Beatson Family Excited For Breeders Crown Debut
A year after experiencing the frustration of having to scratch So Much More from the Breeders Crown Mare Pace at The Meadowlands because of sickness, the Beatson family is enjoying the excitement of having its Canadian millionaire in this year’s final at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
So Much More, a six-year-old daughter of Big Jim-Ladysai, finished second by a nose to defending U.S. Horse of the Year Test Of Faith in their Breeders Crown elimination this past weekend at Mohawk. She will start Saturday’s $400,000 final from post two with regular driver James MacDonald in the sulky.
She heads to the race with 54 wins in 119 career starts and $1.1 million in purses. She has finished in the top three a total of 93 times, with 12 of her 28 second-place finishes coming by a neck or less.
“She’s been a winner,” said Don Beatson, an Ontario native who trains and co-owns So Much More with his son Kenneth and grandson Cole England.
“She’s consistent,” England added.
“She’s got a good heart, and she’s pretty fast too,” Beatson continued. “All of the mares opens and preferred races here, just the amount she could win, that’s what is so impressive. That she could stay at the top like that. She wins them all the time.”
So Much More, who received the 2020 O’Brien Award for best older female pacer, has won the past seven opens or preferred handicaps for fillies and mares that she has competed in at Mohawk. Over the years, she also has defeated the boys at the preferred level.
Beatson purchased So Much More early in her three-year-old campaign in 2019. The mare, who began her career on Prince Edward Island racing for breeder Doug MacPhee and trainer Tom Weatherbie, won her first four races for her new connections and went on to capture the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Series championship.
“I saw her for sale on the internet and we decided to go for it,” Beatson said. “If you’re in the business, you’re always looking for a horse. She was Ontario-bred, that is what made it for us.”
Last year, the family was looking forward to sending So Much More to The Meadowlands for the Breeders Crown. She received a bye to advance directly to the final, but just before departing for New Jersey, she was found to be sick.
“We were all set to go, we were all keyed up for that,” Beatson said. “It was very disappointing.”
So, what does it mean to advance to this year’s final?
“It’s amazing,” Beatson said. “We’re loving it.”
So Much More was the 6-1 second choice in her elimination, and just missed against Test Of Faith as they hit the finish line in 1:50.1.
“She raced big,” Beatson said. “It didn’t surprise us. We knew she would be something like that. In the late stages, I thought she was going to win.
“That was a good one,” he added. “And we’ll hope for another good one [this] week.”
No female pacer has ever won a Breeders Crown at age three and returned to capture the Mare Pace the following year. But that is what Test Of Faith will try to accomplish Saturday from post one with David Miller in the sulky for trainer Brett Pelling.
Test Of Faith won last season’s Breeders Crown for three-year-old filly pacers and brings a five-race win streak to this year’s Mare Pace final. She won her elimination by a nose over So Much More.
“That’s not typically how we see her, but believe it or not, she was never going to lose,” Pelling said about the close finish. “She’s traveled a lot. Compared to pretty much all the other mares in the race, she’s the one that’s gone to every race. It was a pretty hectic schedule for a couple of weeks.
“She will stay up there [in Canada] and have a restful week and I think that will really put her right back on her game.”
Test Of Faith has won 11 of 17 races this year, including the Milton Stakes and Roses Are Red, both at Mohawk. For her career, the daughter of Art Major-Cannae Cammie has finished no worse than second in 41 of 42 starts, winning 33.
“That [elimination] field, it was stacked,” Pelling said. “The four horses to beat in the entire thing were all in the same race. I was happy with her.
“If there was anything disappointing, it was the draw. Drawing the rail there, it’s just not a great spot. But the one thing about her is that she’s incredibly versatile. She is just one of those horses who can do anything.”
Seven-year-old No Win No Feed A comes to Saturday’s Breeders Crown Mare Pace looking for a trophy in North America after being a Breeders Crown champion in Australia at ages three and four. She was voted Australia’s top three-year-old filly pacer.
No Win No Feed A finished second to Grace Hill, beaten by a head in 1:51.2, in her Breeders Crown elimination at Mohawk. Andy McCarthy will drive her from post seven for trainer Erv Miller and owner Doug Overhiser in Saturday’s final.
“She’s a nice mare,” Miller said about the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance-Designer Rose. “Hopefully she can be good Saturday night, get the right trip and get it done. Doug has been buying a lot [of horses from Down Under] and we’ve been having some luck with them. She’s a really nice big, strong mare. We took our time getting her ready to race over here, and she’s coming around good.”
No Win No Feed A has won 10 of 28 races and earned $201,634 in her first season of racing in North America.
All four Breeders Crown finals for two-year-olds will be held Friday at Mohawk. The finals for horses ages three and up will be Saturday. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) both nights.