ANDERSON, Ind. – As co-owner Marvin Katz made his way to the winner’s circle for another celebration with Ariana G, the word he used to best describe the 3-year-old female trotter was “fantastic.” He could have chosen others, including dominant.
Ariana G won Friday night’s $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female trotters by 5¼ lengths over Ice Attraction in 1:54.3 over a sloppy track at Hoosier Park. Dream Together finished third. Ariana G joined Shake It Cerry as the only trotting fillies since 2002 to win the Breeders Crown at ages 2 and 3.
Shake It Cerry was trained by Jimmy Takter, as is Ariana G. Takter extended his record for Breeders Crown training wins to 32 with Ariana G’s victory.
Ariana G, driven by Yannick Gingras, has won 12 of 15 races this year and earned $1.12 million. For her career, she has won 21 of 26 races and earned $1.86 million.
Overdraft Volo led the field to the opening quarter in :27.1, but was still parked outside Checkmate Time when they hit the marker. Gingras moved three wide around the duo to take the lead in a :55.3 half and never slowed from there.
“They tried to beat her, they just can’t,” said Katz, who bred Ariana G with Al Libfeld and still owns the filly with Libfeld. “I know she’s great. I know she’s a fantastic, exceptional, one-of-a-kind type filly. I just wanted her to perform well. She’s great. She’s fantastic.
“(This year) is different. She was a 2-year-old last year, her career was ahead of her. Right now, she’s at the pinnacle of the sport. She gotten so many accolades that she richly deserves. She’s been a star for the whole industry for the whole year. She’s really an exceptional, rare filly. She’s one of these fillies that comes along every five or 10 years.
“Jimmy Takter, Yannick Gingras, they deserve all the credit. They’ve managed her fabulously.”
Katz has 10 Breeders Crown wins and Libfeld nine. Gingras, who earlier on the card drove the Takter-trained Manchego to victory, has 18 trophies.
“I thought she was by far the best trotting filly in the country and she proved it tonight,” said Gingras. "Donald (Dupont with Checkmate Time) definitely took it to Andy (Miller with Overdraft Volo) and I didn't get in the hole because it looked like he was going to let him go very easy, but then he took him all the way to the half. That's the way it goes, when you go for $500,000, they are racing."
Ariana G paid $2.40 as the 1-5 favorite.