29 Hambo Facts For 29 Years At The Big M

Published: August 6, 2010 07:18 pm EDT

On the eve of the $1.5 million Hambletonian, Bob “Hollywood” Heyden has compiled a list of 29 interesting statistics on the Hambletonian and Oaks, in recognition of the 29 years that the event has been held at the Meadowlands Racetrack


1) Sears is the first driver since the 1997 format change to have Post 10 in BOTH the Hambo and the Oaks

2) Post 10 in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands: 25 0-2-3 12 checks (48% of the time Post 10 got $$)

3) Bar Slide's mark is 1:52.4-at the Meadowlands. There has NEVER been an Oaks FINAL that fast!

4) Since 1986, John Campbell has been the ONLY driver (not counting entries) to be favoured in BOTH the Meadowlands Pace AND the Hambletonian in the SAME year. This year could be (Lucky Chucky) the SIXTH TIME it has happened!
1989-Peace Corps, Dexter Nukes
1992-Armbro Keepsake, Direct Flight
1995-Tagliabue, Davids Pass (BOTH won)
1998-Muscles Yankee, Sealed N Delivered
2002-Andover Hall, Mach Three
2010-Rocknroll Heaven and Lucky Chucky??

5) Ray Schnittker has an amazing record in the Hambletonian-four starters-four times on the board. Not such a big deal you say? Check out the ODDS on three of them:
1997-Armbro Plato 40-1 3rd
2000-Armbro Trick 47-1 3rd
2008-Deweycheatmnhowe 2-5 1st
2008-Make It Happen 46-1 3rd

6) Post 1-Cassis-IF he wins the Hambletonian, will be the third straight year Post 1 has taken it. This also happened in 1994-1995-1996-the last three years before the format change.
1994-Victory Dream

7) John Campbell-many forget-was 59-1 last year and finished third with Trond Smedshammers Calchips Brute.

8) Both John Campbell and Ron Pierce will appear in their 13th straight Hambletonian-neither was in the 1997 Malabar Man final.

9) Dave Miller goes in his eighth straight Hambletonian final. His streak of nine straight Pace finals was snapped this season. (Still looking for his first win in both)

10) Jim Campbell will try to do what has NOT happened since before the Meadowlands opened in 1976. Win back-to-back Hambo Oaks. Glen Garnsey in 1973-1974 was the ONLY trainer to win this race consecutively, and he did it two years before the Meadowlands opened and seven years before the Hambo and the Oaks moved here (1981).

11) In the last dozen editions of the Oaks, Posts 8-9-10 have been blanked. As a matter of fact, Post 10 has NOT hit the board in that time with only one fourth and one fifth.

12) There's a possibility-and a good one-that Joe Holloway can win the Oaks and Chuck Sylvester the Hambletonian. These are the two trainers that were involved in the only two Trotting Triple Crown DEAD HEATS!!!
1989 Chuck: Park Avenue Joe in the Hambletonian (With Probe)
1992 Joe: McCluckey in the Yonkers Trot (With Magic Lobell)

13) Brian Sears has FOUR second place finishes in the Oaks!
2004 Housethatruthbuilt
2005 Blur
2006 Emantee
2008 Lantern Kronos

14) John Campbell won his first Oaks in 1999-Oolong-then won it again just two years later with Syrinx Hanover. Syrinx Hanover was the first horse EVER to go undefeated and have a $1 million season in the same year-Muscle Hill did it last years as the only MALE to do so.

15) 39 editions of the Hambletonian Oaks:
Only 11 of the 39 winning trainers were born in the USA
14/39 were born in Sweden
10/39 are Hall Of Fame conditioners
12/39 Oaks resulted in a photo finish: five noses, three heads and four necks

16) Chuck Sylvester is the ONLY trainer in BOTH the Hambo and Oaks this year. Jan Johnson won both in 1988 with Armbro Goal and Nans Catch (The dam of Moni Maker)

17) There are NO MILLIONAIRES in this year's Hambletonian field!!

18) IF Lucky Chucky is the post time favourite, it'll mark the sixth time that a driver past his 50th birthday is handling the public choice:
2010 John Campbell 55 Lucky Chucky
2008 Ray Schnittker 50 Deweycheatmnhowe
2007 Ron Pierce 51 Donato Hanover
1997 Mal Burroughs 57 Malabar Man
1986 Berndt Lindstedt 50 Royal Prestige
1981 Howard Beissinger 58 Super Juan

19) Speaking of 50-Billy Haughton did NOT win the Hambletonian before age 50! That's right, he was in his 15th year of Hambletonian action before he won it-at age 50-in 1974-with Christopher T. He then proceeded to win it four of seven years!

20) The three richest drivers in history-all will appear in this years Hambletonian-Campbell-Lachance-Pierce. Between them-they have 12 Hambletonian wins and $617 million in purse earnings!!!!

21) John Campbell and Mike Lachance are set for their 17th Hambletonian final together. Most of all time for ANY driving duo. From 1992-1999, they appeared in five of those eight finals together-and one or the other won EVERY TIME!

22) FAVOURITES ANYONE? No-not the Off Track Wagering site, the public choices who seem to win all the Hambletonian eliminations. Since the format change in 1997, there have been 37 Hambletonian eliminations-25 of them have been captured by the favourite-67.5%

23) The THREE RICHEST two-year olds of 2009-ALL WERE FEMALE-this is the first and only time this has happened since the Meadowlands inception in 1976.
Poof Shes Gone, Costa Rica and Fancy Filly. Poof Shes Gone-just the second filly trotter to win $1 million as a two-year-old-is THE richest trotter this year entering the Hambo or the Oaks at $1,246,696 (US).

24) Seven of the last eight favourites in the Hambletonian Oaks have bitten the dust-only Passionate Glide won-2006.

25) In 12 of the last 23 Hambletonians-either John Campbell or Mike Lachance drove the favourite.

26) Yannick Gingras (Hard Livin) is set to make his Hambletonian debut-in 2004 he was second in the Meadowlands Pace in his first start there and was favoured at 9-5 with Timesareachanging.

27) Muscles Yankee (Muscle Massive) is the ONLY Meadowlands Hambletonian winner to sire the winners of two straight-HE won it in 1998, his sons the past two years-Deweycheatumnhowe and Muscle Hill. You have to go back to 1964-1965-1966 for the last time a sire won this race three straight-Stars Pride.

28) Ron Pierce is looking for his thirrd Hambletonian with Muscle Massive-but his first NOT as the betting favourite.

29) Jimmy Takter has three entrants-and HAS been 1-2 in the Hambletonian before. 1997-Malabar Man and Take Chances. Chuck Sylvester also did it in 1998 and Per Eriksson in 1992.

For more Hambo stats from Heyden, check out his Hambo By The Numbers notes.

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