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Smedshammer Duo Aims For Glory

Published: October 26, 2016 7:02 pm ET

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Trond Smedshammer is going against his philosophy not once, but twice this week. So far, it seems to be working out.

Smedshammer has qualified two Purple Haze Stables horses for the $600,000 Breeders Crown for two-year-old filly trotters, as Chezatter and Hillarmbro will both compete in this Saturday’s final at The Meadowlands.

“We usually don’t race two-year-olds at this time of year, but this filly has been good all year,” Smedshammer said of Chezatter. “Hillarmbro is just good. She’s not as experienced as Chezatter, but she’s good. The breed has changed a little bit the last few years; they get to their speed so quickly.”

Chezatter, a filly by Explosive Matter out of the Malabar Man mare Chez Lucie, has hit the board in nine of 10 starts, with four firsts and four seconds. She has won $175,062 and has had David Miller in the sulky for eight of her last nine races. Smedshammer has driven her other races.

“This filly is very talented, so I didn’t see a reason not to give her a chance,” Smedshammer said.

In the October 21 Breeders Crown elimination, Chezatter sprinted from the pocket down the stretch to overtake Ariana G for first-place in a career-best 1:53.4. Smedshammer was not surprised at her late burst.

“Not with that kind of trip,” he said. “I thought if their positions were reversed in the Doherty, she might have gone by then [in a second-place finish]. She just loves to chase down horses. She’s been good all year.”

Hillarmbro, a Muscle Hill filly out of the Dream Vacation mare Armbro Emma, has not been good all year, but has certainly come on strong after the first month. Her first two races produced one fourth, but she won her next three, took second in Bluegrass and International Stallion Stakes divisions at Lexington, and was third in her Breeders Crown elimination. The filly has earned $50,187.

“She just needs to learn a little bit,” said Smedshammer, who has been Hillarmbro’s only driver. "She’s gotten a little bit too aggressive. She wants to beat horses, but she wants to beat them right away. She’s got to learn to cool down a little bit.”

Smedshammer said he was happy with her in the elimination, despite the fact she did not steer completely straight in the stretch.

“I had to keep checking her a little bit and it was tough for me to go by,” he said. “But she had a lot of trot and she’ll be good [in the final].”

Thats All Moni was the other elimination winner, even though driver Tim Tetrick didn’t feel the race worked out the way he thought.

“But that’s horse racing,” Tetrick said. “She’s got enough talent to go with anybody. She just has to get the right trip. I think she’s going to get better every start.”

Trained by Jimmy Takter, Thats All Moni is a daughter of Cantab Hall out of the Pine Chip mare Moms Millionaire. She has hit the board in each of her 10 career starts with five wins and earnings of $250,459. She lowered her mark to 1:54.1 with the Breeders Crown elimination victory.

Another driver who didn’t get the elimination race he was expecting was Charlie Norris, who managed to get a game Treviso into the final when she finished second to Thats All Moni.

“I had to use her pretty hard in the second quarter to get to the lead, but she hung in there,” said Norris, also the horse’s trainer. “It wasn’t much of a last quarter, but being off a couple weeks, she fought back at the wire. She raced really well, I thought.”

By Muscle Massive out of the Taurus Dream mare Valbonela, Treviso has won five of 10 starts with two seconds and a third for $149,569. She won divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion Stakes before taking second in her Breeders Crown elimination.

“She was very good in Lexington,” Norris said. “She’s minding her manners now and she seems pretty good. I re-rigged her a little bit and she seems to be fine. She’s driving two fingers in the race. I couldn’t ask for anything more, she’s absolutely perfect to drive.”

In looking at the final, Norris is cautiously optimistic.

“Both of Trond’s fillies are tough, they’re on top of their games,” he said. “Jimmy [Takter] has got a couple nice fillies [Thats All Moni and Ariana G]. It’s tough. It’s going to depend on the draw and the first three-eighths of a mile.

“I feel really good going into the final. She trained good the last few weeks and hopefully we can get one more good week out of her.”

(USTA)


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