Hambletonian Festival week kicks off on July 29 with two $40,438 eliminations to narrow the field to 10 for the $500,000 Oaks Final on Hambletonian Day, Sat., Aug. 5, at The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ.
Favorite in the field will be Dan Patch divisional Champion Ariana G. The talented homebred daughter of 2009 Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill sports a record of three wins in four tries this year, with lifetime earnings just under $1 million, at $937,839. Ariana G comes from the royal broodmare band of Marvin Katz and AL Libfeld, and her full sister All The Time, won the 2016 Hambletonian Oaks for the same team of owner/breeders Katz-Libfeld and trainer Jimmy Takter.
Post positions for the eliminations will be drawn later today with the rest of the Meadowlands weekend card. The declared fillies, in alphabetical order are below:
Dream Baby Dream
Feed Your Head
Fine Tuned Lady
That's All Moni
The top five finishers in each elim will advance to the final on Aug. 5. There is no Lasix or any race day medication permitted in the Hambletonian Oaks or Open. Elimination winners draw for inside posts 1-5 and all other finalists will then be placed in an open draw. The winner of the final on Aug. 5 is the Oaks winner, regardless of elimination finish on July 29.
Post positions for the $500,000 final will be drawn and morning lines assigned on Tuesday, Aug. 1, on a Facebook live post position draw at 2:00 p.m. on the Meadowlands Facebook and also streamed live on the Meadowlands YouTube channel.