MILTON, ONTARIO, October 26 – Manchego and driver Dexter Dunn put on a show in capturing the $325,000 (US) Breeders Crown for Open Mares on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park in a scintillating 1:51 mile. The 4-year-old mare by Muscle Hill won for the fifth straight time in the process as the 1-2 betting choice.
Plunge Blue Chip and Ice Attraction left inside Manchego and the early skirmish saw Plunge Blue Chip take control with two-time Breeders Crown champion Emoticon Hanover settling in second after leaving from the outside post. Dunn positioned Manchego in third and after a :26 1/5 quarter cut out by Plunge Blue Chip he sent her to the front.
Manchego had control and looked a picture setting the tempo with fractions of :55 3/5 and 1:23 4/5 and upon turning for home the Nancy Johansson-trained mare hit high gear and left Plunge Blue Chip gasping for air. The rest chased in futility as Dunn checked the rear-view mirror and let her mare kick home in an impressive :27 1/5 final quarter. Emoticon Hanover would rally late for the place spot ahead of Plunge Blue Chip. Weslynn Dancer and Hannelore Hanover hit the wire together in a dead-heat for fourth.
It was Manchego’s seventh win in 15 starts this year for owner Black Horse Racing and the victory boost her career bankroll above the $2 million mark. Bred by Brittany Farms Manchego returned $3.10 as the public choice.
“She’s just exploded the last half of the season,” said Dunn following the victory. “She felt great once again tonight.”
It was the second Breeders Crown victory for Manchego who captured the juvenile filly trot in 2017 at Hoosier Park.