Dreamer Bids for Triple Crown
MEADOW LANDS, Pa. (AP) - Western Dreamer will try to accomplish something his sire couldn’t _ win the Triple Crown of Pacing _ when he contests the Messenger on Friday night at Ladbroke at the Meadows.
A victory would make the gelding the eighth 3-year-old pacer to win the Cane Pace, Little Brown Jug and Messenger in the same year, and the first to do it since Ralph Hanover in 1983.
Western Dreamer was made the 5-2 early second choice Tuesday behind 2-1 Dream Away in the eight-horse second elimination heat, but all he has to do is finish fourth because the first four in each heat qualify for the final. Jeremys Gambit was the 5-2 favorite in the seven-horse first heat.
Western Hanover, Western Dreamer’s sire, missed winning the Triple Crown when he was beaten by a nose by Fake Left in final of the Little Brown Jug, the third of the three races that year.
The last horse to bid for the Triple Crown before Western Dreamer was Riyadh, second to Life Sign in the Little Brown Jug final in 1993.
Western Dreamer, driven by Mike LaChance, won two of 10 starts as a 2-year-old before being sold for $125,000 to Matthew, Patrick and Daniel Daly of Hamilton, Ontario. This year, the gelding, trained by Bill Robinson, has 11 victories seven seconds and two thirds in 23 starts, and earnings of $1,060,657.
He won the Cane Pace on Aug. 22 at Yonkers Raceway and the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 18 at the Delaware (Ohio) County Fairgrounds. Those races were on half-mile tracks. The Meadows is a five-eighths-mile track.
In his elimination heat, Western Dreamer will start from the No. 7 post, while Dream Away will leave from the No. 3. Dream Away, who broke stride in the Little Brown Jug final, won the Meadowlands Pace on a one-mile track. He also finished first in the Adios on Aug. 2 at the Meadows, but was disqualified and placed last.
Other starters in what will be the first elimination heat will be Longport, Gothic Dream, Personal Power, Park Place, Yankee Cam and Southwest Art.
The field for the second heat is His Mattjesty, Jeremy Gambit, Arturo, The Big Dog, Noble Ability, Perfect Art and Whittingham.
Besides Ralph Hanover, the Triple Crown winners were Adios Butler (1959), Bret Hanover (1965), Romeo Hanover (1966), Rum Customer (1968), Most Happy Fella (1970) and Niatross (1980).
The final will televised live by ESPN2 on the American Harness Racing Series. The broadcast will run from 10 to 11 p.m., with post time for the Messenger being 10:45 p.m.