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Dialed In For The Breeders Crown

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Published: October 14, 2009 9:37 pm ET

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Trainer Jim Campbell recently discussed the secret behind getting highly-touted sophomore pacer Dial Or Nodial back to the races and in competitive form.

A field of 10 three-year-old male pacers will compete in the October 24 $600,000 (U.S.) Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack. With 12 colts entered, the single elimination will be held Saturday to compete for the eight remaining spots as Well Said and Vintage Master accepted byes into the final.

Dial Or Nodial returned to action earlier this month after missing time since late June because of a foot injury. A two-time New Jersey Sire Stakes champion in addition to winning divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes last year, he is owned by Arlene and Jules Siegel. He has won 11 of 20 career races and earned $801,505.

“He had a blood bruise in his foot,” trainer Jim Campbell said. “How he got it, we don’t know, but it took him quite some time to get over it. He had a lot of tubbing and poulticing and things like that, but you are kind of at the mercy of it. There’s a lot of waiting around. We couldn’t do anything for five weeks; couldn’t come out of the stall, couldn’t do anything.”

Dial Or Nodial returned to action October 3 at Lexington’s Red Mile and finished fourth in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes. He was beaten by just two lengths and covered his final quarter-mile in :26.2 seconds. Last week, he was second to If I Can Dream in a division of the Tattersalls.

Dial Or Nodial’s intelligence was a major positive aspect of his recovery, as he tolerated the long period of stall rest well.

“He’s a very smart, intelligent horse and when he started feeling better, he was ready for some exercise, but when he wasn’t a hundred percent, he knew to take it easy,” Campbell said. “His races in Lexington were his first real races since the North America Cup. He’s the ideal horse; he can do whatever you want.”

Campbell credited Dial Or Nodial’s recovery to his caretaker’s skills.

“As far as him getting back to the track, all the credit to his caretaker Marita Berglund,” Campbell said. “She spent countless hours tubbing, poulticing, walking this horse; just everything she could possibly do to get him back to the races.”

Well Said and Vintage Master received byes based on being the top money-winners this season. Well Said has won 10 of 13 races this year, including the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug, and earned over $2 million. He won last season’s Breeders Crown for two-year-old male pacers. Vintage Master has won five of 19 races this year, including the Delvin Miller Adios and Cane Pace, and earned $1.28 million.

Vintage Master is coming off a 1:51.2 victory in a division of the Tattersalls on October 10 and a 1:49.4 triumph in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes on October 3. He was fifth in the Little Brown Jug.

“He’s raced good the last few starts,” trainer Jimmy Takter said. “Unfortunately, he tied up a little bit in the Jug. We expected him to do well in that race, but it didn’t work out.”

Well Said finished fourth in a division of the Tattersalls. He led at the three-quarter-mile point before being overtaken by If I Can Dream in the stretch. He was beaten by a length. It was his first race since the Little Brown Jug on September 24.

“It was one of those things,” trainer Steve Elliott said. “I changed his shoes for that race on that clay and in my opinion he was slipping a little bit, but you never know.”

To view Saturday's harness racing entries, click here.


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.


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