Jim Raymer Brings Two-Pronged Attack to Hambletonian Oaks
Trainer Jim Raymer hasn’t gotten where he is today in the Standardbred sport by not understanding the competition.
For Raymer, who entered two in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on August 2 at the Meadowlands, it’s been a long and well thought out process.
Raymer’s Harley Momma and Nitro Nittany are not exactly household names in a field that includes world champions Designed To Be, Shake It Cerry and Cooler Schooner, but he’s been planning this destination for a long time and believes he’s got a chance
“I think my fillies are capable of trotting in 1:52 or a little better,” said Raymer. “I think it was a good thing that Harley Momma has been sidelined because she didn’t have to run into those 1:52 miles in Pennsylvania.”
The trainer is hopeful that in the long run his fillies will prosper, not necessarily because they are faster than the competition, but because they will hold up better late in the year with less wear and tear.
“I don’t think there are more than one or two 1:52 miles in these fillies,” Raymer said, referring to the competition. “At least I’m hoping there aren’t.”
Raymer’s long term outlook could be as a direct result of circumstances that befell his filly Harley Momma, who suffered quarter cracks on both of her front feet in mid-May of this season. Raymer had her slated to race in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event but reconsidered.
“I probably could have raced her but I thought it would be better if I gave her time to heal,” he said.