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Greenshoe Kicks Off Hambo Hype

Published: May 18, 2019 1:15 am ET

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Let the Hambletonian hype begin.

Greenshoe began his 2019 season by sending a message to the rest of the three-year-old trotters seeking to win harness racing’s greatest prize on the first Saturday in August: He is a force to be reckoned with after putting on a dazzling display in taking his division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes at the Meadowlands Friday night in 1:51.2. The only horse to go faster on the trot this year was 2018 Hambo champ Atlanta, who went 1:50.4 a week ago Monday at Miami Valley.

“His manners were good,” said Brian Sears, who drove the Marcus Melander trainee. “We were happy with him. He was a little high strung while scoring before the race, but then he came back to me. He relaxed after that. I think he’s starting to get it.”

During his two-year-old season, the son of Father Patrick-Designed To Be won half of his four starts despite going off stride in each and every one of them. Sears handled Greenshoe carefully at the start Friday, as in 2018, he went off stride three times before the start of his races.

There was none of that on this night.

Greenshoe sat a four-hole for the first five-eighths before vacating the rail and going after leader Sheenas Boy, who hit the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.1 on an open lead. “I took a peek and saw they were going a little bit,” said Sears. “When I tipped him, he went up there.”

The 2018 NJSS champion quickly got himself into contention and was charging after the leader coming toward the top of the stretch. Sears barely moved a muscle as Greenshoe, who paid $3 as the post-time choice, rolled by his over-matched foes during a final quarter of :26.2 to score by 3-1/2 widening lengths while lowering his previous lifetime best by two and one-fifth seconds. Sheenas Boy held second with Battenberg third.

“He’s a natural,” said Sears. “He’s got some gears that most horses don’t have.”

In the other NJSS division for sophomore male trotters, Soul Strong scored in 1:53 at odds of 15-1 for trainer Ake Svanstedt and driver Yannick Gingras.

Canadian co-owned Evident Beauty scored in the first of two three-year-old filly trots for trainer Nifty Norman and driver Dave Miller in 1:53.3 as the 8-5 favourite.

The Lucas Wallin-trained Queen Of Trixs took the other division in 1:55.4 for driver Andy McCarthy at odds of 6-1.

A LITTLE MORE: Gingras and McCarthy both recorded driving triples on the program. … The 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4 took in $47,911 in wagers, and those who had the winning combination of 2-2-4-3 collected $67.15 for a ticket that included three favourites. … One bettor in Ontario was the only player to hold a winning ticket in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $14,085.04 for lasting eight legs. … All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,500,166. … Big M gates open at 9:30 a.m. for Preakness Day. Post time for the first at Pimlico is 10:30 a.m. while the Preakness is slated to go at 6:48 p.m. … Live racing at the Meadowlands resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

(Meadowlands Racetrack)

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