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Yankee Paco was the easiest of winners in his elimination by a length and a quarter. In each of the four years since the eliminations were scheduled the previous week, the winner of the Hambletonian also won his elimination. Yankee Paco is only the second chestnut to win the Hambletonian; Blaze Hanover (1960) was the first. Doug McIntosh may be the first Canadian-based trainer to win the Hambletonian. His brother Bob also had a horse in the final, Berndt Hanover, but was pulled up and did not finish the race. A number of Canadian horseman (such as Nat Ray, Ben White, Ralph Baldwin and Joe O'Brien) have trained the winner over the years but after they had emigrated to the U.S. Trevor Ritchie may also be the first Canadian-based driver to win. It was Ritchie's first drive in the Hambletonian. To date he is the 16th (including Nat Ray who won the first edition) to win the race in this first try. That list includes: Bill Leese, Dick McMahon, Will Canton, Lee Smith Harrison Hoyt, Harry Harvey, Ned Bower, Flave Nipe, Howard Beissinger, John Simpson Jr, Ray Remmen, Ulf Thoresen, Bill Fahy, Jack Moiseyev. It was also the first Hambletonian drive for Dave Magee, who finished fifth with the favorite Dreamaster. It was noteworthy in that Magee had driven in more than 48,000 races, winning more than 8,300, but had never driven in the Hambletonian. He said it was an opportunity that he had dreamed of since growing up in Illinois while the race was at DuQuoin. Of the 10 horses in the final: 14 out of the 25 individual owners were in their first Hambletonian; six of the 10 trainers and five of the 10 drivers were also making their first Hambletonian appearance. It was the second Hambletonian winner in three years bred by Yankeeland Farm. Operated by Charles E. Keller III and his family, Yankeeland was founded by Keller's father, baseball and harness racing hall-of-famer Charlie-Keller, who played for the N.Y. Yankees from 1937 to 1952. Keller was a member of one of the Bronx bombers' greatest outfields with Joe DiMaggio and Tommy Henrich. Yankee Paco was the ninth Hambletonian winner in 16 years (1983-1998) sold as a yearling by Kentucky Standardbred Sale Co. John Campbell drove in his 18th consecutive Hambletonian. The 10 horses in the final were by 10 different stallions: American Winner, Armbro Goal, Balanced Image, Chief Litigator, Garland Lobell, Incredible Abe, Pine Chip, SJ's Photo, Valley Victory and Victory Dream. Not since 1931 - a six-horse field bested by Calumet Butler - were all the horses in the final heat by different stallions. Yankee Paco is the fist Canadian-sired winner of the Hambletonian. He is the first by an Ontario sire. Just five states were responsible for the sires of all the other winners: Kentucky (31), Pennsylvania (30), New Jersey (10), New York (3) and Michigan (1). Speedy Crown got his sixth broodmare credit and tied Peter The Great as the leading broodmare sire of Hambletonian winners. The last dam of a winner by Peter The Great was Elizabeth, the dame of Yankee maid (1944). She also produced Greyhound (1935). All six of Speedy Crown's credits are from different mares. Thirty-one winners, including Yankee Paco, traced their paternal line directly to Volomite (second to Walter Dear in the 1929 Hambletonian). Volotmite was the great-great-great-grandson of Hambletonian 10. Yankee Paco was the 63rd of the 76 winners to trace their paternal line directly to Peter The Great, a great-grandson of Hambletonian 10. DeWayne Minor, the driver of Legendary Lover K (finishing 6th), was the first African-American to drive a horse in the Hambletonian. From 1926 through 2000, 1,088 horse have declared in the entry box for the Hambletonian. With 10 scratched, 1,078 horses have started the first heat or in their elimination. This includes 161 fillies that have faced the starter. Only one filly started in 2000, Ava, who finished 6th in her elimination. She is the first filly to have started since Continentalvictory in 1996.
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