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Saturday, June 13, 2009

The March to the Hambo/Hambo Oaks - NJ Edition, Yonkers Stakes Highlights

Well, the NJSS finals at the Meadowlands for 3yo trotters have concluded.

In the NJSS Final for 3yo filly trotters, Margarita Momma outfinished Gabby's Dream to win by a neck in 1:55.3 on a good track. For me Gabby's Dream was more impressive being hard used and parked to the half. That being said, from what I have seen thus far this season, Margarita Momma seems to get all the luck; should the luck go her way, Gabby's Dream could be there on August 8th. Of course, this race was against state breds; it will be interesting to see the both of them against open company.

In the NJSS Final for 3yo colt trotters what can you say? The march of Muscle Hill continues. Muscle Hill easily dominated the field to win handily in 1:53.3 over the same off track. The horse that interested me, Vesuvio AS finished 4th six lengths back. I would be disappointed in Vesuvio AS's finish except he was parked half of the mile, three wide at the 3/4s. I need to see another race from Vesuvio to see if he is still a legitimate contender.

Interesting is the fact that Muscle Hill was part of a five horse entry due to common ownership. The entry took the first three positions and four of the top five. There were two entries in this race so out of the ten horses there were only five betting interests. The Meadowlands was wise to cancel place and show wagering. One needs to wonder if it would have made sense to card this race as a non-wagering event instead of having a non-bettable race for gamblers.

In other action, Showherthemoney pleased the crowd by winning the Miss New Jersey Pace for 3yo filly pacers in 1:50.4. Personal favorite McGibson got jammed in and got loose late. Whether or not McGibson would have caught Showherthemoney is hard to say. What I can say, why McGibson may not be Linda Toscano's first team, McGibson will be heard from often this year.

In the NJ Classic for 3yo pacing colts, Passmaster Havover won a thrilling stretch duel against Dial or Nodial who finished third. Three times Passmaster Hanover passed Dial or Nodial and twice Dial or Nodial came back, but the third time was the charm for Passmaster. Dial or Nodial threw in a couple of bad steps at the end, but that is understandable considering the pressure. The time for the mile was 1:50.2.

These were four great races celebrating the strength of the NJ sired horse. With a lot of the stallions and broodmares having left the state for greener (slot) pastures, you have to wonder if this may have been the last year a leading Hambo contender will be prepping in NJSS races and whether NJ sired horses will be as relevant in the future.

Over at Yonkers Raceway, Not Enough makes it five for five this year winning the $293,000 Lismore Final for 3yo pacing fillies easily in 1:53.4 (good track). Once Not Enough got to the lead it was all over. In the $421,000 Art Rooney Final for 3yo pacing colts, If I Can Dream won the race in 1:55.3. Hypnotic Blue Chip for the second time this year jumped off stride in the big money race (last time the Berrys Creek). Hypnotic Blue Chip was leading into the final turn when he jumped and went inside the pylons. Barber Pole, one of the preseason favorites was disappointing again.

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