. Favored Whispering Oaks circled wide to challenge near the 1:26.1 three-quarter pole, with McClure slipping outside with Champagne Jane.
Special Honor looked like she was on her way to victory in mid-stretch, but Champagne Jane (Holiday Road-Dicent No) was closing with high speed and picked up the leader handily in deep stretch, with Whispering Oaks holding on for third and advancement to the championship.
McClure, who was making his Breeders Crown debut, said that the filly had health issues in the summer, but that trainer Luc Blais had brought her back to top form, sharpness that was evident in the lane as she closed with determination for the ownership group named Determination, from Quebec.
The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono’s leading trainer, Rene Allard, and his brother and Pocono’s second-leading driver, Simon, combined with the impressive Muscle Hill–Cedar Dove filly When Dovescry to post an impressive 1:54 victory in the third $25,000 elimination for the Breeders Crown 2-year-old distaff trot, paying $9.40 for the win.
Simon had When Dovescry, named after a song by the late artist Prince, on top almost immediately and had a big lead by the fast :26.4 initial marker. The filly went on to the half in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:24.3, with favored The Ice Dutchess on the move to challenge down the back. But When Dovescry was not to be caught on this evening, with The Ice Dutchess holding for second, 2-1/4 lengths back, and Cloud Nine Fashion edging out Fate Smiled for third.
In talking about the $205,000 yearling purchase, who has now won four races in a row, Simon Allard said, “She is a great horse, and we knew she would be a great horse. We brought her along slowly, as we are looking to race her on at three and four — but obviously she was very good tonight.”
The ownership combine of the Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh, and Lawrence Dumain are undoubtedly focusing on the short-term outlook — next Saturday’s $600,000 championship event.
Here is the draw for the $600,000 Breeders Crown 2-year-old trotting filly final, to be held next Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono (*-elimination winner), followed by trainer and the driver in the elimination:
1 – *When Dovescry – Rene Allard – Simon Allard
2 – *Woodside Charm – trainer/driver Verlin Yoder
3 – *Champagne Jane – Luc Blais – Bob McClure
4 – Cloud Nine Fashion – Jim Campbell – Tim Tetrick
5 – Special Honor – Julie Miller – Andy Miller
6 – Whispering Oaks – Jimmy Takter – Yannick Gingras
7 – Miss You Kelly – Bruce Lauer – Tim Tetrick
8 – The Ice Dutchess – Jimmy Takter – Yannick Gingras
9 – Stella Jane – John Butenschoen – George Napolitano Jr.
- Napolitano punches his ticket to first Breeders Crown final (Sunday, October 21, 2018)
George Napolitano Jr. has won more races than any driver in the history of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but it was a second-place finish at his home oval that proved to be a winner in terms of punching Napolitano’s ticket to his first Breeders Crown final. Napolitano guided Stella Jane to a runner-up finish behind undefeated Woodside Charm in their Breeders Crown elimination last week to advance to Saturday’s $600,000 championship for 2-year-old filly trotters at Pocono.