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Crown victory for favored Heston Blue Chip

October 27, 2012

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The team of driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano scored again when Heston Blue Chip wore down Sweet Lou to capture the $555,000 Breeders Crown three-year-old colt pace.

The race was expected to be a shootout and it lived up to its billing with a host of leavers forcing an incredibly fast past under less than ideal conditions.

Tetrick left the gate with Heston Blue Chip but was outsprinted to the turn by Panther Hanover with Sylvain Filion in tow. Sweet Lou, hoping to exhibit the kind of form that saw him capture the Tattersalls Pace earlier this month at The Red Mile, left sharply from post seven and pushed towards the front getting there in a snappy :26 seconds flat.

No sooner had Sweet Lou gotten to the top before he was under assault from North America Cup winner Thinking Out Loud. That colt took the lead three-eighths into the contest but his lead would be extremely short-lived as Panther Hanover made a quick burst to reclaim command at the :53 4/5 opening half.

Dave Palone, driving Sweet Lou, a 5-1 shot on this night, charged up to push the pace. That move was just what driver Tim Tetrick was looking for as he drafted quickly behind that cover and enjoyed the ride.

Sweet Lou was relentless in his pursuit of Panther Hanover and rode alongside his rival through an eye-popping 1:21 3/5 three quarter clocking.

Once in the homestretch Sweet Lou fought his way to the front and driver Palone put him to a full driver. Heston Blue Chip, had won 10 races coming into the Breeders Crown but none against this type of competition. Tetrick was determined to reverse his luck and kept a hard whip on the American Ideal-sired colt to push him by a determined rival.

Heston Blue Chip, the 9-5 favorite in the field, gamely passed Sweet Lou nearing the wire for owner Ken Jacobs.

Sweet Lou finished second in the 1:49 2/5 mile with Bettors Edge, an elimination winner a week ago, settling for third. Toscano also trains Bettors Edge.

Thinking Out Loud finished a solid fourth with pacesetter Panther Hanover earning the final check.

"He deserved this,” said trainer Linda Toscano about the colt that went over the $1 million mark in career earnings with his 22nd career triumph. (Breeders Crown)
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