Elims set for Hambletonian and Oaks

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

MGM Yonkers Trot winner Up Your Deo was among 20 horses entered Tuesday in the $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes for 3-year-old trotters at The Meadowlands, which attracted an all-male field for the 98th edition of the event.


Among the horses joining Up Your Deo, who will be seeking the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, were Goodtimes champion Southwind Coors as well as Stanley Dancer Memorial division winners Oh Well and Winner’s Bet.


Two $100,000 eliminations will be contested Saturday at the Big M. The top-five finishers from each group will advance to the $1 million Hambletonian final Aug. 5. Elim winners draw for post positions one through five followed by the remaining finalists receiving their posts in an open draw.


The Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters attracted 16 horses, which were divided into two $40,000 eliminations. The fillies entered include 2022 Jim Doherty Memorial champ Instagram Model, O’Brien Award-winner Righteous Resolve, Delvin Miller Memorial division winners Heaven Hanover and Quick Stop, New York New York Mile champ Secret Volo and four-time Grand Circuit-winner Bond. The $500,000 Oaks final also is on Aug. 5.


In the Hambletonian, Up Your Deo will start from post three in the second elimination, which also includes Winner’s Bet, New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Air Power, W.N. Reynolds Memorial division winner Celebrity Bambino, and Crown, Excalibur Bi, French Wine, One Hundred Poof, Tactical Approach and Tuscan Prince.


Trained and driven by two-time Hambletonian-winner Ake Svanstedt, Up Your Deo has won three of four races this year after going winless in eight starts at age 2. He will be making his first start since winning the Yonkers Trot, the first jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, on June 30. The son of Walner-Grand Stand is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Suleyman Yuksel Stables, breeder Deo Volente Farms, and Van Camp Trotting Corp.


The most recent horse to win the Trotting Triple Crown was Marion Marauder in 2016.


Air Power, one of four Hambletonian horses for trainer Marcus Melander, will leave from post six while Celebrity Bambino, one of two horses for trainer Ron Burke, will start from five. Winner’s Bet, whose career victories include the 2022 William Wellwood Memorial, drew post 10.


In the first elimination, Oh Well will start from post two for Melander while Southwind Coors will leave from post eight for trainer Matt Bax. The remainder of the field is 2022 Breeders Crown and O’Brien Award-winner Gaines Hanover, 2022 Peter Haughton Memorial champ Kilmister, recent Tompkins-Geers Memorial division winner Point Of Perfect, and Djimon, Ghostly Casper, Kierkegaard K, Little Expensive and Osceola.


Oh Well has finished no worse than second in 12 of 13 lifetime races. His wins last season included the Mohawk Million and New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. His triumph in the Dancer on July 15 was his first victory in five starts this year.


Southwind Coors has three wins and two seconds in his five most recent races. His 1:52 score in the Goodtimes final at Woodbine Mohawk Park is the fastest mile by a 3-year-old trotter in Canada this season.


Gaines Hanover and Kilmister drew the outermost starting spots in the first elim, posts nine and 10, respectively.


In the first Hambletonian Oaks elim, Heaven Hanover will leave from post two and Instagram Model from post three.


Heaven Hanover, one of three Oaks horses for Melander, has been no worse than second in seven of eight races dating back to last September. Her 1:51.3 victory in the Miller is the fastest mile of the season by any of the Oaks entrants.


Instagram Model, trained by Annie Stoebe, heads to the elim off a second-place finish by a head to Quick Stop in the Miller. She has hit the board in four of five starts this year, with one win.


Burke-trained Railee Something, who starts from post five, has been no worse than second in any of her seven starts this season, winning five. She heads to the elim off a career-best 1:52 victory in a division of the Tompkins-Geers.


Walner Payton also has been a model of consistency, with top-three finishes in 14 consecutive races. She was last year’s Breeders Crown runner-up and finished second to Secret Volo in the New York New York Mile. She starts Saturday from post six.


In the second Oaks elim, Bond will start from post one, Quick Stop from three, Secret Volo from six and Righteous Resolve from eight.


Bond, one of four Oaks horses trained by Svanstedt, had a nine-race win streak snapped by a third-place finish in her July 15 division of the Miller Memorial, which was won by Heaven Hanover.


Quick Stop enters the elim off back-to-back victories in divisions of the Reynolds and Miller. Secret Volo was third in the Miller division won by Quick Stop, which followed her triumph in the New York New York Mile and second-place finish in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final.


Righteous Resolve, another Bax trainee, won last year’s Peaceful Way Stakes and Ontario Sire Stakes championship. She has an Ontario Sire Stakes victory to her credit in two starts this year and was first-placed-second in the other.


Racing begins at 6:20 p.m. (EDT) at The Meadowlands. The Hambletonian eliminations are races six and nine. The Oaks eliminations are races seven and eight.


Post positions for the Hambletonian and Oaks finals will be drawn Tuesday, Aug. 1, at a press conference and luncheon hosted by Hogan Equine Clinic in Cream Ridge, N.J., beginning at 2 p.m.


Below are the full fields for the Hambletonian:


First Elimination (Race 6)
PP – Horse – Driver – Trainer – Morning Line
1 – Osceola – Doug McNair – Gregg McNair – 20-1
2 – Oh Well – Tim Tetrick – Marcus Melander – 2-1
3 – Ghostly Casper – James MacDonald – Benoit Baillargeon – 15-1
4 – Djimon – Bob McClure – Shawn Steacy – 30-1
5 – Kierkegaard K – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 7-2
6 – Point Of Perfect – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 8-1
7 – Little Expensive – Andy Miller – Julie Miller – 10-1
8 – Southwind Coors – James MacDonald – Matt Bax – 5-1
9 – Gaines Hanover – Louis Roy – Claude Cadieux – 9-2
10 – Kilmister – Brian Sears – Marcus Melander – 12-1


Second Elimination (Race 9)
PP – Horse – Driver – Trainer – Morning Line
1 – Tuscan Prince – Louis Roy – Luc Blais – 10-1
2 – Crown – Brian Sears – Marcus Melander – 20-1
3 – Up Your Deo – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 7-2
4 – French Wine – Andy Miller – Julie Miller – 15-1
5 – Celebrity Bambino – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 9-2
6 – Air Power – Dexter Dunn – Marcus Melander – 5-2
7 – One Hundred Poof – Scott Zeron – Jenny Melander – 30-1
8 – Tactical Approach – Scott Zeron – Nancy Takter – 5-1
9 – Excalibur Bi – Andrew McCarthy – Tom Cancelliere – 15-1
10 – Winner’s Bet – Dexter Dunn – Domenico Cecere – 4-1


Below are the full fields for the Hambletonian Oaks:


First Elimination (Race 7)
PP – Horse – Driver – Trainer – Morning Line
1 – Gigi Hanover – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 12-1
2 – Heaven Hanover – Tim Tetrick – Marcus Melander – 3-1
3 – Instagram Model – Andrew McCarthy – Annie Stoebe – 5-2
4 – Mambacita – Yannick Gingras – Tony Alagna – 8-1
5 – Railee Something – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 2-1
6 – Walner Payton – Dexter Dunn – Chris Ryder – 6-1
7 – Wild Jiggy S – Dexter Dunn – Ake Svanstedt – 15-1
8 – Warrawee Yes – Bob McClure – Shawn Steacy – 20-1


Second Elimination (Race 8)
PP – Horse – Driver – Trainer – Morning Line
1 – Bond – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 5-2
2 – Pure Hope S – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 20-1
3 – Quick Stop – Tim Tetrick – Anette Lorentzon – 4-1
4 – Bella Macchiato – Dexter Dunn – Nancy Takter – 10-1
5 – Heart On Fire – Todd McCarthy – Tony Alagna – 12-1
6 – Secret Volo – Brian Sears – Marcus Melander – 9-2
7 – Kayleigh S – Brian Sears – Marcus Melander – 20-1
8 – Righteous Resolve – James MacDonald – Matt Bax – 2-1


Ken Weingartner