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Hambo Eligible Turning The Corner?

Published: May 21, 2015 11:17 am ET

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“He had to get over some aches and pains last year. It’s more mental than anything with him now. The next couple of starts will tell with him.”

Most trainers would be happy if their prized pupil started their three-year-old season with an impressive win, but Nik Drennan continues to describe Guess Whos Back as a work in progress.

“He was good and I was happy, just not 100 per cent happy,” said Drennan in describing his colt’s win in last week’s opening leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack. “He put in a few steps around the first turn so we’re just trying to work some things out. He has to get over his issues. We need to get him on a regular routine of racing so that we can build his confidence and get him stronger both mentally and physically.”

Guess Whos Back has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favourite in the second leg of the NJSS, which is the co-feature on the Meadowlands’ 12-race Friday program. Brian Sears will drive the Muscles Yankee colt. The other opening-leg winner, French Laundry, was given the week off by trainer Jimmy Takter.

Guess Whos Back sold for $90,000 as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale. His dam is a half sister to millionaire Breeders Crown champion Poof Shes Gone. He is owned by Joseph Davino in partnership with Brad Shackman, TLP Stable and J&T Silva Stables.

Drennan said he has never had a horse as good as Guess Whos Back, yet he is far from a finished product. He flashed major talent last year, winning his $100,000 NJSS Final, but also frustrated Drennan by going off-stride in four starts.

“He was pretty big,” explained Drennan. “Last year he looked like a four-year-old and was racing against horses that were half his size. Now he probably looks like a five-year-old. He had to get over some aches and pains last year. It’s more mental than anything with him now. The next couple of starts will tell with him.”

Friday’s card also includes the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and an Open Handicap for pacing mares that serves as the seasonal debut of stakes-winning four-year-olds Sandbetweenurtoes and Act Now. There is a carryover of $124,509 in the race five Jackpot Super High 5 and $96,746 in the last race Jackpot Super High 5. Post time is 7:15 p.m.


With the eyes of the racing world fixed upon American Pharoah and his quest for thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, the Meadowlands is going to give one of its fans a trip of a lifetime. Fans visiting the Meadowlands during live racing can enter to win a VIP trip to the Belmont Stakes. The prize package includes clubhouse seating for four, dining in the Marquee Tent, and a parking pass. The winner will be drawn May 29. Fans must be present to win the grand prize.

(Meadowlands Racetrack)

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