Wilkes-Barre, PA — The track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono may have been sloppy but the effort from Tactical Landing was pretty neat as he took the $500,000 Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Trot in a speedy 1:52.1.
Brian Sears got Tactical Landing away second as Met’s Hall took the field to the quarter in :27.1, but he cruised to the front en route to the :55.4 half-mile marker. Tactical Landing hit three-quarters in 1:23.4 and drew off from Met’s Hall and Crystal Fashion in the stretch, winning by open lengths. Met’s Hall and Crystal Fashion were second and third, respectively. The presumptive favorite, Six Pack, was scratched from the race due to sickness.
Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, who is retiring at the end of this season, trains Tactical Landing for the Tactical Landing Stable of Perrysburg, Ohio.
An $800,000 yearling, the son of Muscle Hill out of the Varenne mare Southwind Serena, was bred by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Andrea Lea Racing Stables. He has now earned $644,300 in his career as he won for the eighth time. The win was the second Crown title of the night for driver Sears.
Takter was pleased, but philosophical in the winner’s circle.
“This horse, he’s been battling a lot of issues,” he said. “I have trained a lot of great horses, but the way he carries himself in this weather, I know he’s by far the best 3-year-old out there. I know Six Pack is a good horse, and it’s too bad he got sick, but he would not have a shot with this horse. This horse is a level above anything. This was number 34 (Breeders Crown win), and I was very nervous going into it. This is my last year so I’d like to get at least one Crown before I get out of here.”
In taking home the John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Brittany Farms, favored Tactical Landing paid $2.80 to win.
Julie Miller was thrilled with Met’s Hall’s second place finish.
“I’m tickled pink,” she said. “When I saw the draw I was hoping maybe we could get a piece of it. I didn’t know how he was going to drive him and then with the scratch of Six Pack I knew he was going to leave out of there. I’m just really proud of the colt. He was tired but he held on for second. You have to give Tactical Landing a lot of credit, he looked super tonight.
“(Met’s Hall) had a slow start to the season and rallied strong. I’m very proud of him. He’s made a million dollars and has got a little bit of racing left. He’s going Friday to Indiana for the Carl Erskine as long as he comes out of this race okay.”