By Frank and Ray Cotolo
(BC) denotes Breeders Crown eligible
With two weeks until the eliminations for the Breeders Crown, hopefuls began their final preparations for the fall classics at Hoosier Park and Vernon Downs on the weekend of Oct. 31. Hoosier Park hosted the Monument Circle, Moni Maker, Nadia Lobell, Carl Erskine, and Hoosier Park Pacing Derby on Friday, Oct. 31.
The $50,000 Monument Circle consolation went to Somestarsomewhere (BC-Somebeachsomewhere), who stalked the leaders and progressed to a 1:54.4 victory over a good track. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Michelle Yanek, and Lawrence Karr, trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Ron Pierce, he paid $13.20 to win.
Shake It Cerry (BC-Donato Hanover) defeated her stablemate Lifetime Pursuit (BC-Cantab Hall) in the $193,000 Moni Maker, doing so in 1:57. Owned by Solveig’s Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Ron Pierce, she paid $3.60 to win, with the exacta returning $3.30.
Color’s A Virgin led the two-wide charge for tempo-setter Katie Said and drew away from her foes by two lengths to claim the $176,500 Nadia Lobell in 1:55. She’s owned by Emerald Highlands Farms, trained by Brian Brown, and driven by Trace Tetrick. She paid $7.00 to win. The top money-earner in her division will likely supplement to the Breeders Crown.
E L Titan (BC-Muscle Hill) held Jimmy Takter’s star trotter Father Patrick (BC-Cantab Hall) at bay in the $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot, scoring in 1:57.2. Owned by Erkki Laakkonen, trained by Riina Rekila, and driven by Ron Pierce, he paid $12.20 to win.
Bettor’s Edge (BC-Bettor’s Delight) bested his four stable mates in the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, necking Sweet Lou (BC-Yankee Cruiser) in 1:53. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and M1 Stables, trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Matt Kakaley, he paid $12.60 to win.
Always B Miki continued his rampage of the sophomore colt division, pacing to a two-length victory in the $275,000 Monument Circle and a 1:52 mile. Owned by Bluewood Stable, Val D’or Farms, and Roll The Dice Stable, trained by Joe Holloway, and driven by David Miller, the probable Breeders Crown supplemental entry paid $5.00 to win.
Vernon Downs hosted the finals for the Artiscape mare pace, Muscle Hill mare trot, and the Kindergarten Trotting Classics.
Rocklamation (BC-Rocknroll Hanover) swept by Somwherovrarainbow (BC-Somebeachsomewhere) to win the $178,000 Artiscape in 1:50.2. Owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45, and Jerry & Theresa Silva, trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Yannick Gingras, she paid $7.30 to win.
Two-time Breeders Crown champion Maven (BC-Glidemaster) was victorious in near gate-to-wire fashion in the $178,000 Muscle Hill, traveling the mile in 1:52. Owned by William Donovan, trained by Ron Burke, and driven by Yannick Gingras, she paid $5.10 to win, with the exacta (over Classic Martine [BC-Classic Photo] at 12-1) returning $99.
French Laundry (BC-Muscles Yankee) took the $240,500 colt split of the Kindergarten final in 1:54.4 over Boots N Chains. Owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Yannick Gingras, he paid $5.90 to win.
Lady Clarabella swept by Sarcy (BC-Donato Hanover) to win the $251,100 Kindergarten split for the fillies in 1:55.3. Owned by Paul Kinnear and Dreamland Farms, trained by Randy Beeckman, and driven by David Miller, she paid $7.10 to win.