MILTON, October 29, 2022 – Off his 28-1 powerhouse performance in the elimination, King Of The North followed that effort with total destruction of his competition to win the $810,000 Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Colt Trot on Saturday night (Oct. 29) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Driver Mark MacDonald hustled King Of The North to the lead to a :26.2 first quarter with World At War Deo in second and Cool Papa Bell third. Though he didn’t hit the breaks up the backside and clicked the half in :54.3 as Cool Papa Bell angled to race first over into the final turn.
With King Of The North striking hot on the lead, MacDonald decided to let his charge “go down swinging.” He spurted by three-quarters in 1:22.1 and punched the wind out of his competition’s sails through the lane to register a 4-1/4-length victory in 1:50.3 and smash the stakes record, as well as the Canadian record he set just last week.
“I did not think I could relive the American Ideal moment again, where I just was asking a horse at the head of the stretch to please not stop. But it happened,” Mark MacDonald said after the race. “The first quarter was a little hotter. When the half popped up, I planned on tapping the breaks to the last turn to try and race Cool Papa Bell, because I didn’t like the one behind me. He just felt so good, I thought ‘You know what, it’s all or nothing now.”
King Of The North’s 1:50.3 mile crushed the stakes record of 1:51.2 set last year by Jujubee as well as the 1:51.1 Canadian Record set by King Of The North in his elimination. The time also beats the all-age record for a trotting male and comes just a fifth of a second off the all-time Canadian trotting record of 1:50.2 set in 2019 by a then 4-year-old Atlanta.
The annihilation of his peers and the Breeders Crown hardware notched an eighth win on King Of The North’s 23-race card and propelled him to millionaire status with $1,234,255 earned for owners Schnittker Ward, Arden Homestead Stable and Nolamura Racing LLC and Steven Arnold. The victory also marked a continued turnaround for the Walner colt, out of former Ray Schnittker star trotting filly Check Me Out, who demonstrated high promise as a 2-year-old which had yet to reach fruition in his sophomore season.
“I didn’t know why it wasn’t clicking earlier in the year,” trainer Ray Schnittker said after the race. “He raced really good in Lexington and in the Canadian Trotting Classic. I kind of thought he was coming [around] but I didn’t think he was going to be this good. Now he’s showing what I really thought he was.”
Mark MacDonald collected his fourth Breeders Crown trophy and his first since winning the 2017 Mare Pace with Pure Country. Ray Schnittker, who bred King Of The North along with Steven Jones, added a fourth Breeders Crown trophy to his resume – his first in this event – and his first since Huntsville won the 2016 2-Year-Old Colt Pace.
King Of The North paid $12.90 to win.
Ray Cotolo, for Woodbine Communications