by Frank Carulli
November 9, 2020
By now, you probably know about the eight photo finishes, first ever dead heat and $409 winner that made Breeders Crown weekend unforgettable at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. But a deeper dive into the 12 championship races reveals these noteworthy performances:
· Despite limited fan attendance, Hoosier Park handled $2.47 million on its 15-race Saturday card, the most on a single day in its 27-year history. By comparison, the 2017 Crown drew $2.1 million in wagers.
· Perfect Sting kept his unbeaten record intact in the 2-Year-Old Colt Pace for trainer Joe Holloway, who won the same race with Jenna’s Beach Boy (1994), one of five three-time Crown champions, and Badlands Hanover (1998), the first freshman ever to pace a 1:50 mile.
· Ron Burke trained at least one Breeders Crown winner for the eighth consecutive year, a surprise to no one considering Burke’s stable earned more than $20 million in each of those seasons.
· Manchego and Gimpanzee joined the list of five trotters with three Breeders Crown victories, joining Mack Lobell, Grades Singing and Peace Corps, the only four-time champion. Manchego’s victory was the 27th for breeder Brittany Farms, which tied Hanover Shoe Farms as the all-time Breeders Crown leader. Gimpanzee was the highest-ranked horse (No. 4) in the Breeders Crown weekly national poll to emerge with a championship.
· Dexter Dunn drove four Crown winners and Hall of Famer David Miller three, good for more than $1 million in purses each. Dunn won with Fire Start Hanover, Amigo Volo, Manchego and Kissin In The Sand to become the fourth driver since 2016 with at least four Crown titles on a single weekend. Miller won five in 2016 and still holds the record.
· Pennsylvania-sired horses swept the 2-year-old championships Friday and won five more races Saturday. The late Somebeachsomewhere, himself a Crown champion, produced Fire Start Hanover (2YO Filly Pace), Summa Cum Laude (2YO Colt Pace), Kissin In The Sand (Open Mare Pace) and 203-1 upsetter Sandbetweenmytoes (3YO Colt Pace).