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It's A Musc-Hill-Tonian!

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Published: August 8, 2009 4:03 pm ET

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Muscle Hill led from gate to wire and trounced his nine rivals in a world record equaling 1:50.1 in the $1,520,333 Hambletonian No. 84 for three-year-old trotters on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands.

From the rail, Sears pushed Muscle Hill to the lead to an opening panel of :27.1 with Explosive Matter (Ron Pierce) on his back in second. No one dared challenge the leader through a :55 half and 1:23 three-quarters with Sears asking his charge to open up, and he responded.

With a two length lead at the head of the lane, that margin grew with every stride to the wire. Tripping the timer in 1:50.1, Muscle Hill ties Donato Hanover as the fastest three-year-old trotter in harness racing history.

Explosive Matter finished second with Calchips Brute (John Campbell) finishing third.

Bred by Winbak Farm of Maryland, three-year-old Muscle Hill (Muscles Yankee-Yankee Blondie) is now 5-for-5 on the season and 13-for-14 lifetime for trainer Greg Peck and owners Jerry Silva of Long Beach, NY, T L P Stable of Kearny, NJ, Southwind Farm of Pennington, NJ and Muscle Hill Racing LLC of Long Beach, NY.

"It's very hard to find a word to describe how I feel," said co-owner Allen Skolnick of Southwind Farms. "We've waited for a long time, and I can't give enough credit to the team."

When asked if Muscle Hill was headed for a stud career at Southwind Farm after his racing career, Skolnick would not confirm or deny the statement.

"When I saw the gate open and saw him on the lead, I was happy," said Tom Pontone of T L P Stable. "I wanted him to control the race."

"He's a great horse, I had a ton of confidence in him and I knew he could do it," said driver Brian Sears after his first Hambo win. "It was a pretty honest opener, I figured I had the best horse and he did everything I asked for. I wasn't going to go suicidal fractions. Down the stretch I was thinking just don't let anything stupid happen. It's been a great day."

Sears picked up his fifth win on the day. With the win he becomes the first driver to ever win the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks on the same day.

Trainer Greg Peck was accurate in his assessment of how fast he thought his pupil could trot.

"He was excellent today, I said to Ken [Warkentin] off camera I thought he could go in 1:50.

"My wife and I came here 19 years ago with nothing. It's hard to believe we're standing here."

Peck becomes the first trainer to double in the Peter Haughton and Hambletonian in the same year.

The SC website has full coverage of harness racing's Hambletonian Day undercard at the Meadowlands. To view the recaps and replays of the stakes-packed undercard, click here.

To view the results, click here.


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