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August 6, 2016~Marion Marauder wins Hambletonian

It wasn’t the perfect drive. But it was the perfect ending.

Marion Marauder won Saturday’s (Aug. 6) $1 million Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, by a nose over Southwind Frank in 1:51.4 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Sutton was third as the top three horses stretched across the finish line separated by only a neck in the 91st edition of the sport’s top race for 3-year-old trotters.

Marion Marauder was a 1:51.4 winner in the Hambletonian.

It was Marion Marauder’s second win of the day. Earlier in the afternoon, he won his Hambletonian elimination by a half-length over Southwind Frank in a career-best 1:51.3. Last year, Marion Marauder was winless in races against Southwind Frank, finishing second on four occasions.

In the Hambletonian final, Marion Marauder was fifth as Southwind Frank and Bar Hopping traded the lead in the first half of the race. At that point Scott Zeron, driving Marion Marauder for the wife-and-husband training team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, put his horse in gear and launched a first-over attack.

Marion Marauder was second behind Bar Hopping at three-quarters, but reached the front at the top of the stretch. As Bar Hopping dropped back, eventually finishing fifth, Marion Marauder held off hard-charging challenges from Southwind Frank to his inside and Sutton on the outside. Waitlifter K was fourth, beaten a length.

Zeron, who at age 27 became the second-youngest driver to win the Hambletonian, thought he might have moved too soon with Marion Marauder. To read the rest of the story, CLICK HERE

To read more about Hambletonian Day, CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

August 5, 2016~Bar Hopping, Marion Marauder win Hambletonian Eliminations
Bar Hopping (Tim Tetrick) won the first of two $70,000 elimination races by open lengths in 1:51.4 to advance to the $1 million final of the Hambletonian on Saturday. Milligan’s School (Andy Miller) was second and Lagerfeld (Yannick Gingras) was third. Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis) was fourth and Mavens Way (John Campbell) was fifth and got the final spot in the Hambletonian final.

Marion Marauder stormed through the stretch and overtook leader Southwind Frank in the final strides to win the second of Saturday’s two eliminations for the Hambletonian. The time for the mile was 1:51.3, a lifetime best for Marion Marauder, who was sent off at odds of 3-1. Joining Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank in the $1 million final were Waitlifter K, Sutton, and The Royal Harry. To read the rest of this story, CLICK HERE

August 5, 2016~91st Hambletonian to Air Live on CBS Sports Network
CBS Sports Network will present a 90-minute telecast of the $1 million Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, live from The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ, on Sat., Aug. 6 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. (EDT). The Hambletonian is the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown. To read the rest of this story, CLICK HERE 

August 2, 2016~Takter Aims for Hambletonian Records


It is no secret that trainer Jimmy Takter (above) has enjoyed great success in the Hambletonian Stakes.

The 55-year-old Hall of Famer has won the race four times, including each of the past two years, and would become the first trainer in history to three-peat with a win on Saturday. A victory would also give Takter a record-tying fifth triumph, putting him in the company of Stanley Dancer, Billy Haughton and Ben White in that elite club.

But what is the secret to his success?

“The secret, I think, is to stick with what you normally do,” Takter said. “Most trainers, including me when I was younger, start thinking about it and changing stuff and doing things differently. People start over-doing things, train the horses maybe a little harder, or whatever. I don’t think that’s smart. I think that’s where experience comes in.

“The horse has no clue it’s the Hambletonian. The driver and trainer, yes. But the horse has no clue.”

To read the rest of this story, CLICK HERE
August 2, 2016~Broadway Donna seeks to join her dam with Hambo Oaks crown 
She is the defending champion of her division and banked $625,642 in only 14 trips to the post, yet when the stage is set for the most heralded contest of her career, the spotlight still fails to shine on Broadway Donna in this Saturday's (Aug. 6) edition of the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks final.

“This is the race we have pointed for and wanted to win,” said Jim Campbell, her conditioner. “Right from the day she was born we fell in love with her. She was just a perfect foal and is still a big, strong filly. She looked the part of a nice racehorse and when we started to train her down she showed us why we felt so strongly about her. She is always professional. She can be tricky because she does like her own way, but she never gets hot like her mother could do from time to time. She has perfect manners and an excellent mind. The best way to put it is she has it all.”

To read the rest of this story, CLICK HERE
July 29, 2016~$100,000 Grand Circuit Challenge Begins August 6th
The 2016 Grand Circuit Challenge is a contest that offers a $100,000 grand prize to any contestant who can successfully pick the winner in each of the contest’s 18 races, as well as consolation prizes and weekly prizes. If no player selects all correct winners a $5,000 first prize will be awarded to the player with the most correct picks, and a VIP Race Experience will be awarded as a second prize.

The contest, which involves 10 different racetracks, will begin on Aug. 6, with the Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks and U.S. Pacing Championship from the Meadowlands and concludes at that same track with a Breeders Crown race on Oct. 29. To see the dates and read the rest of the story, CLICK HERE


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