Stars to shine on Hambletonian Day
Guardian Angel As will try to pick up another trophy for the mantel Saturday (Aug. 3) when he faces nine foes in the $280,000 John Cashman Memorial for older trotters at The Meadowlands. The 5-year-old stallion has won five of seven races this year, including the Cleveland Trotting Classic with a world-record performance and, most recently, the Spirit of Massachusetts with a track-record effort.
The Cashman is part of a stakes filled Hambletonian Day card at the Big M. Among the stars that will be in action: Shartin N in the Lady Liberty for older female pacers, Lather Up and McWicked in the Sam McKee Memorial for older male pacers, Bettor’s Wish and Captain Crunch in the Cane Pace for 3-year-old pacers, and Hannelore Hanover in the Dr. John R. Steele Memorial for older female trotters.
Racing begins at noon. The highlight of the afternoon is the $1 million Hambletonian final for 3-year-old trotters, which will be presented live on CBS Sports Network during a 90-minute show beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT). The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters and the Cashman will be part of the broadcast.
For Saturday’s complete TrackMaster past performances, click here.
Guardian Angel As has won 21 of 47 lifetime races and earned $829,680 for breeder-owner ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. He is trained by Anette Lorentzon.
His 1:52 victory in the Cleveland Classic was the fastest trotting mile ever at Northfield Park and the fastest race mile ever by a male trotter on any half-mile track. He won the Spirit of Massachusetts in a track-record 1:51.3 for an older male trotter at Plainridge Park this past Sunday, missing the track’s all-time record by one-fifth of a second. His triumphs this season also include the Maxie Lee Memorial.
“The season has started out really well,” Lorentzon said. “The best race, the most impressive one, was at Northfield, no question about it. He’s been racing really well. He’s been staying sound and healthy, so that’s what I’m happy with. So far, it’s been working out pretty good.”
Guardian Angel As, with Tim Tetrick in the sulky, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the Cashman. Marion Marauder, who won last year’s Cashman, is the 7-2 second choice followed by Cutler Memorial winner Cruzado Dela Noche at 9-2.
The field also includes Hambletonian Maturity winner Crystal Fashion, 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter Six Pack, and Eurobond, who has won three consecutive conditioned races including a 1:50.1 score last week.
“We didn’t really race (Guardian Angel As) that much last year,” Lorentzon said. “We said we were going to take it easy and hopefully he could step up this year. I know how things can turn, it can be good one day and totally different the next. But so far, so good. Hopefully we can keep it that way.”
Following is a brief overview of the remaining stakes races on the Hambletonian Day card, in race order, excluding the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks.
Race 4 — $310,700 James Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old female trotters
Hypnotic AM, undefeated in three races for trainer Marcus Melander and driver Brian Sears, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Crucial, who is unbeaten in two starts for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras, is 7-2 while Solsbury Hill, who joined Hypnotic AM and Crucial as an elimination winner last week, is 9-2 for trainer Andrew Harris and driver Scott Zeron.
Race 5 — $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters
Real Cool Sam is unbeaten in four career races and is the 2-1 morning-line favorite for trainer Jim Campbell and driver David Miller. Synergy, undefeated in two starts for trainer Per Engblom and driver Yannick Gingras is the 5-2 second choice.
Race 6 — $100,362 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old female pacers
Stonebridge Soul brings a three-race win streak, including the Mistletoe Shalee and a division of the Adioo Volo, to the race. The Chris Ryder trainee, driven by Tim Tetrick, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Tall Drink Hanover, who also won a division of the Adioo Volo, is 5-2 for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Andy McCarthy. Warrawee Ubeaut, no worse than third in any of her eight races this season, with four wins, is 9-2 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. Fan Hanover winner Treacherous Reign is 8-1.
Race 7 — $230,200 Sam McKee Memorial for older male pacers
Lather Up, who equaled the all-time fastest mile in harness racing history with his 1:46 win in the Graduate Series championship on July 6 at The Meadowlands, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite for trainer Clyde Francis and driver Montrell Teague. Lather Up followed his Graduate victory with a triumph in the William R. Haughton Memorial at 1-1/8 miles, the same distance as the McKee. It is the only added-distance race on the card. McWicked, the 2018 Horse of the Year, is the 7-2 second choice with Brian Sears driving for Casie Coleman. Defending race champ Western Joe will start from post 10 and is 15-1 with Scott Zeron in the sulky for Chris Choate.
Race 13 — $186,000 Dr. John R. Steele Memorial for older female trotters
Hannelore Hanover, the 2017 Horse of the Year and winner of the 2016 Steele Memorial (then called the Fresh Yankee), is the 3-1 morning-line choice and enters the race off wins in legs of the Miss Versatility and Great Northeast Open Series. Yannick Gingras will drive for Ron Burke. Manchego, coming off a 1:50.1 score in a conditioned race, is 7-2 for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Nancy Johansson while Swedish import Darling Mearas S is 4-1 for driver Andy Miller and trainer Ake Svanstedt. Emoticon Hanover, a 2018 O’Brien Award winner in Canada, is 5-1.
Race 14 — $183,500 Lady Liberty for older female pacers
Shartin N, the sport’s No. 1-ranked horse and winner of last year’s Lady Liberty, is the 6-5 morning-line favorite. The 6-year-old mare has won 11 of 12 races this season for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr., bringing a 10-race win streak to the event. Caviart Ally, who has finished second to Shartin N in three races, is the 5-1 second choice for driver Andy McCarthy and trainer Brett Pelling.
Race 15 — $285,362 Cane Pace for 3-year-old pacers
Bettor’s Wish, who has five wins and two seconds in seven starts this season for driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Chris Ryder is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. His seconds came in the North America Cup, behind Captain Crunch, and Meadowlands Pace, behind Best In Show. Captain Crunch, with Scott Zeron in the sulky for Nancy Johansson, is the 2-1 second choice. He was the 2018 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. The Cane Pace is the first jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown. The second is the Messenger (Aug. 31) and third is the Little Brown Jug (Sept. 19).