Wilkes-Barre, PA--Spider Blue Chip regained his winning form in capturing the second $25,000 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt and gelding trot elimination in 1:52.4.
Driver Ron Pierce guided the altered son of Andover Hall-Southwind Catlin down the road and gamely held off pocket-sitting E L Rocket in the stretch by just a head to advance to the final.
|USTA/Ken Weingartner Photo|
|Spider Blue Chip won his Breeders Crown elimination in 1:52.4.|
Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life was sent off as the 3-5 favorite, but Brian Sears elected to race the colt from off the pace allowing Spider Blue Chip to set sensible fractions of 27, 56.2 and 1:24.2.
Royalty For Life went up without cover but hardly posed a threat to the winner. Kentucky Futurity winner Creatine left the gate but settled into the three hole with Mike Lachance. Creatine showed trot finishing and was a solid third closing up the inside. Royalty For Life finished fourth, but advanced to the final along with Aperfectyankee, the fifth-place finisher with the highest earnings.
Spider Blue Chip won for the ninth time in 2013 for owners David McDuffee and Melvin Hartman. Hall of Famer Chuck Sylvester trains the Colonial winner and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion.
“Once he went to the front and everybody got away the way they did, I was happy,” said Sylvester. “With (Royalty For Life), I knew he would come first up and when he didn’t clear right away I thought we had a shot.”
All Laid Out wins first elim in 1:52.4
All Laid Out, with David Miller aboard, got a great inside trip, saving ground to close on the wood to win the first elimination in 1:52.4.
The 2-1 second choice was three wide before the first quarter to take the lead over Fico and Bluto then and cut the first panel in 27. But favorite Smilin Eli took over the top before the 57 half and guided the field from there as Fico came first-over.
Deadliest Catch flew three wide, swinging around to take a shot at Smilin Eli as that one fought to stay on top and three-quarters clicked in 1:24.3.
|USTA/Ken Weingartner Photo|
|From left: Noel Daley, Vicki Wright and David Miller with All Laid Out in the winner's circle after his 1:52.4 win.|
All Laid Out was full of trot and took flight on the inside to get past the struggling Smiling Eli and win. Deadliest Catch continued wide to finish third.
Noel Daley trains All Laid Out for All Laid Out Stable. The colt is a son of Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall bred by Kentuckiana Farms.
“He’s done a great job,” said Daley. “It was nice to see him win one of these kinds of races. Hopefully he can get a piece of it next week [in the final]. He’s been really good his last few starts. We’ve had a different driver every week; we leave them on but they usually chose off. But I think we’ll keep [Dave Miller driving] for next week now.
“I didn’t say anything to Dave; I just told him to not drive him like a chicken. I didn’t tell him to leave, that was his call. I was a little surprised to see it. He used to do a few things wrong early, but touch wood, he’s been good of late. He ended up with a good trip by doing that.
“It’s a very open division. We’ve been happy to get a piece all year. The biggest disappointment was the Hambletonian where he made a break in the first heat because I thought he’d be better the second heat. But the group that owns him is very happy.”
Post positions will be drawn on Wednesday (Oct. 16) at the Breeders Crown press conference.