Last year’s Breeders Crown winner, Uncle Peter, was expected to be a force in the sophomore trotting division this year, but Jimmy Takter’s Cantab Hall colt, for one reason or another, has not delivered. He won the Stanley Dancer at 2/5 and left the gate as the 8/5 favorite in the Hambletonion, but he got swallowed up by the field in the last 1/16, and that was that. He was no factor in the Colonial or the Zweig, and has been off for the last two months.
Takter had a similar experience last year with another Cantab Hall colt, Pastor Stephen. He was the winter-book favorite to win the Hambletonion but just never got going. After turning things around and winning the Simcoe in early September, he made a break in his CTC elimination, and upon examination was found to have a broken coffin bone. ……The Oliver carries a purse of $260,500.
Speaking of Indiana Downs, Ron Burke is a good bet to dominate the Indiana Pacing Derby again this year. Last year six of the nine starters were from his barn. Foiled won, followed by Atochia and Annieswesterncard. In 2010 Won The West was his lone entry, and he won. This year’s edition features a seven-horse field, with three of those being from the Burke barn—Foiled, Foreclosure and the indefatigable Annieswesterncard..
Foreclosure is a Rocknroll out of a Fake Left mare, who was recently purchased by the Burke Brigade. His back story is more interesting than most. A deal Peter Heffering made with some folks in New Zealand involving broodmares didn’t work out so the not particularly photogenic Foreclosure was shipped to Canada to make things right. At two, he won the $100,000 NJSS final, as well as his BC elimination. He finished fourth in the final, just as he did this year in the BC Open.
While the colt showed flashes of brilliance early in his sophomore campaign, the promise he’d shown in the last part of his freshman season was not fulfilled. After the M Pace Richard Young, the controversial figure who sent Put On A Show up against the boys in the BC, purchased him from Heffering.
He’s made three starts for Burke, a fifth place finish in the Allerage, a :48.4 crush job in a high-level condition pace at Woodbine and that fourth place finish in the BC Open.
A Rocknroll Dance has endured one of the most strenuous sophomore campaigns of any horse in the modern era. He has started eighteen times already, and is currently entered in the Monument Circle and the Messenger. He is also eligible to the Matron. He may not eclipse the 24 starts Bret made at three or the 28 by Albatross, but Dance has taken on all comers, and more often than not from an unfavorable post position. Since June 9, he’s raced in the NA Cup and elimination, the Hempt and elimination, the M Pace and elimination, the Adios and elimination, the Battle of Brandywine, the Cane, Simcoe, Bluegrass, Tattersalls and a BC elimination.
Dance drew the 6 post in his NA Cup elimination; 7 in the final, 8 in the Hempt; 7 in his Adios preliminary and 7 in the final; 12 in the Simcoe; 7 in his Jug elimination and 5 in the final; 7 in the Bluegrass; 12 in the Tattersalls and 4 in his BC elimination. The Gods have not been kind to him.
His last place finish in his BC preliminary round knocked him out of the final. Now he picks up Peter Wrenn and the 4 post in Saturday’s Monument Circle at Indiana Downs. Kingcole drew inside of him while Dapper Dude, Cane winner Dynamic Youth, Sweet Lou and Bettor’s Edge drew outside. David Miller gets the driving assignment behind Dance in the Nov 10 Messenger. Gingras does not have another colt in that race and he is handling Romantic Moment in the Lady Maud, so I guess it’s just time for a change. Perhaps Miller will have a calming influence on the well traveled colt. He’s also staked to the Matron, Progress and American National. The Matron doesn’t overlap with the Messenger, but the Am-Nat is the same day as the Messenger and the eliminations for the Progress are the following day.
George Brennan drives Rooney winner Pet Rock for the first time in the Messenger.