MANCHEGO STILL PERFECT AFTER CROWN ROMP

By Jay Bergman, for Breeders Crown

ANDERSON, Ind. – Manchego continued her unbeaten ways capturing the second of two $20,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for juvenile trotting fillies Friday night at Hoosier Park. Yannick Gingras was in the sulky for the victory, which was clocked in 1:54.1.

Gingras and Manchego floated out at the start and allowed rail-starting Looking For Zelda to take control of the race and cut the opening fraction of :27.3. Manchego was rated to take command after the first three-eighths and was able to set well-rated fractions sprinting off in the late stages for her 11th win in as many career starts. Lily Stride went a brave trip racing much of the mile without cover to gain the second spot, though a full 2½ lengths off the winner.

A $120,000 yearling purchase by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman from last year’s Lexington Selected auction, Manchego is a daughter of Muscle Hill from the Cantab Hall-sired mare Secret Magic.

Asked about the threat to Manchego at headstretch, trainer Jimmy Takter offered this: “It would take one heck of a filly to go by this filly,” he said. “So far, we haven’t seen anyone.”

Manchego, a 1-20 proposition, returned $2.10 for the victory while pushing her career bankroll to $573,948. In addition to the winner and Lily Stride, Top Expectations, S M S Princess and Looking For Zelda all advanced to next Friday’s finale.

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PHOTO: Manchego and driver Yannick Gingras are much the best in the second of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old trotting fillies Friday night at Hoosier Park. (Credit: Dean Gillette)