Funknwaffles, fresh off a win in the $225,000 Blue Chip Farms New York Sires Stakes final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, has racked up $553,942 in earnings this year for trainer John Butenschoen and owner Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, New York.
“He was second in the [Little Brown] Jug, he’s made money, and the Crawfords are in this business to race horses,” said trainer John Butenschoen. “They watched Huntsville fall by the wayside and a lot of horses in this division raced some very tough heats. This horse is coming off a break and he’s fresh.”
One of four Breeders Crown male events slated for Hoosier Park on Saturday, Oct. 28, the Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace will now race for $527,000.
International Moni, a son of French stallion Love You and two-time Horse of the Year and Breeders Crown winner Moni Maker also paid the $62,500 fee for ineligible 3-year-old trotting colts. He is trained by Frank Antonacci for the family concern of Moni Maker Stable, comprised of Antonacci's father, also Frank, Gerald Antonacci, David Reid and KR Breeding.
International Moni has earned over half a million lifetime, winning heats of the Kentucky Futurity and Hambletonian but suffered horrendous luck in the finals of both events. International Moni was interfered with in the first turn of the Hambletonian and went off stride, and in the recent rain-drenched Futurity final at Red Mile, made a break at the start.
“I think the rail hurt him there at Lexington. Obviously, the conditions were less than perfect, but I don’t want to make excuses for him,” said trainer Frank Antonacci. “He’s had a lot bad luck, most of it not of his making, but otherwise has been one of the most consistent and I think the best of the class. We want to race him next year, so we have an eye to the future as well.”
In the open divisions, Michelle and Al Crawford of Crawford Racing anted up another $62,500 for their 5-year-old trotter Homicide Hunter to start in the Breeders Crown Open Trot, now worth $526,250. Though he finished seventh in his most recent start, the $250,000 Harry Harvey Trot at Yonkers Raceway, trainer Chris Oakes was eager to turn the page on that effort.
“Nothing worked out too good at Yonkers, and the post position (post 10) was the bottom line – he never got a chance to really do anything,” said Oakes. “But Brett (driver Miller) said he was good and he has shown to really like the track at Hoosier. He has rarely lost at the track. Over there he has more of a home field advantage and it suits him. The Crawfords are part of it too, they are good about wanting to race, so we are going.”
Sintra, whose mark of 1:47.2 in the Graduate Final at the Meadowlands made him one of the fastest four-year-olds in the sport, was supplemented to the Breeders Crown Open Pace for a $50,000 fee by his owners, despite a fifth place finish as the favorite in the $250,000 Dan Rooney Pace at Yonkers Raceway Saturday.
“The horse made the decision for us,” said trainer and co-owner Dave Menary. “For a 4-year-old, he has exceeded all of our expectations. I thought I had a small-track horse at the beginning of the year and it turned out he has been huge on the big tracks. Throw out his last race at Yonkers – the post position just didn’t work out for us, the horse was on his toes, but he got stuck in the two-hole and finished fifth. I’ve had it in my mind to supplement him and thanks to the support of some great owners – Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero - we couldn’t be more excited to be in the Breeders Crown at Hoosier. I think it’s the track that will suit him perfectly.”
Regular entries for eligible trotters and pacers are due by 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Hoosier Park Race office.
The contestants for the 12 Breeders Crown finals will be determined through elimination races, if needed, this Friday and Saturday night at Hoosier Park.
Eliminations for all female events will be raced on Friday [post time 6:30 p.m.] and eliminations for all male events will be Saturday [post time 6:30 p.m.].
Elimination winners draw for inside post positions 1-5 for the finals.
For more information go to http://www.hoosierpark.com/racing/2017breederscrown or Hambletonian.com.