Rich Hambo Preps Go To Favorites
By Frank & Ray Cotolo
(H) Denotes Hambletonian Eligible.
At The Big M
Two definitive Hambletonian preps were on the program at the Meadowlands on July 13. For the colts it was the $294,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial and for the fillies it was the $265,500 Del Miller Memorial.
In The Stanley Dancer Memorial, the anticipated return of Smilin Eli (H-Muscles Yankee) was postponed when the colt became a judges’ scratch. This left a dozen eligibles and favoritism for Royalty For Life (H-RC Royalty), who did not let down the majority of bettors, winning in 1:52 ($4.80) with Brian Sears up.
Royalty For Life overcame Corky (H-Muscles Yankee) while Corky left wide from post 10 to take the lead briefly. Royalty For Life never gave up the lead once he got it and held on by a head as Spider Blue Chip (H-Andover Hall) edged ever so close to him but could not catch him.
Dewycolorintheline (H-Deweycheatumnhowe) took third. The four eligibles finishing eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th were all victims of missteps early and never got back into the race. Corky finished fourth, while Dreams Of Thunder (H-Donato Hanover) overcame an early jump to get back into the mix and finish fifth. Fico (H-Credit Winner) was sixth and Raven Victory (H-Andover Hall) was seventh.
George Ducharme trains Royalty For Life for owners Alfred Ross, Raymond Campbell, Jr. and Paul Fontaine.
The Del Miller Memorial was no contest for the division’s top filly Bee A Magician (H-Kadabra). She settled into fourth early for Brian Sears and trainer Richard Norman, then made a brush to the top at the half and guided the other 10 home to win as the favorite in 1:51, a season’s mark and the filly’s seventh-straight win. She paid $3.20.
Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David Mc Duffee own the spectacular trotter who Norman says may pass on battling the boys in the main event due to its return to heats. Her biggest threat, Frau Blucher (H-Broadway Hall) stayed second once giving up the lead to Bee A Magician and finished 4 lengths behind her. Mistery Woman (H-Donato Hanover) was third.
At Vernon Downs
Brushing to the top after the quarter, Crazy About Pat held off all challengers from that point to win the first division of the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for colts at Vernon Downs on July 13. Pine Credit (H-Credit Winner) made his attempt to claim the lead, flying first over from the three-quarter pole but could not get by Crazy About Pat and settled second.
Our choice, Theraputic, sat a perfect trip and flattened out in third while Bizarro Lindy (H-Crazed) was shuffled to the back of the pack and rallied to finish a distant fourth.
Crazy About Pat ($2.60) is owned by Patricia Stables, trained by Noel Daley and was driven by Cat Manzi in a 1:54 victory.
Public and Hambo Trail choice E L Rocket (H-Credit Winner) crushed rivals in his division, taking them gate to wire in 1:53.1. Modest Prince (H-RC Royalty) rushed into second at the head of the stretch while E L Rocket was clear by 3 lengths.
Modest Prince was six lengths off E L Rocket in second, while Columbia Lion finished third and Order By Keeper (H-Credit Winner) broke in the stretch but held on for fourth. Explosive Action (H-Conway Hall) was no threat, while Crazed N Lindy (H-Crazed) pressed the pace on E L Rocket as he set the fractions; Crazed N Lindy gave way in the final quarter, finishing seventh.
E L Rocket ($2.40) is owned by Burke Racing Stable, M1 Stables LLC, Howard Taylor and Phillip Collura, trained by Ron Burke and was guided by Rick Plano.
Pocket-sitter Jacks To Open (H-Conway Hall) snuck up the pylons to pass race leader Tirade Hanover to win the final division in 1:55.2. Our contender, Blackwolf Run, got into the pocket as expected but was shuffled and showed nothing late. Eligibles Sixteen Mikes (H-American Mike) and Twisted Pretzel (H-Crazed) were not a threat in this mile, finishing eighth and seventh respectively.
Jacks To Open ($8.60) is owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, trained by Ron Burke and was driven to victory by Rick Plano.
At Hazel Park
The Dan Shetler-trained and driven Longwell (H-Yankee Glide) won the $100,000 William C. Connors Memorial at Hazel Park on July 12. It was a big mile for the favorite ($4.20) in the six-horse field, as Shetler took him first over into the stretch and then strolled away to win in 1:57.1. JoAnn Shetler co-owns the colt with Dan.
Keep watching the Hambletonian Trail blog for updates and races involving eligibles through July and for live coverage from TwinSpires on Hambletonian day. Read race results at the special section archived at the Hambletonian Society web site.