Matt Kakaley hopes to make a memorable year with Dorsoduro Hanover even better.
Dorsoduro Hanover, trained by Ron Burke, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s $530,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The 30-year-old Kakaley, who is among the leading drivers at Pocono, will enter the night aiming for his first Breeders Crown trophy. The duo will start from post one in the field of nine.
All 12 Breeders Crown finals, with $6.4 million in total purses, will be raced Saturday at Pocono. Post time is 5:30 p.m. (EDT) for the first race. Kakaley will drive in 10 of the 12 finals Saturday.
Dorsoduro Hanover won his Breeders Crown elimination last weekend by 1-1/4 lengths over Thinkbig Dreambig in 1:50.1 over a sloppy track. The 3-year-old gelding has won nine of 17 races this year and earned $916,612. His wins include the Adios, when he delivered Burke and Kakaley their first victory in the event at Burke’s home track of The Meadows, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship.
He was second in the Little Brown Jug, beaten by a neck, and in the Meadowlands Pace from post 10.
“He’s had some close calls and a few big wins and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Kakaley, who has driven Dorsoduro Hanover in all but three of his 31 lifetime starts. “He’s had a solid season. I think he likes Pocono too. He usually gives a good effort every time he’s at Pocono.”
Dorsoduro Hanover has won five of six starts at Pocono this year. His victory in his Breeders Crown elimination followed a second-place finish to Grand Teton in a division of the Tattersalls Pace at Lexington’s Red Mile.
“I was a little disappointed with Lexington, to be honest, because when he cleared (leader) This Is The Plan off the last turn I thought he was going to pace away and hide,” Kakaley said. “He eased up on me a little late and Grand Teton got him at the wire. But he was really good (Saturday). When Thinkbig Dreambig got to his bridle he just took off again. I was really happy with him.”
Dorsoduro Hanover’s recently-added stablemate This Is The Plan, also an elimination winner last weekend, is the 4-1 second choice in Saturday’s final. He won his elim by 3-1/4 lengths over I’m A Big Deal in 1:51 in his second start for the Burke stable and driver Yannick Gingras.
“He was really good,” Gingras said. “I fired him up too much in Lexington and he was loose on the lead. He was way more relaxed (Saturday) and when I called on him he was there. It is going to be an interesting final. I think there are nine horses that can win this race. It’s wide open.”
Dorsoduro Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Silva Purnel & Libby, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Wingfield Five. This Is The Plan is owned by Burke Racing, Silva Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi, and Larry Karr.
Shnitzledosomethin, last year’s Breeders Crown runner-up, won the third of the three eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers with David Miller in the sulky. He was three-quarters of a length better than Grand Teton in 1:51.1. It was his third win in 15 races this season for trainer Dylan Davis and owners BFJ Stable, Tom Lazzaro, Ed Gold, and Abe Basen. The colt is 12-1 on the final’s morning line.
“I’m tickled to death with him,” Davis said. “He had a little bit of a dry summer, but he seems to be turning the corner. After (second-place finishes in the Indiana Sire Stakes final and Jenna’s Beach Boy) that’s when we made up our minds to come. He just didn’t seem like the Shnitzle of last year until his last three or four starts. We added Lasix and that seemed to make a big difference.”
North America Cup champion Lather Up went off stride in his elimination, won by Shnitzledosomethin, but rallied to finish third and advance to the final. He is 5-1 on the morning line. Driver Montrell Teague expects Lather Up, who has won 11 of 15 races this year for owners Barbara and Gary Iles, to be better with an equipment adjustment.
“We know what (the issue) is, and we’ll figure it out for this week,” Teague said. “It is what it is. But he’s in. He went one hell of a mile, out the whole way. It can only improve. He’s capable, we know that.”
The Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female pacers required only a single elimination, which was won by returning champion Youaremycandygirl by a head over Alexa’s Power in 1:52. The top-seven finishers from the nine-horse elim advanced to join bye recipients Kissin In The Sand and Baron Remy in the final.
“I was really happy with her,” driver Gingras said about Youaremycandygirl, who is trained by Burke and owned by Bill Donovan. “I thought she raced real good. It turned into a sprint, and she’s not really much of a sprinter, so (Alexa’s Power) was gaining on her a little bit. But I think she is coming back to her own and I was really, really happy with her.”
Kissin In The Sand drew post nine for the final and is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Kissin In The Sand has won 10 of 14 races this year and finished no worse than second in any start for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. The Nancy Johansson-trained filly’s wins include the James M. Lynch Memorial at Pocono from post nine.
Youaremycandygirl, who has won seven of 14 races this year, is the 3-1 second choice followed by Alexa’s Power, the winner of nine of 18 starts for owners Jeff and Michael Snyder and trainer Jim Campbell, at 4-1.
For Saturday’s complete card, click here.