by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager
Hightstown, NJ — As trainer Mike Deters prepares for his first start in the Breeders Crown, he’s got a good feeling about Ideal Feeling.
Deters sends out Ideal Feeling in Saturday’s first of three $25,000 eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The colt is out of the family of Hall of Famer Rainbow Blue and a three-quarter brother to stakes-winner Zero Tolerance, who races Friday in an elimination of the Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly pace.
Ideal Feeling and driver Tim Tetrick start their elimination Saturday from post two in a field of seven. The field also includes Adios winner Dorsoduro Hanover, Max C. Hempt Memorial champ Springsteen, and Carl Milstein Memorial winner Thinkbig Dreambig.
The top-three finishers from each elim for the 3-year-old male pacers return Saturday (Oct. 27) for the $527,500 final.
“I’m pretty excited,” said Deters, a Florida resident who is in the state’s harness racing Hall of Fame and also operates a stable in upstate New York during the summers. “I think he will put in a very good effort. I think he can go with them. Is he an absolute contender? I think he has to have a trip to do it. I don’t think he can do the heavy lifting, but he’s shown where he can be highly competitive with them.”
Ideal Feeling, by American Ideal out of Feelinglikeastar, has won six of 18 races in 2018 and hit the board a total of 12 times for Deters and owner Rick Berks. His most recent five starts featured a three-race win streak, which included the consolation final of the New York Sire Stakes, before finishing fifth in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes and sixth in a division of the Tattersalls.
In the Bluegrass he finished 1-3/4 lengths behind winner Stay Hungry. In the Tattersalls, he was a parked-out first in an opening quarter-mile of :26 and second through three-quarters in 1:20.1.
“He’d never been three-quarters in 1:20 before and I think it was a little more than he could handle,” Deters said. “Hopefully he’ll come off of that with a good effort (Saturday).
“He’s only gone a couple shaky races all summer,” Deters added about Ideal Feeling, who in his five most lucrative races this year never started inside of post six. “I would say post position had a lot to do with it. It wasn’t really that he raced bad, he just really didn’t have any luck. This is the first time we’ve had a favorable post position when we’ve had a chance to go for money, so hopefully it pays dividends.”
Ideal Feeling got a late start last year at age 2, debuting with a third-place finish at Vernon Downs in mid-October. He only raced three times last season, capping his brief campaign with a win in a conditioned class at The Meadowlands.
“He had some issues early where we didn’t know if he was even going to make the races,” Deters said. “I got him straightened out and he qualified real well here at Pocono. At Vernon, he paced the back half in like 54 seconds and just raced tremendous. Right then we knew he was a pretty nice horse.”
Deters, who is stabled at Tioga Downs during the summer, is more than pleased with Ideal Feeling’s development.
“There is nothing not to like about him,” said Deters, who has won four training titles at Tioga. “He’s a big, good-looking, great gaited colt. He’s got gate speed, he doesn’t mind coming first up, he’s great off a helmet, he’s a perfect gentleman; he has no faults.”
The second elimination for 3-year-old male pacers includes Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug winner Courtly Choice as well as Tattersalls division winner American History. The third elim finds returning Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry, whose victories this season include the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes, plus North America Cup winner Lather Up (a supplemental entry for $62,500) and Tattersalls division winner Grand Teton.
Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono. For the night’s complete entries, click here.
- Breeders Crown 2-year-old eliminations drawn (Monday, October 15, 2018)
Warrawee Ubeaut, a filly who earlier this month became the fastest 2-year-old pacer in harness racing history, and divisional money-leaders Stag Party, The Ice Dutchess, Green Manalishi S, and Tall Drink Hanover were among the 71 freshmen entered Monday for the Breeders Crown at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
- Eleven former Breeders Crown champions in Saturday eliminations (Tuesday, October 16, 2018)
Been there, done that. It could be the slogan for Saturday’s (Oct. 20) Breeders Crown eliminations for 3-year-olds and older horses at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Eleven former Breeders Crown champions will be in action Saturday, led by two-time winners Hannelore Hanover, Ariana G, and Pure Country.
- Breeders Crown eliminations lead busy Grand Circuit schedule (Wednesday, October 17, 2018)
The Grand Circuit heads to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this Friday (Oct. 19) and Saturday (Oct. 20) for Breeders Crown eliminations in 11 divisions. Eliminations will not be required for the open pace.
- Yoder makes Crown debut with speedy ‘Charm’ (Wednesday, October 17, 2018)
Verlin Yoder has sat behind his share of good trotters, such as millionaire Natural Herbie and a number of Indiana state-bred champions, but none impressed him as quickly as undefeated world-record-setting filly Woodside Charm. On Friday, Woodside Charm will go to the Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old filly trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. She is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the second of three eliminations.
- Saunders returns to Breeders Crown at Pocono with Mangogh (Thursday, October 18, 2018)
When trainer Bruce Saunders last sent a horse postward in the Breeders Crown, he took home a crystal trophy with 3-year-old pacing colt Rock N Roll Heaven. That was back in 2010 when the Crown races were first held at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. This year he returns to Pocono and the Breeders Crown with 2-year-old pacing colt Mangogh, a $63,000 yearling purchase (under the name Critical Artist) for M And L of Delaware and New York City-based M & M Harness Racing.
- Trainers hope for Crown success for owner Key (Thursday, October 18, 2018)
Not surprisingly, Bob Key is once again a presence at this year’s Breeders Crown, and his trainers want to win for the 85-year-old owner/breeder as much as they would like to win for themselves. Norm Parker conditions Renaissance Lady K (above), a 2-year-old filly pacer who enters her Breeders Crown elimination Friday with three wins and two seconds in eight races to earn $53,929. Charlie Norris trains Mass Fortune K, a 2-year-old male trotter who has earned $108,001 as he enters his Crown elim, also Friday.
- Miss You Kelly is ‘just a real sweet horse’ (Thursday, October 18, 2018)
Michael Barnard liked Sapphire Deo from the time he saw her as a yearling at Deo Volente Farms. After purchasing the filly trotter for $62,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Sale and changing her name to Miss You Kelly, he discovered even more reasons to like her. Miss You Kelly races Friday in the second of three Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old trotting fillies at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Miss You Kelly has won two of six races this year. She is trained by Bruce Lauer.
- Macomber hopes Carol’s Z Tam makes big show (Friday, October 19, 2018)
If Carol’s Z Tam’s performance at Dayton three weeks ago was something of an audition, her appearance in Saturday’s (Oct. 20) Breeders Crown eliminations for older female pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono could be considered her callback. Now she will look to land a spot in the big show. Carol’s Z Tam, trained by Jamie Macomber for owner Bill Matz’s Z Tam Stables, competes in the first of two $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for the pacing mares at Pocono.