By Jay Bergman & Frank Cotolo for Breeders Crown
Anderson, Indiana – Darlinonthebeach, with Brett Miller in the sulky, won the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for mare pacers in 1:49.3 at Hoosier Park on Friday night (Oct. 20).
The winner is trained by Nancy Johansson for owner-breeder White Birch Farm.
Darlinonthebeach left alertly, with Lady Shadow by her side, letting that one get the lead in a first quarter of :26. Lady Shadow cut the half in :54.4 as Pure Country went first over to chase the top two. The three-
quarters went in 1:22.4.
Darlinonthebeach (Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin’s Delight) was game around the turn and into the stretch and sprinted by Lady Shadow, who held the second spot. Windsun Glory closed late to get the show dough with Pure Country finishing fourth and Blue Moon Stride fifth.
Assistant trainer Marcus Johansson said he was “happy here with her effort” though he said she
had a slow start this season.
Darlinonthebeach, who went off at 5-1 and paid $13.80 to win, lifted her lifetime earnings to just under $950,000.
Nike Franco N cruised to victory in the second $25,000 elimination of the Breeders Crown Mares Pace Friday night at Hoosier Park. Tim Tetrick guided the 2-5 favorite to a 1:51.2 score.
Call Me Queen Be took the lead early but Nike Franco N was able to regain command past the :26.2 opening quarter and then set even fractions of :55.3 and 1:24 with Medusa offering token pressure. In the stretch, Nike Franco N cruised to a handy victory with her :27.2 final quarter putting her 2¼ lengths ahead of runner up Bedroomconfessions at the wire.
Owned by Richard Poillucci of North Easton, Massachusetts, the 7-year-old by McArdle was a winner for the 29th time in her 52-race career. Jim King Jr. trains Nike Franco N.
"She's just a sweetheart," said Tetrick. "She's just as good on or off the pace. When they let her go 1:24 to the three quarters, she likes that, too."
Nike Franco N returned $2.80 to win. Joining the top pair in the October 27 Breeders Crown finale will be L A Delight, Seventimesavirgin and Sassa Hanover.