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Manchego surges to third Breeders Crown title

October 31, 2020
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Manchego became only the fourth trotter in history to win three Breeders Crown trophies by capturing Saturday's (Oct. 31) $300,000 Mare Trot in 1:52 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Dispatched as the 4-5 favorite, Manchego won by 3-1/4 lengths over Plunge Blue Chip. When Dovescry overcame a break at the start to rally for third.

Manchego joined Peace Corps, Grades Singing and Mack Lobell as the only trotters with at least three Crowns. Peace Corps holds the Breeders Crown record with four titles; Grades Singing and Mack Lobell each had three.

In Saturday's final, Felicityshagwell S went to the front followed by Plunge Blue Chip, Weslynn Quest, and Manchego. The top four remained in that order through a :27.3 opening quarter and :56 half.

Entering the last turn, driver Dexter Dunn put Manchego on a first-over march. She was third to three-quarters in 1:24.2, and she briefly followed Plunge Blue Chip (Åke Svanstedt) — who pulled the pocket in the stretch — before powering past her rivals for the victory.

"It actually worked out good because I got on (Svanstedt's) helmet for a while; he sort of beat me into the stretch there," Dunn said. "Once I moved her off Åke's helmet, she really exploded.

"She's an amazing horse. She really did it easy. It was a good performance tonight. It's a pleasure to sit behind her."

Manchego's previous Breeders Crown triumphs came at age 2 at Hoosier Park in 2017 and at age 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park last year.

"It sure never gets old," said owner Barry Guariglia of Black Horse Racing. "She's an awesome mare. It's been a great ride."

Manchego, a 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, is trained by Nancy Takter. Manchego has won five of 12 races this year and 32 of 55 in her career, with earnings of $2.56 million. She was bred by Brittany Farms.

Manchego paid $3.80 to win. Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown
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