Forty-four of harness racing's top 3-year-olds went postward Saturday night at Woodbine to contest six $25,000US Breeders Crown eliminations. The elimination winners earned the privilege to select their post positions for their respective finals, set for Saturday, Oct. 27.
Bettors Edge, driven by David Miller, pulled off a 17-1 upset in the first Crown elimination for 3-year-old pacing colts, while stopping the clock in 1:49.4. He paid $37.20 to win. The other elim was won by Heston Blue Chip in 1:50.3.
Bettor's Edge, a homebred son of Bettors Delight, used first-over tactics at the midway point as Panther Hanover (Sylvain Filion) cut the mile through panels of :26.1, :54.3 and 1:22.1. Bettors Edge got the best of the tempo-setter in the final strides to score the win by half a length. Thinking Out Loud (John Campbell) finished third.
The Linda Toscano-trained Bettor's Edge crafted a 5-4-3 record this season from 19 starts. The bay gelding increased his career bankroll to $416,963 for owner/breeder Brittany Farms and Val Dor Farms.
Toscano was in the winner's circle once again as she also trains Heston Blue Chip. With Tim Tetrick in the bike, the son of American Ideal was first to the quarter from the outside post seven in :27.1 before getting covered up by Michaels Power (Scott Zeron) on the way to the half.
Michaels Power continued to lead his rivals past the midway station in :55 and three-quarters in 1:23.1, before Heston Blue Chip found racing room late in the mile to score win by half a length. Mel Mara (Ron Pierce) finished second with Sweet Lou (Dave Palone) third.
With the win, Heston Blue Chip increased his bankroll to $879,783 for owner Kenneth Jacobs. The bay has crafted a 10-0-1 record this season from 13 starts. He paid $8.30 to win.
The top five finishers from each elimination advanced to the $555,000 Crown final.
$555,000 BREEDERS CROWN THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
1. Michaels Power
2. Bettors Edge
3. Escape The News
4. Heston Blue Chip
5. Panther Hanover
6. Dapper Dude
7. Sweet Lou
8. Thinking Out Loud
9. Hillbilly Hanover
10. Mel Mara
American Jewel, driven by Tim Tetrick, converted off a pocket trip to win the first Breeders Crown elimination for sophomore pacing fillies in 1:52.3. The daughter of American Ideal sat in the two hole behind Economy Terror (Dave Palone) through panels of :28, :57 and 1:25.3, before digging in down the stretch to get under the wire first, by a nose, over Economy Terror. Big Mcdeal (Jody Jamieson) finished third.
Trained by Jimmy Takter for owner Brittany Farms, American Jewel increased her lifetime bankroll to $1,521,773. The 15-time career winner has crafted a 7-4-2 record this season from 14 starts. She paid $3.20 to win.
Takter and Brittany Farms would team up again in the second elimination as Romantic Moment scored in 1:52.1. Driven by Yannick Gingras and also a daughter of American Ideal, Romantic Moment led from start to finish through panels of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:24.3, before edging away from her rivals to win by two lengths. Rockaround Sue (Tim Tetrick) finished second with longshot Apogee Hanover (Doug McNair) third.
Romantic Moment increased her bankroll to $958,364 and has crafted a 10-3-1 record this season from 14 starts. She paid $3.30 to win.
The top five finishers from each elimination advanced to the $500,000 Crown final.
$500,000 BREEDERS CROWN THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
1. Economy Terror
2. Big Mcdeal
3. Romantic Moment
4. American Jewel
7. Rockaround Sue
8. Apogee Hanover
9. Marty Party
10. Jet Wash
Over $6 million in purses will be up for grabs in next Saturday's Breeders Crown championships. First race post time for final night is 6:30 p.m. (Woodbine/Breeders Crown)