Wilkes-Barre, PA — At 52-1 odds, Percy Bluechip (Matt Kakaley) took advantage of a speed duel and was the winner of the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly pacers on Saturday (Oct. 27) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. It was a new lifetime mark of 1:51.1 on a sloppy track.
Percy Blue Chip is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Purnel & Libby and Donald Emond.
Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras) was first to the lead at the :25.4 first quarter and was soon joined by Kissin In The Sand (Scott Zeron) on the outside, who applied pressure to the :53.3 half and the 1:22.2 three-quarters.
As the field turned for home, those two were still on the lead, but were overtaken by Percy Bluechip, who’d been second over throughout most of the race and went three wide to win by three-quarters of a length.
The daughter of Shadow Play-Advantest paid $106 for the win. Kissin In The Sand was second and Dance Blue was third.
It was the first Breeders Crown win for Matt Kakaley, who dropped his whip at the top of the stretch, but clearly didn’t need it.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “Absolutely amazing. You know the only way I could win was if they duked it out on the lead, like that. I actually dropped my whip at the head of the stretch. I just put my nose on Scotty’s (Zeron) helmet. She came home good. Down the backside I thought I got a good shot.”
“It was a wild race,” Burke said. “A couple of my horses ended up on the inside, a couple ended up on the outside. The outside was live after the two horses went pretty much at breakneck speed the whole mile. (Percy Bluechip) we just bought her and she’s getting good. She showed her class and paced home. I felt bad for (Youaremycandygirl) getting to the half in :53. She’s done it before that way and it worked and I could see what Yannick was trying to do. It just didn’t work out for her, but it ended up working out for (Percy Bluechip). She’s been very good since we got her. Even her last start, she had go; we had to take her hobbles up because she was a little bit swimming out here. She was much better with her hobbles up.”
“Obviously, you want her to win, said trainer Nancy Johansson of runner-up Kissin In The Sand. “There is nothing I can say negatively about her. It’s the end of the season and she was great. We get to come back next year and try again. She’s getting better because last year she didn’t even make the final of the Breeders Crown. We’re getting there. Third time’s a charm.
“She has the Matron, but I don’t know since we’re going to bring her back next year.
“Dance Blue (another Johansson trainee), I didn’t see where she came from to be honest because I was busy watching Kissin. I just didn’t want her to back through the field. But Dance Blue finishing third, you have to be happy with that.”