My Little Dragon won her third career Breeders Crown championship by claiming Saturday’s $352,815 Mare Pace by two lengths over Darlin’s Delight in 1:50.1.
Driven by Brian Sears, My Little Dragon – a Crown champion at ages 2 and 3 – joined Eternal Camnation as the only female pacers with three Crown trophies.
She is owned by Adam Victor & Son and trained in Canada by Mike Vanderkemp.
Southwind Madonna took the lead on the backstretch, at which point My Little Dragon moved to the outside from the fourth-place spot with Darlin’s Delight following. My Little Dragon maintained the pressure into the stretch before clearing to the lead and pulling away.
Hana Hanover was third and Tidewaterdragonfly was fourth.
“She’s a great mare, no question about it,” Sears said about My Little Dragon. “It's her third Breeders Crown. She's raced with the best all her life. It's a great effort. She's just a great mare, it speaks for itself.
“I knew she could handle it, she's been razor-sharp. She doesn't mind the first over occasionally. At the head of the lane I kicked the (ear) plugs and she was gone.”
My Little Dragon has won 23 of 48 career starts and earned more than $2.1 million.
“It's always a pleasure to have her around,” Vanderkemp said. “She's such a great horse and she proved that tonight. It's funny – she's very lazy, Brian will tell you that, but the last six weeks she's been very aggressive in the warm-up which is not like her, and she's been racing good so hopefully she stays that way.”
Darlin’s Delight finished second in a Breeders Crown for a third time.
“Second is better than third but not as good as winning,” trainer Jeff Stafford said. “She raced well, very well in fact, she just got beat by a better mare tonight. These mares have flip-flopped back and forth for years now and tonight it was the other mare’s turn. There are worse places to be.” (WEG)