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Counting On Seven And Seven

Published: August 3, 2017 6:09 pm ET

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Saturday’s two Hambletonian elimination races include two horses with identical morning-line odds and a driver on each looking for their first Hambo crown ever.

8-1 shot Seven And Seven, driven by Mark MacDonald and trained by Ontario's Tom Durand, will leave from post 2 in a field of 10 in the Hambletonian’s second elimination heat (race 9).

Seven And Seven has not raced since June 17, where he finished third in the $251,000 Goodtimes Final at Mohawk Racetrack to eventual winner and Hambletonian favourite International Moni. The 2016 O'Brien Award finalist is owned by Durand along with wife/breeder June Durand of Puslinch and Allan Smith of Oakville, Ont.

“He is a pretty resilient horse. He will go with them and right now he is training really good,” said Durand, who is participating in his third Hambletonian, having finished second in the 2011 final with Whiskey Tax. “In the Goodtimes, he was spooked at the start of the race but driver David Miller said he was really impressed with how he responded and he had a ton of horse left. The qualifier last week at The Meadowlands was good, but it was a bit disappointing because, I wanted to test the horse out on the front end, and he didn’t want anything of it, so we won’t be sending him out to the lead on Saturday.”

With Miller also initially listed on and opting for What The Hill out of post 1 and Brian Sears driving Dover Dan from post 5, Mark MacDonald will drive. MacDonald drove in his first Hambletonian heat last year and finished sixth with Reigning Moni, missing the final by one spot.

“To make the final and possibly win it would be the culmination of something we have worked for for a very long time,” said Durand via phone call Wednesday. “He has been training like a monster, especially his last time out on Tuesday, he shifted gears like that and is right on the bit. He is going to give it his all I know that.”

Hambletonian Elimination (Race 8)
PP – Horse – Driver – Trainer – Line
1 – Southwind Woody – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke – 12-1
2 – Bills Man – Corey Callahan – John Butenschoen – 5-1
3 – Guardian Angel As – Jason Bartlett – Anette Lorentzon – 10-1
4 – Giveitgasandgo – David Miller – John Butenschoen – 8-1
5 – International Moni – Scott Zeron – Frank Antonacci – 5-2
6 – Stealth Hanover – Francisco Del Cid – Francisco Del Cid – 30-1
7 – Victor Gio IT – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter – 6-1
8 – Long Tom – Tim Tetrick – Marcus Melander – 3-1
9 – Jake – Daniel Dubé – Luc Blais – 8-1

Hambletonian Elimination (Race 9)
PP – Horse – Driver – Trainer – Line
1 – What The Hill – David Miller – Ron Burke – 3-1
2 – Seven And Seven – Mark MacDonald – Tom Durand – 8-1
3 – Sortie – Andy McCarthy – Noel Daley – 10-1
4 – Shake It Off Lindy – Brett Miller – Frank Antonacci – 20-1
5 – Dover Dan – Brian Sears – John Butenschoen – 8-1
6 – Enterprise – Tim Tetrick – Marcus Melander – 9-2
7 – Southwind Cobra – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke – 15-1
8 – Achille Duharas – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter – 20-1
9 – Devious Man – Andy Miller – Julie Miller – 5-2
10 – Perfect Spirit – Åke Svanstedt – Åke Svanstedt – 12-1

For free, printable Hambletonian Day program pages, click the following link: 2017 Hambletonian Day Past Performance Pages.

(with files from the Hambletonian Society)


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