Put On A Show captured the $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Pace Breeder's Crown race, contested at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on October 9, with relative ease.
She was denied a 2009 Breeders Crown triumph when overhauled by Fancy Filly in the lane, but last year’s champion 2-year-old pacing filly Put On A Show captured this year’s edition of the $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Pace contested at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on October 9 with relative ease.
The Kentucky-bred daughter of the outstanding young sire Rock N Roll Hanover and the top class mare Stienam’s Place, who is conditioned by Chris Ryder of Allentown, New Jersey and owned by Richard and Joanne Young of Coconut Creek, Florida, and Craig Henderson of Chicago, Illinois, became the richest pacing filly of all time with career earnings of $1,822,040 and followed in her dam’s hoofprints, as Stienam’s Place was victorious in the 1997 version of this race.
The race was part of the 27th annual Breeders Crown, North American harness racing’s most prestigious event, which drew 106 pacers and trotters who competed for more than $6 million in purses – the most ever awarded at the harness races in a single day. This was the first time the Crown’s 12 championship events were held at one track.
Leaving from post three, Put On A Show bided her time in third behind 21-1 Rock N Soul and this year’s Jugette winner Western Silk, who had defeated her in a $646,000 division of the Fan Hanover at Mohawk Raceway on June 26.
After a first quarter in (1):27, pilot Tim Tetrick placed Put On A Show on the lead and the filly paced a half in (1):55, with the final time for the mile being 1:50.1. Rock N Soul hung on for second and Western Silk closed from the pocket to get up for third.
From 23 pari mutual miles, Put On A Show has 19 wins and three second place finishes. The only time the filly, who was a $75,000 yearling purchase at the 2008 Lexington Select Sale, has failed to hit the board was a dull sixth place finish behind Dancinwiththestarz world record mile of 1:48.4 in the $275,000 Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands on August 9.
She has hit the wire first in this year’s $171,000 Nadia Lobell, a $226,355 division of the Simcoe Stakes, the $350,000 Valley Forge, the $88,000 Tarport Hap, the $175,000 Miss New Jersey and the $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final.
“She deserves to win,” Tetrick said after the filly had her picture taken. “She has done everything right.”
3YO Filly Trot
Overlooked by the public and sent off at odds of 13-1, Impressive Kemp defeated 1-5 favorite Behindclosedoors in the $500,000 Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Filly Trot. The final time for the mile was 1:54.4 and established a new lifetime mark for the Kentucky-bred daughter of Credit Winner and Emile Cas El.
The filly, who is trained by Noel Daley and in rein to Hall of Famer Ron Pierce, left from the five-hole, trotted at the back of the pack and rushed by Behindclosedoors, Spicy Wings and Ultimate Cameron to take control during the stretch drive.
Owned by Jean Cloutier of Derby Line, Vermont, Impressive Kemp has competed primarily in New York Sire Stakes events and won the $59,388 Zweig Memorial Trot at Tioga Downs on August 29. She failed to reach the final for the Hambletonian Oaks, yet finished second in her $25,000 Breeders Crown elimination to Behindclosedoors.
From 20 career starts, the filly has seven victories and four second place finishes with a bankroll of $457,178.
“She has always been very good,” Daley explained after the trophy presentation. “But we knew she would need a little luck to win this one.”
Older Pacing Mares
Six-year-old Dreamfair Eternal proved the betting public’s faith in her was well-deserved as she came from well back to win the $300,000 Breeders Crown Final for older pacing mares in a new Breeders Crown stakes record 1:50.3.
The Ontario-bred daughter of Camluck and J Cs Nathalie, who races as a homebred for John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario and is trained by Patrick Fletcher, waited behind as her competitors made multiple moves for the front and second favorite Not Enough made a break. Driver Randy Waples placed her in position to launch her bid at the top of the stretch and the opposition never seriously threatened her.
The mare has faced the starter on 96 occasions with 41 victories and more than $1.5 million in purse earnings throughout her career. This year has been her most productive with 18 starts, 12 wins, four seconds and one third and nearly $800,000 in prize money.
“She’s just a great mare,” Waples enthused in the winners’ circle. “It has been a long year, and this is what we were waiting for. I felt really good about it. It just worked out my way.”
Her owner needed some time to process the mare’s victory.
“I’m extremely pleased,” Lamers told the media. “It’s a great feeling. It’s a bit surreal, actually.”
The races were part of a 14-race card at Pocono Downs that included twelve Breeders Crown events worth a total of $6 million with races for each gender, gait and age.
Now in its 27th year, the Breeders Crown was a concept organized by Tom Charters of the Hambletonian Society and Breeders Crown in 1984. It has evolved from two separate events, one for older horses in August and another for their freshman and sophomore counterparts later in the year.
This was the first time the event was held at Pocono Downs and with all the finals being on one card. Without the handle being reported from Australia and New Zealand, the $2.25 million wagered on the card was a Pennsylvania harness racing record and was just shy of the record $2.3 million collected when the races were contested at Woodbine Racecourse in 2009.
History was also made on the track and not just at the betting windows.
Rock N Heaven paced the first sub 1:20 three quarter in harness racing history on a five-eighths of a mile track during his victory in the $500,000 3-Year Old Pace for colts and geldings. Won The West, last year’s champion older pacer captured his second consecutive Breeders Crown Open Pace for older males with a 1:49 mile, good for a stakes record on a five-eighths of a mile track. Big Jim won the 2-Year-Old Pace for colts and geldings in a stakes and track record of time of 1:50.4, while Manofmymissions (2-Year-Old colt and gelding trot) set a world record 1:53.2 and Break The Bank K, who is owned by Bob Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, trotted to a 1:52.2 world record score in the $500,000 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trotting Final. Also world champion Buck I St Pat, trotted to her second consecutive Breeders Cup triumph in the Aged Mare Trot Final.
“The Breeders Crown for harness racing is a season-ending event that can determine championship honors,” Chris McErlean, Vice President of Racing at Penn National Gaming Inc., told Tom LaMarra of the United States Trotting Association on October 9. “If we had the ability to get 3-year-olds and older horses together to create some ‘classic’ races for a significant amount of money, I think that would be a pretty big deal, especially from the fans’ perspective.”
The Breeders Crown races are certainly contests the horses’ connections point for and it’s not just for the money, but for the prestige.
“This race was especially important to win,” Chris Ryder, who trains Put On A Show said in the winners’ circle.