Ranking the Top Five stories from Friday’s Breeders Crown open events at the Meadowlands.
by Dave Briggs
Ranking the top five moments from the Friday’s Breeders Crown open events at the Meadowlands:
5. Yannick’s dominant mares
Driver Yannick Gingras is certainly off to a good start in Breeders Crown ’16 with two wins in the first four races. He won with a pair of dominant mares — Hannelore Hanover in the mare trot and Lady Shadow in the mare pace — to add his 14th and 15th Crown trophies to his collection.
With a stack of drool-worthy prospects on tap for tonight’s eight two- and three-year-old finals, Gingras could earn as many as five more Crowns, if everything falls perfectly. That would equal David Miller’s single-night Crown record set last year and seven total Crown wins would obliterate the record for most BC wins by a driver in a single year.
4. Beyond a Shadow of a doubt
For the second straight week, Lady Shadow looked like she might be vulnerable in the stretch, but found an extra gear and exploded to the wire to win the $250,000 mare pace by two-and-a-quarter lengths for trainer Ron Adams.
It was the 11th win in 19 starts this year for Lady Shadow, who went over $750,000 on the year.
3. Four Horse Flanagan victory
Flanagan Memory won a four-horse fan at the wire to take the $500,000 open trot in a mild upset over Resolve that put the former over $1.5 million lifetime. So continues the emotional story of Flanagan Memory who was bred by Michel Flanagan of Quebec who died a few weeks after the horse foaled. Flanagan’s daughter, Liette Flanagan — who owns the trotter with his trainer, Rene Dion — named the horse Flanagan Memory in honor of her father.
2. Holy Hannelore
Hannelore Hanover likely locked up the mare trot divisional crown by winning the Crown and put herself in the discussion for Horse of the Year — though she’s still an outsider — with a dominant victory for Ron Burke and company.
The victory pushed Hannelore Hanover over $1 million on the year and improved her record to a sterling 16 wins and two seconds in 19 starts this year.
1. Miki v. Wiggle
Was there any doubt what was number one? Not a chance. In a stretch battle for the ages, Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit threw haymakers with Miki gutting out a last-second win to take the lead 4-3 in the season series between these two older pacing titans. Seldom does a race live up to such consider pre-race hype, but this one delivered, with both pacers ultra-game.
Heading into the race the Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki were first and second, respectively, in the weekly Hambletonian Society / Breeders Crown poll. The question is, will they be in the same order next week.
Miki was the better horse on this night, but a salute to Team Teague for supplementing Wiggle It Jiggleit to the Crown to allow this great race to happen in the first place.