OwnerCrawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, Brad Grant
TrainerRick Zeron
DriverScott Zeron
Career Record
Post Positionpost positionOdds
Finish Order
1 st
 Atlanta won the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday, becoming the 14th filly to capture the famed trotting race for 3-year-olds.
It was an emotional victory for the father-son team from Oakville, Ontario.
The filly won the Hambletonian the hard way, setting the pace and holding on gamely in the lane.
Scott Zeron employed those tactics earlier in the day in the first of two eliminations, and got Atlanta beat after setting a wicked pace.
Remarkably, Atlanta regrouped quickly after the punishing mile.
“I spoke to my assistant trainer Ernie Henry who has looked after since she was 18 months old,” said Rick Zeron. “He said it took her about 7 to 10 minutes longer than usual to get her wind back. After that, she was absolutely perfect. He said we were good to go.”
That was an understatement.
In the final, Atlanta was again on the lead. This time, Zeron did a better job of rationing her speed.
Atlanta responded by kicking away from challenger Tactical Landing at the top of the stretch to open a 3-length advantage.
She trotted strongly to wire, winning by 1 length over 29-1 shot Met’s Hall.
“I’ve said it to a few people close to me,” said Scott Zeron. “She’s the best horse I ever drove. Everything is so fluid and effortless. The mile (in the elimination) just got away from me. I was mad at myself. That’s not how I wanted to head into the final. If she was a champion, she would bounce back and she did.”
The time was 1:50 4/5 for the mile.
It was the second Hambletonian victory for Scott Zeron. He was at the lines when Marion Marauder won in 2016.
Atlanta, the 2-1 second choice, paid $6.40, $4.20 and $3.60.
Mets Hall returned $19.40 and $7.60. Tactical Landing paid $3.40 to show.
Crystal Fashion was fourth as the 9-5 favorite followed by Evaluate, Alarm Detector, Classichap, Patent Leather, Hat Trick Habit and Fashionwoodchopper.
The win was worth $500,000 for the ownership team of Rick Zeron, Crawford Farms, Holland Racing, Howard Taylor and Bradley Grant.