Wilkes-Barre PA --- Champion pacing filly I Luv The Nitelife and trotting star-in-emergence Don Dorado, both entered in next week’s $5.6 million Breeders Crown championships, but both without planned-for nighttime work this week, are scheduled to face the starter Thursday morning at Breeders Crown host track Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in qualifying contests.
I Luv The Nitelife, a solid No. 3 in the North American Top Ten poll, saw only nine 3-year-old pacing fillies drop into that Crown event, so there was no need to have an elimination/eliminations, and trainer Chris Ryder decided to keep the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover on her top game by using the Thursday morning prep. I Luv The Nitelife, who won a qualifier in 1:52.2 here last week, will have the benefit of her regular driver Tim Tetrick coming up to guide her as she begins from the next-to-outside post six.
Also coming off a winning Pocono “Q” is the freshman Donato Hanover gelding Don Dorado, who will start from the rail in race four. Last week Don Dorado won his morning effort in 1:55.1 -- just a tick off the divisional world record held by Correctamundo. After getting a bye into his championship (No. 1 earner Father Patrick decided to race, giving No. 2 earner Credit Fashion and the No. 3 Don Dorado the choice of bye selection, which they both accepted), the improving freshman, winner of his Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, will have his last prep on Thursday for trainer Robert Baggitt, Jr., with Tetrick also listed to drive.
Finishing Lines: Of the three Breeders Crown divisions where horses could earn byes by greatest seasonal earnings -- 2-year-old colt trot, older mare pace, and older horse pace -- none of the No. 1 earners elected for the bye, preferring to race as we mentioned with Father Patrick above. Among the older male set, Foiled Again, the world’s richest pacer with lifetime earnings of $5.4 million and also No. 1 in his group’s 2013 winnings, chose to race, giving No. 2 Pet Rock and No. 3 Clear Vision the chance (which they took) to have the week away; on the female side, No. 1 Anndrovette will be in to race Saturday, as will No. 2 Rocklamation, with the byes going to No. 3 Feeling You and No. 4 Drop The Ball.