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Elimination winners hope to continue success in Crown final
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Rich Fisher
Trenton, NJ --- After watching their 3-year-old male trotters win two of the three $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations last weekend, trainers Frank M. Antonacci and Domenico Cecere will look to continue their success in Saturday’s (Oct. 28) $527,500 final at Hoosier Park.

In the first elimination, Scott Zeron drove International Moni to victory by 2-1/4 lengths in a track record of 1:52.4 (which would be broken later in the night). Antonacci and Cecere train for the Moni Maker Stable, which bred and owns the colt. The group is comprised of members of the Antonacci family and David Reid.

Lindy The Great won the second elimination by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:53 for the Antonaccis’ K R Breeding and Robert Rudolph. Tim Tetrick drives the homebred Lindy The Great.

Dean Gillette photo
International Moni has eight wins in 13 season's starts, with earnings of $385,555.

A son of the French stallion Love You and former Horse of the Year Moni Maker, International Moni brings eight wins in 13 season's starts into the final, and has earned $385,555. Cecere feels the only thing to beat him has been misfortune.

“Moni is money,” Cecere said. “He’s shown all year, I think, that he is the best 3-year-old. He’s had very, very bad luck. Bad luck in the Hambletonian and bad luck in Lexington. In the Futurity, he got the one hole and it was all water and he put in a bad step and we lost him. But he came out of the race great and we decided to supplement him because he deserved to be in the big one.”

International Moni, who drew the four post for the final, had to come from behind in his elimination. After three different horses took turns up front, Sears went on the outside to overtake the leaders and pull away.

“He did it the hard way,” Cecere said. “He came first over, and (Friday) I was watching the races and it looked like it was hard to come first over. But it looks like he loved first over. He raced great.”

As did Lindy The Great, who ripped off fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:23.3 to lead wire-to-wire. According to Cecere, the horse lived up to the last part of his name.

Dean Gillette photo
In nine starts this year, Lindy The Great has three wins, a place and a show for $168,683 in earnings.

“He was great,” the trainer said. “He raced great, too, in Lexington. He’s been strong. He trained great, he warmed up great. Last year on this track he struggled a little bit in the last turn, but this time he raced with more confidence. His gait was more fluid.”

In nine starts this year, Lindy The Great has three wins, a place and a show for $168,683 in earnings. He drew the five hole for the final.

“I’m very happy with him,” Cecere said. “He wasn’t a hundred percent this year up in Canada and we made some changes and got him right. We always knew he was a great horse.”

Speaking of greatness, What The Hill enters the final as the field’s top 2017 money winner with $495,026. The son of Muscle Hill-K T Cha Cha made sure International Moni’s track record did not last long, as he set a new standard of 1:52.1.

Trained by Ron Burke and driven by David Miller, What The Hill took the lead at the :28 quarter in his elimination and stayed there for the rest of the race. He drew the third post in the final, and enters with seven wins, a second and two thirds in 14 season's starts.

“I was thrilled with his effort and I’m thrilled with our post position,” Burke said.

Another horse to watch is Guardian Angel As, who took third in his elimination behind What The Hill and Yes Mickey.

“I think he raced good,” trainer Anette Lorentzon said. “He made a break at Yonkers (in his previous start) so it’s been almost three weeks since he had a real race. He was locked on a line and (Tim Tetrick) couldn’t really race him (in the elimination), so we’ve got a few things to work on this week. He’s not really a half-mile horse; he likes the bigger tracks better. This was the toughest division.”

In 18 starts this year, Guardian Angel As has won eight times, to go along with three seconds and a third, good for $235,543 in earnings. Lorentzon feels those numbers could have been better without some bad fortune.

“He’s been very unlucky,” she said. “He had terrible luck in the Hambletonian and in the Yonkers Trot I thought we had a good chance of winning it if we just made it around the track, and unfortunately we didn’t. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that we can get him better (for the final).”

With Tetrick driving Lindy The Great, Yannick Gingras will be in the sulky for the final, where his horse has the No. 7 post.

Following is the field for Saturday’s $527,500 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt trot.

1-Seven And Seven-Douglas McNair-Thomas Durand-12/1
2-Top Flight Angel-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1
3-What The Hill-David Miller-Ron Burke-3/1
4-International Moni-Scott Zeron-Frank Antonacci-5/2
5-Lindy The Great-Tim Tetrick-Frank Antonacci-7/2
6-New Jersey Viking-Daniel Dube-Ake Svanstedt-30/1
7-Guardian Angel As-Yannick Gingras-Anette Lorentzon-12/1
8-Giveitgasandgo-Trace Tetrick-John Butenschoen-30/1
9-Yes Mickey-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-8/1
10-Dover Dan-Corey Callahan-John Butenschoen-12/1

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