by Ken Weingartner
Mission Brief made it mission accomplished as she stormed to a 4-3/4 length win over Danielle Hall in a stakes-record 1:51.4 in Friday’s $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters.
Livininthefastlane was third and Smexi finished fourth.
Wild Honey, Wiclet Hanover and Mission Brief all moved to the front on the first turn, with Wiclet Hanover and driver Ake Svanstedt taking the top as the field turned onto the backstretch. Wild Honey was in second place, but stumbled and went off stride just prior to field reaching the quarter-mile point in :26.4.
|USTA/Mark Hall photo|
|Mission Brief stormed to an easy win in the Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female trotters in a stakes record 1:51.4.|
Driver Yannick Gingras then guided Mission Brief to the top before reaching the half in :55.3 and never looked back. Danielle Hall and driver Jody Jamieson made a first-over bid as the group hit three-quarters in 1:24.1, but Mission Brief pulled away through the stretch.
Her time bettered Shake It Cerry’s stakes-record, set last year, by two seconds.
“The strategy was making the front whenever I had to and I didn’t really want to press her too much in the first turn for no reason,” Gingras said. “I let the dust settle and she was so well behaved tonight, she was letting me do what I like to do. She showed what she can do, actually.
“She could have gone in (1):50 tonight here just as easy as she went in 1:51.4. I showed her the whip around the last turn and she got in to another gear and she had more than that. The talent this filly has is unbelievable. As long as she stays sound, and she wants to do what we want to do with her, she’s going to do amazing things.”
The win was Gingras’ eighth in the Breeders Crown and gave trainer Ron Burke his seventh victory.
Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena, is the fastest 2-year-old trotter in harness racing history, with a mark of 1:50.3. She has won nine of 13 races this year and earned $591,070 for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
“I’ll just let Ronnie do his thing,” Gingras said, referring to Mission Brief’s future. “I don’t need to tell him how to train horses; he seems to do pretty good without me.”