Day At The Track

Impressive debut mile for Imhatra Am S

06:23 PM 17 Apr 2021 NZST
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Imhatra AM S, harness racing
Imahatra AM S
Lisa Photo

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Harness racing trainer Marcus Melander unveiled a contender for the Aug. 7 Hambletonian Oaks at The Meadowlands Friday night, as his Imhatra AM S worked out a perfect pocket trip with Brian Sears doing the driving on the way to winning her 3-year-old debut in 1:56.3.

Owned by Courant Inc., the daughter of 2009 Hambletonian champion Muscle Hill (who was handled by Sears) is out of the dam Tamla Celeber S, a million-dollar earner who won a Breeders Crown in 2012 when driven by Sears.

Hambletonian eligible Swan Hill, a 3-year-old colt by Muscle Hill - Swan Wise As who is also from Melander's barn, set sail for the lead in the 3-year-old trotting event for non-winners of one and cut out fractions of :28.4, :58.3 and 1:28 before being overtaken in deep stretch along the pylons by his stablemate to finish three-quarters-of-a-length back in second. Perfect Record was third.



The betting public was unfazed by the fact that Imhatra AM S was making only her second career start, sending her to the gate as the 2-5 favorite, returning $2.80 to win.

CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR: All-source wagering totaled $3,227,696, to fall just $10,000 short of last week's $3,237,137, which was the best Friday night of business in 2021. Races six and 10 led the way with total betting of $354,485 and $361,223, respectively. The sixth race 50-cent Pick-4 took in $107,834 of action while the 10th race saw $98,001 put in play.

A LITTLE MORE: Driver Luke Hanners made his debut at The Big M and came close to getting a victory, finishing second with All American N, who went parked every step of the way from post 10 before getting nailed by 8-5 favorite Gold Medal Swan by a head in 1:54.3. Thus far in 2021, Hanners, 20, has a combined 40 wins from 431 starts racing at Freehold and Rosecroft Raceways. ... Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras had two winners apiece. The top two drivers in the Big M colony now have 67 and 45 wins, respectively. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

For full race results, click here.

By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands


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