Favored Tactical Landing with Brian Sears in the sulky kicked off Saturday night Breeders Crown elimination action from Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning the first $25,000 Crown elimination for three-year-old trotting colts in 1:52. Sears moved from well back at the 3/8, battling leader Met’s Hall for most of the mile before pulling away at the top of the stretch to win by four and three-quarter lengths. Met’s Hall finished second, with Jula Downtown third and Evaluate fourth. Those four all advance to the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final next Saturday. Gemologist was fifth and could advance as a wild card pending the second elimination’s results.
Lawmaker battled Met’s Hall for the early lead, taking the field to the quarter in 26.4, but Met’s Hall and Andy Miller were immediately on the move, taking control as the field headed to the half-mile mark, which was reached in 55 seconds flat. Met’s Hall continued to lead the field past three-quarters, but he was feeling pressure from Tactical Landing, who easily took his measure late. Tactical Landing paid $3.60 to win.
Tactical Landing, an $800,000 yearling purchase, is a son of Muscle Hill from the Varenne mare Southwind Serena, a Breeders Crown champion of 2007. He is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Tactical Landing Stable of Perrysburg, Ohio. The win is his seventh seasonal starts and pushes his 2018 bankroll to $392,800. Earlier this season he won the Bluegrass Stakes and eliminations of the Hambletonian and Kentucky Futurity.
The second elimination for the sophomore trotting colts is carded as race eight on the card and is scheduled for a 9:06 post time.