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Hambletonian News Centre

Published: August 2, 2008 10:37 pm ET

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The $1.5 million Hambletonian takes place this afternoon at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. All of the up-to-date information surrounding the event is right here.

Dewey Does It!

Deweycheatumnhowe and trainer-driver Ray Schnittker made harness racing history as the first undefeated horse to win the $1.5 million Hambletonian on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands.

Schnittker fired his prized colt, who was 14-for-14 heading into today's event, to the front from the rail position and reached the opening quarter in :26.4, with second favourite Crazed (Tim Tetrick) looming large in the pocket. The first over attack came from David Miller and longshot Velocity Hall, and that moved towed Clerk Magistrate (Jody Jamieson) into striking position second over through a :55 half and 1:23.2 three-quarters.

Sensing the cover was starting to stall, Jamieson tipped three-wide and launched his bid around the final turn. As the field hit the stretch, Velocity Hall faded and Tetrick found room with Crazed. At this point, Schnittker urged "Dewey" on with a heavy drive as Crazed started to close the gap, but the pocket trip wasn't enough as Deweycheatumnhowe dug deep to trip the timer in a lifetime best 1:52 over a track rated as good. Crazed finished three-parts of a length back in second with Schnittker's other entry Make It Happen (Dan Dube) closing well for third.

"Crazed was getting to him pretty good, but [Deweycheatumnhowe] refused to let him get by," said Schnittker after the win. "It's OK if i die now because I got [the Hambo win].

"The front end wasn't great. I thought he night get beat halfway down the lane, he might have had a few shoes loose. A quarter of the way down the lane I pushed him as much as he could go."

Now unbeaten in 15 lifetime starts, Deweycheatumnhowe is a three-year-old son of Muscles Yankee from the Speedy Somolli mare Trolley Square. Schnittker co-owns the colt with Ted Gewertz of New York, Charles Iannazzo of Tappan, New York and the Deweycheatumnhowe Stable of Lexington, Ky.

Co-owner Frank Baldasarre lauded the efforts of 'Dewey' and Schnittker after the win. "Ray is a great guy. Bravo to him! I was never anxious, I saw him go to the lead, and once he's there he doesn't let anyone by."

The Hambletonian win marks the first for Schnittker as a trainer and a driver, and the first for sire Muscles Yankee - who himself won the Hambo in 1998.

Darlins Delight Gutsy in Golden Girls

Darlins Delight and driver Yannick Gingras dug deep to fend off a ferocious stretch kick from My Little Dragon and capture Saturday's $232,000 Golden Girls Pacing Mares Free-For-All at the Meadowlands.

With Street Dancer (Andy Miller) flashing her usual early speed, Darlins Delight was able to sit the pocket through a :27 opener and a :54.4 half with no movement from the backfield. Past the half, Tim Tetrick started a first-over attack with Tidewaterdragonfly and on that mare's back was favoured My Little Dragon (Brian Sears).

That move forced the hand of Gingras, and he pulled the pocket before the three-quarter station and engaged the leader in battle. Darlins Delight disposed of Street Dancer just past the 1:22.4 third split but then had to deal with the late kick rallies of Tidewaterdragonfly and My Little Dragon. Under a full-out drive, Gingras and Darlins Delight proved to be dead-game and tripped the timer in 1:49.2, just a head better than My Little Dragon with Tidewaterdragonfly staying for third.

"Sometimes you have to make moves that don't look so good," said driver Gingras regarding his strategy, "but Andy's horse didn't look too good at the five-eighths.

When asked if Darlins Delight was turning a corner with her performance, Gingras stated "I know they had problems getting her blood straight. But she's the best horse I've ever sat behind, and I certainly hope she'll be back next year."

Darlins Delight (Bettors Delight - Town Pro), owned by White Birch Farm of New York and trained by Jeff Stafford, is a winner of more than $2.2 million lifetime.

Tiz A Masterpiece A Holmes Hero

Tiz A Masterpiece hauled home a new lifetime mark, the biggest payday of his career and some Oliver Wendell Holmes hardware following his 1:49 score in today's $210,000 affair for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings at The Meadowlands.

Andy Miller, who is in the midst of a very productive day having already won the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks with Creamy Mimi, quarter-poled to the front with the Blair Burgess-trained son of Western Hanover and never looked back once he cleared.

He sped past the mid-way point in :53.3 after clearing Lis Deo (Brian Sears), who cut the opening fraction in :26.1. Next up was the three-quarter pole in 1:21.1 followed by a :27.4 final frame en route to the 1:49 decision.

Lis Deo, the younger brother to Lis Mara (1:47.3 - $2,270,674), was a determined runner-up in his first start of the season. Harley D Hanover (Yannick Gingras) rallied late to grab the show dough.

Bred by Kentuckiana Farms and owned by Kentuckiana Racing stable of Lexington, Kentucky, Tiz A Masterpiece now boasts a 5-1-0 record in 12 starts. Despite being unraced as a rookie, the colt has banked $198,800 to date.

Napoleon Dynamite in Townsend Ackerman

With an explosive late kick down the stretch, Yonkers Trot winner Napoleon gave Brian Sears his fifth win on the card in the $50,000 Townsend Ackerman Invitational for three-year-old trotters.

Big Boy Lloyd (David Miller) was first off the wings to take command and hit the first panel in :27, but the lead was short-lived as Di Manggio (Cat Manzi) and Guida Muscles (John Campbell) took turns on the lead through a hot opening half of :54.4. As the backfield started to make up ground approaching three-quarters, Miller was forced out of third by Star Ledger (Steve Smith), with Sears on that one's helmet through three-quarters in 1:24.4.

Big Boy Lloyd passed Guida Muscles around the final turn and appeared to pull away on the field but Sears had other ideas. He tipped Napoleon off cover and was charging hard down the lane to power past the leader and hit the wire three lengths to the good in a lifetime best 1:53. Big Boy Lloyd stayed for second with Star Ledger finishing third.

It was the tenth lifetime win for Napoleon (Credit Winner - Growth Spurt) who is trained by Noel Daley for owners Sid Korn, John Guarniere and Kenneth Tucci of New Jersey and Lawrence Thomases of Danbury, Conn.

Mister Big Repeats in Pacing Championship

After today's win in the $332,000 US Pacing Championship, the connections of Mister Big might consider their pacer's moniker a bit modest.

Floating out from post 4, driver Brian Sears settled his charge away in sixth while Tim Tetrick hustled Artistic Fella out from the eight-hole and around Special Report (Larry Stalbaum) to assume command at the :26.2 first station.

As the leaders approached the half-mile marker, Sears eased Mister Big into the outer flow with designs on flishing cover, but no one took the bait and the favourites were forced to fight the first-over battle through a :54 half and three-quarters of 1:21.4. Down the lane, the double millionaires sprinted away from the pack and treated to crowd to a heated stretch duel. With both pacers all out, Mister Big managed to muscle his way to the wire first just a neck up on pacesetting Artistic Fella in 1:48.2. Mypanmar, Mister Big's stablemate, closed from the clouds to grab the show spot.

"A bridle change made a difference in him today," stated winning driver Brian Sears. "It opened him up on the inside and he sees the horse there now, but he knows what to do. I don't think he could be any better."

Trainer Virgil Morgan has nothing but praise for his prized pupil. "He's a special individual - very few can come first up like he does as much as he does. You can't be much gamer.

"We mapped out a schedule for him early on; we wanted to keep him fresh for these events. He's off to Canada [for the Canadian Pacing Derby] next."

Will we see Mister Big on the track next year? According to owner Joe Muscara, it's a possibility. "If he comes out of this year healthy, he'll be back. He just amazes me, this horse has everything."

Muscara owns Mister Big (Grinfromeartoear - Worlds Sweetheart), who notched his third straight win and 23rd lifetime to accompany a lifetime bankroll of more than $2.3 million.

World Record For Misterizi In Nat Ray

Misterizi trotted his way into the World Record books earlier this afternoon in the $300,000 Nat Ray Invitational, and he slipped in through the back door to do it.

The five-year-old son of Mr Lavec was the recipient of a last second invitation to race in the Nat Ray from The Meadowlands' Racing Secretary, Tad Stockman.

Fresh off a 1:53.2 win in the Preferred ranks at Mohawk Racetrack on July 21 for Anthony Montini, who took over the training duties on the trotter in late May following a private purchase, Misterizi froze the teletimer in 1:51 in today's Nat Ray triumph.

In doing so, he stripped Varenne of his title as the sport's fastest older trotting horse on a mile track. Varenne's former record of 1:51.1 was set in the 2001 edition of the Nat Ray at The Meadowlands.

There was plenty of speed from start to finish in this year's event. San Remo Kosmos (Larry Stalbaum) hustled the field to the quarter pole in :27 seconds before being looped in the backstretch by Godiva Hall (Andy Miller).

That mare's lead was a short-lived one, however, as Enough Talk (Ron Pierce) was the next in line to take a shot at setting some of the tempo. He rolled the trotters to the mid-way point in :54.2 while feeling pressure from the defending Nat Ray champ, Corleone Kosmos (John Campbell), who was sitting second on the outside.

Corleone Kosmos cleared shortly after the half-mile marker only to be tested by Arch Madness (Brian Sears) around the final turn. Tim Tetrick was lurking second over at that point with Misterizi.

Corleone Kosmos zipped past the third station in 1:22.1 before the challenging trip started to take its toll. Arch Madness gained a short lead turning into the lane, but he gave way to Misterizi in the closing strides. Arch Madness held on for second prize and Enough Talk finished third.

Misterizi, who is owned by the Canadian contingent of Albina Montini, Eazy Racing and Paul Giammichele, notched his fifth win of the season and lifted his lifetime earnings to $313,953.

Misterizi, who took the supplemental route to make himself eligible to this year's Frank Ryan Memorial at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, August 10, will likely have his connections now pondering the supplemental route to the Breeders Crown, which will be held later this month at Mohawk Racetrack.

A $75,000 supplemental fee is what it would take to make Misterizi eligible to the Breeders Crown, which features eliminations (if necessary) on Saturday, August 23 leading up to the $600,000 final on Saturday, August 30.

Creamy Mimi Cruises In Hambo Oaks

The trip was just dreamy for Creamy Mimi in today's $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks for three-year-old trotting fillies, and driver Andy Miller took full advantage of it.

The Trond Smedshammer-trained daughter of Conway Hall was afforded the luxury of pocket-sitting behind 47-1 longshot Diana Hall (Ron Pierce), who was unchallenged on the lead through fractions of :27.3, :56.3 and 1:24.3.

Miller roused Creamy Mimi out of the two-hole at the head of the lane, and she had no problem trotting right past Diana Hall en route to posting a 12-1 upset of her own in a career-best clocking of 1:53.4.

Lantern Kronos, who was sent off as the race favourite, vaulted off third-over cover at the head of the lane to finish a fast-closing second in the 38th edition of the Hambletonian Oaks. Stage Show (John Campbell) took home the show dough.

Marvin Katz of Toronto and Al Libfeld of Pickering, ON share ownership on Creamy Mimi, who picked up her fifth win of the season in just nine tries. It was her eighth lifetime tally and the victory bumped her overall bankroll to $759,287.

Ritchie & Zeron To Miss Hambo Day

Trevor Ritchie and Rick Zeron will be forced to watch today's Hambletonian Day festivities from the sidelines after bad weather forced their flight from Toronto to make an unexpected stop in Syracuse.

Yannick Gingras will replace Ritchie on Prada Hall in the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks Final and Jody Jamieson will fill the void in the sulky of Clerk Magistrate in the $1.5-million Hambletonian Final

Tim Tetrick will take over for Zeron on Misterizi in the $300,000 Nat Ray Invitational.

Noble Falcon Soars in Open Pace

Red-hot driver Brian Sears guided Noble Falcon to his fifth straight win in Saturday afternoon's $40,000 Four & Five-Year-Old Open during the Hambletonian Day card at the Meadowlands.

Sears shot the four-year-old gelding from the six-hole to the lead and carved out fractions of :26.1, :53.4, 1:22.3 before sprinting home in a brisk :26.4 over the track rated good to hold off a stubborn Spin Rate (Ron Pierce) and a traffic-mired Western Ace (Tim Tetrick) in 1:49.2.

Owned by Francis Azur and trained by Kevin McDermott, Noble Falcon (Nobleland Sam - Falcon Ground) has won his last five starts in 1:50 or better.

A Mistletoe Shalee Shocker

Stylish Artist put a smile on the faces of the longshot players at The Meadowlands thanks to her stunning upset in this afternoon's $407,400 Mistletoe Shalee Final for three-year-old pacing fillies.

The Canadian-owned daughter of Artsplace, who was 0-for-7 on the season going into today's assignment, rallied from out of the clouds for driver Eric Goodell to stop the clock in 1:51. She was sent off at odds of 70-1, which made her the longest shot on the board.

Happy Dreamer (Andy Miller) hustled the field to the quarter pole in :26.3 with Tug River Princess (Jody Campbell) rolling up on the rim. She brushed to command shortly after the opening panel and proceeded to take the field to the mid-way point in :53.4 with entrymate Thong (Tim Tetrick) at her flank.

Thong took charge shortly past the half, but she couldn't fend off a fierce first-over attack from Mcarts N Crafts (Yannick Gingras), who sprinted to the top and stepped the field to the three-quarter pole in 1:22.2 with Good News Lady (Greg Grismore) knocking on the door.

Good News Lady took over command as the field came into the stretch, but it proved to be a short-lived lead as Stylish Artist blew by in the closing strides to steal the win. Good News Lady held on for the runner-up spot and Miss Scarlett (Brian Sears) took home third prize.

Monte Gelrod has trained the filly, who normally hangs her harness bag in the barn of trainer Mark Steacy, during her stay in New Jersey. Steacy bred and co-owns the pacer with fellow breeders/partners Peter Heffering and David Reid. Dr. Malcolm Man Song Hing is also involved in the ownership group.

The victory was the sixth lifetime score for Stylish Artist, who bumped her lifetime bankroll to $716,823 with the win. Mark Steacy celebrated a win in last year's Mistletoe Shalee final with Hana Hanover, who upset heavily favoured Southwind Tempo in a stakes record-equaling clocking of 1:49.3.

Schnittker Gives Update On 'Dewey'

David Brienza of The Star Ledger has spoken with trainer/driver Ray Schnittker, who had some interesting things to say about Deweycheatumnhowe leading up to Saturday's $1.5 million Hambletonian.

"It's (the Hambletonian is) big because this track (the Meadowlands) is monster of the midway, everybody gets beat here," Schnittker said. "What 'Dewey' has done has been unbelievable. Most horses don't win five races in their career here."

In terms of how the big horse has been since his elimination victory last weekend, Schnittker said that he is as sharp as can be.

"[Wednesday] was the first day I jogged him and he put his tail up over his back and that's when a horse is feeling good," Schnittker said. "He really wanted to go and he's never done that before, so he's ready to go."

Brienza spoke with other big players in Saturday's Hambletonian, who also gave comments which can be read in the article.

Click here to read The Star Ledger article in its entirety.

(With files from The Star Ledger)

For the lines from Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, click here.

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