11/15/2014 11:13PM

Breeders Crown: Always B Miki, Limelight Beach, Maven win elims

Lisa Photo
Maven beat the boys in her Breeders Crown elimination.

If there was any doubt as to the best 3-year-old pacer in training, Always B Miki certainly erased any trepidation with a convincing 1:50 victory in what was on paper the tougher of two Breeders Crown eliminations Saturday night at the Meadowlands.

JK Endofanera was hustled away from the gate to secure the lead with a reasonable 27-second opening quarter but soon was forced to give way to an explosive charge from Always B Miki at the half in 55 seconds.

Once in command, Always B Miki got a 28 1/5 third quarter breather and faced only a light challenge from He’s Watching. JK Endofanera chased from the pocket but made up just token headway to lose by a non-threatening neck in a strong win by Always B Miki.

“I got to the front, he took a breather the third quarter and was ready for the challenge on the way home,” said winning driver David Miller.

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Trainer Joe Holloway is thrilled with the maturation in Always B Miki but still knows there is work to be done going into the $531,250 Breeders Crown final next Saturday. “Tonight he was on the right line and I thought he was perfect coming into the week,” said Holloway. “There’s always something. I think we have a really good chance for next week and we have the best horse.”

Always B Miki scored his fifth straight win for owners Bluewood Stable, Val D’Or Farms, and Roll The Dice stable. He will be joined in the final by JK Endofanera, Let’s Drink On It, Somesizesomestyle, and Luck Be Withyou from the first elimination.

Topping Always B Miki at least on the tele-timer was Limelight Beach in the second split for second-year pacing colts. Driver Yannick Gingras sent him down the road in 1:49 3/5 over a game McWicked to score the victory.

Limelight Beach set strong early fractions of 26 2/5 and 54 3/5 before McWicked came to call past the third call in 1:23. Those two hooked up briefly, but Limelight Beach had plenty left and held sway by a half-length. Doo Wop Hanover, Somestarsomewhere, and Capital Account rounded out the finalists.

“I think he went a huge mile,” said Gingras. “The third quarter was a breather, but it also gave Brian (Sears, McWicked) a chance to get to me. If I go a little faster to the third quarter it makes it harder for him to get to me and I probably win a bit easier.”

Limelight Beach is co-owned by trainer Ron Burke along with Weaver Bruscemi, Micelle Yanek, and Larry Karr.

Maven beats the boys

Maven faced nine male rivals in the lone Breeders Crown elimination for older trotters and found smooth sailing en route to an impressive victory.

Maven saved ground before edging off the cones on the final turn and surging to the front. She would face a late bid from Your So Vain, but dug down deep when she saw him coming and refused to give way in a 1:52 2/5 winning mile.

Flanagan Memory, Wishing Stone, Archangel, and Arch Madness will join the top pair in the final. Intimidate, Market Share, Creatine, and Commander Crowe received byes into the $500,000 final.

Maven is now owned by Herb Liverman, who purchased the 5-year-old winner of $1.6 million for $750,000 at the Standardbred Sale at Harrisburg. She is trained by Jimmy Takter.