Hollywood’s Hits: Hambletonian Hits

Southwind Frank is 16-for-18 lifetime, a win percentage of 89. The other 17 Hambletonian horses combined are 65-for-275 lifetime, for a win percentage of 24.1.

Gingras loaded

Yannick Gingras will be driving his third consecutive Hambletonian favorite, and his third consecutive two-year-old champion in the Hambletonian — Father Patrick, Mission Brief and now Southwind Frank.

Blue-blooded victory?

In 2010, $425,000 yearling Muscle Massive won the Hambletonian. Can $390,000 yearling Brooklyn Hill turn the trick this year?

No Takter faves

Jimmy Takter has not done well in the 21st century in the Hambletonian when he had the favorite. In 2014, Father Patrick broke stride. In 2012, Uncle Pete was eighth and in 2004, Tom Ridge was also eight. Takter’s three wins since 2000 came with the second choice, twice, and the fourth choice.

My fellow Swede

With a win in the Hambletonian Oaks, Takter would tie fellow Swede Jan Johnson with six career Oaks wins.

Feel the Bern

Berndt Lindstedt turned 80 last month. Lindstedt competed in 17 Hambletonian finals in a 24-year stretch from 1979-2002 (17 0-1-2)

Cash is key

The Cashman is a key race on Hambletonian Day. Back-to-back Horse of the Year — San Pail in 2011 and Chapter Seven in 2012 — won this race.

Power rules

Muscles Yankee is the only sire in the modern era with three straight Hambletonian credits 2008-2009-2010. He is represented this year by his 14th sophomore crop and Waitlifter K. His son Muscle Hill is well represented with six of the 18 in the Hambletonian eliminations, including the three favorites.

Hall of a day

Andover Hall is the last sire to win the Hambletonian and the Oaks in the same year (2007) with Donato Hanover and Danae. He also went 1-2 in the Hambletonian that year with his first crop. Adrian Chip was second best.

Youth is served

Scott Zeron was not born when the youngest driver to ever win the Hambletonian did so in 1982 (Tommy Haughton at 25 with Speed Bowl). Now 27, Zeron will attempt to become the second youngest Hambletonian winner ever (he’s driving Marion Marauder). Remember his first Triple Crown score came in the 2012 Little Brown Jug at age 23.

Generation gap

For 23 straight years (1985-2007) the Meadowlands Pace winner and the Cane Pace winner were not the same. Control The Moment will try and double up Saturday in the Cane Pace.

Daily double

Only Brian Sears (2009 and 2013) and George Brennan (2011) have won the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks in the same year. Five drivers have won the Meadowlands Pace and the Hambletonian in the same year: 1979 George Sholty, 1985 Bill O’Donnell, 1991 Jack Moiseyev, 1995 John Campbell and 2003 Mike Lachance.

Rare feat

Ake Svanstedt will try and do what has been done just six times since the Hambletonian moved to the Meadowlands in 1981 — win it as trainer and driver.

  • 1981 Ray Remmen
  • 1983 Stanley Dancer
  • 2001 Stefan Melander
  • 2004 Trond Smedshammer
  • 2008 Ray Schnittker
  • 2014 Jimmy Takter