Day At The Track

Manchego to face the boys In Zweig Memorial

06:24 PM 15 Aug 2018 NZST
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Vernon, NY - Rival filly trotters Manchego and Plunge Blue Chip, two of the season's top sophomores as well as the fastest 3-year-olds in the long history of the breed, will both race at Vernon Downs on Friday in the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial trot but, in a somewhat surprising development, not against one and other.
The connections of Manchego have picked up the mantle of Hambletonian winning filly Atlanta and entered their star filly into the $350,000 Open division (race 9) where she'll face eight colts.
Manchego (PP #2) deftly handled her competition in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks two weeks past with a tour de force 1:50 stakes record, marking the fifth consecutive winner of that race for the trainer/driver team of Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras. She is the highest money earner in the Zweig field with $362,222 in seasonal earnings and over $1.2 million career for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman.
She'll meet a solid group of colts led by Hambletonian final second place finisher Met's Hall (Andy Miller) and the Hambo favorite Six Pack (Ake Svanstedt) whose magical mystery tour trip in his elimination heat resulted in his elimination.
Plunge Blue Chip (Svanstedt) will certainly have the favorite's target on her back in the surprisingly light group of eight in the Zweig Filly race (race 8). She became the fastest 3-year-old trotter ever with her epic 1:49.4 nose win over Manchego in the Del Miller stakes a month ago, followed up by a third in the Hambletonian Oaks final. She races for the partnership of Svanstedt Stable, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Thomas Andersson and Rick Zeron.
The Zweig also fields a nine colt $80,000 second tier division and the all stakes card is completed by New York Sires Stakes events for freshman filly pacers.
It's a grand program that will begin at 6:10 pm on Friday. Entries for the entire card may be seen here.
by Nick Salvi, for Vernon Downs
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