by James Witherite, Meadowlands racing media
October of 2016 has been quite a month for Scott Zeron — first, a Trotting Triple Crown with Marion Marauder, and now his first ever Breeders Crown title.
Zeron sustained a first-over push through the far turn with Call Me Queen Be ($27.80) to duel down Jugette winner L A Delight for a 1:49.4 score in the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday (Oct. 29) at The Meadowlands.
The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Preppy Party Girl was forced to change tactics from a post nine dispatch, settling into midfield on the first turn while Pure Country (Brett Miller) won a :27.2 first-quarter duel before yielding to L A Delight (John Campbell) midway up the far side.
With just over half the journey remaining, Zeron moved Call Me Queen Be first-over and applied heavy pressure to L A Delight with three-eighths remaining.
Of the new strategy, Zeron was pleased things worked out as well as they did.
“I’m happy she was on her game tonight,” he remarked. “That’s not her style (going first-over), but things really worked out to her advantage, getting a soft third quarter (:28.2) and then just turn it into a sprint to leave (out) some of those horses that were following behind.”
While able to stick a head in front upon reaching head-stretch, Call Me Queen Be faced heavy resistance the length of the straight, forced to duel L A Delight through a :26 closing quarter to ultimately prevail by three-quarters of a length. Glen Garnsey Memorial winner Darlinonthebeach (David Miller) stayed on for third after directly tracking the winner’s cover off the far turn.
Ross Croghan trains Call Me Queen Be, now a 10-time winner lifetime, for the Let It Ride Stables and Mr. Dana Parham. She has earned $1,037,599 in her career.
“I’ve been at this a long time, and that’s a tough bunch of fillies,” said Bob McIntosh, co-owner and trainer of L A Delight. “She had the eight hole and if she had finished fourth or fifth I’d have been happy. She just keeps getting better and better. Tonight was a really big effort I thought. And that other filly that won, she went a big trip too. Both of them were just slugging it out down the stretch. But my filly, I’ve never had one that tried that hard to win. She wants to win. You can tell even on TV, she wants to win. She’s just a super filly.
“I’m going to stick around for the Matron and that will be her last race of the year. We’ll race her next year too. I feel pretty good about her.”
Pure Country, last year’s Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly pace champion, finished fourth this time around.
“She raced good,” said her driver, Brett Miller. “Honestly, I should have forced the issue more; I should have maybe taken John a quicker second quarter, because when he made the front he got a really big breather and the race turned into a sprint. When it turned into a sprint, that actually hurt us pretty bad. We just got out-sprinted.”