10/17/2013 12:07PM

Breeders Crown: Lots to love about I Luv The Nitelife in 3-year-old Filly Pace final

Conrad Photo
I Luv The Nitelife has won 12 of 13 starts in 2013.

I Luv The Nitelife has been as dominant as any filly pacer in recent memory. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover seeks to secure her place in history on Saturday night in the $500,000 Breeders Crown for three-year-old filly pacers. Trained by Chris Ryder, I Luv The Nitelife is the second special filly to come his way, joining Put On A Show in the ranks of greatest pacing fillies/mares of all time.

The connection between I Luv The Nitelife and Put On A Show is owner Richard Young.

“Put On A Show had that 25-second quarter that she could use to overcome anything in front of her,” said Young. “I Luv The Nitelife doesn’t have that same extreme speed but you can race her anyway you want and she’ll respond.”

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Indeed I Luv The Nitelife has performed to optimum ability this season. While many of the top fillies were in Lexington for the two-week Grand Circuit meet recently, I Luv The Nitelife stayed north and qualified a couple of times to prepare for the big dance. It was Young’s call not to stake her to Kentucky. She captured straight heats of the Jugette in her last competitive outing, winning confidently in her first appearance over a half-mile track.

While I Luv The Nitelife wasn’t in Kentucky to race, Young did make the trip to the Lexington Selected Sale where he purchased Put On A Show’s full sister for $180,000.

“I’ll probably buy maybe one more yearling at Harrisburg,” Young said, continuing his strategy of purchasing elite, well-bred stock to race only at the highest level.

Young also was there to witness the competition for Saturday’s final. The most notable rival is likely to be Shebestingin, the Bettors Delight-sired filly that shattered the world record pacing to a 1:47 mark in the Garnsey Memorial.

“That was a double whammy,” said Young of the effort, because it broke Put On A Show’s world record and at the same time made Shebestingin a legitimate candidate to upset his filly in Saturday’s Breeders Crown.

“Sure I’m concerned,” said Young of the potential battle this Saturday with the new world champion. “She’s a very talented filly.”

While Young is concerned, trainer Chris Ryder remains confident in his pacing filly off the strength of consecutive qualifiers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Perhaps a reason for that confidence is the track surface and I Luv The Nitelife’s ability to get over it no matter what the conditions.

“I think the best mile she’s gone this year came in the Lynch,” said Young on I Luv The Nitelife’s amazing effort. “It was pouring before the race and the track was really sloppy, but she overcame the outside post and was really impressive.”

I Luv The Nitelife overcame post eight in the Lynch and paced to a 1:50 mark over a decidedly sloppy surface. She also tracked down Shebestingin in that contest after outsprinting her rival early to get position.

Post positions for the two top fillies in the Crown, race seven on Saturday’s stellar 14-race Breeders Crown championship card, are similar to the Lynch, with Shebestingin drawing the exact post five for the Crown and I Luv The Nitelife getting away from post seven, one spot closer to her rival than she enjoyed in the Lynch.

There are stark similarities during the racing career of both Put On A Show and I Luv The Nitelife. Both fillies finished second in the juvenile Breeders Crown races to fillies trained by George Teague, Jr. Put On A Show lost to Fancy Filly in the 2009 edition at Woodbine. I Luv The Nitelife was the runner-up in last year’s two-year-old Breeders Crown to Somwherovrarainbow, also at Woodbine.

Put On A Show captured the Crown sophomore pace in 2010 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. I Luv The Nitelife is the favorite to capture Saturday’s contest.

At the beginning of the year both Young and Ryder had reached the conclusion that I Luv The Nitelife needed to show on the racetrack that she was in the same league as the $2.4 million-winning Put On A Show.

Given their accomplishments to date, the two should be on even terms if I Luv The Nitelife is victorious on Saturday night.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch the Breeders Crown from Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs on October 19 - LIVE on DRF!]