Road to the Hambletonian 2012
(issued June 25)
The $1.5 million Hambletonian is Saturday, August 4, and eliminations are only four weeks from Saturday, June 30. We are continuing to follow the top contenders and rating their performances on the major stakes trail as we get closer to harness racing’s greatest day. From our Winterbook Top 10, the list of prospects continues to grow to about 30 as many have coming up with some inspiring performances. Eliminations for the Yonkers Trot and Hudson Filly Trot (if necessary) were schedule for this Saturday, June 30.
1-Check Me Out – This exceptional filly from the great first crop of 2007 Hambletonian champion Donato Hanover had the week off after her gutsy win in the Elegantimage Stakes in a Mohawk track record of 1:52.1. She is one of only three entrants in $185,194 Hudson Filly Trot on July 7. Ray Schnittker has said he won’t decide whether or not his filly will take on the colts in the Hambletonian until just before the box closes for the eliminations.
2-Uncle Peter – In regroup mode after making a break while launching a serious bid and finished eighth in the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial. He rallied to finish second (timed in 1:51.4) to Stormin Normand in his elimination. The Breeders Crown upsetter had previously beaten last year’s PASS champion Stormin Normand with a career best of 1:53.4 at The Meadows. Jimmy Takter said this Cantab Hall colt the best he’s ever had.
3-Magic Tonight – Another one looking to rebound after leaving from the rail and fading to seventh in the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial with Brian Sears driving. The son of Andover Hall had previously shattered The Meadows track record with a 1:52.4 score in PASS for trainer Noel Daley.
4-Stormin Normand – Finished a solid second (timed in 1:51) to Googoo Gaagaa in the world record (1:50.4) Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial with Dave Palone in the bike. The son of Broadway Hall won his elimination in 1:51.4. It was only his third start of the season with Lasix added. The stablemate to Dan Patch Award winner Possess the Will (trainer Jim Campbell) won the PASS Championship at two in 1:54.3 at Pocono Downs. One of five entered in the $445,594 Yonkers Trot on July7.
5-Little Brown Fox – Finished a distant third (timed in 1:52.3) in Googoo Gaagaa’s world record of 1:50.4 in the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial with Yannick Gingras driving him for the first time. The Muscles Yankee colt scored a decisive win in the NJSS Final at the Big M in a career best 1:53.3 after winning a division in 1:54.1 for trainer Jimmy Takter.
6-Beer Summit – Had the week off following his perfect trip upset ($19.20) in the Goodtimes Final with Ron Pierce in the bike for trainer Noel Daley. The Cantab Hall colt equaled the Mohawk track record of 1:52.2. He was second to Market Share in his elimination, and last month won two straight PASS events.
7-Guccio – Did not race last week after a wide rally from last to sixth in the Goodtimes Final. The Yankee Glide colt had no chance from post eight, yet kicked home in :26.2 (timed in 1:52.3) with Jimmy Takter driving. He had previously finished second behind stablemate Little Brown Fox in the NJSS Final and romped in a division in 1:55.1.
8-Market Share – Took last week off after a hard-charging fifth as the the beaten favorite in the Goodtimes Final. The son of Revenue S was another colt who had traffic issues at Mohawk and was beaten only a length (timed in 1:52.3). He won his elimination in 1:53.2. He was also the beaten favorite in the NJSS Final, finishing third after setting a rated pace, and had previously won a NJSS division by nine lengths in 1:53.1 for trainer Linda Toscano. He is one of five entered in the $445,594 Yonkers Trot on July 7.
9-Possess The Will – The 2011 Dan Patch Award winner and stablemate to Stormin Normand won his first qualifier of the season on June 21 in 1:54.2, drawing clear in :27.2 with Tim Tetrick driving. Sickness had delayed his comeback and trainer Jim Campbell looks for him to be fresh and sharp, while some of the others beat themselves up. His first start is scheduled to be in the Reynolds Stake on July 7 at The Big M. The top earner among last year’s freshmen trotters won the Valley Victory, and went two-for-two in Grand Circuit action at the Red Mile. He is entered in another qualifier on June 28.
10-From Above – Facing some older foes, he was no factor getting away last from post nine and finished a well beaten eighth as the beaten favorite in his sophomore debut on June 22 at the Big M with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. His previous qualifiers were encouraging and trainer Greg Peck (Muscle Hill) expects big things from this son of Donato Hanover, who won back-to-back Grand Circuit stakes at The Red Mile at two. He will qualify again on June 28.
Vic Smith – Finished a decent fourth (timed in 1:55) in an overnight on June 22 at the Big M. The freshman NJSS champion broke and finished ninth in the NJSS Final. The son of Yankee Glide won his 2012 NJSS debut in 1:55.3, then lost by a nose to Little Brown Fox in 1:54.1 for Andy and Julie Miller.
My MVP – Finished a distant fourth from post nine (timed in 1:52.3) the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial. He was third in his elimination (1:52). The son of Cantab Hall won a division of PASS at The Meadows in 1:55.1 over Beer Summit & Solvato. Mike Lachance drives this colt for trainer Tony Alagna.
Gym Tan Laundry – Had last week off after setting a strong pace from post nine and finished a surprising third in the Goodtimes Final at 99-1, beaten only half a length. He finished fourth in his elimination, and was a well beaten sixth in the NJSS Final for trainer Noel Daley.
Lightning Storm – Broke and finished ninth in the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial after finishing fourth (timed in 1:52.2) in his elimination for Dave Miller. Kicked off 2012 with back-to-back wins of 1:53.3 and 1:53.4 at the Big M. The Peter Haughton elimination winner is trained by Jonas Czernyson, who has sent out six Hambletonian finalists in the last four editions.
Delano – No racing for him last week after he won a division of NYSS in Buffalo Raceway track record of 1:57 for Ray Schnittker. He bounced back from making a break and finishing eighth in the Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs. The son of Credit Winner started 2012 going wire-to-wire in NYSS in 1:54.4 at Tioga Downs.
Archangel – This Credit Winner colt is five for six this season with one second. Had last week off after winning his a division of NYSS at Buffalo Raceway in 1:57.3 with a flat tire. Broke his own Vernon Downs track record winning the Empire Breeders Classic in 1:53.1 at Vernon Downs with Jim Morrill, Jr. driving for trainer Peter Arrigena, and won his elimination in 1:53.4. One of five entered in the $445,594 Yonkers Trot on July 7.
Money On My Mind – Stormed home from post seven to finish a close second (timed in 1:54.2) in an overnight on June 22 at the Big M. A well beaten sixth (timed in 1:52.3) in an Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial elimination for Andy Miller. Also, was a distant second in Magic Tonight’s 1:52.4 track record in PASS at The Meadows. He was second by a head in last year’s William Wellwood Final.
Coraggioso – Did not race last week after cruising to a lifetime best of 1:54.3 in the $63,489 Historic at Tioga Downs. The son of Conway Hall, co-owned by legendary announcer Tom Durkin, finished second in the Empire Breeders Classic for trainer/driver Phil Fluet, and won a NYSS division at Tioga Downs in 1:55.4.
Solvato – Had last week off following a well beaten fifth behind Googoo Gaagaa in an Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial elimination. Owns a win in a PASS division in 1:53.2 at Harrah’s Philadelphia for Trond Smedshammer.
Knows Nothing – Not in action last week after finishing a strong fourth in the Goodtimes Final. Had gone undefeated in five starts, winning his Goodtimes elimination in 1:53.4 for Jody Jamieson & Jeff Gillis. Unraced at two, his sire Kadabra will enter the Canadian Hall of Fame in August.
One In A Million – Had no chance after a slow start from post eight and finished fifth in an overnight on June 22 at the Big M. Won his 2012 debut with a mighty sweep from post 10 in 1:55.2 on June 15 for Brian Sears and Chuck Sylvester, who has four Hambletonians.
Flyhawk Jester – Did not race last week. Finished a well beaten fifth in the Empire Breeders Classic after setting the pace and finishing second in his elimination as the beaten favorite. Previously had a second to Archangel in NYSS at Tioga Downs for trainer Tyler Raymer.
Big Chocolate – Finished second in a qualifier at Vernon Downs (timed in 1:55.2) on June 22 for Homer Hochstetler. Rebounded from making a break and finishing fourth in a qualifier there on June 8. Had made a break for the second straight start and finished seventh in the NJSS Final at the Big M, and previously won a division in 1:54.3.
Appomattox – Did not race last week after finishing second to Coraggioso in the Historic at Tioga Downs on June 17. He rallied from post nine to win his 2012 debut in 1:56.1 on June 1 at the Big M with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Frank Antonacci.
Riccolo – Illinois bred by Northern Kid has gone seven-for-seven at Balmoral Park this season for trainer Nelson Willis. His latest was a lifetime best of 1:54.3 in the $12,000 Betzotic Stakes with Marcus Miller in the bike.
Royal Shyster – Made an early break and finished sixth in a qualifier on June 22 at the Big M after fading to sixth in his Empire Breeders Classic elimination. NYSS champion at two switched to trainer Noel Daley this season, and was second to Googoo Gaagaa in the Simpson at the Big M. Qualifies at the Big M on June 28.
Top Billing – Did not race last week. Recovered from an early break and finished fourth in a PASS division at The Meadows. The Spring Survivor winner at the Big M finished a close second to Solvato in a previous division at Harrah’s Philadelphia for Andy & Julie Miller.
American Gangster – Broke for the second consecutive start as the beaten favorite and finished eighth in an overnight on June 22 at Pocono Downs. Made an early miscue and finished seventh as the beaten favorite in his seasonal debut at Pocono Downs on June 15. He had won a qualifier at the Big M in 1:55.4, final quarter in :27.4. As a freshman, he set a Mohawk track record of 1:54.4 in his William Wellwood elimination for trainer Chris Oakes.
Prestidigitator – Rallied from well off the pace to finish third (timed in 1:54) in his seasonal debut in an overnight on June 18 at Mohawk. Had romped in his second qualifier at Mohawk in 1:56, last quarter in :27.1 with Sylvain Filion driving on June 11. Capped his freshman season winning the OSS Super Final for trainer Dustin Jones.
Pekoe Fashion – Finished second (timed in 1:57) in a qualifier at Harrah’s Philadelphia with Dave Miller driving. Had finished seventh against older stock on April 20 at the Big M after winning both qualifiers. Matron Stakes winner at two is a stablemate to Possess the Will and Stormin Normand for trainer Jim Campbell.
Power Play – Has post six in an overnight (race three) on June 29 at the Big M. Broke and finished sixth on June 1 after he romped in his 2012 debut in 1:55.3 for trainer Steve Elliott.
Weingartner – Lit up the board in the Peter Haughton Memorial last year for Jimmy Takter, but hasn’t started yet 2012.
Meadowlands Racetrack - 50 State Route 120 - East Rutherford, NJ 07073 - Call us at (201) THE-BIGM
©2013 New Meadowlands Racetrack, LLC. All rights reserved.