Anderson, Indiana – The field is set for the Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old trotting colts.
In the first of three $25,000 elimination races held Saturday night at Hoosier Park, it was International Moni (Scott Zeron) sweeping down the center of the track to win by 2¼ lengths in 1:52.4, a new track record. The previous record of 1:53.4 was co-held by Rubio, set just last week, and Bar Hopping, set last year.
Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller) was first to the lead in :27.3 and was on top briefly until being overtaken by Dover Dan and driver Corey Callahan just past the quarter. By the time the field got to the :55.3 half, Rubio (Brian Sears) was on the move to the lead and held it until the 1:23.3 three quarters.
But International Moni, a son of the French stallion Love You and former Horse of the Year Moni Maker, was on the move on the outside and bore down on the leaders to take the lead and put ground between him and the field for the win. Seven And Seven was second and Dover Dan was third, getting the final guaranteed spot in the Crown final, set for next Saturday.
Top Flight Angel was fourth and will get the final spot in the final by virtue of his 2017 earnings, highest of the three fourth-place finishers, with $395,828 in the bank.
Frank Antonacci trains for owner-breeders the Moni Maker Stable. It was International Moni’s eighth win in 13 starts this year and pushed his 2017 earnings to $395,828. He returned $3.40 to win.
“The race set up great with so much action going on,” said Zeron. “Three leader changes, it set up great for me, just sitting back in the five hole. I was able to come first up like I’d want to. Down the lane, I asked my horse, never slowed him down from the second I moved him, and he never slowed down down the lane."
In the second elimination, Lindy The Great earned another Breeders Crown entry for trainer Antonacci, again with a homebred for KR Breeders and co-owner Robert Rudolph. The son of Crazed led wire-to-wire through fractions of :27.3, :56, and 1:23.3 to win by 4¼ lengths in 1:53. Zeron was once again in the driver’s seat.
New Jersey Viking (Ake Svanstedt) was second with Giveitgasandgo (Corey Callahan) third for a berth in the final.
It was the third win in nine starts for Lindy The Great ($4.20 to win), and his winnings rose to $168,683 for 2017.
In the stretch, Yes Mickey tipped off the rail to get to the wheel of What The Hill briefly, but the son of Muscle Hill pulled away easily for the 1¼-length win in 1:52.1, to set another track record. The prior mark was 1:52.4, set earlier by International Moni.
Yes Mickey was second and Guardian Angel As (Tim Tetrick) third to grab spots in the final. The winner returned $4.40.
Ron Burke trains What The Hill for owners Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stable, Jerry and Teresa Silva and Deo Volente Farm.
What The Hill was a $65,000 yearling at the Lexington Select Sale. The breeder is Stan Klemencic.