For Fourth Dimension, it was the classic case of addition by subtraction.
Despite racing well enough in the preliminary legs to qualify for the New York Sire Stakes final at Yonkers, the freshman trotting colt was held out by trainer Marcus Melander. He felt Fourth Dimension had nothing left to prove in the Empire State and wanted to save him for the Breeders Crown.
Removing the NYSS from the equation has paid off so far, as Fourth Dimension was a winner in last Saturday’s Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt and gelding elimination races at Hoosier Park. He enters Saturday’s final as the 5-2 favorite starting from the No. 4 post position.
"He raced great in New York," Melander said. "He took a bad step there at Yonkers right before Lexington; maybe he didn’t like the half(-mile track) as much. We decided to skip the New York Sire Stakes final. He showed (in his Breeders Crown elimination) he is one of the best ones in the country, so he is one of the best in New York as well.
"It was $225,000 in purses, but we didn’t want to go back to New York and race him and then come out here (to Indiana). It’s not fair to the horse. We skipped it and I think it was the right move for sure."
Fourth Dimension finished second in a Bluegrass Stakes division on Sept. 28 in Lexington, trotting in 1:53.1 and a week later won an International Stallion Stakes division in 1:52.4.
In skipping the New York Sire Stakes final on Oct. 14, he got 15 days off and responded with a 2-year-old colt trotter track record of 1:54 in his Breeders Crown elimination. Driven by Brian Sears, the son of Chapter Seven-Corazon Blue Chip started from post seven and took the lead prior to the half. He trotted :28.1 in the final quarter to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Met’s Hall.
It was the sixth win in eight starts for Fourth Dimension, who also has a second-place finish. He has earned $139,700 for owner Courant Inc.
Melander felt the horse’s performances in Kentucky confirmed his talent.
"Everyone that saw him in Lexington the first week when he was first up on Fashionwoodchopper, we went a big last half there," the trainer said. "The second week, he won so easy in (1):52.4. So I knew I had a good horse. But you never know.
"(Our Breeders Crown elimination) was the best 2-year-old horses in North America, except for maybe Alarm Detector and Crystal Fashion, but we won pretty easy. I’m confident for the final."
Fourth Dimension will see how he stacks up against Crystal Fashion in the final, as David Miller drove that gelding to a first-place win in 1:54.3 in the other elimination. Crystal Fashion battled Samo Different Day down the wire and held off Fiftydallarbill for a neck victory.
"I was very happy with the way he raced," trainer Jim Campbell said. "He came first over and just kind of wore them down."
The son of Cantab Hall-Window Willow has hit the board in 10 of 11 starts this year with four firsts, three seconds and three thirds, and has earned $155,292 for owner Fashion Farms. He goes off at 7-2 from the No. 1 post in the final.
"We’ve been very happy with him all year long," Campbell said. "He’s the type of horse, he’s good gaited, and he always gives us a good effort finishing. The long stretch here definitely doesn’t hurt him any." (USTA)