Rebuff, who won one of last week’s two Hambletonian Stakes eliminations and is unbeaten in three starts this season, drew post one for Saturday’s $1 million final and was made the 9-5 morning line favourite in the classic race for three-year-old trotters at The Meadowlands.
Jiggy Jog S, who won the other elimination and is one of two fillies in the race, drew post five and was made the 4-1 third choice. Yonkers Trot champion Joviality S, the remaining female starter, got post two and was made the 7-2 second choice.
Elimination winners drew for posts one through five. The remaining horses followed in an open draw.
A filly has won two of the past four editions of the Hambletonian, with Atlanta capturing the trophy in 2018, and 15 overall in 96 years.
This is the second time in three years that two fillies advanced to the Hambletonian final. Ramona Hill and Sister Sledge faced the boys in 2020, with Ramona Hill winning both her elimination and the final. Sister Sledge finished eighth in the final.
The Hambletonian is the middle jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, between the Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity, which will be held Oct. 9 at Lexington’s Red Mile.
Rebuff, who won last year’s Breeders Crown for two-year-old male trotters, has seven victories in 14 lifetime starts and $573,670 in purses. He brings a six-race win streak, dating back to last October, to the Hambletonian final and will have Tim Tetrick in the sulky. Tetrick won the 2012 Hambletonian with Market Share.
A son of Muscle Hill-Meucci Madness, Rebuff is trained by Lucas Wallin, who is making his first appearance in the Hambletonian as a trainer. Last year, he drove Cuatro De Julio in the race, finishing seventh.
Rebuff won his Hambletonian elimination by 1-1/4 lengths over Fast As The Wind in 1:52.2. The colt is owned by Kjell Magne Andersen, Pieter Delis and Wallin.
“I couldn’t be happier with him,” Wallin said. “He came out of the race super good. We’re looking forward to Saturday.
“It’s going to be a nice and easy week for him. He jogged a couple of times here and he’s going to train tomorrow. Then after that just relax and enjoy. This is the race we all want to win. I’ve been following it since I was 12 or 13 years old. It’s a dream come true.”
Jiggy Jog S, a daughter of Walner-Hot Mess Hanover, won her elimination by a head over Temporal Hanover in 1:52.2. Joviality S was third, beaten by a neck.
This year, Jiggy Jog S has four wins and two seconds in six races. Lifetime, she has won six of 17 starts, hit the board an additional eight times, and earned $460,556. The filly, owned by Jorgen Sparredal Inc., has won three consecutive starts.
Jiggy Jog S is trained by Ake Svanstedt, who won last year’s Hambletonian with Captain Corey and in 2017 with Perfect Spirit. Dexter Dunn drove her in the elimination.
“The owner wanted to go in the Hambletonian,” Svanstedt said. “He said he would never have a chance to have a horse in the Hambletonian anymore because he’s in Sweden and he’s just buying fillies in the sales. He has bought some fillies every year because he wants to have them as broodmares. He doesn’t buy colts.
“So, he made the decision,” Svanstedt continued, adding with a laugh, “And I’m happy for that now. Now we are in the Hambletonian again. It would be nice [to win again].”
Joviality S is attempting to become only the third filly to win two jewels of the Trotting Triple Crown, which began in 1955. The two to accomplish the feat were Continentalvictory in 1996 (Yonkers Trot and Hambletonian) and Emilys Pride in 1958 (Hambletonian and Kentucky Futurity).
Trained by Marcus Melander and driven by three-time Hambletonian winner Brian Sears, Joviality S has won six of seven races this year and 15 of 19 lifetime. The homebred daughter of Chapter Seven-Pasithea Face S has earned $1.26 million for owner Courant Inc.
“I thought she raced great,” Melander said about Joviality S in her elimination, which she started from post 10. “From the 10-hole, it was a tough first half, :55.2, and the track was a little deep. It was a fast first half, even if the third quarter was a little slower. She got outsprinted. They came home in :27 flat, and Jiggy Jog was just a little faster.
“Brian said he was super happy with her. If Brian is happy with her, then I’m happy with her.”
Joviality S is one of three Hambletonian finalists for Melander. She is joined by Temporal Hanover and Periculum.
The Hambletonian will be Race 15 on Saturday’s card. Post time will be approximately 6:35 p.m.
The post position draw for both the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks took place Tuesday, Aug. 2, at Dr. Patty Hogan’s Hogan Equine Clinic in Cream Ridge, New Jersey. The fields are listed below.
$1 million Hambletonian
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line
1. Rebuff - Tim Tetrick - Lucas Wallin - 9-5
2. Joviality S - Brian Sears - Marcus Melander - 7-2
3. Fast As The Wind - Dexter Dunn - Tony Alagna - 8-1
4. Keg Stand - David Miller - Nancy Takter - 10-1
5. Jiggy Jog S - Dexter Dunn - Ake Svanstedt - 4-1
6. Cool Papa Bell - Brian Sears - Jim Campbell - 15-1
7. Temporal Hanover - Örjan Kihlström - Marcus Melander - 8-1
8. King Of The North - Mark MacDonald - Ray Schnittker - 15-1
9. Periculum - Mattias Melander - Marcus Melander - 15-1
10. Looks Like Moni - Andrew McCarthy - Nancy Takter - 15-1
$500,000 Hambletonian Oaks
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line
1. Yanaba - Andrew McCarthy - Dan Daley - 8-1
2. Bare My Soul - Yannick Gingras - Linda Toscano - 15-1
3. Warrawee Xenia - Bob McClure - Mark Steacy - 5-1
4. Manon - Dexter Dunn - Lucas Wallin - 8-1
5. Venerable - David Miller - Richard 'Nifty' Norman - 9-5
6. Selfie Queen - Örjan Kihlström - Nancy Takter - 10-1
7. Baptism - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svanstedt - 15-1
8. Pink Coco Chanel - Dexter Dunn - Tony Alagna - 12-1
9. Mon Cheval - Andrew McCarthy - Nancy Takter - 15-1
10. Fashion Schooner - Tim Tetrick - Jim Campbell - 4-1
*Oaks elimination winners Venerable and Warrawee Xenia drew first, with the advantage of drawing from posts one through five.
Home to the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks since 1981, The Meadowlands hosts a day of fun for the entire family including epic races, carnival rides & games, pony rides & hat contest, food trucks, live music and giveaways.
The Grandstand doors open at 10 a.m. with $5 admission. The giveaways begin immediately, including 2022 Hambletonian baseball cap for adults and children with paid admission. The $5 admission can be purchased in advance.
The first race post time is 12 noon. The 97th Hambletonian, America’s Trotting Classic, is the richest trotting race in the world for three-year-olds with a purse of $1 million. The companion filly event, the Hambletonian Oaks, is worth $500,000. There will be a total of 16 races on Hambo Day totaling more than $3 million in stakes purses.
The Backyard will be filled with free carnival rides, games and pony rides plus a free live concert by the popular Craig Sailer Project beginning at 11 a.m. Racing fans can grab a Hambo flag, snag driver and trainer autographs and meet the Tratter Co. boys at the Harness Racing Fan Zone Tent.
Fans can grab some food from some delicious food trucks including Clyde’s Homemade Italian Ices and Ice Cream, Delicious BBQ, Cousins Maine Lobster, The Mozzarella God, Mi Sabor Boricua, Caribbean Soul, The Little Sicilian, Magic Mike’s Smoked Meats, The Empanada Truck, Uncle Bob’s Kettle Corn, F&A’s Burgers, Wings and More, My Delicious BBQ, Angry Archie’s and DAW Concessions. Plus grab a cold and refreshing Trotter’s Gold golden ale brewed by Ghost Hawk Brewing Co commemorating 2021 Hambo winner Captain Corey.
Bring your most creative hat for the chance to win the Hambletonian Hat Contest. Sign up at the track level promotions table and make your way to the track before Race 4. First place wins $500, second place $250, third place $100, fourth place $50 and the most elegant hat wins $100.
The Hambletonian Oaks is scheduled for Race 12 at 4:48 p.m and the Hambletonian Final is scheduled for Race 15, with a post time at 6:35 p.m.
(With files from USTA and Meadowlands)