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All 3-year-old trotters not eligible to the 2019 Hambletonian or Oaks have the option to supplement to the 2020 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-olds, with a supplemental payment of $2,000 on Nov. 15. The $400,000E Hambletonian Maturity is raced at The Meadowlands at a distance of a mile and an eighth and all starters receive money. It is typically the richest 4-year-old Trot offered. There is an additional supplemental window of $5,000 on February 15, 2020. Eligible trotters to the Oaks or Hambletonian in 2019 make a sustaining payment of $2,000 (fillies pay $1,500) on February 15, 2020 to start, as do supplemental entrants. The Hambletonian Maturity of 2020 will be the seventh edition of the race created by the Hambletonian Society and The Meadowlands to provide a racing opportunity for four-year-old trotters. All supplemental nomination fees are made payable to the Hambletonian Society Inc. and are added to the amount of the purse of the specific race. For more information go to https://www.hambletonian.com/formsinfo or call David Janes at 609-371-2211. From the Hambletonian Society

In August there were five active harness racing Hambletonian winners in training and racing throughout North America and in Europe, probably the first time that has occurred in the 94-history of the race. It's an astounding number when you consider the factors involved in just reaching the Hambletonian.   As the stage turns to Saturday's Breeders Crown finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, three of those horses have been entered, along with a host of past Dan Patch winners and returning Breeders Crown champions.   The Standardbreds may be going much faster than they once did but the idea that they have become less durable over time is just not the case. In fact longevity comes with the breed and the fact that our horses not only race for many years but they race at a high level is a testament to their resilience.   Trainer Mike Keeling who along with his wife Paula Wellwood have campaigned 2016 Hambletonian winner and Triple Crown champion Marion Marauder speaks with nothing but adulation about the son of Muscle Hill.   "He knows how to take care of himself," said Keeling giving part of the reason Marion Marauder, now a 6-year-old, is still at the top of his game.   "He's the type of horse that could be going along at 35 second clip and then shift gears and be going 27. His gait doesn't change."   While there have been stops and starts along the way after a spectacular 3-year-old campaign Keeling thinks the one constant that has kept Marion Marauder at this level is soundness.   "For a horse to race at this level they've got to be sound," Keeling said. "I think with him it all starts with his gait. He's easy on himself."   Marion Marauder was not at his sharpest earlier in the campaign but after a bout with sickness following the Maple Leaf Trot Keeling believes he's reached peak form.   "He's the kind of horse that you can tell by his demeanor if he's going to have a good race," said Keeling about an hour before the $1 million International Trot.   "He felt really good out there warming up today." Keeling was right on the money as Marion Marauder was a solid closing third in the 1 and ¼ mile contest.   Marion Marauder's longevity also may have something to do with racing style. Unlike so many of today's premier performers Marion Marauder is at his best when raced off the lead and not asked to make multiple moves. It's something that Keeling is acutely aware of.   "He just can't go those 27 quarters back-to-back," said Keeling. "We've been thinking about racing him in Europe for a while and we may end up doing it next year. The style of racing may suit him better than in North America."   Marion Marauder went up against Atlanta in the International and will again be racing against last year's Hambletonian winner in the Breeders Crown Trot. As a 4-year-old Atlanta has managed to exhibit the brilliance she displayed as a sophomore once again defeating male competition on her way to a fabulous campaign. Though blessed with flashy speed it is no accident that driver Yannick Gingras has often said that Atlanta is a much better horse when coming from behind. Perhaps that's the long-term strategy that could keep Atlanta at the top of this division for a long time.   Just recently the 2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman was retired after a splendid career, following a successful sophomore season that ended in divisional honors. Though the son of Explosive Matter would only win three races in the years that followed he was always raced at the highest level and was generally competitive no matter the circumstances.   Perfect Spirit, the 2017 Hambo winner is currently campaigning in Europe two years after his greatest victory. The durability of the breed is not top weighted just to trotters as shown most admirably by the defending Horse of the Year McWicked. His trainer Casie Coleman is a staunch defender against "age" discrimination and rejects those who even attempt to suggest the 8-year-old has lost a step.   "The mile he went in the mile and an eighth distance race at The Meadowlands against Lather Up was the fastest he's ever paced," said Coleman in reference to the Sam McKee at The Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day where McWicked finished third in a 1:59 2/5 clocking for the added distance.   McWicked looks to go over the $5 million mark in career earnings on Saturday night in his seventh year on the racetrack.   "He's just an extremely smart horse," said Coleman of McWicked. "You go out there and jog him and he knows when it's the last lap. He's a bit lazy but you don't want to be easy on him."   Coleman says that McWicked is of course well taken care of with monthly trips to the vet to keep him healthy. She also suggests McWicked benefits from regular sea salt spa treatments.   "He has no major lameness issues," Coleman said.   McWicked in some ways like Marion Marauder has survived this long by predominantly going against the grain. He's able to race on the front but that's not where he generally races. In winning for the second straight year in the Dan Rooney at Yonkers McWicked came first up without cover and was put to a decided disadvantage of pace and position by the pace-setter Jimmy Freight.   While appearing to struggle to keep up with the leader heading down the backstretch McWicked did what he's done so many times before-found another gear. Brian Sears called on the son of McArdle on the final turn and McWicked took over as if he knew it was time to go. That intelligence Coleman speaks to kicks in for this horse as they approach the finish wire.   If a replay needs to be shown to illustrate the definition of class in a Standardbred then rerun the footage from the September 7 $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs. That seven of the nine horses finished within a length and a half of the winner can explain how competitive the race was. In reviewing the race it's impossible not to notice just how McWicked was having trouble keeping up with cover as the field rolled to the three quarters in a remarkably quick 1:20 clocking.   At that point the casual viewer may have concluded that it wasn't going to be his night. In the final quarter mile McWicked not only picked himself up off the canvas but he managed to squeeze between every horse and put his nose in front of an extremely crowded win photo.   You don't reach $5 million in career earnings without a desire to win, no matter the journey.   The Breeders Crown brings out the best of the breed and the fact that nine of last year's Dan Patch year-end award winners will be in the line-up this Saturday night is astounding. Perhaps even more incredible is that nearly a year after some great performances many of the same horses arrive at Woodbine Mohawk Park in peak form.   Dorsoduro Hanover, a 4-year-old that captured the Dan Patch for 3-year-old male pacers in 2018, enters Saturday Breeders Crown Open event after his best effort of the year, a 1:49 4/5 first-over victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park last week. With nearly $1.5 million in career earnings he's had difficulty making the transition from sophomore to Open class but appears ready now.   Dan Patch winner Shartin N has obviously gotten better with age and is deservedly the odds-on choice to capture her division title as well as a strong contender for Horse of the Year. Her consistency and will to win are a rare combination but durability has been a major attribute.   The 4-year-olds Atlanta and Six Pack will meet in the Open Trot with Six Pack entering the contest off a sparkling 1:49 2/5 mile at The Red Mile. He's the only trotter with sub-1:50 efforts as a 3 and 4-year-old.   Gimpanzee went undefeated as a Dan Patch and Breeders Crown champion in 2018 and though somewhat overshadowed by his stablemate Greenshoe has managed an impressive streak of victories this year including the Yonkers Trot. Gimpanzee won't be favored in Saturday's Crown finale for 3-year-old male trotters but anyone that watched his elimination effort last Saturday would expect him to be in the hunt once again.   Durability defines many of our top horses and with many of the two-year-olds that turned three comes maturity. Warrawee Ubeaut has made a name for herself and her sire Sweet Lou over the last two months and looks for back-to-back Crowns on Saturday. Whether Nancy Johansson's pair of 2018 Dan Patch winners Captain Crunch and Kissin In The Sand win Crowns this weekend or not, the fact that they have come back and been able to tough out a grueling campaign is befitting champions whether crowned or un-crowned.   Just the numbers alone that we see in the Breeders Crown this week tell the story. It's a powerful tale of horses that were meant to race and those surrounding them doing everything possible to see them excel. What we have witnessed is truly incredible and can only happen on a racetrack. The desire to race and win does not only come in human form. It is there for all to see on the hearts of our champion Standardbreds.   By Jay Bergman, for the Breeders Crown

Goshen, NY - The harness racing community once again showed robust support for two of the sport's most important charities - The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) - at a casino-themed fundraiser held Hambletonian eve at The New Meadowlands in East Rutherford. .The August 2nd event, with dinner sponsorship from the connections of Atlanta, featured nearly 200 people playing casino games and vying in a poker tournament to win prizes that included an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas sponsored by Roberts Communications and The New Meadowlands. The silent auction which was sponsored by Marvin Katz included Rolling Stones tickets and New York Yankees tickets as well as Prix d'Amerique items, harness racing art and a beautiful bronze of mares and foals. Raffle prize winners won harness racing art, high tech devices, jewelry, autographed Yankees baseballs and themed baskets such as vintage Hambletonian items, Italian food and beverages, and of course, Foiled Again. Charles Keller III and Yankeeland Farm sponsored the raffle items. Approximately $80,000 was raised and will be shared equally by the two organizations after expenses. A buffet dinner and an open bar were provided throughout the evening to go along with blackjack, roulette and a great night of racing. Arden Homestead Stable sponsored the bar, and Brittany Farms and the American Ideal Syndicate underwrote dessert. Table sponsors included Arch Madness, Cameo Hills Farm, Diamond Creek Farms, Jay Farrar, Ted Gewertz & Claire Chappell in memory of Charles Iannazzo, Hambletonian Society, Max Hempt, Mary Ellen & David McDuffee, Freehold Raceway, Marion Marauder Group, McWicked, Marcus Melander Stable, David Miller, Preferred Equine, Seelster Farms, Southwind Frank, Standardbred Horse Sales, Svanstedt Stable, Sweet Lou and the United States Trottting Association. Table co-sponsors were Tony Alagna, Jenn Bongiorno, George Brennan, Corey Callahan, Daniel Dube Stable, Dexter Dunn, Yannick Gingras, Erv Miller Stable, Julie & Andy Miller, Brian Sears, Nick Surick Stable, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano and Paula Wellwood. Raffle and auction items were donated by Murray Brown, Bob Boni/Bluestone Farms, Brian Cashman, Tom Charters, Callie Davies-Gooch, Mary Lou Dondarski, Moira Fanning, John Polvinale, The Hambletonian Society, The New Meadowlands, Standardbred Retirement Foundation and the Harness Racing Museum. Monetary donations were received from Suzie Dupler-Telle, Sugar Valley Farms and Todd Buter. The Museum is planning a major expansion project and the SRF is caring for nearly 400 horses. The money raised on August 2nd will be an important first step in achieving goals for both groups. This exceptional level of generosity by so many in the harness racing industry is profoundly appreciated by all those involved with the Museum and the SRF. A charitable event has been part of the Hambletonian festivities since 1991 and has raised a total of $1.4 million. by Janet Terhune, for the Harness Racing Museum  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The curtain came down on the Meadowlands' 2019 harness racing meet on Hambletonian Day (Aug. 3), ending a seven-month run that would be the envy of any track operator. Total handle on Hambo Day was up nearly 15 percent over the year before as $6.5 million was pushed through the windows, approximately $800,000 more than the year before. The $6.5 million was by far the best single-day handle in the entire sport in 2019. Next up was the $4.4 million bet by players at Woodbine at Mohawk Park on March 30 when the track had a huge Super High-Five carryover on a mandatory payout night. The only other $4 million-plus handle this year was at the Big M on Meadowlands Pace Night ($4,044,303). The wagering trend was a positive one for the 62 Big M programs presented from the first of the year through the first Saturday in August, as a total of $174.2 million was put in play, good for an average of $2,811,179 per card. Over the same 2018 span, 58 race cards saw total wagering of $137.3 million, an average of $2,367,260. Thus, total wagering was up 27 percent at the industry's handle leader, while per-card betting increased 18 percent. One of the keys to increased handle is to card more races, and that was clearly the case this year as compared to last. During 2018, a total of 671 races were contested at the Meadowlands, an average per night of 11.56. This year, 790 races took place, good for an average of 12.74, an increase of 10.2 percent. With the additional races, there were 1,515 more starters in 2019 Big M races than there were in 2018. The track averaged 8.92 starters per race in 2019. The Meadowlands' faithful fan base bet with both hands on a consistent basis. Total handle reached $2.5 million 47 times over the 62-card span. On 12 occasions, the magic $3 million mark was achieved, while the Meadowlands Pace and Hambo accounted for the two $4 million-plus cards. "All of us at the Meadowlands are appreciative of the purse appropriation earmarked for the horse racing industry that was approved by New Jersey legislators, Gov. Phil Murphy, President of the New Jersey Senate Stephen Sweeney and Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly Craig Coughlin," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "With that money in our purse account, it created more of a level playing field in the competition for horses from nearby states. "We appreciate how our horsemen have supported our entry box - we couldn't do it without them - and how our fans played our races all meeting long. We've seen consistently bigger fields at the Meadowlands, and big fields are what our fans like most when betting on our product. Competitive racing with large fields and less winning favorites at the sport's top facility is a recipe for wagering success." On the track, new fastest-ever Big M marks were established for horses of both gaits on July 6. Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian champion, exploded home in :26.3 in the Graduate Final for trotters on the way to stopping the clock in 1:49.1 while Lather Up set a new mark of 1:46 in the Graduate Final for pacers, and in the process, equaled Always B Miki's fastest mile ever in the history of the sport. Grabbing headlines - as usual - was the superstar mare Shartin N, who became the fastest female in harness racing history after taking the Lady Liberty on Hambo Day in 1:46.4. It was another great year for conditioner Ron Burke, as well as his go-to driver, Yannick Gingras. Burke took his eighth straight Big M training title with 73 victories and earnings of $1.85 million while Marcus Melander had the second-highest bank account at $1.29 million. Burke, 49, also reached a remarkable milestone, becoming the first trainer in history to record 10,000 lifetime wins after his student Crucial won a Jim Doherty Memorial elimination on July 26 at the mile oval. Gingras, 40, killed it all meeting long and used a fabulous February as the catalyst for his fifth Meadowlands driving title. During those 28 days, Gingras established meet highs for wins on a single program (seven, on the 1st) and in a month (33) on the way to visiting the winner's circle a total of 127 times. He was also tops in earnings with $2.25 million. Dexter Dunn was nothing short of superb in his first full season of racing in the U.S., as the New Zealand native opened many eyes with his 86 wins, which was easily second best in the standings. Tim Tetrick's earnings of $2.18 million nosed out Dunn's ($2.14 million) in the race for second-highest driver bankroll. THE SKED: Simulcasting from Saratoga and a host of other tracks will continue every day, but there will be no live racing at the Meadowlands for eight straight weekends, beginning Aug. 9-10. Monmouth Park will conduct thoroughbred racing over the Big M's turf course on Oct. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 25 and 26. The Meadowlands will be back with live harness action on Oct. 11, and then conduct racing on Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 30 before adding Thursdays in December. There will be both thoroughbred and harness racing on the same day on Oct. 11, 12, 18, 25 and 26. Post time for harness racing is 7:15 p.m. Post time for thoroughbred racing will be announced at a later date. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

The Hambletonian Future wager proved to be an extreme value play for those following and cashing in on the race winner Forbidden Trade.   The son of Kadabra captured the $1 million event at The Meadowlands in dramatic style returning $33.80 to win for those placing wagers close to post time. In the four separate Future wagers heading into the first jewel in Trotting's Triple Crown sharp players saw profits rise from the opening wager until the last. Forbidden Trade returned $22 in the first pool that closed with just $1,810 wagered in total. Price shoppers struck gold in the second pool when Forbidden Trade's backers were rewarded with a $103.60 payout, more than triple his post time odds. Forbidden Trade was still an overlay in the third Future wager with a $40.20 payout. The Hambletonian Future wager got significantly more traction as the race got closer to post time with $13,304 wagered in the fourth pool. Sharp players who backed the Ontario-sired colt trained by Luc Blais and driven most ably by Bob McClure took in $57.80 for a $2 wager nearly double the post time payoff. by Jay Bergman for the Hambletonian Society

Prior to Saturday (Aug. 3) afternoon, Luc Blais' fondest memories of a Hambletonian were from a race 24 years earlier, when Tagliabue won America's Trotting Classic at The Meadowlands. By Saturday evening, the events of the prior 24 hours would change that. Blais, who was a groom visiting the Meadowlands when Tagliabue captured the 1995 Hambletonian, watched Saturday at the Big M as his colt Forbidden Trade won the $1 million Hambletonian final, upsetting 1-5 favorite Greenshoe by a neck. Forbidden Trade, trained by Blais and driven by 28-year-old Bob McClure, was the 2018 O'Brien Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter and became the first Canadian champ to win the Hambletonian in the award's 30-year history. "It's amazing," Blais said. "I used to watch the race before, when I was not in it, and it was always exciting. And now, just to be in the race, it is exciting. To win, it's, I don't even know how to say it. It's a good, good, good feeling." Blais had started a horse in the Hambletonian once previously, sending Jake to the race in 2017. Jake finished sixth in his elimination and did not advance to the final. This time, Forbidden Trade was a strong-finishing third in his elimination before returning 90 minutes later to win the final. "I had confidence; I had a good feeling," said Blais, who conditions the son of Kadabra-Pure Ivory for Serge Godin's Detirmination Stable. "But we needed to be in the final first." The 57-year-old Blais is a native of western Quebec, not far from Ottawa. He got hooked on racing at an early age, watching his father, a salesman, race his own horses on the Quebec fair circuit. He worked for several stables, including Canadian Hall of Famer Yves Filion's Bayama Farms, before going on his own. "I always liked horses," Blais said. "My father had horses. He bought a classy horse with big legs. We needed to tub him and put time on him. You need to put time on the horse. A classy horse, if you put time on the horse, they're going to give back to you. That's my thinking." Blais' pick of Tagliabue's win in the Hambletonian as a favorite was due in part to the horse being unraced at 2 and brought to peak for the race. "I like that kind of story," he said. Blais said he planned to celebrate the Hambletonian win with his brother and friends before returning to work on Sunday. "Maybe we'll drink a few beers and just relax," Blais said. "After (Saturday) you have to go back to work. I think that's the only way you can be there, it's the work. You need to be there and work. And you need to have the passion, both work and passion." Blais and McClure have forged a successful relationship in the two years since McClure left Canada's 'B' tracks for the main stage of Woodbine-Mohawk. McClure's Hambletonian victory marked the third time in four years that a driver younger than 30 captured the sport's premier race for 3-year-old trotters. Scott Zeron won in 2016 with Marion Marauder at age 27 and two years later with Atlanta. "We were looking for a regular driver for the barn and he had just come from the 'B' tracks, where he was very good," Blais said. "He's a young guy, but he is a very mature guy. Very professional. He's got the talent to be a good driver. It's been a good partnership. To me, to have success, you need to work together." McClure, an Ontario native, finished second in purses in Canada in 2018 and third in wins. He led Canada in wins in 2017 and 2016 and was third in 2015. He was making his Hambletonian debut with Forbidden Trade. "It hasn't sunk in yet, maybe in a few days it will," McClure said Saturday about the win. "It's certainly been career changing in the last four years. I have a lot of people to thank for that, I've had a lot of support behind me. The icing on the cake was the Determination Stable, I owe them a lot. I couldn't have done it without the people who supported me along the way." McClure admitted to some anxiety prior to the Hambletonian but was at ease when he hit the track with Forbidden Trade. "It probably didn't show on the outside in the paddock, but there were nerves," McClure said. "But whenever I hit the track, they all go away. And he's such a quiet horse, a push-button horse to drive, which makes it a lot easier on me being kind of green to this. "I would say he definitely led me. He did a very good job for me." McClure, who missed a month of action in the spring because of a broken pelvis, gave credit to Blais for having Forbidden Trade in top form for the Hambletonian. The colt entered the Hambletonian off three consecutive wins, including a prep against older foes on July 22 at Woodbine-Mohawk Park. "I do think he was underrated," McClure said about Forbidden Trade, who has won 12 of 19 career races and finished off the board only once in his past 14 races. "I think it's pretty great that the Meadowlands Pace winner (Best In Show) and the Hambo winner are Ontario-sired horses. It's really great for Ontario and Ontario racing. I think we do fly under the radar somewhat, but I think this shows we are competitive on the world stage. "Maybe we flew under the radar. I don't think we'll get away with that anymore." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Nine time winning New Zealand harness racing drivers premiership Champ, Dexter Dunn shone on Hambletonian Day, Saturday 4th of August at The Meadowlands. Dunn who departed New Zealand for the US just on 12 Months ago, has been the winner of 255 races and over $5.5 million US in stakes earnings to date. The champion reinsman competed in 14 of 16 races on Hambletonian Day, and was seen winning the $186,000 Dr. John R Steele Memorial FFA Mares Open aboard Nancy Johansson’s trotter, Manchego. The 4yo daughter of Muscle Hill trotted the mile in 1:50. Since Dunn has entered the US he has been nothing short of outstanding. He was seen finishing a gallant 2nd in the $500,000 Hamiltonian Oaks, aboard the Jim Campbell trained Millies Possesion. Leading into the Oaks as tote favorite, the 3yo daughter of Possess The Will was unbeaten from eight race day starts. Dunn was the winner of 2,226 races in New Zealand and over $22 Million is prize money. Australian born Andrew McCarthy won the $100,362 Shady Daisy for 3yo fillies aboard Tall Drink Hanover. McCarthy steered homed the 3yo Captaintreacherous filly home in 1.48 for Trainer Tony Alagna. He also finished a respectable 2nd in the Lady Liberty FFA Mares Open aboard Caviart Ally behind champion mare Shartin N. McCarthy took himself to 137 victories for the season and extended his stakes earnings to over $3 million. “It doesn’t get any better than that”, says Meadowlands commentator as Shartin N crossed the line in the $183,500 Lady Liberty FFA Mares Open. Setting a new mares world record of 1:46.4. The champion mare is taking trainer Jim King Jnr and owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King, and Tim Tetrick, on a ride of a lifetime as she continues her domination of the Open Mares division in North America.  Monday 29th July Batavia Downs NY Quick Draft A – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $4,900 Northfield Park OH Supreme Mach N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $7,000 He Can Fly N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,700 Plainridge Park MA Tisadream A– Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $12,000 Mach Doro A – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $14,000   Tuesday 30th July Yonkers Raceway NY Blacknsweet Adda A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $13,500 Kept Under Wraps A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $13,500   Wednesday 31st July Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Crockets Cullen N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $12,5000 Monticello Raceway NY Power Dreaming N – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $5,000 Saratoga Harness NY The Great Buzz N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $6,000   Thursday 1st August Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Gold Class N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $8,000 Plainridge Park MA Neon Sky N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $7,200 The Spinster N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $5,800 Scarborough Downs ME Jay Bees Grin N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $5,000 Scioto Downs OH Lion Rock N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $15,000 Yonkers Raceway NY Brookies Prince N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $13,500 Ima Tragedy N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $18,500   Friday 2nd August Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Backup A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $7,000 Nicol Shard N – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $8,000 Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Delishka N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $14,500 Anytime N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $11,000 Saratoga Harness NY Eclipse Me N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $15,000 Yonkers Raceway NY Soho Jackman A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $24,000 Down Under Trifecta - 2nd Statesman N, 3rd Simply Susational N   Saturday 3rd August Batavia Downs NY Iammrbrightside N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $11,000 Tullow N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $9,500 Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Shards Halo N – Time: 1:49.1, Stake: $20,000 Meadowlands NJ Shartin N – Time: 1:46.4, Stake: $183,500 (Mares World Record) Northfield Park OH He Can Fly N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $11,800 Uncle Lile A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $6,500 Saratoga Harness NY Lockton Luck A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $10,000 Scioto Downs OH Sammy The Bull N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $17,500 The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Weona Sizzler A – Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $14,000 Yonkers Raceway NY Major Crocker A – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $30,000 American Boy N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $30,000 Bit Of A Legend N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $24,500   Previous weeks 29 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety 24 Jul 2019 - Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety   by Carter Dalgety

East Rutherford, NJ — Hambletonian Day was to be a day to unfurl Swedish flags at The Meadowlands.   Why not? Rising star Marcus Melander started the day with a powerhouse four-horse contingent locked and loaded, taking dead aim at the 3-year-old trotting classic.   But when the dust settled, it was our friendly neighbors to the north celebrating, as Forbidden Trade pulled a 15-1 upset.   Canada’s champion 2-year-old showed the heart of a warrior to hold off 3-10 favorite Greenshoe by neck in a dramatic fight to the finish.   And it was the first Hambletonian victory for the Canadian trio of owner Serge Godin’s Determination Stable, trainer Luc Blais and driver Bob McClure.   Coming in, McClure said “the sky was the limit” for his colt. Forbidden Trade backed up that confidence with the race of his life.   Forbidden Trade, third in his Hambletonian elimination, was always in contention throughout the mile. McClure and his colt tracked Green Manalishi S, an elimination winner and a member of the Melander brigade, into the stretch. Forbidden Trade took charge, but danger was looming with Greenshoe uncorking a menacing rally.   For an instant, it appeared Greenshoe would blow on by. McClure admitted he was headed, but Forbidden Trade was not done. After all, this was the day of the Maple Leaf.   “It was two incredible colts fighting it out,” McClure said. “I don’t think there was a loser in that, but we’re really happy to get out on top.”   It’s also been a remarkable comeback for McClure, 28, who suffered a broken pelvis in a qualifier accident in April. He was back in action by May 23, using a hyperbaric chamber to hasten the recovery.   “I was really lucky to have a good physical trainer,” McClure said. “I probably rushed it back a little faster than I should have. I’m sure most drivers in this business have done this a time or two.”   Melander didn’t get the victory, but his trio of qualifiers for the final raced well. Gimpanzee rallied from far back to get third and Green Manalishi S held on for the fifth and final purse check.   Greenshoe never looked comfortable behind the starting gate for the final as driver Brian Sears held him together to prevent a break. That put him further back than expected, a loss of ground that proved costly.   The time was 1:51 on a warm sunny afternoon as the threatened showers never materialized to spoil the day. Forbidden Trade paid $33.80 to win.   It was the 12th win in 18 starts for the son of Kadabra. He was a $110,000 purchase at the Harrisburg sale.   The Hambletonian kicks off the Trotting Triple Crown. Next up is the Yonkers Trot on Aug. 31, followed by the Kentucky Futurity on Oct. 6.   Earlier in the day, a determined Green Manalishi S pulled a 9-1 upset in the first Hambo elimination. He left strongly from post eight, briefly dropped into fourth before ranging up first-over to wear down Osterc in a lifetime best 1:50.3.   Melander and Courant Inc. also won the second elimination. In a favorite’s delight, it was with Greenshoe, the 1-5 favorite, in 1:50.2.   by Mike Farrell, for the Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Wagering on the Hambletonian Day card at the Meadowlands was up 14.6 percent over the 2018 program. Both cards saw 16 races, but this year's total of $6,501,778 was approximately $800,000 more than the year before. The $6.5 million in action was by far an industry 2019 best. Woodbine at Mohawk Park saw $4.4 million in wagers on March 30 when the track had a huge Super High-Five carryover on a mandatory payout night. The only other $4 million-plus handle this year was at the Big M on Meadowlands Pace Night ($4,044,303). THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT: Those who stayed with Forbidden Trade throughout the Hambletonian Future Wager cashed some nice tickets. With the exception of the first pool ($22.00), Forbidden Trade paid more in legs two ($103.60), three ($40.20) and four ($57.80) than he did in the actual race ($33.80). ... The action in the two 50-Cent Pick-4 pools was predictably vigorous. The pool that covered races eight through 11 saw a meet-best $155,558 put in play, while the second pool (races 13 through 16) had a total pool of $112,948. ... The 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five pool on race 11 (the Hambletonian Oaks) took in a total of $180,236 after the $53,000 carryover was added to the "live" money. ... Harness racing returns to the Meadowlands on Oct. 11. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ -- Greenshoe ($2.60) looked every bit the part of a odds-on favorite in the second Hambletonian elimination harness racing division on Saturday (Aug. 3) at The Meadowlands, seizing command from Marseille with three-eighths to go and coasting to a handy 1:50.2 victory.   Greenshoe threw his head briefly at the start, but Brian Sears held him together before floating him into third behind Marseille (Ãke Svanstedt) and Forbidden Trade (Bob McClure) on the first turn. After clearing from post eight in a :27.3 first quarter, Marseille rebuffed a pocket bid from Forbidden Trade en route to a :56 half before facing the first-over onslaught of Greenshoe on approach to the far turn.   With three-eighths to go, the son of Father Patrick surged to the fore and edged away willingly in the home straight to a wrapped-up two-length score, the seventh of his career.   Don't Let'em (Yannick Gingras) chased well after losing cover to protect second from Forbidden Trade, who switched three-wide from the pocket and accelerated in mid-stretch. Marseille finished fourth, and Pilot Discretion (Andy McCarthy) finished fifth to secure the final berth to the 94th Hambletonian, carded as race 12.   Marcus Melander, whose Green Manalishi S took the first Hambletonian elimination, trains Greenshoe for Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli.   by James Witherite, for the Hambletonian Society

East Rutherford, NJ -- Green Manalishi S ($20.60) outlasted a first-over grind to collar Osterc in 1:50.3 in the first $70,000 Hambletonian harness racing elimination on Saturday (Aug. 3) at The Meadowlands, while fourth-place finisher Gimpanzee suffered defeat for the first time after winning the first 12 races of his career.   Now an eight-time winner, the son of Muscle Hill commenced his uncovered bid out of fourth just beyond a :54.4 half mile, advancing steadily on the far turn in line to Tim Tetrick to engage 30-1 long shot Osterc (Yannick Gingras) at the midpoint of the far turn. The pair dueled the length of the stretch, with Green Manalishi S just reaching in the final strides. Osterc was a game runner-up, while Soul Strong (Dexter Dunn) launched a belated rally down the grandstand side to finish third.   Gimpanzee (Brian Sears), sent off the 2-5 favorite, gapped third-over cover but finished evenly to save fourth, and Cantab Fashion (Scott Zeron) finished fifth.   Marcus Melander trains Green Manalishi S for Courant Inc.   The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $1 million Hambletonian final, carded as race 12 at The Meadowlands.   by James Witherite, for the Hambletonian Society  

During big sporting event weeks across the nation, local communities and businesses usually offer specials on food and drink that surround that particular event to not only promote, but bring in customers. This week is Hambletonian Week in Northern New Jersey, particular Bergen County, and one business is getting in the sulky to help promote harness racing’s biggest day. In a small strip mall on the corner of Westwood Avenue and Rivervale Road in River Vale, Adam’s Bagel Café and Deli is offering up the Hambletonian Sandwich. The sandwich is made up of Boar’s Head pastrami turkey, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and coleslaw on toasted multigrain bread and is also served with a side of macaroni salad, a pickle and a free soda. Price: $7.99. “A friend of mine in upstate New York has a similar sandwich and I just wanted to bring it to New Jersey and the event itself and have it closer to home,” said owner Adam Adel, who has run his Bergen County establishment for 25 years. There is a TV on site and plenty of seating, so if you can’t make it to The Meadowlands on Saturday, stop on over, order the Hambletonian Sandwich - every sandwich order comes with a free Hambletonian hat and watch the 94th edition of the Hambletonian. Adam’s Bagel Café and Deli is located at 655 Westwood Avenue in River Vale and is open from 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday. CBS Sports Network will present a 90-minute telecast of the $1 million Hambletonian, live from the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT). The Hambletonian is the first and most prestigious leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. CBS Sports Network, which has been the broadcast home of the Hambletonian since 2012, also will air the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, and provide coverage of the $280,000 John Cashman Memorial Trot, featuring 2016 Hambletonian and Triple Crown champion Marion Marauder. Adam’s Cafe will remain open later so patrons can watch the Hambletonian on CBS Sports Network. by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society

Trenton, NJ -- David Miller may not be driving one of the more well-known horses in Saturday's (Aug. 3) Hambletonian at The Meadowlands, but he will be driving for one of the more high-profile owners in the race. Miller will be in the sulky behind Reign Of Honor, who has two wins in 21 lifetime races along with four seconds and three thirds. He has won a total of $294,550. This year, Reign Of Honor has one win in the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes in a lifetime best of 1:54.2. He is a son of Father Patrick out of Margarita Momma. While those figures may appear modest when compared to much of the field, the horse will have a pretty famous rooting section at The Meadowlands, as one of his owners is Jennifer Dalton. Fans of Bravo Network will remember Dalton appearing in Pregnant in Heels in 2012 and one year later she was a season-long guest star in The Real Housewives of New Jersey. A friend of Teresa Giudice, one of the show's top stars, Jennifer is also a Sotheby's realtor who appeared on the show while trying to sell a home for Melissa and Joe Gorga, and she counts Lil' Kim as one of her best friends. And when the gate goes up Saturday, Reign Of Honor will have the Housewives on hand to lend vocal support. "All the Housewives crew are going to be there," Dalton said. "The producer wants to do a show with the horses." It's a show that no one would have thought possible just five years ago. Dalton had no interest in horses for most of her life until one day she went to a race at Yonkers, where John Campbell drove her girlfriend's horse. As they were stuck in traffic while leaving, she saw the horse trailers and became obsessed. Rolling down the window she yelled out to a trainer, who happened to be Pat Lachance. He invited her to see the horses and the two became friends. Soon after, she entered the Meadowlands' "Own a Horse" promotion and "won" 10 percent of UF Fast Feelin. Her first race as an owner was Jan. 2, 2016 and she never looked back. In fact, once the contest ended, she claimed the horse. The horse was eventually claimed from Dalton, which broke her heart. "I never owned a claimer again," she said. "I cried." Once Jennifer got involved in Standardbreds, she discovered a different kind of tension than that which occurred amidst the Housewives controversies. "There's drama in both," she said. "But Housewives of New Jersey I got paid. This one, I pay so much money for horses and training, and you just hope you get paid back." Dalton now has a stable of 19 horses at trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman's New Jersey barn. Most of them have something in common -- they honor Jennifer's 5-year-old daughter. "All my horses are named after her," she said. "When you see a 'Reign' somewhere, it comes from us," Dalton's boyfriend Mike Herrera added. Several years ago, Dalton actually brought a horse to Reign's school for show-and-tell. "She had me driving around in a tractor and trailer in Edgewater, N.J., right under the George Washington Bridge," Herrera recalled. Jennifer has completely immersed herself into harness racing. A striking, stylish woman who always looks her best, she surprises folks when they see her cleaning out the stalls. After attending several Hambletonians it became a dream for her to enter a horse in the race. She and Norman staked Reign Of Honor and made the call to enter him. "I'm so happy," said Dalton, who owns the horse with Deo Volente Farms, Tom Pontone, and Kentuckiana Racing Stable. "This horse is so good, he really is. I love this horse." The Hambo is a great morale lifter for Dalton, who suffered a serious stroke at the beginning of last year. She is able to walk and live an everyday life, but is still undergoing speech therapy, and her memory has issues at times. "It was serious, but I'm OK now," she said. Jennifer thinks her horse, who is coming off a sixth-place finish in the Reynolds Memorial and drew the four hole in the second elimination, is pretty OK as well. She and Mike playfully joke about his chances in the Hambo. "You know what, he's a real nice horse, but he's been second to Greenshoe (in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final)," Herrera said. "I don't think we can beat that horse right now. To be honest, I think we're racing for second place." He then directed his conversation to Dalton, saying with a laugh, "You know that; you're a professional, you know that. "A couple of years ago she would have been like 'My horse is the best,' but she realizes the business now, she understands the numbers. I'm just keeping it real." And what is Dalton's version of real? "I want to go for it all!" she said. Either way, it's a big day for the couple. "Imagine," Herrera said, "going from a 10 claimer to a Hambo horse." Sounds like a made-for-TV saga. Mr. Vicktor deserves shot at Hambletonian Tyler Buter doesn't know if his horse can win the Hambletonian, but he knows darn well that he deserves the opportunity to try. Buter will be driving Mr Vicktor out of the five hole in the first elimination Saturday, and he is certain the horse belongs in the field of outstanding competitors. "I thought so early on in the year," Buter said. "They sold him to (trainer) Jennifer Lappe and (husband) John Kokinos and that was the main reason they bought him, to have a horse with the potential to race in the Hambletonian. The only time other than last week that he's been beat was against Gimpanzee, who is one of the top two to win the Hambo in my eyes. When you can keep up and race well against one of the top trotters in the country, there's no reason to believe that he doesn't belong in the Hambletonian." In nine starts this year, Mr Vicktor (RC Royalty-Hawaiian Vicky) has won six and finished second twice. His two seconds were both to Gimpanzee. He made his first Meadowlands start -- in fact, his first start outside of New York -- on July 27 and finished 12th after making a break in the Reynolds. He has rebounded from an abbreviated 2-year-old season, in which he was shut down after breathing issues surfaced. There have been no such issues this season, and Buter felt the Reynolds clunker was an aberration. "He's had a great year; his start last week, I would just throw it out," he said. "It was unfortunate. It was a 12-horse field, two trailers, horses going everywhere in the first turn. It didn't work out. I would not even take that start into consideration and look forward to this week. "He's really good gaited and he has a desire to race. As soon as you turn him to the gate, he wants to go. He's a very willing horse. He's always showed up every week to race." The horse is also owned by Robert Santagata, Diamond Pride LLC (baseball legend Joe Torre) and Joe Lee, and Lee praises the way Buter handles the horse. This will be the driver's Hambletonian debut, although he won the Townsend Ackerman Stakes with Two AM on Hambletonian Day in 2017. "This is something you always look forward to growing up," he said. "It's what you work for. For the trotters, it's the biggest race. It's what you strive for, what you work for all your life. The chance to drive in it at (age) 33 is pretty cool, I think." Forbidden Trade ready for the Hambletonian  Bob McClure won the Dr. John R. Steele Memorial with Dream Together on Hambletonian Day last year, so it was jokingly suggested to him it should be no problem to win his Hambo debut this year. "I wouldn't say that," McClure said with a laugh. "It takes a lot of horsepower and good luck. But it's fun when it does come together." McClure will try and have his fun driving Forbidden Trade out of the one hole in the second elimination. The horse has four wins and two seconds in six starts this year, good for $122,956 in earnings. Last year he won seven of 11 starts and earned $236,244 in winning the O'Brien Award as the top 2-year-old trotting colt of the Year in Canada. The son of Kadabra-Pure Ivory is trained by Luc Blais for owner Serge Godin's Determination Stable. "I don't think he's disappointed anybody yet," McClure said. "He's only been beaten twice. The first time he was on a half (-mile track) and the next time he got locked in. He almost got out to beat Pilot Discretion (in the $185,250 Goodtimes final at Woodbine Mohawk Park). I think every race he's had, he's improved and couldn't be going into the Hambo any better. "I think the sky is the limit for him. He's been a professional from day one. He's made my job easy. If he's in any position to win he usually gets the job done. He's been fun to drive all year. I think he has the potential to be a top Grand Circuit horse." McClure likes Forbidden Trade's versatility, nothing that as a 2-year-old "he just chased horses," and that this year, "out of nowhere in the Goodtimes elim, I left with him. He's very handy either way. He doesn't have a preferred style." On April 25, McClure suffered a broken pelvis in an accident during qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and returned to the sulky May 23 using a hyperbaric chamber three to four times a week to aid his recovery. After all that, needless to say Saturday is a big day for the 28-year-old. "It's exciting," he said. "I definitely never would have thought this two years ago. But I wouldn't be here without Determination Stable. That's a big contribution to it all. I owe it all to them." As for whether last year's Steele victory can help him, McClure said, "It doesn't hurt. Last year we went into it kind of green, but came out OK. I think as long as you've got some good horses and some confidence, you'll be OK." ​by Rich Fisher, for the USTA  

East Rutherford, NJ - FanDuel Sportsbook, sports wagering provider at The Meadowlands Racetrack, has fashioned a list of proposition bets for your wagering pleasure on tomorrow's Hambletonian.   They range from the likelihood of trainer Marcus Melander converting one of his four entrants into his first Hambo win to the possibility of Meadowlands' leading driver Yannick Gingras grabbing the gold ring after years of disappointment.   The list of wagers may be found here.   You may wager right at the FanDuel at The Meadowlands Sportsbook if you should attend the "Greatest Day In Racing" live at the track or open an account online if you are within the confines of the state of New Jersey.   A free program for the entire Hambo card, compliments of The Meadowlands and Trackmaster may be downloaded from the track's website.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Three New York-bred trotters look to solidify their names in harness racing history this weekend in the 94th Hambletonian and 49th Hambletonian Oaks. Gimpanzee, a morning-line favorite, and Mr Vicktor will meet in the first elimination heat, looking to secure their place in the $1 million final later in the card Saturday at Meadowlands Racetrack. Sweet Chapter has drawn the seventh post in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks final. New York Sire Stakes champion Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven-Steamy Windows) is looking to defend a perfect 12-for-12 lifetime record. His three wins so far this year include the Empire Breeders Class and two wins in the NYSS. As a freshman, Gimpanzee received the 2018 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter from the U.S. Harness Writers Association and set a Yonkers track record of 1:56.3 at the NYSS Night of Champions 1:56.3. Gimpanzee is owned by SRF Stable (Lennart Agren), which also won the Hambletonian in 2017 with Perfect Spirit and Courant Inc. He is trained by Marcus Melander and driven by Hall of Famer Brian Sears. Mr Vicktor (RC Royalty - Hawaiian Vicky) will look to get one (or two) over on Gimpanzee, who he has lost to twice this season, in the Empire Breeders Classic and in a leg of the NYSS in July. The second-place finish was Mr Vicktor's only defeat in five NYSS races this season which sees him sitting at the top of the points board with three legs to go. Mr Vicktor's owners include former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre and assistant equipment manager Joe Lee. He is trained by Jennifer Lappe and driven by Tyler Buter. Buter drove Money Shot Hanover to victory in the 2018 NYSS Final for 2YO Filly Pacers. A victory in the final for either would make them the second New York-bred in two years to capture the Hambletonian. Atlanta took the honor last year in 1:50.4, becoming the first filly since 1996 to do so. Sweet Chapter (Chapter Seven-Mom's Sweetie Pie) is representing New York-breds in the Hambletonian Oaks, finishing fifth in her elimination heat to take the final qualifying spot. She took last year's NYSS Consolation Final and is currently in position to qualify for the Night of Champions. A third-place finish in the Empire Breeders Classic Final is also on her list of highlights this season. Sweet Chapter is owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh and Mortgage Boys Stable. Trainer Blake MacIntosh and driver Matt Kakaley both make their Hambletonian Oaks debuts. From the New York Sire Stakes

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands Racetrack will provide free live high-definition streaming of the entire Hambletonian Day card on Saturday, August 3 courtesy of Roberts Television Network (rtn.tv).   Post time for the 16-race card headlined by the $1 million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks is 12:00 p.m.   The live stream will be available at http://www.thebigm.com/video.aspx?id=252 A direct link to the live stream will also be posted on all of Meadowlands Racetrack's social media channels for easy access.   For more information on everything Hambletonian Day visit http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com/hambletonian/ by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

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