EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)Rebuff won the Colt & Gelding Trot to kick off Breeders Crown weekend at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
The track presented four stakes, each worth $600,000, for 2-year-olds on a rainy, windy Friday night.
The eight Crowns for older horses take place Saturday afternoon. The Breeders Crowns are harness racing’s season-ending championships that help determine Horse of the Year and the divisional winners.
Rebuff, the 5-2 second choice, edged 80-1 shot Fast As The Wind by a half-length. The colt, driven by Tim Tetrick, rallied from seventh in the early stages to improve his record to four wins in 11 starts for trainer Lucas Wallin.
”With the conditions, I was hoping they’d come back to us and they did,” Tetrick said.
Branded By Lindy, the 1-2 favorite, finished third after setting the pace until deep stretch.
Rebuff paid $7.80 to win. The time for the mile was 1:55 over the sloppy track.
Niki Hill was the dominant winner of the Filly Pace, taking charge down the backstretch and rolling to a 4 3/4-length victory over Sea Silk. She improved to 7 for -8 for the team of driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Chris Ryder. She paid 3.40 to win as the 3-5 favorite. The time was 1:51.
Brian Sears won his 35th Crown, the most among active drivers, when he guided Joviality S to an 8-1 upset in the Filly Trot. Sears is second all time in the series, trailing only John Campbell who retired with 48 Crown victories.
Joviality S, trained by Marcus Melander, nipped Raised By Lindy by a nose for her eighth win in 11 starts. She paid $18.40 to win. The time was 1:54 4/5.
The Colt & Gelding Pace produced another tight finish as Monte Miki held off Gulf Shores by a nose with Scott Zeron in the sulky for trainer Mark Evers. Monte Miki improved to 6 for 7 with a mile in 1:53 2/5, paying $9.40 to win.