by Bob Heyden
Six of the 20 horses in either the Hambletonian or Hambletonian Oaks were sired by Walner and come from his first crop — three in each race. A look at the strong Hambletonian heritage of Walner and it is easy to see why.
In 1929, Volomite was second in the Hambletonian. He sired…
Worthy Boy, who was second in the 1943 Hambletonian. He sired…
Stars Pride who was second in the 1950 Hambletonian. He sired…
Super Bowl, the 1972 Hambletonian and Triple Crown winner. He sired…
Garland Lobell, who did not compete in the 1984 Hambletonian, but he sired…
Conway Hall, who was fourth in the 1998 Hambletonian. He sired…
Windsongs Legacy, the 2004 Hambletonian and Triple Crown winner. He sired…
Chapter Seven, who was fourth in the 2011 Hambletonian. He sired…
Walner, who did not compete in the 2017 Hambletonian.
Volomite sired four Hambletonian winners and had 22 checks overall (#2 all time).
Worthy Boy sired one Hambletonian winner.
Stars Pride sired eight Hambletonian winners, the most all-time.
Super Bowl is next on that list with six Hambletonian winners. His 23 checks are the all-time most.
Garland Lobell sired Andover Hall, Angus Hall, Armbro Trick and Justice Hall. Andover is a two-time Hambletonian winning sire (2007 and 2017).
Conway Hall had one Hambletonian winner.
Windsongs Legacy had one Hambletonian winner and died prematurely at age 8.
Chapter Seven and his son Walner placed 18-of-36 in the elims combined and now have 9-of-20 in the Oaks and Hambletonian combined in 2022.
SIRES THAT WON THE HAMBLETONIAN VIA THEIR SONS
Speaking of Walner’s quest to win the Hambletonian via one of his offspring, an incredible 11 of the last 29 editions of the race have been won by horses sired by horses that didn’t even race in the Hambletonian.
And it never once happened when the race was held in DuQuoin, IL. All 24 winners were sired by a horse who did race in the Hambletonian.
Here’s a list of the last 11 times the winning sire did not start in the Hambletonian:
2021 — Googoo Gaagaa (sire of winner Captain Corey)
2019 — Kadabra (Forbidden Trade)
2013 — R C Royalty (Royalty For Life)
2012 — Revenue S (Market Share)
2011 — Broadway Hall (Broad Bahn)
2005 — S Js Photo (Vivid Photo and Classic Photo 1-2)
2000 and 2003 — Balanced Image (Yankee Paco and Amigo Hall
1994, 1996, 1998 — Valley Victory (Victory Dream, Continentalvictory and Muscles Yankee)
WALNER IS IN GOOD COMPANY IN THE FIRST-CROP DEPARTMENT
First crop sires who have taken down the Hambletonian in the last 50 years:
Muscle Hill in 2014 won with Trixton. Muscle Hill won five straight Hambletonian Oaks from 2015-2019.
Andover Hall in 2007 with Donato Hanover. The sire also won the Oaks with Danae.
Victory Dream in 1999 with Self Possessed
Valley Victory in 1994 with Victory Dream.
Mystic Park in 1987 with Mack Lobell.
Green Speed in 1983 with Duenna,
Ayres in 1970 with Timothy T.
HAMBLETONIAN DRIVING DEBUTS
Dexter Dunn in 2019 was fourth with Soul Strong
Jason Bartlett in 2017 was eighth with Guardian Angels S
Joey Bongiorno in 2016 was seventh with Make Or Miss
Corey Callahan in 2012 was sixth with From Above
Yannick Gingras in 2020 was seventh with Hard Livin
Matt Kakaley in 2015 was seventh with Habitat
Mark MacDonald in 2016 was sixth with Reigning Moni
Andy McCarthy in 2017 was sixth with Sortie
Matias Melander in 2020 was 10th with Rome Pays Off
Andy Miller in 2007 was ninth with Xactly Hanover
Dave Miller in 1999 was ninth with Big Z Crown and eighth with Supershade
Ron Pierce in 1991 was ninth with Can’t Be Jimmie
Ake Svanstedt in 2014 was 10th with Doncango
Jimmy Takter in 1989 was eighth with Classic Air
Tim Tetrick in 2007 was sixth with Pampered Princess
Scott Zeron in 2015 was eighth with Billy Flynn
Brian Sears in 2003 was 10th with Muscle King
MCCLURE’S OAKS DEBUT
Bob McClure is making his Hambletonian Oaks debut this year with Warrawee Xenia. Can he become the eighth Hambletonian Oaks driver to win it in his debut? The others were:
Simon Allard in 2019 with When Dovescry
Andy Miller in 2008 with Creamy Mimi
Tim Tetrick in 2007 with Dana
Luc Ouellette in 1998 with Fern
Wally Hennessey in 1996 with Moni Maker
Mal Burroughs in 1994 with Gleam
Bruce Riegle in 1992 with Worldy Woman
HOMEBRED ONSLAUGHT THIS YEAR
There are more homebreds in the Hambletonian and Oaks (8 of 20) than there are yearlings that cost $100,000 or more (7 of 20). The two most expensive yearlings in the elims ($440,000 and $400,000 for Delilah and Peyton Hanover, respectively) did not advance.
JIMMY TAKTER’S OAKS DRIVING LEGACY
If Jimmy Takter drives in the Oaks, he will become the first driver to participate in the Hambletonian Oaks in five different decades. His first was in 1989 with On A Cruise. He was 28 in 1989 and 61 now. Yet, Takter has never won the Oaks as a driver.