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Atlanta Wins The Hambletonian

Published: August 4, 2018 5:21 pm ET

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On Saturday (August 4) Canadian-based trotting filly Atlanta became just the 14th filly in the 93-year history of the Hambletonian to defeat the boys and capture harness racing's richest prize for three-year-olds.

Leaving from post seven as she did in her elimination, Atlanta was pointed to the front by driver Scott Zeron and she was on top in a swift :26.2. Unlike her elim, however, Atlanta was a well-rated :55.2 to the half-mile point before coming under attack from elim winner Tactical Landing (Jimmy Takter). On his back was the other elim winner, Crystal Fashion (Tim Tetrick).

The tempo quickened heading into the final turn with Atlanta still in command and opening up through a 1:22.4 third panel. Turning for home, the boys gave the girl futile chase as Atlanta started to shorten her strides but had enough in the tank to hold of her rivals and trip the timer in 1:50.4 a length the best.

Mets Hall (Andy Miller) closed well to finish second ahead of Tactical Landing and Crystal Fashion.

"I wasn't concerned about the speed and talent that she has, just more about the attitude of having to hit the bottom of her lungs for the first time ever in that elimination," said driver Scott Zeron in the winner's circle. "She just got away from me and I really regretted how that race went. I told myself if she's a champion she's going to bounce back and that won't phase her.

"She was maintaing speed a lot better than she did in that elimination. I thought she was going to get up."

Atlanta (Chapter Seven - Hemi Blue Chip) is trained by Rick Zeron of Oakville, Ont., also the filly's co-owner. Zeron co-owns with Brad Grant of Milton, Ont., Crawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont. Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, Penn. The Hambletonian win is the first for Rick Zeron, and the second in three years for driver Scott.

Rick admitted that it was his son who truly persuaded him to enter the filly against the boys in the Hambletonian.

"I had a ton of confidence but Scott had more confidence than me. He knows, he's been driving her all year. He knew exactly what type of filly he had, he's the one that persuaded me to put her in with the boys.

"I think I managed her the best I could by keeping her away from here, other than her first trip, by racing her on the sires stakes and getting her all swollen up and having her ready for a big day like today."

Be sure to check out the rest of the coverage from Hambletonian Day in the 2018 Hambletonian Day News Centre.

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