11/19/2014 8:29PM

Breeders Crown: Arch Madness hoping to peak in Crown Trot

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Arch Madness seeks his first Breeders Crown win since besting Flirtin Man and Donato Hanover in 2007.

Finishing sixth in last week’s Breeders Crown Open Trot elimination may not have been good enough for some, but for trainer Trond Smedshammer’s Arch Madness it was good enough to earn the 10-year-old a ticket to the final. The ageless veteran returns to the scene of one of his greatest triumphs, the 2007 sophomore trot at the Meadowlands where he defeated Donato Hanover on a frigid night in November.

More than likely the conditions will be similar on Saturday in the $500,000 Crown final for the best trotters racing in North America. Arch Madness drew post three in the field of 10 and will again have the services of George Brennan.

“He came out of the race well,” said Smedshammer. “It was not a good trip, but he held well enough.”

[BREEDERS CROWN: Watch the Friday & Saturday cards from the Meadowlands live on DRF!]

Smedshammer understated the long journey put in by his $4.26 million winner in his elimination race. Parked to the half for the front, Arch Madness was put under pressure immediately and only gave ground late in the mile.

For Smedshammer and Arch Madness, 2014 has been a little different but may be ending in a similar fashion to some of his more memorable years.

“He tends to get better late in the year,” Smedshammer said. “I don’t know if he gets stronger or if some of the other horses lose something, but he’s been good lately.”

After attempting to tackle some of the better horses in the division through the summer, Arch Madness was finally able to regain form shortly before the October 25 $250,000 International Preview at Yonkers.

“I told racing secretary Steve Starr to keep a spot open for him,” said Smedshammer. “I knew he would be strong the week before.”

Strong was another understatement by Smedshammer. Arch Madness put forth an amazing 2:00 3/5 clocking going one and one-sixteenth miles at Yonkers a week before the International Preview, displaying much of the ability he had showcased throughout his brilliant career.

“I think the mile and a quarter was not to his liking,” said Smedshammer of the fifth-place finish Arch Madness achieved in the International Preview after cutting the pace.

Perhaps the greatest cause for optimism from Smedshammer is the fact that this year’s $500,000 Open Trot is as wide-open an affair as the sport has seen in some time. “I was surprised how everyone was caught up by Maven after she won last Saturday,” said Smedshammer. “She worked out a nice trip but this field is much tougher.”

Arch Madness will get to start directly inside of Maven (post 4) while race favorite Commander Crowe landed post nine.

Smedshammer has been helping with the care of Commander Crowe since he arrived stateside and is obviously impressed by the horse.

“He’s nothing like Arch Madness. He’s a combination of the Swedish and French breeding. He’s a horse that was made to go distances but has learned how to go at a mile,” said Smedshammer.

The absence of Sebastian K in the Crown has opened the door for his stablemate, Meadowlands Maturity winner Your So Vain, to be showcased by trainer Ake Svandstedt. The four-year-old, one of three in the race, showed solid foot finishing second to Maven after getting shuffled along the inside during the mile. Your So Vain landed the pole position and is expected to be even sharper with a race under his belt.

Market Share recently rebounded for trainer Linda Toscano, capturing the Dayton Trotting Derby at Dayton Raceway on October 24. The five-year-old has had a string of tough racing luck this year, but perhaps with the inside draw and some racing luck driver Tim Tetrick can energize Market Share to the level that saw him capture the 2012 Hambletonian at the Meadowlands. Market Share was tabbed as the 7-2 second choice by track oddsmaker Darin Zoccali.

[DRF LIVE: Get real-time updates and insights from DRF Harness reporters and handicappers at the Breeders Crown]

Creatine, a winner in the Allerage Farms final at the Red Mile while defeating Sebastian K, has been a solid force towards the end of the racing calendar. Trainer Bob Stewart’s charge also captured the American National. Ron Pierce handles the lines from post seven.

Leading trainer Ron Burke has two chances with Archangel (post 6) and Wishing Stone (post 8) in the field.

Flanagan Memory (post 5) and Intimidate (post 10) round out a solid field that goes as race 11 on the 13-race Saturday program.

Win, lose or draw, Smedshammer expects Arch Madness to compete in the TVG final on November 29 at the Meadowlands.

“For him to continue to race he has to be competitive against this group,” said Smedshammer, leaving the door slightly ajar for the 10-year-old gelding’s racing future.

Ultimately he along with owners Mark Goldberg and Barry Goldstein will decide what the future holds for Arch Madness.