Gimpanzee's undefeated streak ended at 12 at the hands of stablemate Green Manalishi S, who wore down temposetter Osterc to capture the first $70,000 2019 Hambletonian elimination on Saturday (August 3) at The Meadowlands.
Green Manalishi S wins his 2019 Hambletonian elimination at The Meadowlands. (Lisa Photo)
Driver Tim Tetrick was able to find a spot for Green Manalishi S and dropped into fourth as Cantab Fashion (Scott Zeron) fronted the field through a :26.3 opening split before yielding to Osterc (Yannick Gingras).
Favoured Gimpanzee (Brian Sears) was eighth and last in the race at this point of the mile, starting to advance down the backstretch but was quickly shuffled to a third-over spot as Osterc maintained his lead through a :54.4 half. Tetrick and Green Manalishi were first over and challenging Osterc with a strong brush through a 1:23 third station as second-over Swandre The Giant (David Miller) gapped that cover. Turning for home, Osterc and Green Manalishi traded blows as neither colt looked ready to back down from the challenge. Gimpanzee launched a bid in the stretch and Soul Strong (Dexter Dunn) came flying from the back of the pack but neither could put a dent into the margin established by the front-running duo. Deep in the stretch, Green Manalishi forged past Osterc and hit the wire a quarter-length the best in a lifetime best 1:50.3. Also advancing to the final, in finish order: Osterc, Soul Strong, Gimpanzee and Cantab Fashion.
"I got out of there pretty good on the right step and landed fourth, and they went pretty fast early. I got to sit until about the half and just let my horse grind up there and he finished it off," said Tetrick. "I was lucky that I didn't think [Osterc] would trot very fast through that last turn, especially after the first half, I was able to sit out there and my horse just outmuscled him, I was real happy with that."
Marcus Melander trains Green Manalishi S for Anders Ström's Courant AB. In 15 lifetime starts, the son of Muscle Hill - Naga Morich S has never missed the top three, compiling a summary of 8-6-1, with a 3-1-1 record as a sophomore.
"I just wasn't crazy about the draw and it was a little bit of a tough spot for him," said Sears about Gimpanzee's effort. "Maybe he wasn't getting a hold of the track, but it was a big effort. He didn't get beat by much and if he draws good he should be really close. He definitely has a shot in the final."
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