10/29/2016 9:34PM

Breeders Crown: Bar Hopping jumps to the front to capture 3-Year-Old Colt Trot

Nikki Sherman
Bar Hopping was the third straight Breeders Crown winner driven by Tim Tetrick

The public sent Bar Hopping off as the 4-5 betting favorite in the 3-year-old Breeders Crown for trotting colts and was proven right.

Driven by Tim Tetrick, Bar Hopping came away in the middle of the pack early on as Sutton assumed control. Southwind Frank was also hustled away but driver Yannick Gingras elected to sit in the pocket rather than make a move to the front.

With Sutton posting fractions of 28 3/5 and 56 2/5, Lagerfeld came first-over to apply serious pressure and towed Bar Hopping into contention on his back. Also in the flow was Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder, but he was clearly off his game and unable to keep up with the first two in the outer tier.

With three quarters on the board in 1:24 1/5, it was clear that Sutton was in trouble, and that meant Southwind Frank was in a bad spot. Bar Hopping charged to the front in mid-stretch as Southwind Frank desperately searched for room and cleared too late, finishing 1-1/2 lengths behind the favorite for second in the $500,000 final.  Double L Lindy was third in the 1:51 4/5 mile, which equaled the stakes record held by Father Patrick. Marion Marauder finished last.

“Today off cover he really responded well,” said Tetrick, who had just finished winning his third straight Breeders Crown race, having won with 2-year-old colts Walner (trotter) and Huntsville (pacer).

“Walner,” said Tetrick when asked which was the most special of the three, “but they are all very special for me. Any time you win one of those big trophy’s it’s really special.”

For Gingras, the disappointment was evident. “I got a little lost in there. I love to be in front but that’s horse racing.”

Trainer Paula Wellwood said Marion Marauder came out of the race sick. "There’s no doubt that he’s sick," said Wellwood. "I think he’s probably got a viral infection. It’s one of those things. That’s horse racing. You take the good with the bad. I knew when he got out there that he wasn’t himself. Going to the half, you could really see it."

Bar Hopping ($3.80) jumped over the $1 million mark in earnings this year to $1,061,795 for owners Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables and Marvin Katz. The son of Muscle Hill-Cocktail Hour, trained by Jimmy Takter, has won eight of 17 starts on the year.

​"He has a race in Indiana (Carl Erskine) next week that I might go to. I have to talk to the owners," said Takter.

Bar Hopping also became eligible to the TVG Final for older horses on November 12 at The Meadowlands, but Takter was against the possibility of entering the 3-year-old.

"I tried with The Bank last year and it didn't go well," said Takter. "Bar Hopping is a better horse, but I don't think I'll try it."