The Breeders Crown ran their 12 championship races for all the divisions of trotters and pacers on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Although it was quite cold, with temperatures near freezing, the skies were clear and there was little wind, making for ideal racing conditions with a dry fast track. Each race was carded at the standard 1 mile distance, two turns around the 7/8 mile track.
The big news prior to the start of the 12 championship finals was numerous driver changes caused by the winter storm in in the northeastern US. Because of cancelled flights in Newark, New Jersey, drivers Tim Tetrick, George Brennan, Yannick Gingras and Dave Miller, along with trainers Jimmy Takter and Trond Smedshammer, had to miss the finals.
The Breeders Crown got underway Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack with a stirring half-length victory by Frenchfrysnvinegar and driver Jody Jamieson, who nailed pacesetter Action Broadway on the wire in 1:53.3 in the $301,170 Open Mare Trot. It was the eighth win in 25 starts this year for Frenchfrysnvinegar, a six-year-old daughter of Angus Hall, who was supplemented to the race by owner David Smith of Rockwood, Ontario, for $31,250.
After Autumn Escapade had taken the field to the half in :56.4, driver Mark MacDonald and Action Broadway took over, getting to the three-quarters in 1:24.4. The leader appeared to be in charge in mid-stretch, before a last second rally on the outside by the winner, who left from the unenviable 10-hole and had come first-over to challenge turning for home. Autumn Escapade faded to third, two lengths back. Meanwhile, the 9-5 favourite, Jersey As, with Ron Pierce substituting for George Brennan, was never in it, eventually finishing ninth.
Trained by Jeff Gillis, Frenchfrysnvinegar, who earned $150,585 for the victory, paid $10.60, $5.60 and $3.80, combining with Action Broadway ($5.50, $3.90) for a $56.90 (10-6) exactor. A 10-6-9 (Autumn Escapade, $4.50 to show) triactor was worth $183.70, while a $1 Superfecta [10-6-9-3 (Emmylou Who)] came back $559.05.
"We supplemented this mare thinking there would only be eight in the race," said winning trainer Jeff Gills. "So we took a chance and it worked out. Halfway around the last turn I didn't think we had a chance to win but then part way down the lane I started to think she had a chance."
"This is amazing. I'm so happy to pick up his trophy for him," said Chris Tymon, nephew of owner Dave Smith. "Jody gave an excellent drive and played it out perfectly.She just came on strong at the end."