Minor hopes to make major Crown noise
October 20, 2011
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Last October, Dewayne Minor headed to the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters with stakes-winner Wishing Stone and nearly came away with the trophy as his colt finished second from post nine to Break The Bank K in a world-record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
This year, Minor goes to the Breeders Crown without much fanfare, but he hopes to make noise again. Minor has Uncommon Night in the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters and Don’t Think Twice in the event for 3-year-old filly trotters.
The $6 million Breeders Crown championships get under way with elimination races, as needed, on Friday and Saturday nights at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The finals for every age, gait and sex–12 in all–will be held on Oct. 29, also at Woodbine.
Uncommon Night will race Friday night in the single elimination for the 2-year-old filly trotters. The top eight finishers will join Circles and Win Missy B, who received byes, in the $600,000 final. Uncommon Night, who is winless in 11 starts, begins from post eight with driver Brian Sears.
“She’s been racing really well, she’s just hasn’t had any luck,” Minor said about the filly, which has hit the board seven times and earned $66,677 for owner Cowboyland Aalborg. “She showed a lot of raw talent early. I thought she would be better later in the season once she settled down a little bit. I’m pretty confident she can go with those fillies. If she gets a good trip she might even pop up and win.”
Minor knows winning will be a tough task, particularly with Merrie Annabelle winner Check Me Out and Peaceful Way champ Win Missy B among those in the mix. Check Me Out will start from post four in the Breeders Crown elimination after trainer Ray Schnittker turned down the bye into the final.
“Those top fillies are two very nice horses,” Minor said. “It’s going to take some doing to get by them, but anything can happen in a horse race.”
Uncommon Night finished second to Check Me Out in their division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. Minor has been trying to teach Uncommon Night to get away from the starting gate in a steady manner because the filly had a tendency to want to go quickly.
“She’s starting to listen to you a little more,” Minor said. “She’s not as anxious trying to leave. You really had to take a good hold of her to get her to mind her business, but she’s just gradually improved over the summer.”
Minor bought Uncommon Night, a daughter of Donato Hanover out of the mare Uncommon Scents, for $22,000.
“I just liked her structure, the way she was built behind,” Minor said. “She had a big rear end, with power. She was a filly that had the attitude you like for a nice filly. She had an ‘I don’t take no (stuff) attitude. I’ll do what you want, but I’m not going to take no (stuff).’ That’s what I like in a filly. They’ve got to have a little gumption to them.”
On Saturday night, Don’t Think Twice starts from post two with driver Brian Sears in the first of two eliminations for the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters. The top five finishers from each elim will advance to the $500,000 final on Oct. 29.
Don’t Think Twice has won two of 10 races this year and earned $42,133 for Cowboyland Aalborg. In her most recent start, she was second to Hambletonian Oaks winner Bold And Fresh in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile.
Minor lost time with the filly as a 2-year-old because of a hind leg bone bruise, which saw Don’t Think Twice limited to four starts.
“It took some time for it to really heal,” Minor said. “I haven’t had to do much vet work on her lately, so I think it’s finally where she’s not feeling anything there.
“I know she can go with these fillies. I was trying to give her some easier races (earlier this year) to get her worked into her speed and not punish her against the other fillies. I didn’t want to throw her to the wolves because she’s a pretty competitive filly. She’ll go with the best of them. It was just a matter of her staying sound enough to handle her speed and go with the other fillies.”
Minor purchased Don’t Think Twice for $50,000. She is a daughter of Andover Hall out of the mare Mackadamian. Her second dam is Peace A Pie, the mother of Pizza Dolce, the 2002 Dan Patch Award winner as best 2-year-old filly trotter.
“You definitely want a family behind any of the horses you go to buy, especially on the dam’s side,” Minor said. “If you’ve got a good maternal family you’ve got a better shot at having a decent racehorse. And she had a snazzy attitude.”
Don’t Think Twice’s Breeders Crown elim features Bold And Fresh, Seducedbychocolate, Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Cedar Dove, Oh Sweet Baby, Lady Andover, Crys Dream, Jezzy, and Martiniontherocks, who won last season’s Breeders Crown for 2 year olds.
"I think she’s got a really good shot,” Minor said. “We’ll hope for a little luck and go from there.” (HRC)