It will take three elimination dashes to decide the field for the 2012 Hambletonian.
Twenty-five sophomore colts and geldings were entered for Saturday’s eliminations at the Meadowlands. The top three finishers in each, plus the richest fourth-place finisher, will advance to the $1.5 million Hambletonian final on Saturday, August 4.
Jimmy Takter’s stable will be well-represented in the elims by Stanley Dancer Memorial winners Uncle Peter and Little Brown Fox and Dancer runner-up Guccio. Uncle Peter, the 2011 Breeders Crown champion, wired the field in his Dancer division in 1:53.1 on July 14. He drew post four in the first of the $70,000 Hambletonian eliminations, race five. Little Brown Fox also crushed his Dancer competition on the front end with a sparkling 1:51.2 effort, besting his stablemate, Guccio, by three and a half lengths. Little Brown Fox will start from post nine in the third elimination, race eight, while Guccio has post three in the second elim, race six.
Illinois invader Riccolo proved his readiness for the Hambletonian elims last week as he kept his perfect nine-race record this season in tact with a 1:54.3 win in an open trot at the Meadowlands. Walter Paisley developed the colt, while driver-trainer Trond Smedshammer took over the reins after his recent purchase by Norwegian connections. Riccolo will start from post seven in the second elim.
Also vying for a spot in the $1.5 million final are Archangel, winner of seven straight races, including the Yonkers Trot in a 1:54.1 world record, and 2011 divisional champion Possess The Will, whose sophomore campaign was delayed due to illness.
Superstar filly Check Me Out scared off the competition for the $714,050 Hambletonian Oaks. Just 13 others were willing to take on the 1:51.3 world record holder trained by Ray Schnittker. The top five finishers in each $35,000 elimination will advance to the Oaks final on August 4.
The fields for the Hambletonian eliminations, Saturday, July 28 at the Meadowlands:
PP Horse Driver Trainer
1 Banker Volo David Miller Erv Miller
2 Possess The Will Tim Tetrick Jim Campbell
3 Money On My Mind Andy Miller Julie Miller
4 Uncle Peter Ron Pierce Jimmy Takter
5 Magic Tonight Ron Pierce Noel Daley
6 Lindys Jersey Boy Brian Sears Frank Antonacci
7 From Above Corey Callahan Greg Peck
8 Prestidigitator Sylvain Filion Dusty Jones
PP Horse Driver Trainer
1 Lightning Storm John Campbell Jonas Czernyson
2 Stormin Normand Dave Palone Jim Campbell
3 GuccioJimmy Takter Jimmy Takter
4 Beer Summit George Brennan Noel Daley
5 My Mvp Mike Lachance Tony Alagna
6 Knows Nothing Jody Jamieson Jeff Gillis
7 Riccolo Trond Smedshammer Trond Smedshammer
8 One In A Million Brian Sears Chuck Sylvester
1 Big ChocolateHomer Hochstetler Homer Hochstetler
2 Top Billing Andy Miller Julie Miller
3 DelanoRay Schnittker Ray Schnittker
4 Gym Tan Laundry George Brennan Noel Daley
5 Solvato Trond Smedshammer Trond Smedshammer
6 Market Share Tim Tetrick Linda Toscano
7 Archangel Jim Morrill Peter Arrigenna
8 Appomattox Tim Tetrick Frank Antonacci
9 Little Brown Fox Yannick Gingras Jimmy Takter
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