By Ray & Frank Cotolo
(H) = Hambletonian Eligible
Soph trotters in four Simpson splits By Frank & Ray Cotolo (H) denotes Hambletonian Eligible. The John Simpson Memorial Stakes on Friday, May 10, at the Meadowlands attracted six fillies eligible for the Hambletonian Oaks in the $49,016 Elma, while 11 colt hopefuls for the August classic competed in the $54,030 Ayres.
The first division of the filly Simpson went to True Day Dream, taking the field gate-to-wire in 1:54. True Day Dream got away with moderate fractions for the first half of the mile, then Lady Dynamite (H-Muscles Yankee) tipped first over, supplying cover to Southwind Cocoa (H-Chocolatier), our choice.
Déjà Vu Too (H-Deweycheatumnhowe) was locked at the cones while the leaders dueled by three quarters. Lady Dynamite faltered entering the final eighth, being surpassed by follower Southwind Cocoa and pocket sitter Déjà Vu Too.
True Day Dream trotted away from the field under a hand drive, while Déjà Vu Too checked in second, Southwind Cocoa finished third and Lady Dynamite was fourth. Dream In Chocolate (H-Chocolatier) finished fifth due to a break into the first turn. True Day Dream ($2.80) is by Infinitf and she is owned by Joe Hess, trained by Dan O’Mara and Yannick Gingras drove the filly to an easy win.
Miss Steele ($3.20) is owned by Andy Miller Stables, Omer Miller and Katz, Libfeld and Goldband, trained by Julie Miller with Andy Miller giving the filly a perfect trip.
Show Ticket was locked at the cones trying to get free, while Bluto (H-Donato Hanover) began a bid from the center of the track. Muscle Mountain took the lead entering the 16th pole and sustained it from there. Fashion Blizzard held on for second, Show Ticket was third and Bluto was fourth.
Keystone Ace (H-Yankee Glide) and Super Classic (H-Muscles Yankee) were off the board. Muscle Mountain ($3.00) is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding and Joyce McClelland, trained by Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras steered the colt. In the history of the Hambletonian Trail, established in 2010,
Corky (H-Muscles Yankee) set the pace, with My Man Can (H-Cantab Hall) in the second spot and Tornado (H-Deweycheatumnhowe) in third. Corky had no challengers until Six Gun Hall (H-Deweycheatumnhowe) was flushed out by Modest Prince. Six Gun Hall and Corky were on equal terms around the turn and battled past three-quarters.
Though Six Gun Hall quit, Modest Prince tipped off cover and began to chase down Corky, who was game at the rail, while Modest Prince was drifting but flying. He caught Corky right at the wire, with Six Gun Hall checking in third and My Man Can fourth. Cocotier (H-Chocolatier), our choice, and Explosive Action (H-Conway Hall) both scratched.
Last year’s winning Hambletonian connections of owner Richard Gutnick and trainer Linda Toscano sent out the $103.40 winner. Jeff Gregory was in the bike.
Keep watching the Hambletonian Trail blog for updates and races involving eligibles through July and for live coverage from TwinSpires on Hambletonian day. Read race results at the special section archived at the Hambletonian Society web site.