10/22/2012 3:15PM

Breeders Crown Notebook


After watching all of the Breeders Crown eliminations and prep races, here is my race-by-race look at each of the 12 divisions. These are not my picks; simply observations from the eliminations, preps and past races.

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Race 1 – $250,000 Open Mare Trot

BEATGOESON HANOVER won easily by open lengths but the margin was aided by the perfect scenario of the pocket-sitter backing through the field.

AUTUMN ESCAPADE flashed a bit of early speed and rallied nicely once she found room in the stretch. Let’s remember that she is a classy mare that could reach the $1 million mark with a win. She might be getting right at the perfect time.

TAMLA CELEBER S was hopelessly trapped along the cones for most of the stretch and clearly had trot in reserve when she finally found a seam to split foes late. She is stuck in post 10 for the final but at least is on a track where you have enough real estate before the first turn to leave for a tuck. The problem will be the presence of the speedy FRENCHFRYSNVINEGAR leaving two spots to her inside.

BAX OF LIFE was hung every step of the mile and still held well in the stretch. Perhaps this 4-year-old is ready to take the next step.

Race 2 –$600,000 2-year-old Filly Pace

SOMWHEROVRARAINBOW used early speed to secure position and pounced on the leaders with a big stretch kick late. The royally bred daughter of Rainbow Blue looks like the real deal.

LOVE CANAL waited last on the cones and uncorked a powerful turn of speed when angled wide in the stretch. After some success during the summer, trainer TJ O’Sullivan gave her some time off and it seems to have agreed with this Badlands Hanover filly. She appears to have a big shot at a price.

Race 3 - $600,000 Open Trot

No eliminations were necessary. CHAPTER SEVEN will be a deserving heavy favorite off his body of work this year, but any of these is capable of winning if they have a good night and Chapter Seven leaves his “A” game in the barn.

Race 4 - $500,000 3-year-old Filly Pace

ECONOMY TERROR was quick off the gate but backed down the pace to a crawl. She met up with American Jewel and gave her all with no excuses for the narrow loss.

ROMANTIC MOMENT rated kind fractions and cruised to a very easy win. She did, however, seem to get lonely on the lead and needed some late reminders from driver Yannick Gingras to keep her head in the game.

AMERICAN JEWEL did just what she had to out of the pocket while hustled home by Tim Tetrick. She may not be quite as sharp as she was in June, but I’m not sure any of these can beat her if she gets a trip.

SHELLISCAPE showed some early speed and did take late air on the rim, but just didn’t seem sharp on elim night. She was okay, not great.

ROCKAROUND SUE will garner some attention because she finished up with a big 26 2/5 final quarter. But let’s face it, she saved ground and gained along the inside and then had a clear path to the rim in the stretch. She was supposed to finish well with that trip.

APOGEE HANOVER is another who saved ground the entire mile and finished up very well (26-second final quarter). I can’t explain why she is 25-1 morning line and Rockaround Sue is 8-1. It seems like they should be similarly priced in the final.

Race 5 - $600,000 2-year-old Filly Trot

No eliminations were necessary. TO DREAM ON and BEE A MAGICIAN are the clear standouts. The winner probably gets divisional honors.

Race 6 - $500,000 3-year-old Filly Trot

No eliminations were necessary. CHECK ME OUT raced well in defeat at The Red Mile. This is the race she was aiming for. One of these fillies would have to bring a huge effort to beat her on Saturday.

Race 7 - $600,000 2-year-old Colt Pace

DRESS THE PART was used a bit to make the front and put in a decent effort. Only because he has the rail on Saturday, he could be worth using underneath at a big price.

ROCKIN AMADEUS flashed good speed before ending up third on the cones. He had to wait for room in the stretch and squeezed through a pin-hole to be a comfortable third. I thought it was one of his better recent efforts.

CAPTAINTREACHEROUS won very easily and seems to be a few steps faster than his competition.

WAKE UP PETER finished with a sizzling 25 4/5 final quarter to blow by his competition in the stretch. Yes, there is a BUT coming. He was gapping cover in a 28 2/5 third quarter. Horses like that (see Guccio) do not win many big stakes races.

VEGAS VACATION was a decent while first-over behind Captaintreacherous.

APPRENTICE HANOVER rated soft fractions and should have won. I’m really not sure what to make of this horse.

URBANITE HANOVER saved ground in the three-hole and angled off the pylons mid-stretch. Unfortunately he was trapped between horses and finished under a hold with no room to roam. With clear sailing he may have finished second.

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE tucked fourth and attacked nicely while on the rim in the second half of the race. After only posting a 1:53 mile at Lexington, he may have needed this mile to tighten up for the final.

Race 8 - $600,000 2-year-old Colt Trot

WHEELING N DEALIN was forced to take the pocket early before brushing to the front at the three-eighths. Yes, he rated very soft fractions, but you have to give him credit for refusing to lose in a classic stretch battle.

ROYALTY FOR LIFE found a huge hole to tuck third. He pulled past the half and gave the winner all he could handle. Post 9 could be an issue but his early speed relieves some of the concern.

Race 9 - $555,000 3-year-old Colt Pace

MICHAEL’S POWER brushed at the three-eighths and simply had no excuses. He wasn’t awful, but he wasn’t good, either.

BETTOR’S EDGE couldn’t have been better. He came uncovered and just kept finding more in a big mile. Perhaps this perennial bridesmaid in the big races is finally ready for his big day.

ESCAPE THE NEWS left for position and wound up in the three-hole the entire mile. He tried to find room in the stretch and was bottled up between foes the entire stretch while appearing to have plenty in the tank. He might be the best 30-1 morning line you will ever find.

HESTON BLUE CHIP went to the front, yielded into the pocket and won rather easily. He had a dream trip in his first start on Lasix.

PANTHER HANOVER went a game mile on the engine despite battling foot problems which he “couldn’t walk on” most of the morning of the race according to his connections.

SWEET LOU was taken way off the pace and gapped off cover a bit. He didn’t seem to be as sharp as he was in the Tattersalls.

THINKING OUT LOUD received rave reviews on his appearance before the race, but had a perfect trip and no excuses for not winning.

MEL MARA was third-over following lackluster cover and rallied home nicely with no shot. He is clearly in peak form but must deal with post 10.

Race 10 - $331,500 Open Mare Pace

No eliminations were necessary. REBEKA BAYAMA raced in the Open on Friday and posted a track-record tying 1:48 4/5 victory. She is clearly the one to beat but far from a lock.

Race 11 - $555,000 3-year-old Colt Trot

INTIMIDATE followed somewhat dull cover and somehow overcame the trip with a spectacular 26 3/5 final quarter to best divisional leader Market Share. It was a very impressive effort.

LITTLE BROWN FOX rated a soft half and sprinted the third quarter to open up daylight on the field. He won easily in hand but was supposed to win off those fractions.

MARKET SHARE attacked the leader uncovered and had an open lead in the lane. Yeah, he lost, but it was another solid effort.

PRESTIDIGITATOR was saved early and finished up willingly against a runaway winner. It is worth noting that he was drifting out through the stretch.

Race 12 - $500,000 Open Pace

No eliminations were necessary. PUT ON A SHOW tuned up for her try against the boys with a very conservative off-the-pace effort against her peers. She closed with some pace and no shot. BETTOR SWEET stamped himself as the one to beat after another impressive first-over win in an Open race on Saturday at Woodbine. FOILED AGAIN was a solid second in that same race. FORECLOSURE N romped in 1:48 4/5 in a conditioned event. It was just his second start for trainer Ron Burke.