Day At The Track

Drivers looking for first Hambletonian Crowns

11:38 AM 04 Aug 2017 NZST
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Jake (1) holds off Seven And Seven (5)
Jake (1) holds off Seven And Seven (5) to win the second leg of the Define The World Series.
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Saturday’s two Hambletonian elimination races include two horses with identical morning-line odds and a harness racing driver on each looking for their first Hambletonian Crown ever. 

8-1 shot Seven and Seven, driven by Mark MacDonald and trained by Tom Durand, will leave from post 2 in a field of 10 in the Hambletonian’s second elimination heat (race 9).

Seven And Seven has not raced since June 17, where he finished third in the $183,230 Goodtimes Final at Mohawk Racetrack to eventual winner and Hambletonian favorite International Moni.

“He is a pretty resilient horse. He will go with them and right now he is training really good,” said Durand, who is participating in his third Hambletonian, having finished second in the 2011 final with Whiskey Tax and eighth in an elimination with Roughing It in 1990.

“In the Goodtimes, he was spooked at the start of the race but driver David Miller said he was really impressed with how he responded and he had a ton of horse left. The qualifier last week at Mohawk was good, but it was a bit disappointing because, I wanted to test the horse out on the front end, and he didn’t want anything of it, so we won’t be sending him out to the lead on Saturday.”

With Miller opting for What The Hill out of post 1 and Brian Sears driving Dover Dan from post 5, MacDonald will drive. MacDonald drove in his first Hambletonian heat last year and finished sixth with Reigning Moni, missing the final by one spot.

“To make the final and possibly win it would be the culmination of something we have worked for for a very long time,” said Durand via phone call Wednesday. “He has been training like a monster, especially his last time out on Tuesday, he shifted gears like that and is right on the bit. He is going to give it his all I know that.”

Another 8-1 shot, Jake, will leave from post nine in a field of nine in Saturday’s first Hambletonian heat (race 8).

Trained by Luc Blais, Daniel Dube will drive.

Blais, a native of Lochaber Ouest, Quebec and who is seeking his first Hambletonian champion, is coming off a solid year in which he ranked fifth in Canada’s trainer earnings with $1.78 million.

The 55-year-old Blais had worked with a number of stakes winners at Yves Filion’s Bayama Farms in Quebec before starting his own stable. His best-known recent successes include two-time O’Brien Award-winning trotter Intimidate and Ontario Sire Stakes champion trotter Emoticon Hanover.

Dube’s last drive in a Hambo heat was with Workout Wonder in 2015, finishing sixth. Dube did drive Make It Happen to a third-place Hambo final finish in 2008.

“He raced good the last time out and I think he will be all right coming from the outside post,” Dube said via phone call Wednesday. “I can do whatever I want with him. In these eliminations, you need a little bit of racing luck to make the final. We just have to get there.”

Dube finished second with Jake in a $15,000 race on July 29th.

“This is the best race. I can’t explain it. For us to get to the final and have a chance to win, it would mean a lot to me and a dream come true,” Dube said.

Following are the Hambletonian elimination fields.

Hambletonian Elimination (race eight)

PP-Horse-Sire-Dam Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line

1 - Southwind Woody by Muscle Hill from a Pine Chip mare - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 12/1

2 - Bill’s Man by Credit Winner from a Yankee Glide mare - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 5/1

3 - Guardian Angel AS by Archangel from an Allstar Hall mare - Jason Bartlett - Anette Lorentzon - 10/1

4 - Giveitgasandgo by Yankee Glide from an Andover Hall mare - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 8/1

5 - International Moni by Love You from a Speedy Crown mare - Scott Zeron - Frank Antonacci - 5/2

6 -Stealth Hanover by Andover Hall from a Credit Winner mare - Francisco Del Cid - Francisco Del Cid - 30/1

7 - Victor Gio It by Ready Cash from a Pine Chip mare - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 6/1

8 - Long Tom by Muscle Hill from a Windsong’s Legacy mare - Tim Tetrick - Marcus Melander - 3/1

9 - Jake by Muscle Hill from an Andover Hall mare - Dan Dube - Luc Blais - 8/1


Hambletonian Elimination (race nine)

PP-Horse-Sire-Dam Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line

1 - What The Hill by Muscle Hill from an Angus Hall mare - David Miller - Ron Burke - 3/1

2 - Seven And Seven by Chapter Seven from a Kadabra mare - David Miller - Tom Durand - 8/1

3 - Sortie by Explosive Matter from a Tagliabue mare - Andy McCarthy - Noel Daley - 10/1

4 -Shake it Off Lindy by Crazed from a Love You mare - Brett Miller - Frank Antonacci - 20/1

5 - Dover Dan by Andover Hall from a Royal Troubador mare - Brian Sears - John Butenschoen - 8/1

6 - Enterprise by Chapter Seven from a SJ’s Caviar mare - Tim Tetrick - Marcus Melander - 9/2

7 - Southwind Cobra by Muscle Hill from a Broadway Hall mare - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 15/1

8 - Achille Duharas by Andover Hall from a Pine Chip mare - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 20/1

9 - Devious Man by Credit Winner from a Garland Lobell mare - Andy Miller - Julie Miller-5/2

10 - Perfect Spirit by Andover Hall from a Kadabra mare - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svanstedt - 12/1

by LOU MONACO, for the Hambletonian Society


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