Ariana G decimates the field in Hambletonian Oaks
Ariana G cemented her dominance of the trotting filly division. The 1-5 favorite Ariana G, with Yannick Gingras driving, cruised to a 4-3/4 length victory over Magic Presto to capture the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the 12th race on Saturday (Aug. 5) at The Meadowlands.
Trained by Jimmy Takter, Ariana G was moved to the lead at the half-mile mark at 54.4 and then cruised to victory, the fourth time for the team of Takter and Gingras in the Oaks. The mile was time in 1:51.2. Gingras was holding up four fingers to celebrate the win after crossing the finish line. It was Gingras’ fourth win on the card.
“I was really concerned about Magic Presto and obviously you have to respect the competition,” said Gingras. “When she got away on the first turn and I really didn’t want to be first-over that long of the way, so I decided to do whatever I needed to do to get her to the front. It wasn’t the best move I think, but she is just a great horse and a great horse can overcome anything.”
Ariana G’s full sister, All The Time, won the Oaks last year with a time of 1:52.1.
The 2016 Dan Patch Award winner as 2-year-old filly trotting champion, she has won 15-of-18 lifetime starts and this year has clocked sub 1:52 on four separate occasions.
The Gingras/Takter combo has won four straight Hambletonian Oaks and Takter notched his seventh overall, which makes him the winningest trainer in Oaks history.
“She did a tremendous mile. It was a tough opening, because she cut all the way to the front due to the high pace,” said Takter. “She is just in a class of her own.”
Ariana G paid a modest $2.40, $2.10, and $2.10.
Magic Presto with Brain Sears finished second paying $3.00 and $2.40, and Dream Together with Daniel Dube finished third paying $2.60.
Dream Baby Dream finished fourth.