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McWicked jumped from #7 to #3 in the Top Ten Poll this week off his impressive victory over Lazarus in the Canadian Pacing Classic. Also of note is Kissin In The Sand who went from #10 to #7.  Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 15 – 9/4/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Atlanta (18) 3tf 8-6-2-0 $729,074 318 1 2 Manchego (11) 3tf 9-6-2-0 $501,402 301 2 3 McWicked (3) 7ph 11-7-2-1 $885,864 233 7 4 Shartin N (1) 5pm 19-14-1-0 $759,111 208 3 5 Courtly Choice (2) 3pc 12-9-0-0 $655,393 171 5 6 Hannelore Hanover 6tm 10-6-0-3 $307,824 126 4 7 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 10-7-3-0 $570,381 109 10 8 Marion Marauder 5th 9-5-4-0 $444,680 107 6 9 Lazarus N 6ph 2-1-1-0 $260,450 78 9 10 Ariana G 4tm 9-4-0-1 $425,052 70 8 Also: Stay Hungry (41); Lather Up (40); Youaremycandygirl (22); Jimmy Freight (19); Met’s Hall (17); Six Pack (15); Crazy Wow (8); Captain Ahab, Plunge Blue Chip (6); Crystal Fashion, Don’t Let’em, Homicide Hunter, Proof (5); Phaetosive, Western Joe (3); Beckhams Z Tam, Caviart Ally, De Los Cielos Deo, Dorsoduro Hanover (1).

The Red Mile Renaissance continues with the creation of $1 million harness race for two-year-old trotters slated for a blockbuster Grand Circuit weekend in 2019 at the historic Lexington, Kentucky harness track. The race for two-year-old trotters, was initiated by the Hambletonian Society and received an enthusiastic response from host partners The Red Mile, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the Kentucky Sires Stakes board. A formal announcement, outlining the parameters of the event will be made on Sunday, Sept. 16, when the Red Mile hosts the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stake Finals, the finale of the $4.5 million program on Fayette County Fair Day. Other partners include the Bluegrass Sports Commission, Cornett Agency, and the inaugural Lexington Selected Mixed Sale, slated for Oct. 7, 2018, which has dedicated net proceeds from the sale to promotion and marketing of the new event. The Hambletonian Society is a non-profit organization formed in 1924 to sponsor the race for which it was named, the Hambletonian Stake. The Society's mission is to encourage and support the breeding of Standardbred horses through the development, administration and promotion of harness racing stakes, early-closing races and other special events. by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society

Atlanta, after losing to Manchego, is still #1 in the Top Ten Poll with 17 first place votes but Manchego is closing in fast as she received 13 first place votes and is now #2. Ariana G was not in the top ten last week, then she beat the best and is back on the board in position #8. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 14 – 8/28/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Atlanta (17) 3tf 8-6-2-0 $729,074 320 1 2 Manchego (13) 3tf 9-6-2-0 $501,402 287 4 3 Shartin N (3) 5pm 18-14-1-0 $759,111 260 3 4 Hannelore Hanover 6tm 9-6-0-3 $285,267 210 2 5 Courtly Choice 3pc 11-8-0-0 $612,018 148 5 6 Marion Marauder 5th 8-5-3-0 $331,894 131 9 7 McWicked 7ph 10-6-2-1 $654,864 122 6 8 Ariana G (1) 4tm 8-4-0-0 $370,952 101 -- 9 Lazarus N (1) 6ph 1-1-0-0 $156,500 94 7 10 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 9-6-3-0 $443,881 73 10 Also: Lather Up (69); Youaremycandygirl (35); Jimmy Freight (22); Will Take Charge (8); Met’s Hall (7); Captain Ahab, Don’t Let’em, Filibuster Hanover (6); Wolfgang (5); Six Pack (4); Crystal Fashion, Swandre The Giant (3); Beckhams Z Tam, De Los Cielos Deo, Dorsoduro Hanover, Phaetosive, Stag Party (1).  

Hightstown, NJ --- There were no newcomers in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, but some shifting of positions. Empire Breeders Classic winner Courtly Choice moved from No. 8 to No. 5 in the rankings while Lather Up, who won a division of the Ohio Sire Stakes, improved from 10th to eighth. Artiscape winner Shartin N did not move in the poll, but did close the gap on No. 2 Hannelore Hanover to one point. Atlanta, who was idle, remained No. 1. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Atlanta (31) 3tf 7-6-1-0 $703,234 346 1 2 Hannelore Hanover (2) 6tm 8-6-0-2 $281,571 259 2 3 Shartin N (1) 5pm 18-14-1-0 $759,111 258 3 4 Manchego 3tf 8-5-2-0 $449,722 200 4 5 Courtly Choice 3pc 11-8-0-0 $612,018 153 8 6 McWicked 7ph 10-6-2-1 $654,864 144 5 7 Lazarus N (1) 6ph 1-1-0-0 $156,500 107 6 8 Lather Up 3pc 11-9-0-0 $527,365 85 10 9 Marion Marauder 5th 7-4-3-0 $316,494 80 7 10 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 8-5-3-0 $403,822 71 9 Also: Youaremycandygirl (69); Ariana G (59); Crystal Fashion (14); Stay Hungry (11); Dorsoduro Hanover (9); Met’s Hall, Will Take Charge, Wolfgang (7); Captain Ahab, Filibuster Hanover (6); De Los Cielos Deo, Don’t Let’em, Six Pack (4); Beckhams Z Tam, Swandre The Giant (3); Risk N, Thinkbig Dreambig (2); Melodies Major, Phaetosive, Plunge Blue Chip, The Ice Dutchess, Write Me A Song (1). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

East Rutherford, NJ - A 2018 Hambletonian Future Wager featuring three separate pools resulted in healthy pay-offs for those who backed Atlanta to become the 14th filly winner of the Hambletonian. The minimum future wager was $1.00, with win wagering only with 17% take-out and 15 betting interests each time the pool was opened. The winner of each pool was determined by the official first-place finisher in the 2018 Hambletonian on Saturday, Aug. 4 The first pool, which opened June 22 and closed June 24 offered the top 14 contenders at the time with the remaining eligibles, including all fillies paid to the Oaks, as "the field." Those who bet the field in this pool got the eventual winner Atlanta and a $7.00 win mutuel. The second future pool opened on July 20 and closed July 22. Atlanta debuted in the Future Pool at 8-1. Those who bet her in that pool got a mutuel pay-off of $8.00. The third Hambletonian Future Wager was opened after the race entries were drawn into the two elimination heats on Wednesday, August 1 at noon and closed on Friday, August 3 at 10:00 pm Hambletonian Eve. With Atlanta's official entry into the Hambletonian instead of the Oaks, the future line was set at 4-1. After cutting extreme fractions and finishing second in her elimination heat, Atlanta rebounded in the final heat and won the $1 million Hambletonian final with the same pace-setting tactics. She rewarding those who backed her in Future wager #3 with $11.80, much better than the $6.40 she returned live on track on race day. Total wagered on all three pools exceeded $33,000. The bet will return in 2019. From the Meadowlands & Hambletonian Society

Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 12 – 8/14/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Atlanta (31) 3tf 7-6-1-0 $703,234 345 1 2 Hannelore Hanover (2) 6tm 8-6-0-2 $281,571 269 2 3 Shartin N (1) 5pm 17-13-1-0 $681,831 241 4 4 Manchego 3tf 7-5-1-0 $362,222 223 3 5 McWicked 7ph 10-6-2-1 $654,864 150 5 6 Lazarus N (1) 6ph 1-1-0-0 $156,500 116 -- 7 Marion Marauder 5th 7-4-3-0 $316,494 98 8 8 Courtly Choice 3pc 10-7-0-0 $481,445 94 9 9 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 8-5-3-0 $403,822 89 10 10 Lather Up 3pc 10-8-0-0 $502,365 68 6 Also: Ariana G (64); Youaremycandygirl (42); Crystal Fashion (18); Stay Hungry (16); Dream Together, Six Pack (9); Dorsoduro Hanover (8); Will Take Charge, Wolfgang (7); Bit Of A Legend N, Captain Ahab, Don’t Let’em, Filibuster Hanover, Jimmy Freight (6); Sonnet Grace (4); Melodies Major, Phaetosive, Plunge Blue Chip (3); Caviart Ally, Risk N, Thinkbig Dreambig (2); De Los Cielos Deo, Fox Valley Gemini, Western Joe (1).

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - CBS Sports Network will present a 90-minute harness racing telecast of the $1 million Hambletonian, live from The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J., on Sat., Aug. 4, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. [EDT] The Hambletonian is the first and most prestigious leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. CBS Sports Network, which has been the broadcast home of the Hambletonian since 2012, also will air the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, and provide coverage of the $286,650 John Cashman Memorial Trot, featuring Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover and 2016 Hambletonian and Triple Crown champion Marion Marauder. "We are proud to continue the 40-year tradition of televising the Hambletonian," said John Campbell, president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society. "Daytime harness racing is an exciting and colorful sport and I believe every year harness racing fans of all levels anticipate and expect to watch the Hambletonian on the first Saturday of August. "Along with our broadcast partners the New Meadowlands and the United States Trotting Association, we remain committed to giving fans an entertaining and exciting TV option." The on-air team for the Hambletonian is a stellar trio of award-winning harness racing veterans. Gary Seibel, a former host of racing coverage on ESPN, NBC, CBS and TVG, will anchor the coverage. A member of harness racing's Communicators Hall of Fame, Seibel will be appearing on his 26th straight Hambletonian broadcast. Dave Brower, one of harness racing's most respected handicappers, will co-anchor. Brower, a staple of The Meadowlands airwaves, hosts the nightly broadcast of "Racing from the Meadowlands" as well as the SportsNet NY Meadowlands live television programs. Brower is an alumnus of Fox Sports New York, MSG Networks and TVG's "Drive Time". He is the author of the bestseller Harnessing Winners: The Complete Guide to Handicapping Harness Races. New to the Hambletonian coverage this year is Canada's Greg Blanchard. Blanchard will provide pre-and-post race interviews, along with information from the backstretch throughout the day. The Director of Racing at Ontario-based Western Fair for the past eight seasons, Blanchard has previously worked for Woodbine Entertainment Group in Toronto as a television commentator, hosting both network and simulcast broadcasts for both Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeds and also served as Manager of Media Communications for the Standardbred division. Emmy Award winner Mike Trager and the Trager Group have been executive producers of the Hambletonian broadcasts for the past 26 years. The award winning team will be lead by producer Peter Lasser and director David Newman, both Hambletonian and harness racing broadcast veterans. Meadowlands announcer Ken Warkentin will provide his racing expertise and race call. The 93rd Hambletonian show will re-air Saturday night, Aug. 4 at 8:30 p.m. [EDT]. CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is available across the country in more than 99 million homes nationwide. CBS Sports Network televises nearly 600 live events and over 3,000 hours of live programming every year including live college football, college basketball, and more from the MW, AAC, Big East, C-USA, A-10, Army, Navy, and the Patriot League. CBSSN is also the home to Professional Bull Riding and Arena Football League. For more information, and to access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ - The third Hambletonian Future Wager will commence on Wednesday, August 1 at noon and close on Friday, August 3 at 10:00 pm.   Entries have been taken and drawn for the Saturday, August 4 $1 million Hambletonian so this future wager offers the opportunity to place a win wager on the actual participants. The Hambletonian may be seen live on the CBS Sports Network from 4:00 to 5:30 pm,   Regulations dictate a maximum of 15 betting interests while 18 horses were declared for the race. As a result, four of the horses racing must be coupled as the mutuel field, listed in the past performance as wagering number 15. A wager on #15 is a winning bet if any of the four horses coupled wins the race.   The minimum future wager is $1 and all future wagers are win only. The wager is pari-mutuel, thus the closing odds will dictate payouts. The winner of each pool will be determined by the official first place finisher in the 2018 Hambletonian final, Race 13.   Wagers may be placed at The Meadowands Racetrack, any other participating track or account wagering service. Past performance listing the horses and the morning line odds are available on the Hambletonian Society website.   Find more Hambletonian Day details posted on the Meadowlands website.   Here is the field with HFW #3 beginning odds:   HAMBLETONIAN FUTURE WAGER 3   Horses Are Listed in Alphabetical Order   MUTUEL FIELD INCLUDES:   EVALUATE - HAT TRICK HABIT - PATENT LEATHER - SHOSHIE DEO   1. ALARM DETECTOR 20-1   2. ATLANTA 4-1   3. CLASSICHAP 15-1   4. CRYSTAL FASHION 8-1   5. FASHIONWOODCHOPPER 20-1   6. FOURTH DIMENSION 12-1   7. LAWMAKER 15-1   8. MET'S HALL 20-1   9. SIX PACK 3-1   10. SOUTHWIND CHROME 15-1   11. TACTICAL LANDING 10-1   12. WOLFGANG 6-1   13. YOU KNOW YOU DO 15-1   14. ZEPHYR KRONOS 20-1   15. MUTUEL FIELD 50-1   (EVALUATE-HAT TRICK HABIT-PATENT LEATHER-SHOSHIE DEO)   From the Meadowlands & Hambletonian Society  

Seventeen colts and a lone filly entered the 93rd Hambletonian, to be raced as two $100,000 elimination heats for the $1 million final on Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Atlanta, a sophomore daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip, trained and driven by the father-son team of Rick Zeron and Scott Zeron, will attempt to become just the 14th filly to win the Hambletonian title in its 93 years. The last filly to do so was the world champion Continentalvictory in 1996. Post positions for the Hambletonian heats and the $500,000 final of the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters will be drawn and morning lines assigned on a Facebook live post-position draw at 2 p.m. (EDT) on the Meadowlands Facebook page and also streamed live on the Meadowlands YouTube channel. The top-five finishers in each Hambletonian elimination heat will advance to the same-day final later Saturday afternoon. Elimination winners draw for inside posts 1-5 and all other finalists will then be placed in an open draw. There is no Lasix or any race day medication permitted in the eliminations or finals of the Hambletonian Oaks or Hambletonian Open. The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $1 million Hambletonian will be featured on a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday. Below is the alpha list of entries to the Hambletonian. First Leg of the Trotting Triple Crown; 3-Year-Old Colt Trot in 2018 - $1,000,000 ALPHA LIST Horse Sex Trainer Nominator ALARM DETECTOR C Ben Baillargeon T & E Rankin, C Hamel, S Vena ATLANTA F Rick Zeron Holland Rcg Stb, H Taylor, B Grant, Crawford CLASSICHAP C Trond Smedshammer Purple Haze Stbs LLC CRYSTAL FASHION G Jim Campbell Fashion Farms LLC EVALUATE C Marcus Melander Stall TZ Inc FASHIONWOODCHOPPER C Jim Campbell Fashion Farms LLC FOURTH DIMENSION C Marcus Melander Courant Inc HAT TRICK HABIT C Scott DiDomenico Fred Monteleone Stb LLC LAWMAKER C Anthony MacDonald The Stable Lawmaker Group MET'S HALL C Julie Miller Stroy Inc, Andy Miller Stable Inc PATENT LEATHER C Jim Campbell Fashion Farms LLC SHOSHIE DEO C DeWayne Minor Annemette Minor SIX PACK C Ake Svanstedt Svandstedt, Little E, Stall Kalmar FF, Berg SOUTHWIND CHROME C Paula Wellwood Dreamville Stable TACTICAL LANDING C Jimmy Takter The Tactical Landing Stable WOLFGANG C Jimmy Takter Brixton Medical, Hatfield Stbs, Fair Island Fm YOU KNOW YOU DO C Jimmy Takter Taylor, Order By Stb, Hatfield,Katz, Libfeld Goldband ZEPHYR KRONOS C Jimmy Takter A Libfeld, M Katz, P Soderberg, C Takter 17 Colts and 1 Filly Hambletonian Day is closing day with a post time of 12:00 noon, and the zenith of the Championship Meet. Fans can follow the next two action-filled weekends at Hambletonian.com, meadowlandsracetrack.com and on Twitter at #Hambo18. by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society 

Hightstown, NJ --- There were no changes of positions in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. The only member of the Top 10 in action last week was Shartin N, who won in the Great Northeast Open Series for older female pacers Sunday. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 10 – 7/31/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (34) 6tm 6-6-0-0 $233,338 349 1 2 McWicked (1) 7ph 8-6-1-0 $556,831 253 2 3 Ariana G 4tm 5-3-0-0 $346,675 238 3 4 Atlanta 3tf 5-5-0-0 $178,234 180 4 5 Courtly Choice 3pc 8-6-0-0 $453,615 177 5 6 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 6-4-2-0 $353,557 137 6 7 Shartin N 5pm 16-12-1-0 $590,040 131 7 8 Lather Up 3pc 8-7-0-0 $470,665 126 8 9 Six Pack 3tc 6-5-1-0 $359,198 96 9 10 Wolfgang 3tc 3-3-0-0 $200,415 85 10 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- Seventeen 3-year-olds trotters entered today for the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the filly division of the Hambletonian. Hambletonian Festival week kicks off on July 28 with two $50,000 eliminations to narrow the field to 10 for the $500,000 Oaks final on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 4, at The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. The recent battle between Dan Patch Award champion Manchego and rival Plunge Blue Chip in a division of the Del Miller Memorial at The Meadowlands resulted in a near dead-heat with Plunge Blue Chip emerging a nostril ahead in a world-record 1:49.4. The two fillies were seeded into different Oaks eliminations, with Plunge Blue Chip receiving post eight in one and Manchego receiving post seven in the other. The other Del Miller Memorial winner, Phaetosive, will start inside of Plunge Blue Chip with post five in their elimination. Manchego has lost just two of 17 career starts, breaking against males in the Beal Memorial final on June 30, and the aforementioned nose loss to Plunge Blue Chip. Her career earnings stand at $961,170 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. Plunge Blue Chip, driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt, has a record of 5-3-2-0 in 2018 for an ownership comprised of Svanstedt Stable, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Zeron Racing Stables and Tomas Andersson. Her only losses this year have come in meetings with Atlanta, the top filly in the division, whose connections opted to race the males in the $1 million Hambletonian Open. The daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donut became the fastest 3-year-old of any gender with her recent 1:49.4 score. For the first time this year Plunge Blue Chip will face Phaetosive, driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer and owned by Purple Haze Stables. The daughter of Explosive Matter-Phaeton was a $65,000 purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale in 2016 and has earned her connections $352,358 in just 10 lifetime starts. The Oaks elimination fields are as follows: $50,000 Oaks Elim for Saturday, July 28 Post Position Horse Trainer Driver 1 Blonde Magic Thomas Durand Thomas Durand 2 Lima Novelty Linda Toscano Scott Zeron 3 Winbak Noelle Lucas Wallin Andrew McCarthy 4 Perfect Summer K Andrew Harris Louis Roy 5 Phaetosive Trond Smedshammer Trond Smedshammer 6 Live Laugh Love R. Nifty Norman David Miller 7 Nixie Volo John Butenschoen Corey Callahan 8 Plunge Blue Chip Ake Svanstedt Ake Svanstedt   $50,000 Oaks Elim for Saturday, July 28 Post Position Horse Trainer Driver 1 What A Knockout Marcus Melander David Miller 2 Bill’s Lady John Butenschoen Corey Callahan 3 Lily Stride Mark Harder Tim Tetrick 4 Hey Blondie Chuck Sylvester Andrew McCarthy 5 Fly Fly Selena Dustin Jones Brett Miler 6 Courtney Hanover Rick Zeron Scott Zeron 7 Manchego Jimmy Takter Yannick Gingras 8 Piranha Fury R. Nifty Norman Tim Tetrick 9 Seviyorum Julie Miller Andy Miller The top five finishers in each elim will advance to the final on Aug. 4. There is no Lasix or any race day medication permitted in the eliminations or finals of the Hambletonian Oaks or Open. Elimination winners draw for inside posts 1-5 and all other finalists will then be placed in an open draw. The winner of the final on Aug. 4 is the Oaks winner, regardless of elimination finish on July 28. Post positions for the $500,000 final will be drawn and morning lines assigned on Tuesday, July 31, on a Facebook live post-position draw at 2 p.m. on the Meadowlands Facebook page and also streamed live on the Meadowlands YouTube channel. The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $1 million Hambletonian will be featured on a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. [EDT] on Aug. 4. Hambletonian Day is closing day with a post time of 12:00 noon, and the zenith of the Championship Meet. Fans can follow the next two action-filled weekends at Hambletonian.com, meadowlandsracetrack.com and on Twitter at #Hambo18. by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society

With the annoucement that Atlanta will be taking on the boys in the Hambletonian, plus her unbeaten streak now at five-straight, has moved from #6 to #4 in the Top Ten Poll. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 9 – 7/24/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (34) 6tm 6-6-0-0 $233,338 349 1 2 McWicked (1) 7ph 8-6-1-0 $556,831 244 2 3 Ariana G 4tm 5-3-0-0 $346,675 235 3 4 Atlanta 3tf 5-5-0-0 $178,234 195 6 5 Courtly Choice 3pc 8-6-0-0 $453,615 177 4 6 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 6-4-2-0 $353,557 142 5 7 Shartin N 5pm 15-11-1-0 $575,040 130 7 8 Lather Up 3pc 8-7-0-0 $470,665 125 8 9 Six Pack 3tc 6-5-1-0 $359,198 113 9 10 Wolfgang 3tc 3-3-0-0 $200,415 96 10 Also: Manchego (49); Plunge Blue Chip (46); Jimmy Freight, Marion Marauder (4); Evenin Of Pleasure, Filibuster Hanover, Phaetosive (3); Crystal Fashion, Kendall Seelster (2); Dorsoduro Hanover, Fox Valley Gemini, Springbridge Sassy (1).

With a bold leap after winning the Haughton Memorial, McWicked has jumped from 5th place to 2nd place in this weeks Top Ten Poll.  Ariana G also climbed up the poll big time, moving from seventh place to third and Courtly Choice, who was not even in the Top Ten after winning his M'lands Pace elim two weeks ago, moved into 4th place with his Pace final victory. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 8 – 7/17/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (34) 6tm 6-6-0-0 $233,338 349 1 2 McWicked (1) 7ph 7-5-1-0 $543,911 245 5 3 Ariana G 4tm 5-3-0-0 $346,675 215 7 4 Courtly Choice 3pc 8-6-0-0 $453,615 164 -- 5 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 6-4-2-0 $353,557 155 8 6 Atlanta 3tf 4-4-0-0 $147,584 153 4 7 Shartin N 5pm 15-11-1-0 $575,040 147 2 8 Lather Up 3pc 8-7-0-0 $470,665 144 3 9 Six Pack 3tc 6-5-1-0 $359,198 116 -- 10 Wolfgang 3tc 3-3-0-0 $200,415 100 9 Also: Manchego (62); Plunge Blue Chip (45); Marion Marauder (8); Crystal Fashion (5); Filibuster Hanover, Fox Valley Gemini, Phaetosive (3); Springsteen (2); Bit Of A Legend N, Donttellmeagain, Dorsoduro Hanover, Foiled Again, Sock It Away, Youaremycandygirl (1).

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Ariana G, the 1-5 favorite driven by Yannick Gingras, led wire-to-wire before drawing clear late to a 2¾-length victory in the 27th edition of the $405,850 Hambletonian Maturity for harness racing 4-year-old trotters Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Ariana G completed the 1 1/8-mile distance in 2:05 and cruised to her third win in five starts this season, posting her 24th victory in 31 career starts. Coming off a world-record 1:50 2/5 score in the Graduate Series final just a week ago, Ariana G also joins 2016 winner and Gingras-driven Hannelore Hanover (who won earlier on the Saturday card in the Miss Versatility), 1964 winner Elma and 1963 winner Spry Rodney as mare winners of the Maturity and also hits the record books as the first mare to complete the Hambletonian Oaks-Maturity double. As the prohibitive favorite, Ariana G returned $2.60 to win. "I was so happy with her performance. I was a little nervous with her nine post. She cut it close a bit down the stretch, but she is just an amazing horse," said trainer Jimmy Takter, who took home his first Maturity win. "We should not compare great horse with others. She has been so good. She is just a perfect horse." Takter said Ariana G will next race on Hambletonian Day (Aug. 4) in the John Cashman Memorial. Bill's Man, driven by Corey Callahan, was second, with Top Flight Angel and Andy Miller grabbing the show dough.   by Lou Monaco, for the Hambletonian Society

The Hambletonian Maturity, a race exclusively for 4-year-old trotters, drew nine entrants and will go to post Saturday (July 14) at the Meadowlands Racetrack for a purse of $405,850. Ariana G, owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, fresh off a world-record 1:50.2 victory in the Graduate Series final, seeks to join 2016 winner Hannelore Hanover, 1964 winner Elma and 1963 winner Spry Rodney as mare winners of the Maturity. Ariana G, who won the 2017 Hambletonian Oaks on her way to divisional honors and $1.1 million in earnings, would be the first mare to complete the Oaks-Maturity double if she wins Saturday. Her stiffest competition comes in the form of Guardian Angel As, with three wins in three starts this year for trainer Anette Lorentzon. The son of Archangel authored a 4-year-old track record of 1:52 last month at Harrah's Philadelphia, but was ineligible to the Graduate final. Owned by ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson, Guardian Angel As has racked up $320,030 in his career, with most of his sophomore success coming on the New York Sire Stakes trail. This year he's a different horse according to Lorentzon. "Last year he was just unlucky most of the time," Lorentzon said. "He raced good but he wasn't as good on a half-mile track and that's where the New York Sire Stakes are raced. He was always better on a mile track. I thought he raced really, really good in the Hambletonian to make the final and everyone knows the story of him getting run into. (Guardian Angel As, driven by Jason Bartlett, was fourth in his Hambletonian heat and interfered with in the final, causing the first ever disqualification of a Hambletonian winner, when What The Hill was placed ninth). "At the end of the year I started to have a problem with his foot -- I'm still not sure what bothered him, but he had a lot of issues with it. He raced really well in Lexington but he was not paid into the Kentucky Futurity. Then the Breeders Crown, that didn't go as we planned either. I was happy in the elimination but the final did not work out as it should, so then I just turned him out." Guardian Angel As ended the year with a record of 19-8-3-1 and $259,280 in earnings. Lorentzon qualified him at Hoosier Park in May and won an overnight in 1:53, a new mark for Guardian Angel As that he subsequently lowered in winning a leg of the Graduate at Tioga Downs and lowered again by setting the track record at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:52. "When Timmy (Tetrick) drove him in Tioga he said he got away a little further back then he wanted but won as easy as could be. Then of course at (Harrah's Philadelphia) he was very happy with him," Lorentzon said. "We missed the Graduate because you have to race in half the legs and there are only three and I did not want to ship him to Canada because it's a long season with a lot of racing towards the end of the year. I am thinking about the future with him because we plan on racing him for several more years -- you never know what will happen but that's our plan. "Ariana G was very, very impressive and it's a tough race for everybody. I'll be happy if he races well and has a little luck." Also entered is Sortie, who was a surprise third-place finisher in the Graduate final at 53-1 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer; Canadian invader R First Class from the barn of Ben Baillargeon; a pair of contenders from trainer John Butenschoen, Don Dream and Bill's Man; as well as International Moni, Yes Mickey and Top Flight Angel. R First Class is driven by Trevor Henry, whose most recent of only three previous career appearances at The Meadowlands was in 2017 when he drove Classic Pro to a third-place finish in the Meadowlands Pace at 64-1. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Guardian Angel As-Tim Tetrick-Anette Lorentzon-4/1 2-Yes Mickey-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-12/1 3-R First Class-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon-15/1 4-Top Flight Angel-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-8/1 5-International Moni-Scott Zeron-Domenico Cecere-5/1 6-Don Dream-Brett Miller-John Butenschoen-20/1 7-Sortie-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-10/1 8-Bill's Man-Corey Callahan-John Butenschoen-10/1 9-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-7/5 Trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt won the first edition of the current incarnation of the Hambletonian Maturity in 2014 with Your So Vain and starts Yes Mickey from post two. Four of the nine entered were 2017 Hambletonian starters: Bill's Man, Guardian Angel As, International Moni, and Sortie. Created by the Hambletonian Society and the Meadowlands as a racing opportunity solely for 4-year-olds previously eligible to the Hambletonian and Oaks, like those events the Maturity racing conditions prohibit the use of Lasix, the only race day medication permitted in New Jersey and entrants are subject to out of competition testing. The distance is 1-1/8 miles. All starters in the race will receive money, with the winner receiving 50 percent of the purse. One percent of the total purse will be paid to the owners of the finalists finishing sixth through ninth. The remainder of the purse for the Maturity will be divided 50-24-16-10 percent for the horses finishing second through fifth. For the complete Meadowlands card, click here. For Meadowlands announcer Ken Warkentin's analysis of all the races, click here. by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society  

Ariana G, based on her amazing world record performance over the week, has surged aboard the Top Ten Poll in seventh place. There was no movement among the top six horses. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 7 – 7/10/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (32) 6tm 5-5-0-0 $218,338 346 1 2 Shartin N 5pm 14-11-1-0 $560,923 269 2 3 Lather Up 3pc 8-7-0-0 $470,665 228 3 4 Atlanta 3tf 4-4-0-0 $147,584 217 4 5 McWicked (1) 7ph 6-4-1-0 $324,850 174 5 6 Manchego 3tf 4-3-0-0 $55,740 131 6 7 Ariana G 4tm 4-2-0-0 $143,750 122 -- 8 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 5-3-2-0 $264,370 97 8 9 Wolfgang 3tc 2-2-0-0 $112,630 85 7 10 Marion Marauder 5th 5-3-2-0 $169,500 49 10 Also: Courtly Choice (42); Filibuster Hanover (27); Crystal Fashion (26); Bit Of A Legend N (23); Foiled Again (21); Stay Hungry (17); Keystone Velocity (10); Six Pack (9); Shower Play (8); Mission Accepted (6); Rockin Ron (4); Katkin America, Springsteen (3); Donttellmeagain, Emoticon Hanover, Fox Valley Gemini, Nutcracker Sweet, Physicallyinclined, Warrawee Ubeat, Will Take Charge, Youaremycandygirl (1). Foiled Again received 2 first-place votes.

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