by Keith Gisser, for the Breeders Crown
Cranbury, NJ — 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. He is from the family of three-time Breeders Crown winner My Little Dragon.
“We went to Harrisburg looking to buy him,” explained Doug Paul of M And L of Delaware. “He comes from a good family and we have had several of them and he was a good looking colt. He has exceeded our expectations.”
Mangogh, a son of Western Ideal from the Real Artist mare My Little Artist, has posted a 10-4-2-2 summary this year. He took his 1:50.3 lifetime mark in his most recent start at Lexington’s Red Mile in the International Stallion Stakes. He also posted wins in the Reynolds Stakes and Liberty Bell, as well as a solid second-place effort in the Bluegrass. His bankroll stands at $117,980.
“He certainly had ability from the start,” said Saunders, who has trained the winners of more than $30 million in purses. “He always wanted to grab the bit and go on from the first time we trained him, but he has really matured. We have made some slight changes — we want them to go as free and easy as possible — and we have been able to lower his head, let him be more comfortable as he has learned his ways.”
Mangogh missed the board in his first two starts before running off a string of eight straight finishes of third or better. Saunders credits his drivers.
“As a trainer you want to have the same driver on a colt week in and week out, but that doesn’t always happen,” he said. “They have other clients who may have more horses. I get that. But Timmy (Tetrick) has been a huge help with his input. I have to credit some of his other drivers, Andrew McCarthy and Eric Carlson, their input is helpful.”
Mangogh has the rail in race five, the first of three $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings Friday. McCarthy is scheduled to drive. First race post at Pocono is 7 p.m. (EDT) with Mangogh’s elim scheduled for 8:12 p.m.
The top-three finishers from each freshman colt pace elimination will advance to the $600,000 final on Saturday (Oct. 27). The draw is scheduled to take place live after race 12 on Friday. Elimination winners, in an order by lot, draw for posts one-five.
Mangogh is 5-1 on the morning line. De Los Cielos Deo, the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final runner-up, is the 2-1 favorite. Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champ Proof is the 5-2 choice in the second elimination and Workin Ona Mystery, unbeaten in five races, is the 5-2 pick in the third.
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.
- Deters’ first Crown trip is ‘Ideal’ (Wednesday, October 17, 2018)
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.
- 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.
- 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.