by James Witherite, Meadowlands Racing Media
Lady Shadow ($2.40) asserted her superiority in the $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace, pushing clear of arch rival Solar Sister early and evading her foes en route to a 1:49.4 victory, her 11th of the season.
The 5-year-old Shadow Play mare stalked the top flight from the two-path on approach to the first turn before pushing to the fore after Solar Sister (Doug McNair) won an early duel with Frost Damage Blues (Brett Miller) through a :27 first quarter mile. Once clear, Yannick Gingras maintained a strong and consistent pace with Lady Shadow through middle sectionals of :54.2 and 1:21.4, in fact, edging away upon approaching the home straight.
Despite all-out encouragement in the final eighth while now contending with a prevailing headwind, Lady Shadow maintained 2-1/4 lengths clearance over Sassa Hanover (Matt Kakaley), who rallied off stalled cover to claim the runner-up spot. Frost Damage Blues found room to vacate traffic in mid-stretch to save third over the tiring Solar Sister.
Trainer Ron Adams was more than pleased with how Lady Shadow has matured from her 4-year-old campaign.
“She’s had a good year this year, a career year, actually,” remarked Adams.“She had issues when she was younger, made miscues behind the gate, and it cost her a lot of money early on in her career. But she’s put that behind her, she’s turned in to a really nice mare. She likes the big track and she likes the speed. Speed is her game and she gets to use it here.
Lady Shadow, now a 27-time winner, is owned by the partnership of Kryway, Atley, Gold, and the BFJ Stable. For Gingras, the winning drive earned him his second Breeders Crown title of the night. In July, Lady Shadow set the world record for pacers at 1-1/8 miles over the very same oval, winning the Golden Girls in a scintillating 2:00.3.