Indiana was well represented Saturday, Oct. 21 in the third and final night of Breeders Crown Eliminations at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Three of the eliminations were won by Indiana sired horses while M-M’s Dream finished second by a head in her division of Older Trotting Mares.
Three eliminations were held for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings and talk about even. All three divisions were recorded in 1:53.1 with Indiana sired Helpfirstedition winning his elimination as a supplemental entry in the third and final heat. The Helpisontheway gelding began his journey from post four and left for the lead for driver John DeLong. He was parked out in fifth through the first quarter in :26.2 as Dire Straits and David Miller set the tempo up front. Helpfirstedition pursued the top spot and was on the outside at the half in :56.0 and kept right on rolling, sliding over to the lead around the final turn.
Helpfirstedition was on the lead by two at the three-quarters in 1:25.2 but he wasn’t done yet. He began to open up on the field, trotting home in :27.4 for the win by three and one-half lengths. Ari Ferrari J and Dexter Dunn finished second over Dire Straits.
Helpfirstedition paid $8.20 for the win. The sophomore trotter is owned by Ervin Wickey, John Graber, Running Wild Stables, and John Schmucker. Martin Wickey bred the gelding, who is trained by Missy Essig. After not turning in a start at two, Helpfirstedition now has eight wins on the year and has only missed the board twice in 19 starts. He is closing in on $400,000 in earnings and his best win time is 1:51.3 taken in September at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. He catapulted into the Breeders Crown elimination off a win in the Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final the week prior.
It was a big night for the Essig barn as the team also earned a win with Kobe’s Gigi in an elimination of the Open Mares Pace. Kobe’s Gigi, driven by Dexter Dunn, rallied out for the lead but was overtaken by Valar Dohaeris and Yannick Gingras at the quarter in :25.4 before allowing that pair to the top. However, once Valar Dohaeris was settled, Kobe’s Gigi was back out to challenge, sitting on the outside of Valar Dohaeris at the half in :55.2. From there, Kobe’s Gigi kicked into high gear and cleared the lead by open lengths. Heading down the stretch, Kobe’s Gigi was five lengths ahead of the field and coasted under the wire in 1:50.1 for the win. Valar Dohaeris finished two and three-quarter lengths back in second over Boudoir Hanover and Todd McCarthy for third.
Kobe’s Gigi paid $9.20 for the win. The JK Endofanera mare is owned by Leander Schwartz and Black and White Stable. Missy Essig trains the five-year-old mare, who was bred by Harvey Fry. It was her fourth win of 2023 and her 14th overall. Her career best time of 1:48.3 was taken at The Meadowlands last year in 1:48.3. She also came into the Breeders Crown eliminations off a win in the Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final for older pacing mares. Kobe’s Gigi is from the first crop of JK Endofanera and was a private purchase by her connections.
The final Indiana winner in Breeders Crown Eliminations Saturday was the tough sophomore pacing gelding Coach Stefanos. Driven by Trace Tetrick, the Tellitlikeitis son got away in mid pack as It’s My Show and Scott Zeron set the pace with fractions of :27.1, :57.1, and 1:25.1. In the stretch, Coach Stefanos followed cover and tipped out to challenge, rolling right on by his opponents with a final quarter clocked in an amazing :24.2. He was a winner by three and one-quarter lengths in 1:50.3. It’s My Show finished second over Ammo and David Miller for third.
Coach Stefanos paid $8.00 for the win. He is owned by Kenneth Duffy, D & M Trading II LLC, and John Stefanos. Victory Hill Farm bred the gelding and Erv Miller trains. Coach Stefanos was tough last year at two, winning six of his starts and has returned just as impressive this season. He has six wins and six seconds in 13 starts with his best time of 1:48.4 taken in July. Overall, he has more than $625,000 in earnings with 12 wins. He was a $42,000 purchase from the Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale.
The Breeders Crown will be spread over two nights Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28 at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Seating is available through Ticketmaster and a special tent has been erected trackside for additional indoor space to watch the prestigious event. Racing begins at 6:15PM both evenings.