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Mission Brief wins easily in seasonal debut
among slew of sires stakes

                   Mission Brief
                        Mission  Brief & Yannick Gingras
May 20, 2015~The return of Mission Brief (H-Muscle Hill) highlighted this week’s events on the Hambletonian Trail, with her debut coming in the $20,000 opening leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for three-year-old filly trotters on Friday, May 15.  To read the rest of this story, CLICK HERE
Rules Of The Road coasts in Simpson Memorial
                       Crazy Wow scores a NYSS victory for Yannick Gingras
May 12, 2015~
Colt trotters competed at Monticello Raceway on Monday, May 11 in four divisions of the $122,400 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS), attracting eight trotters eligible to the August classic. Crazy Wow won the premier division in 1:56.4 by five lengths as the 1/9 favorite, with Royal Lad chasing in second and Bavaro in third. . To read the rest of this story, Click Here
Habitat shines in Dexter Cup Stake

Habitat winning Dexter
                             Habitat with driver Yannick Gingras
May 6, 2015~The Hambletonian Trail premiered on Saturday, May 2 with the $133,170 Dexter Cup and $71,500 Lady Suffolk at Freehold Raceway, with Hambo hopefuls going in the Dexter Cup and “Oaks” hopefuls in the Lady Suffolk.

Habitat (H-Conway Hall) sprinted to the lead down the backstretch as the 1-2 favorite and maintained control to the finish, winning the Dexter Cup in 1:56.4. Divisionist (H-Andover Hall) applied first-over pressure and found room at the cones late to chase for second, and Gabe The Bear Dean was third. To read the rest of this story, Click Here
Yearling & Sustaining Payments due May 15, 2015
Sustaining payments for all races with May payments AND yearling nominations for all events administered by the Hambletonian Society are due Friday, May 15, 2015. All payments must be postmarked by midnight, Saturday, May 16 as provided by USTA rule.

Those two and three-year-old races requiring payments are listed below. For a complete list of stakes administered by the Society and accompanying yearling payment forms check the link below.

Eligibility lists for races that had a final payment on February, March, and April 15, 2015 are posted on the website. Race conditions, payment forms and much more information is now available online. For more information call 609-371-2211 or email

Pinkman, Mission Brief Headline List of 118 Eligibles to 2015 Hambletonian; 75 Fillies Make Oaks Payment
Cranbury, NJ~April 3, 2015
The $1 million Hambletonian and filly companion stake, the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, will be raced on Saturday afternoon, August 8, at the Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, New Jersey. The 90th edition of the classic event will feature eliminations and the final on the same day.

Eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks, if necessary, will be raced the prior week, Saturday, August 1.

The number of total eligible trotters to the two races remained the same as last year with 193 paid in, but an additional ten more colts made the payment this year, while the Oaks eligibles dropped by an identical ten fillies.

The powerful barns of Jimmy Takter and Ron Burke house both freshmen trotter Dan Patch honorees: Pinkman, a winner of $566,960 and the filly Mission Brief, who banked $591,070 in her brilliant freshman campaign. Between the two conditioners they harnessed seven of the top ten money-winning 2-year-old trotters in 2014.

Pinkman, a gelded son of Explosive Matter, made his presence felt in September of last year, winning the Standardbred Stakes at Delaware, Ohio. He followed up with wins in the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington and the Valley Victory at Mohawk in Canada, then used the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands to sew up divisional honors.

Takter, who has won three editions of the Hambletonian – Malabar Man in 1997, Muscle Massive in 2010 and Trixton last year – has a loaded sophomore roster to try for a fourth title. In the 2015 Hoof Beats Comprehensive Predictive Rankings for Trotters, Takter trains four of the top 10 voted “most likely to succeed” this year.

Yet it’s two lightly raced colts that Takter feels may represent his best shot at repeat Hambletonian glory.

“Whom Shall I Fear, who is a full brother to Father Patrick, didn’t race many starts last year. He was second in the International Stallion Stakes (behind Aldebaran Eagle). But he was big and growthy and we just stopped with him.”

“He is going to qualify next week at The Meadowlands and so will Canepa Hanover. Last year I thought those two would be my two best colts. They are both a little green so need to get some racing under their belts before the big stakes.” said Takter.

Mission Brief, the first filly to top the colts in the experimental rankings in years, may look to also be the first filly winner of the Hambletonian since Continentalvictory in 1996.

“She should be back to the races about mid-May,” said Burke about his trainee, dubbed a “freak” after a freshman year that wowed the harness racing world. “We’ll let her tell us when she is ready,” he continued. “Maybe a NJ Sire Stake is on the schedule first. Last year, she was so big and strong it just took her a while to figure things out. She has shown a lot of improvement and the Hambletonian is definitely something we would like to try to win. My Dad is 79 and winning the [Little Brown] Jug for us as a team and as a family was so special…I would like to try the Hambletonian.”

The 2014 Peter Haughton winner Centurion ATM, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, is also among the top sophomores eligible, and a Hambletonian win would make him just the third colt to win both elite races, joining Donato Hanover (07) and Muscle Hill (09).

The Hambletonian has been hosted by the Meadowlands Racetrack since 1981 and is the longest nationally televised event in harness racing. A 90-minute live broadcast will air on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. [EDT].

There are no supplemental entries permitted in the Hambletonian and Oaks, nor are participants in those events or the Hambletonian Maturity permitted the use of Lasix or Butazolidin. All entrants are subject to the out-of-competition testing rules described in the conditions. The Hambletonian Society and the Meadowlands sponsor the only events in North American horse racing that prohibit the use of any race day medication.

The Hambletonian is the first event in the trotting Triple Crown. The second leg is the
Yonkers Trot to be raced Saturday, September 5 at Yonkers Raceway in New York, and the third leg is the Kentucky Futurity, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky.The last trotter to win the Triple Crown was Glidemaster in 2006.

The Hambletonian trail commences Saturday, May 2, with the Dexter Cup and Lady Suffolk at Freehold Raceway.


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