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2020 Hambletonian Elims Set

Published: July 28, 2020 11:40 am ET

Last Comment: July 29, 2020 11:09 am ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Tuesday afternoon (July 28), the eliminations for the $1-million Hambletonian were drawn at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Fifteen colts along with two fillies, Ramona Hill (who is trained by Tony Alagna) and Sister Sledge (who is conditioned by Ron Burke), are set to spar in the eliminations (for some additional information on the elimination starters, click here).

The first elim will feature a field of eight, while the second elim will house a field of nine. The two $50,000 elims will take place this this Saturday (August 1) at the Meadowlands.

With each having recorded a sharp score in their respective divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, Back Of The Neck and Ready For Moni have been installed as the morning-line favourites in their respective Hambletonian eliminations.

In the first of two $50,000 elims, Back Of The Neck is listed at 2-1 from post one for driver Scott Zeron and trainer Ake Svanstedt. After missing a nose in his seasonal debut on June 27 to Sorella -- one of The Hambletonian Oaks favourites -- the son of Ready Cash-Big Barb has reeled off two straight wins from off the pace in impressive fashion, scoring in the July 11 Reynolds in a lifetime-best 1:52 before his Dancer win on July 18, also in 1:52.

“No, he is not one-dimensional,” said Zeron after being asked if his horse's best game is coming from behind. “His best effort was on the front end in his first start. To come home in :26.1 and get picked off at the last second, that was a great effort.

“I avoided the front end going forward because I wanted to teach him to do other things. [Having drawn post 1] Gives me options. I definitely don’t have one trip in mind. I avoided the front in his last two on purpose, but we will play it by ear. I’m happy with the post position.”

Ready For Moni will start at 5-2 on the big board from Post 8 in the second elim as Nancy Takter and Yannick Gingras look to become the first trainer-driver team to sweep The Meadowlands Pace and The Hambletonian in the same year.

The son of Ready Cash-Nothing But Moni went a perfect cover trip in his only outing of 2020 when he won his Dancer split in a lifetime-best 1:51.4 after kicking home in :27.1.

So, what about the outside post position? “I’m a little indifferent about it,” said Takter. “On paper, it looks like we are in the easier of the two eliminations. I think we are in good shape. I think the eight is a good spot.”

Takter is not concerned about Ready For Moni having only had one outing this season.

“It’s just the way his schedule played out,” said Takter. “I would have preferred one or two more starts but all of our horses have a good foundation. I think it’s a myth that these horses need a lot of races. They go so fast. I think [having too few starts] is better than having too many.”

The post-position draws for both The Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks will take place during Saturday night’s program at The Meadowlands and will be broadcast on the track’s in-house simulcast feed live. The 2020 Hambletonian final will take place on Saturday, August 8 at the 'Big M.'

The draw results for the eliminations appear below.

Hambletonian Elimination 1
Post Position - Horse (Listed Driver, Trainer), Odds
1. Back Of The Neck (Scott Zeron, Ake Svanstedt), 2-1

2. Third Shift (Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt), 8-1

3. Amigo Volo (Dexter Dunn, Nifty Norman), 7-2

4. Big Oil (Andy Miller, Julie Miller), 10-1

5. Maesteraemon (Brian Sears, Marcus Melander), 12-1

6. Hollywood Story (Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander), 10-1

7. Ramona Hill (Andy McCarthy, Tony Alagna), 5-1

8. Beads (Jimmy Takter, Per Engblom), 9-2

Hambletonian Elimination 2
Post Position - Horse (Listed Driver, Trainer), Odds
1. Capricornus (Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander), 15-1

2. Sister Sledge (TBD, Ron Burke), 3-1

3. Jula Trix Treasure (Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt), 6-1

4. Rome Pays Off (Mattias Melander, Marcus Melander), 9-2

5. Threefiftytwo (Scott Zeron, Luc Blais), 8-1

6. Chestnut Hill (David Miller, Nifty Norman), 6-1

7. Sky Castles (Corey Callahan, Andrew Harris), 20-1

8. Ready For Moni (Yannick Gingras, Nancy Takter), 5-2

9. Moon Bridge (Andy Miller, Ake Svanstedt), 20-1

Twelve trotting fillies have been entered to contest the 50th edition of the Hambletonian Oaks. All 12 will advance directly the $600,000 final, which will be raced on Saturday, August 8. Post positions for the Oaks will be drawn during the Meadowlands' race card this Saturday (August 1).

The names of the Hambletonian Oaks entrants are listed below in alphabetical order (for additional information on the entrants, click here).


(With files from the Hambletonian Society)

July 29, 2020 - 11:09 amMike, take a look at his last

marc lalonde SAID...

Mike, take a look at his last race, saturday at The big M, you will have an answer to your question.

July 28, 2020 - 6:00 pmWould loved to have seen

paul ruhl SAID...

Would loved to have seen Pemberton in there.

July 28, 2020 - 12:11 pmI think the most notable

Mike Mobley SAID...

I think the most notable horse of the Hambletonian entrants is a horse that is NOT entered. As recently as the beginning of July, who would have guessed that Real Cool Sam would not be entered in The Hambletonian (and most likely be the favorite in his elimination)??

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