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Handicapper Blog

Posted by Ken Warkentin on Sunday, December 09, 2012 9:06 PM

2013 Hambletonian Winterbook 

  

There have been three undefeated freshman trotters in the past 11 years, Broadway Hall, Cantab Hall and Deweycheatumnhowe, and only the latter kept his string alive while becoming the first undefeated Hambletonian winner in 2008 at 15 in a row.  Broadway Hall went nine-for-nine at two and never raced again due to injury.  Like Dewey, Cantab Hall also went 10-for-10 as a freshman, won his first two starts at three, but had to settle for second in the 2004 Hambletonian.  Now, a son of Cantab Hall heads the Top 10 list of 2013 Hambletonian prospects:  Wheeling N Dealin, who went nine-for-nine with a Breeders Crown win at Woodbine.   

  

1-Wheeling N Dealin – The Ontario-based sensation capped his unblemished two-year-old campaign with a less-than-dominant win in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine.  After Sylvain Filion brushed to the lead through a :57.4 half, the colt only needed a :29.2 final quarter to hold on in 1:56.  He won his elimination in 1:55.1 (:27.3) from post eight.  Filion declared him an amazing animal with all the right qualities.  The $100,000 yearling, bred by William Weaver’s Valley High Stable of Freehold, NJ and trained by Dustin Jones, also posted major wins in the Champlain Stakes in a career best of 1:55 and the William Wellwood Memorial in 1:55.3.  He bankrolled $696,112 for Ecurie Synergie of Montreal, Quebec.  Filion and Jones teamed up with 2012 Hambletonian finalist Prestidigitator (eighth, placed seventh), and look for a vastly improved result on August 3. 

  

2-Royalty For Life – In 2006, RC Royalty was a Hambletonian contender until he broke stride in his elimination.  Now he seeks a measure of revenge with a colt from his second crop, and Royalty For Life is his best to date.  The homebred went from the smaller tracks of the NYSS circuit and blossomed into a Grand Circuit winner at The Red Mile in 1:54.2 from post eight.  He finished a strong second to Wheeling N Dealin in both his elimination and the final of the Breeders Crown for trainer George Ducharme.  Tetrick called him a perfect horse, acts and drives like an aged horse and gives 100% every time.  Co-owner Paul Fontaine is the President of Harness Tracks of America and has raced horses for more than 40 years. 

  

3-Fashion Blizzard – The Fashion Farm homebred by Credit Winner-Fun And Strokes was a pretty consistent winner in NYSS, winning three divisions and went wire-to-wire in the final at Yonkers in 1:57.4 for Jim Morrill, Jr.  He took a mark of 1:54.3 at The Red Mile, and also finished a solid third from post 10 in the Peter Haughton Memorial.  Trainer Jim Campbell has noted this colt can be a handful, and, unfortunately, he had trouble behind the gate at Woodbine, and broke in both his Breeders Crown elimination (a pari mutual refund) and the final.  Nevertheless, Fashion Blizzard hit the board in 10 of 12 starts and earned $302,439 for the Tagliabue team of Campbell and Jules Siegel, who sent out Stormin Normand (ninth) in the 2012 Hambletonian.  They have two other prospects in Hall Of Muscles and Possessed Fashion. 

  

4-Murmur Hanover – The Ontario-sired colt by Majestic Son was a force in OSS, winning two Gold Finals and finished second to Wheeling N Dealin in the William Wellwood Memorial.  He also finished third from post nine in the Breeders Crown.  Campaigned by brothers Mario and Benoit Baillargeon, the $70,000 Harrisburg yearling broke in three of his last four starts, and Benoit noted he’s an aggressive colt that needs to leave the gate his way and then settles down.  He did hit the board in nine of 14, earned $418,955 and took a mark of 1:55.2, while racing exclusively in Canada for Quebec owner Richard Berthiaume.   

  

5-Donyouforgetit – Here’s another Cantab Hall colt out of 2004 two-year-old filly champion Solveig for Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, and whatever he lacked in size, he more than made up for in speed, versatility and determination.  After receiving a bye into the Breeders Crown, he challenged first over, broke and finished eighth.  However, his six wins in ten starts included the PASS Championship in 1:55.2 at The Meadows and a world record of 1:55.3 in the Standardbred at Delaware.  He also finished second to Royalty For Life at The Red Mile and piled up $337,837.  Takter had three solid shots heading into the 2012 Hambletonian, he just missed driving his first Hambo winner when Guccio finished a close second, plus he had the favorite, Uncle Peter, who broke stride.  Little Brown Fox faltered in his elimination, yet still pushed past the $1 million mark in career earnings.    

  

6-Aperfectyankee – There have only been two Peter Haughton Memorial winners to come back to win the Hambletonian, and they were both voted Horse of the Year, Donato Hanover and Muscle Hill.  Hence, 2012 Haughton upsetter Aperfectyankee has some big shoes to fill.  The son of Yankee Glide, who sold for $55,000 as a yearling in Lexington, came up with the fastest mile in his division (1:54.1) on Hambletonian Day.  Swedish owner/trainer/driver Jim Oscarsson, who now resides in Florida, shut him down after he faded to sixth as the heavy favorite in an elimination for William Wellwood Memorial.  So, we’ll see if the lightly raced Aperfectyankee can resurface at the top level a year after his dramatic score. 

  

7-Major Athens – This Andover Hall colt won his Peter Haughton Memorial elimination in 1:56, then brushed to the lead and faded to sixth as the beaten favorite in that final for Brian Sears and trainer Rich Gillock.  The Pennsylvania-based colt did rally to win a division of the Bluegrass in 1:56.3, and finished second in the PASS Championship.  He received a bye into the Breeders Crown, broke and finished seventh.  Gillock did note his best asset is his manners.  The homebred for Thomas Brice and Charles Receski took a mark of 1:55, won seven of 13, hit the board in 10 of 13 and banked $309,786. 

  

8-Corky – Here’s another Jimmy Takter trainee who had three wins and four seconds in seven starts, and earned $227,297.  The son of Muscles Yankee colt romped in the NJSS Final in 1:57 with Dave Miller on August 17, and that was the last time he raced.  He also finished second by a neck in the Peter Haughton Memorial.  The $100,000 Lexington-Selected Sale yearling is co-owned by brothers John and Jim Fielding, who finished second in 2012 with Guccio and had the beaten favorite, Uncle Peter.  

  

9-Pine Credit – This son of Credit Winner, a product of the NYSS circuit, served notice when he romped in a 1:54.3 division of the International Stallion Stake at  The Red Mile with 25-year-old Laverne Miller driving for trainer Erv Miller (no relation).  The $19,000 Lexington-Selected Sale yearling won five of 13 starts and $153,082. 

  

10-Your So Vain – This Donato Hanover colt only made five starts and his lone win came in a division of the International Stallion Stake at The Red Mile in 1:55 with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Brad Maxwell.  The $60,000 Harrisburg yearling banked $55,995 and finished third to Wheeling N Dealin in his Breeders Crown elimination, then broke and finished ninth in that final.  Maxwell also has $277,003 winner Creampuff Macdaddy;  the bulk of his earnings coming when he was second, placed first in the $300,000 OSS Super Final. 

  

Also:  My Man Can, Caveat Emptor, Majestized, Creampuff Macdaddy, Text Winner, Dewycolorintheline, All Laid Out, Creatine, Hall Of Muscles, Possessed Fashion 

 

 



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Blogger Bio

Ken
Warkentin

Ken Warkentin has been a member of the award-winning broadcast team at Meadowlands Racetrack as the Track Announcer and television commentator for almost 20 years. Ken has appeared on national television networks such as ESPN, called 11 editions of the $1.5 million Hambletonian, and worked as a member of the broadcast team for NBC Sports and CBS Sports.

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