The supporting stakes on the 2017 Hambletonian Day card features some of harness racing's best pacers and trotters in a number of lucrative and competitive events. Following is a brief look at some of Saturday’s stakes action at the Meadowlands outside the $1,000,000 Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks. Racing begins at noon and the Sam McKee Memorial, Hambletonian Oaks and Hambletonian air live from 4-5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
For free, printable Hambletonian Day program pages, click the following link: 2017 Hambletonian Day Past Performance Pages.
$113,950 Shady Daisy (Race 2)
Idyllic Beach, last year’s Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winner for best two-year-old female pacer, is the 8-5 morning-line favourite in a group of six that includes supplemental entries Blazin Britches and Ella Christina. Jimmy Takter-trained Idyllic Beach heads to the race off a second-place finish in the Mistletoe Shalee at the Meadowlands.
Blazin Britches, the 2-1 second choice from the Brian Brown stable, and Nick Surick’s Ella Christina were Adioo Volo division winners on July 29 at The Meadows. The remainder of the field is Sisters Delight, Awash and Caviart Ally.
$176,250 Dr. John R. Steele Memorial (Race 3)
Hannelore Hanover, last year’s Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winning trotting mare, is back to defend her crown in the Steele Memorial, formerly known as the Fresh Yankee. The Ron Burke trainee is the 7-5 morning-line favourite in a field of nine older female trotters. She won this season’s Armbro Flight Stakes and enters off a second-place finish to JL Cruze in the Spirit of Massachusetts.
Luc Blais-trained Emoticon Hanover is the 4-1 second choice followed by Takter’s Swedish-bred Pasithea Face at 5-1. The rest of the field is Caprice Hill, Earn Your Wings, Jewels In Hock, Broadway Donna, Non Stick, and Barn Doll.
$360,650 Peter Haughton Memorial (Race 4)
Takter sends six horses to the Haughton, which is for two-year-old male trotters, led by 2-1 morning-line choice You Know You Do. Julie Miller-trained Mets Hall is the 4-1 second pick followed at 5-1 by Takter’s Samo Different Day, who won his Haughton elimination by a half-length over Mets Hall in 1:54.2.
The remainder of the field is Farsetti Hanover, Hill Street, Fashion Forever, Captain Morgan, Storming Mist, Maxus, and Bautista.
$330,800 Jim Doherty Memorial (Race 5)
Takter has the 9-5 morning-line favourite in the Doherty, for two-year-old female trotters, in undefeated Manchego. The filly is 4-for-4. Trond Smedshammer-trained Phaetosive, who is 2-for-2 and won her elimination by seven lengths in 1:53.1, is the 4-1 second choice and Mark Harder’s Lily Stride is next at 5-1.
The rest of the finalists are Vivacious Allie, Follow Streak, Top Expectations, Dab Hanover, Supergirl Riley, Front Circle, and Bella Glos.
$303,050 John Cashman Memorial (Race 6)
A field of 12, led by last year’s Hambletonian and Trotting Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder, will go the extended distance of 1-1/8 miles. Marion Marauder, trained by Paula Wellwood, enters off wins in the Graduate Series championship and Hambletonian Maturity. He is the 5-2 morning-line favourite.
Ake Svanstedt-trained Resolve is 4-1 and Burke’s Crazy Wow is 5-1. The rest of the field is JL Cruze, Wings Of Royalty, Rubber Duck, Dayson, Flanagan Memory, Musical Rhythm, Lookslikeachpndale, and second-tier starters Rose Run Parker and Obrigado.
Obrigado, last year’s Dan Patch Award winning older male trotter, and Flanagan Memory, last year’s Breeders Crown Open Trot champion and O'Brien Award winner, are previous winners of the Cashman.
$224,400 Sam McKee Memorial (Race 11)
Mel Mara aims for his first stakes win of the season and is the 3-1 morning-line favourite in a field of 11 older male pacers going 1-1/8 miles. Mel Mara, trained by Dylan Davis, was second in the Ben Franklin Pace and enters the race off a win in the preferred handicap at the Meadowlands.
William Haughton Memorial winner Mach It So is the 7-2 second choice from the stable of Jeff Bamond Jr. and Steve Elliott’s Boston Red Rocks, the runner-up in the Haughton and Graduate Series championship, is next at 9-2.
The rest of the field is Rock N Roll World, All Bets Off, Dudes The Man, Check Six, Lyons Snyder, Wakizashi Hanover, Rockeyed Optimist and second-tier starter Dealt A Winner.
$200,400 Lady Liberty (Race 15)
Golden Girls winner Nike Franco, from the stable of Jo Ann Looney-King, is the 6-5 morning-line favourite. The New Zealand-bred mare headlines a field of eight older female pacers that also includes Takter-trained Pure Country, the 4-1 second choice, and Patrick Lachance’s Penpal, who is 5-1.
The remainder of the field is Call Me Queen Be, Medusa, Frost Damage Blues, Blue Moon Stride, and Shesjustadelight.
This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.