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Hambletonian Gets 18 Entrants

Published: August 1, 2016 6:05 pm ET

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Southwind Frank will start from post 5 in the second of two Hambletonian eliminations while Bar Hopping will start from post 1 in the remaining elimination when 18 hopefuls meet Saturday (Aug. 6) at the Meadowlands for the 91st edition of harness racing’s premier event for three-year-old trotters.

The Hambletonian format calls for any eliminations to be contested the same day as the final. A total of 18 horses entered this year’s event, requiring two $70,000 eliminations from which the top five finishers in each division advance to the final. The winner of the $1 million final is the Hambletonian champion.

Cable channel CBS Sports Network will air live coverage of the Hambletonian from 4:00-5:30 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday. The U.S. Pacing Championship and Hambletonian Oaks also will be featured during the 90-minute broadcast. First race post time on Hambletonian Day is 12 noon.

Southwind Frank, who will have regular driver Yannick Gingras in the sulky for trainer Ron Burke, was made the 4-5 morning line favourite in his elimination. Bar Hopping, with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Jimmy Takter, was made the 9-5 choice in the first division.

The season-long favourite to win the Hambletonian and the top-ranked horse in the Hoof Beats Comprehensive Trotting Predictive Rankings, Southwind Frank enters the event off a 1:52.1 victory in the slop Saturday night (July 30) in the Reynolds Memorial Stakes at the Meadowlands. It was Southwind Frank’s fifth win in six starts this season and his 16th in 18 lifetime races. He is owned by the Southwind Frank Partners, a group that includes Burke, and has earned $1.35 million in his career.

In 2015, Southwind Frank received both the U.S.’s Dan Patch and Canada’s O’Brien awards for best two-year-old male trotter.

Southwind Frank, a son of 2009 Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, gives Burke a top Hambletonian contender for the second consecutive year. Last year, filly Mission Brief won her elimination and finished second to Pinkman in the final.

“I’m very happy with the draw; I think it’s a perfect spot for him,” said Shannon “Murph” Murphy, Burke’s assistant trainer in New Jersey. “He came out of his race last week very good and has been awesome so far this week. He was very good in his last start and was wrapped up. Yannick was happy. He said it’s the best he’s been since the New Jersey Sire Stakes final (on June 4). We’re happy.”

Burke also will send Make Or Miss to the Hambletonian.

Takter is going for an unprecedented third consecutive win in the Hambletonian and would equal the record for career victories with a triumph Saturday. Takter will send five horses to the Hambletonian: Bar Hopping, Lagerfeld, Love Matters, Jimmy William, and Reigning Moni.

Bar Hopping holds the distinction of being the only horse to win a race in which Southwind Frank competed. Bar Hopping won a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes last year when Southwind Frank went off stride and in June defeated Southwind Frank by a neck in their elimination for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. Southwind Frank rebounded to win the Beal final, with Bar Hopping finishing third.

Also a son of Muscle Hill, out of the mare Cocktail Hour, Bar Hopping has won three of 17 career races and hit the board a total of 12 times. He heads to the Hambletonian off a win in the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial on July 24 at Vernon Downs.

“Bar Hopping is my best chance,” Takter said. “I think this year is very open. Southwind Frank stands out a little bit more maybe than most, but I think the game is wide open. I like Bar Hopping. I think he can go with both (Southwind Frank and Marion Marauder). I think I have him on the right plan. I’m really happy with how he’s progressing. This is the week we’ve been shooting for with him for two years.”

The second choice at 3-1 in Southwind Frank’s elimination is Marion Marauder.

Marion Marauder, another son of Muscle Hill, has won four of five races this year, including the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, and five of 18 in his career while earning more than $577,000. He is trained by the husband-and-wife team of Mike Keeling and Paula Wellwood and is owned by Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling.

Last year the colt finished second to Southwind Frank in the Breeders Crown and William Wellwood Memorial. The Wellwood is named in honour of Paula Wellwood’s late father, who was a renowned trainer-driver and is enshrined in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Other trainers with multiple entries in the event are Julie Miller (Milligans School and Sutton) and Ake Svanstedt (Mavens Way and The Royal Harry).

In addition to drawing the Hambletonian on Monday afternoon (Aug. 1) at the Meadowlands, draws were conducted for the Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, Cane Pace, and U.S. Pacing Championship.

Top older pacers Always B Miki, Wiggle It Jiggleit, and Freaky Feet Pete will meet in the U.S. Pacing Championship.

Filly Pure Country will challenge the boys, including Meadowlands Pace winner Control The Moment, in the Cane Pace. The race attracted 11 entries, so it will be contested at the extended distance of 1-1/8 miles. Pure Country was last year’s Dan Patch Award winner for best two-year-old female pacer and has won 16 of 19 career races.

First $70,000 Hambletonian elim - Race 8 - Post Time: 2:58 p.m.
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Odds
1. Bar Hopping – Tim Tetrick – Jimmy Takter – 9/5
2. Lagerfeld – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter – 12/1
3. Make Or Miss – Joe Bongiorno – Ron Burke – 20/1
4. Milligans School – Andy Miller – Julie Miller – 10/1
5. Brooklyn Hill – David Miller – Jonas Czernyson – 3/1
6. Mavens Way – John Campbell – Ake Svanstedt – 6/1
7. Tight Lines – Jeff Gregory – Jeff Gregory – 25/1
8. Iron Mine Bucky – George Dennis – Greg Haverstick – 15/1
9. Reigning Moni – David Miller – Jimmy Takter – 4/1

Second $70,000 Hambletonian elim - Race 9 - Post Time: 3:25 p.m.
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Odds
1. Jimmy William – Tim Tetrick – Jimmy Takter – 20/1
2. The Royal Harry – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 20/1
3. Sutton – Andy Miller – Julie Miller – 6/1
4. Marion Marauder – Scott Zeron – Paula Wellwood – 3/1
5. Southwind Frank – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 4/5
6. Hollywood Highway – John Campbell – Staffan Lind – 30/1
7. Dominion Beach – Bjorn Goop – Nancy Johansson – 30/1
8. Love Matters – Brett Miller – Jimmy Takter – 12/1
9. Waitlifter K – David Miller – Andrew Harris – 10/1

$273,000 John Cashman Memorial - Race 6 – Post time: 2:07 p.m.
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer
1. Flanagan Memory – Chris Christoforou – Rene Dion
2. Crazy Wow – Tim Tetrick – Ron Burke
3. Crescent Fashion – Scott Zeron – Ake Svanstedt
4. Homicide Hunter – Eric Goodell – Chris Oakes
5. Resolve – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt
6. Obrigado – Mark MacDonald – Paul Kelley
7. JL Cruze – John Campbell – Eric Ell
8. Il Sogno Dream – Scott Zeron – Chris Beaver
9. Honor And Serve – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt
10. Canepa Hanover – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter

$285,000 Cane Pace - Race 7 – Post time 2:32 p.m.
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer
1. Check Six – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke
2. Manny – Corey Callahan – Jessica Okusko
3. JK Will Power – David Miller – Ron Burke
4. Control The Moment – Brian Sears – Brad Maxwell
5. Adrian Hanover – Eric Goodell – Chris Oakes
6. Manhattan Beach – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke
7. Highlandbeachycove – Tim Tetrick – Tony Alagna
8. Ideal Rocky – Corey Callahan – John Butenschoen
9. American Passport – Scott Zeron – Tony Alagna
10. Big Top Hanover – TBA – Ron Burke
11. Pure Country - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter

$233,000 U.S. Pacing Championship - Race 11 – Post time 4:14 p.m.
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Odds
1. Dealt A Winner – Andy Miller – Mark Silva – 15/1
2. Shamballa – Scott Zeron – Rick Zeron – 12/1
3. Always B Miki – David Miller – Jimmy Takter – 3/5
4. Freaky Feet Pete – Trace Tetrick – Larry Rheinheimer – 5/1
5. All Bets Off – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke – 20/1
6. Wiggle It Jiggleit – Montrell Teague – Clyde Francis – 3/1
7. Melmerby Beach – TBA – Ettore Annunziata – 30/1

$500,000 Hambletonian Oaks - Race 12 – Post time 4:41 p.m.
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Odds
1. Caprice Hill – Tim Tetrick – Tony Alagna – 5/2
2 . Celebrity Eventsy – John Campbell – Staffan Lind – 6/1
3. Dream Child – Scott Zeron – Linda Toscano – 30/1
4. Side Bet Hanover – Corey Callahan – Jonas Czernyson – 8/1
5. Windowshopper – Brian Sears – Ake Svanstedt – 40/1
6. All The Time – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter – 9/5
7. Broadway Donna – David Miller – Jim Campbell – 7/2
8. Wildflower – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 30/1
9. Black Broadway – Brett Miller – Michael Eaton – 50/1
10. Double Exposure – Tim Tetrick – Tony Alagna – 15/1

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

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