Giant Victory - 1991
Giant Victory for All The 1991 Hambletonian was story book material. Fresh from a stunning triumph in the Meadowlands Pace with Precious Bunny, Jack Moiseyev, harness racing’s newest superstar of the sulky, won his second $1 million purse event in 22 days with Giant Victory’s win in the 66th Hambletonian. Eleven months earlier, the 31-year-old native of Neptune, New Jersey, had completed a six-month suspension for driving infractions. Yet, for Moiseyev, his first Hambletonian was the ultimate catch-drive.
Shortly after the draw for the race, he looked down at the overnight sheet and saw his name next to the eventual winner. Per Eriksson, Giant Victory’s trainer, had explained, "We put Jack on because Sonny (John Patterson, Jr.) had MB Felty and he (Jack) has been hot lately." And it just figured that the red-hot Giant Victory, a colt by Super Bowl, would come through with trotting's biggest prize in the shadow of Giants Stadium, home of the 1990 Super Bowl Champions. Co-owners Jacqueline and Theodore Gewertz of Oradell, New Jersey, both long-time Giants fans, had put through a name change for their colt (formerly Healthy Glow) following the Giants' 1987 Super Bowl victory. Together with partners Stan and Steve Robins of Yorktown Heights, NY, the Gewertzes saw their prize trotter post back-to-back, come-from-behind decisions in 1:54.4 (fastest of the day) and 1:55. Giant Victory enjoyed a perfect trip in the second elimination and responded with a three-length score over Big Brown and Cysta's Best. The favored entry of MB Felty and UConn Don finished one-two in front of Super Pleasure in the first $119,000 elimination. The Ron Gurfein-trained winner, another son of Super Bowl, was timed in 1:55 for HVH Trotting Stable, M. Larsson, and MB Felty Stable and Lindy Farms (Antonacci family). The Antonaccis and trainer Osvaldo Formia (UConn Don) were both going for their fourth Hambletonian and a record three in a row. It was not to be. Their charges were second and third, respectively, behind Giant Victory in the $1 million final. Moiseyev stalked the pace from fifth position and masterfully wheeled his stretch kicker three-quarters of a length past his arch rivals. Giant Victory improved his 1991 record to 12-7-2-1. The Gwertzes, trotting horse owners for the past ten years, and Per Eriksson, were high on Giant Victory right from the first time they saw him. Jacquie Gewertz remembers well when the colt first came into the sales ring as a yearling. "My husband and Per looked at each other and said 'This colt's got Hambo written all over him. Let's buy him regardless of his price.' We did, and we got a hot Hambo horse for the first time for only $25,000." With the 1991 Hambletonian under his belt, Giant Victory's bankroll swelled to $805,116, making him a giant bargain.
Renamed Giant Victory (for the NFL football team's 1987 Super Bowl win) by owners and Giants fans Jacqueline & Ted Gewertz and the Robbins. The requirement for the race winner to win two heats was dropped in the Hambletonian conditions. From 1927 to 1954, six monies were paid in the Hambletonian under the placing system. From 1955 to 1962 only the first four horses in the placing were awarded money. Some years the winner took home anywhere from 55% to 70% of the total purse. there were also breeders awards of 2%. From 1963 to 1990 five monies were paid out under the placing system. As of 1991, the placing system was dropped and the standard five monies are paid in each heat or dash. Field was limited to 10 with no trailers, before splitting into eliminations. If less than 10 are entered there will be one dash for the trophy and the $1,200,000 total purse. Giant Victory was voted Trotter of the Year. Jack Moiseyev won his first Hambletonian with his first drive, annexing his second $1 million purse in 22 days. He won the Meadowlands Pace with Precious Bunny earlier in the meet.