Muscle Hill wants to become only the third trotter to win Breeders Crown events as both a two- and three-year-old.
If the overwhelming 1-5 favourite wins the $618,880 Three-Year-Old Colt Trot at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday, he will finish his career with 20 straight victories.
After finishing second by a neck in his harness-racing debut last year, the three-year-old colt has compiled an impressive resume winning the Hambletonian, World Trotting Derby, Canadian Trotting Classic and Kentucky Futurity.
No matter what happens, Muscle Hill will be retired to stud.
“It’s really, really something,” said trainer Greg Peck, to the Canadian Press. “He has that star quality, that aura about him.”
Part of that aura has been how he has been winning races. Throughout his 19 victories, the colt has breezed past the finish line by an average of four lengths.
Peck believes a second career loss won’t tarnish the trotter’s legacy.
“Oh, I don’t think so at all,” Peck said. “There’s nothing he can do one way or the other that will in any way at all says he’s not a great horse and won’t go down in history as that.”
While Peck won’t admit Muscle Hill is the best trotter ever, he could eclipse the single season earnings record of $2.44 million set last year by Canadian super pacer Somebeachsomewhere.
What Peck does admit is that expectations are reaching a climax.
“It’s been a good expectation to have,” he said.
The other competitors in the race include: Hot Shot Blue Chip, driven by Mike Lachance and trained by Jonas Czernyson, 25-1.
Tom Cango, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Jim Campbell, 25-1. Striking Lindsey, trained by Gregg McNair, 40-1.
Neighsay Hanover, driven by John Campbell and trained by Trond Smedshammer, 20-1, while Triumphant Caviar is driven by Luc Ouellette and trained by Chris Beaver, 25-1.
Swan For All is driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Erv Miller, 8-1.
Anette Lorentzon trains Howthehaloareyou, 20-1. P J Clark is driven by Andy Miller and trained by Julie Miller, 20-1.
Broadway Bistro is driven by George Brennan and trained by Jim Campbell, 20-1.
Although Muscle Hill will start in the first post position, Peck isn’t concerned.
“One thing I’ll say about Woodbine is it’s a pretty fair track,” he said. “Whether you draw the inside rail or the outside rail, there’s a lot of ground before you hit the turn so things tend to get sorted out by then so the post is fine.”
The victory will also solidify his chances of becoming the first undefeated horse to capture the U.S. Dan Patch Award as the best three-year-old male trotter.