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Lilbitalexis, Raised By Lindy win Crown rookie filly trot elims; Venerable breaks stride

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Lilbitalexis and Dexter Dunn made the most of a pocket trip on their way to capturing the first of two $25,000 eliminations for the Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly trot at The Meadowlands on Friday night (Oct. 22). The victory saved the day for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman, whose previously undefeated Venerable broke stride in the contest and finished last.

Selfie Queen and driver Scott Zeron marched out sharply to the front into the first turn, forcing Dunn to take the two-hole behind the leader with Lilbitalexis well before the :27.4 first quarter. Venerable, the Mohawk Million winner, had taken a tuck early, but was in no hurry to move as Selfie Queen cut the half in :56.2 unchallenged.

David Miller put Venerable in gear past the half and the filly made up ground quickly, eventually flushing Lilbitalexis from the pocket as the field neared the three-quarters. Lilbitalexis engaged Selfie Queen on even terms past three-quarters in 1:25.1, but Venerable faltered and took herself out of the race turning into the homestretch. Dunn had no issues with Lilbitalexis, and the Walner-sired lass trotted smoothly past Selfie Queen for a 1-3/4-length victory in 1:53.3. Selfie Queen held second easily with Jaya Bae closing solidly between horses late to hit the board in third. Brickhouse Babe and Ebbies Lady, fourth and fifth respectively, completed the qualifiers for next week's $600,000 final from this elimination.

Pinske Stables and David Hoese own Lilbitalexis, who won for the seventh time in her freshman season.

“When you ask her to go, she’s got high speed,” said Dunn of Lilbitalexis, who paid $5.60 as the second choice.

Form held up better in the second $25,000 Breeders Crown elimination, when Raised By Lindy got the job done as the even-money favorite for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Domenico Cecere.

Joviality S, the 6-5 second choice, left hard for command with Brian Sears in the bike and parked Raised By Lindy through a soft :29 opening quarter before allowing her to pass. Once in control, Raised By Lindy and Gingras strolled around the track, cutting middle half fractions of :58.3 and 1:27.4. The third quarter got the attention of Todd McCarthy, as he sped Delilah Hanover from the back with high velocity before then having to edge wider when Joviality S pulled the pocket to challenge the winner on even terms late on the final bend. Gingras called on Raised By Lindy under pressure, and the daughter of Walner, bred and owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut, finished her mile impressively, sprinting home in :27 flat to win by 1-1/2 lengths and complete the mile in 1:54.4 for her third consecutive victory. Joviality S held firmly late for second ahead of Jiggy Jog S. Delilah Hanover and Valentina Blu completed the finalists from this division.

Raised By Lindy paid $4.20 in winning for the fifth time in nine career starts.

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