I Luv The Nitelife made it 12 consecutive wins with a powerful pocket-trip win in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old filly pacers in 1:50 on Saturday night (Oct. 19) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.Authorize was second with Aunt Caroline third.
As the gate folded, Aunt Caroline was the first away. I Luv The Nitelife, the 1-9 favorite, managed to clear to the lead past the quarter in a sharp :25.4, but immediately yielded to second choice Shebestingin. As the field passed the half-mile pole in :54.3, defending Breeders Crown champion Somwherovrarainbow came first-over, pushing Shebestingin to a three-quarter time of 1:21.4, with I Luv The Nitelife sitting chilly in the pocket the entire time.
Into the homestretch, driver Tim Tetrick pulled I Luv the Nitelife ($4.00) from the pocket to loop Shebestingin to win by 3-3/4 lengths.
Chris Ryder trains I Luv The Nitelife for co-owners Richard and Joanne Young. He sent a filly into the Breeders Crown final that hadn't raced since winning the Jugette on Sept. 18. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Lisjune had qualified at Pocono on Oct. 3 and Oct. 10.
"I think it's fantastic; you know it's been a long time between races; it seemed like an eternity,” said Ryder. "She's a great horse and great horses do great things.
"There were no suitable races, so we just qualified her. We didn't have her eligible for Kentucky, so she had no races.”
I Luv The Nitelife came into the race with a single first-place vote in the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown poll behind Bee A Magician and Captaintreacherous, but Young still thinks his filly should be in the conversation for Horse of the Year. I Luv The Nitelife now sports a bankroll of $1,218,337 in 2013 with 13 wins in 14 starts. The win gives her $1,907,867 in purse earnings at ages 2 and 3, which vaults her past Put On A Show as the richest pacing filly at ages 2 and 3. Young also owned Put On A Show, the 2010 Breeders Crown champion.
"I honestly believe that the 3-year-old pacing filly division is the toughest of the three divisions that each one races in,” said Young. "I have to admit that it's not their fault that they are racing against easier competition, but when you are making a vote, you vote off the one that is most impressive.”
MJG Racing Stables and Louis Willinger bred the champion filly. (Harness Racing Communications)