Trainer Chris Beaver doesn’t actually own the Currier & Ives — it just seems that way because of his uncommon success in the stake.
He won it last year with Perron and in 2017 with Fraser Ridge. In 2009, Triumphant Caviar captured a heat for Beaver while Il Sogno Dream took a 2014 division in 1:53.2, still the stake record.
On Saturday, Beaver will be seeking even greater Currier & Ives glory when he sends out three sophomore trotters in the $96,884 Open Division at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows. The Meadows also will host the Currier & Ives Filly Division on June 25. First post Saturday is 12:45 p.m.
Beaver has a few thoughts on why he’s been so successful in the Currier & Ives.
“There aren’t a lot of people that stake to it as much as I do,” he says. “It fits into our schedule, so I guess we’re always ready for it and have horses to race in it.
“I’ve used it in the past with Pennsylvania-breds to see if we’re good enough for the Hambletonian. I’ve put it in their schedule as a lighter race to aim in that direction. It’s just happened to work out that it fits with their sires stake schedule.”
The stake has been a great springboard for Beaver’s trotters, particularly Triumphant Caviar and Il Sogno Dream, who combined to win more than $1.9 million.
Here’s how Beaver assesses this year’s trio, none of them Hambletonian eligible.
- Pappardelle (race four, post two, Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.). Beaver gives this Wishing Stone-Long Island Tea gelding the best shot of his threesome. “He had a little trouble getting things together last year, but he seems to be firing now. Since we put trotting hopples on, he’s smooth through the turns.” Pappardelle races for The Delaware Group, Equinex Racing Corp. and Joe Sbrocco.
- Caviar Gold (race four, post six, Aaron Merriman). This guy looked like a world-beater when he won the Hackett Final and an Ohio Sires Stake leg, both at Miami Valley. Then he threw in a couple clunkers, including a break, in Scioto Downs overnights. “He wasn’t getting hold of the racetrack at Scioto real well, so I changed his shoeing. I think he’s pretty good now. I’ve had a lot of good ones by Triumphant Caviar, and this one is among the best in Ohio.” Beaver has reason to be partial; he owns Caviar Gold with Bill Manes, Leo Fleming and Steven Zeehandelar.
- The Mighty Hill (race six, post one, Merriman). “He was fourth in the Mohawk Million and set a world record for geldings at Northfield, but he’s still trying to get everything together. Lasix probably will be the final piece.” Beaver owns the What The Hill-Maxine The Mighty gelding with Donald Robinson and VIP Internet Stable.