10/28/2016 11:15PM

Breeders Crown: Flanagan Memory finishes first in Open Trot

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Nikki Sherman
The third time in the Breeders Crown was the charm for Flanagan Memory

Brian Sears found himself in the right position at the right time once again, guiding Flanagan Memory to a mild upset victory in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot at The Meadowlands on Friday night.

Windsun Revenge made the race rather interesting as the Canadian invader blasted out of the gate and sprinted to the quarter in 27 flat, putting Crazy Wow in behind him and forcing Resolve, the 1-5 favorite, to tuck in fourth behind J L Cruze.  Scott Zeron didn't back down the pace that much  with Windsun Revenge, cutting the half in 55 3/5, with Ake Svanstedt moving off the rail to go up without cover with Resolve.

Resolve slowly closed in on the pacesetter while Brian Sears followed that cover intently with Flanagan Memory. The 1:23 2/5 three quarters appeared to take its toll on the leader, but it also appeared to be sapping the rest of the competition.

Crazy Wow came through along the inside, while Resolve kept pressing on the outside, but Sears put Flanagan Memory, a 6-year-old son of Kadabra, into gear in midstretch, and the Rene Dion trainee rolled past the leaders to stop the clock in 1:52 1/5 and score the upset.  Resolve held on for second, with J L Cruze angling out late for the third spot ahead of pacemaker Windsun Revenge.  A 4-1 proposition, Flanagan Memory returned $10.60 to win.

Liette Flanagan and trainer Rene Dion share ownership in Flanagan Memory, now a lifetime winner in excess of $1.5 million with his sixth victory in 2016.

"I got a nice trip, followed Resolve to midstretch," said Sears in post race comments. "Rene and Susie have done a great job with the horse."

As for Resolve, Svanstedt was proud of the effort he put in.

"He did a good race, but he was not as sharp as he could be," Svanstedt told Ken Weingartner from Harness Racing Communications.  "I felt it when the gate left. He didn’t follow by himself; I had to push him. Normally he leaves fast without me having to push him. But he fought to the end. I feel OK about it. He’s not in top form, but he raced good even if he doesn’t have top form."