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ARIANNA G, MAGIC PRESTO WIN HAMBLETONIAN OAKS ELIMINATIONS

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) won the first of two $40,438 elimination races for the August 5 $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for three year-old trotting fillies on Saturday at The Meadowlands in a time of 1:51.3 by two lengths.

Ice Attraction and Ake Svanstadt were first to the lead at the :27.2 first quarter, with 1-5 favorite Ariana G well off that pace in fifth. Glitzy Gal was off the rail to challenge for the lead just past the quarter and got that lead by the :55.1 half, with Ice Attraction behind her along the rail. Glitzy Gal made a break just past the half, leaving Ice Attraction, at 103-1, to inherit the lead.

By the 1:23.3 three quarters, Ice Attraction was on the lead, with Ariana G now moved up to second over behind Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan). As the field turned for home, Gingras fanned wide with Ariana G and those two trotted past all the fillies in front of them for the win.
Dream Together (Daniel Dube) was second and Sunshine Delight third.

"I had an option open going into the first turn and there were a lot of leavers,” said Gingras. “So I took my time and she is beautiful to drive, so she let me drive anyway I want. Not my decision ( to choose the Oaks or the Hambletonian with the colts), whatever they go, filly or colt, I can tell you one thing, I'm definitely going to drive her. So it doesn't matter what division they choose to go in, I will be sitting behind her."

Gingras has driven now four fillies for the Takter Stable in the Oaks, and has yet to win. Asked if he thinks Araina G might be the best of the that bunch, he said, “Yes I think she is. This is the first time I think we are going into the Oaks as the favorite. Oaks or Hambo, any of them sounds good to me."

Ariana G is trained by Jimmy Takter and is owned by her breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.

In the second division, Magic Presto and Brian Sears won in 1:52.1 by a half length to get their chance at the Oaks.

Feed Your Head (Yannick Gingras) was first to the lead at the :28.2 first quarter, with Hillarmbro (Trond Smedshammer) tucked in behind him with eventual race winner, Magic Presto in third. Just past that marker, Magic Presto was off the rail and trotting for the lead, grabbing it before the :56 half.

Hillarmbro tipped off the rail to try for the lead at the five eighths, with Overdraft Volo behind her, but Magic Presto held that lead to the 1:24.1 three quarters and into the homestretch. Feed Your Head was trapped along the rail behind her and inside Hillarmbro, shook loose to make up ground late, but not enough to pass Magic Presto.

"We have our hands full with her (Ariana G, the other elimination winner), said Sears. “She looks very good no question about it. My filly was a little peculiar tonight. She was just looking at everything and usually she is very relaxed, but maybe all of the commotion tonight had her on her heels a little bit."

Magic Presto is owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee and Little E LLC. And trained by Richard Norman. That’s All Moni was scratched out of the race.

The top five in each field advanced to the final, so the field is: Ariana G, Dream Together, Sunshine Delight, Fine Tuned Lady and Dream Baby Dream, Magic Presto, Feed Your Head, Southwind Avanti, Overdraft Volo and Caviart Wonder. Elimination winners draw for posts one through five on Tuesday, August 1.

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