Day At The Track

Antonacci on Ready For Moni

05:46 AM 21 Aug 2020 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Ready For Moni, harness racing
Ready For Moni
USTA/Ken Weingartner photo

Frank M. Antonacci is more than happy with Ready For Moni as the colt heads to Friday's (Aug. 21) $330,000 Harry M. Zweig Memorial for harness racing 3-year-old trotters at Vernon Downs, and only a length separated Antonacci from being ecstatic.

Ready For Moni finished second in the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes on Aug. 8 at The Meadowlands, where filly Ramona Hill captured the sport's top event for 3-year-old trotters with a stakes-record-equaling 1:50.1 performance. Ready For Moni, making only his third start of the season, was a length back in 1:50.2, a time that would have won 93 of the previous 94 editions of the Hambletonian.

The Antonacci family, which bred and is among the owners of Ready For Moni, has won the Hambletonian five times and now finished second on seven occasions. Ironically, the family bred Ramona Hill's dam, Lock Down Lindy.

"I jokingly said after the race that we got beat by our own recipe," Antonacci said. "But we're pretty proud of that, too. To see them first and second like that is pretty remarkable.

"Only one thing could have happened that would have made (Ready For Moni's year) better, if we got to the finish line first in the Hambo. But what I like to see in a horserace is everybody gets their nose on the gate and there's really no excuses for anybody in the race and whatever happens, happens.

"You saw two really top horses battle it out from the top of the lane and she won. She was great, and I thought he raced great. I look forward to seeing more of that."

Ready For Moni, who is 2-for-3 this season and has won six of 11 lifetime races, is a son of French star Ready Cash out of Nothing But Moni. His grandam is the legendary Hall of Fame mare Moni Maker, who dazzled in North America and Europe while racing for the Antonacci family, David Reid, and trainer Jimmy Takter.

Nancy Takter trains Ready For Moni, who wintered in Florida with the Antonacci family's Lindy Racing team in preparation for the campaign. In addition to the Antonaccis, the colt is owned by John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Bud Hatfield.

"I'm really happy about this horse for a lot of reasons," Antonacci said. "To have John Fielding and the rest of the partners, we've had great relationships for a lot of years, so to have a horse like this is fantastic.

"To be back working as a team with the Takters and us having the horse in Florida, it was such a collaborative effort. Everybody that's been involved has been true professionals. I give a ton of credit to Domenico (Cecere) and our team down in Florida and Nancy and her team. There are a lot of egos in this game, like any sport or business, but everybody here has checked their egos at the door and are doing their best for the horse. It's good to see it pay off.

"And the icing on the cake, I think my dad's initiative with bringing the French pedigrees into the sport again here over the last 10 years, to see it kind of culminate in these horses, and it seems year after year that's becoming a more successful formula, it's really rewarding for me to see that for my dad," Antonacci concluded, referring to his father Frank, aka Frank The Elder.

Ready For Moni is the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the Zweig. He will start from post four with Matt Kakaley in the sulky (regular driver Yannick Gingras is in Canada). Hambletonian third-place-finisher Back Of The Neck is the 5-2 second choice from post one, with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Ake Svanstedt.

"It will be exciting to see how he goes through the rest of the year," Antonacci said about Ready For Moni. "Obviously, he's fast. And when I spoke with Domenico over the winter, he always spoke about how efficient his gait is. He's very good gaited.

"You talk about French pedigrees, and how they get better with time, to think he could mature even more is pretty exciting."

Friday's card at Vernon also includes the $160,140 Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters, where Ramona Hill is the 3-2 favorite over Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella, who is 8-5.

Racing begins at 3 p.m. (EDT). For complete entries for Friday's races at Vernon Downs, click this link.

by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager


Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: