A pair of $35,000 Hambletonian Oaks eliminations were carded on Saturday (July 30) at Meadowlands Racetrack. Crys Dream trotted past stablemate Hey Mister in deep stretch to win the first elimination in 1:54.4 with harness racing driver Luc Ouellette. Crys Dream is trained by Henrik Holsten for owners Reve Avec Moi Dreamwithme Stable, Deo Volente Farms, the TLP Stable and Jerry Silva.
Celebrity Katie (David Miller) was first to the lead at the :29 first quarter with Sashy (Mike Lachance) in behind her. Crys Dream was on the move at the three-eighths and Hey Mister (Brian Sears) was also up on the outside and made the lead by the :57.3 half.
Hey Mister and Celebrity Katie were one-two around the final turn when Crys Dream came up on the outside, but Hey Mister still held the lead at the three-quarters in 1:26.
When the field turned for home, Crys Dream and Ouellette pressed on to the lead and trotted alongside Hey Mister for several strides before pulling away to win by 1-1/2 lengths.
Co-owner Mike Gullota was asked after the race if they'd considered possibly racing the 12 for 13 lifetime filly against the colts.
"We discussed it and 42 days off (her last start was June 18) is just too much," said Gulotta. "We'll deal with the boys in the future."
The five fillies who will advance to the Oaks final from the first elimination are, in order of finish, Crys Dream, Sashay, Hey Mister, Martiniontherocks, and Wincinnatti.
Iron Lady (Luc Ouellette) trotted into the lead from the middle of the track in deep stretch to win the second Hambletonian Oaks elimaination. Iron Lady is owned by Reve Avec Moi Dreamwithme Stable and Jerry and Theresa Silva and trained by Fredrik Persson.
Creme De Cocoa (D.R. Ackerman) was first to the lead on the outside at the :27.4 quarter before that one fell off the pace and Cedar Dove (Ron Pierce) inherited the lead along the rail. Cedar Dove held the lead through the :56.1 half and to the three-quarters in 1:25.1.
At the top of the stretch, Iron Lady fanned wide down the center of the track to overtake the leader to win by two lengths in 1:53.3. Bold And Fresh was second, Lady Rainbow third, and Jezzy, who was far back at the start, caught the field to be fourth. Sedcedbychocolate was fifth and also advances to the final.
"I know this filly (Iron Lady) can trot alot," said Luc Ouellette, "but having said that, she surprised me tonight. They went at it a little bit and made the race for me. I was able to move her late and turn her loose at the head of the stretch and she showed what she was made of."
Asked who he would drive in the final, Ouellette said, "I guess I will discuss with other people involved; we're not picking the 9 or 10 (posts), we're not picking that, don't worry."
Both Crys Dream and Iron Lady are by Tauras Dream.
Jezzy, who was unbeaten in eight previous starts this year, spotted the field about 15 lengths at the start.
"When we turned toward the gate, she wanted to pace," said Tim Tetrick of Jezzy. "I had to get her trotting again. I don't know what happened, she just wanted to pace."
Hambletonian Oaks - Crys Dream
Hambletonian Oaks - Iron Lady
by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications