By Lou Monaco for the Meadowlands/Hambletonian Society
Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) won the first of two $40,438 elimination races for
the August 5 $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for three year-old trotting fillies on
Saturday at The Meadowlands in a time of 1:51.3 by two lengths.
Ice Attraction and Ake Svanstadt were first to the lead at the :27.2 first
quarter, with 1-5 favorite Ariana G well off that pace in fifth. Glitzy Gal was
off the rail to challenge for the lead just past the quarter and got that lead
by the :55.1 half, with Ice Attraction behind her along the rail. Glitzy Gal
made a break just past the half, leaving Ice Attraction, at 103-1, to inherit
By the 1:23.3 three quarters, Ice Attraction was on the lead, with Ariana G now
moved up to second over behind Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan). As the field
turned for home, Gingras fanned wide with Ariana G and those two trotted past
all the fillies in front of them for the win.
Dream Together (Daniel Dube) was second and Sunshine Delight third.
"I had an option open going into the first turn and there were a lot of
leavers,” said Gingras. “So I took my time and she is beautiful to drive, so
she let me drive anyway I want. Not my decision ( to choose the Oaks or the
Hambletonian with the colts), whatever they go, filly or colt, I can tell you
one thing, I'm definitely going to drive her. So it doesn't matter what
division they choose to go in, I will be sitting behind her."
Gingras has driven now four fillies for the Takter Stable in the Oaks, and has
yet to win. Asked if he thinks Araina G might be the best of the that bunch, he
said, “Yes I think she is. This is the first time I think we are going into the
Oaks as the favorite. Oaks or Hambo, any of them sounds good to me."
Ariana G is trained by Jimmy Takter and is owned by her breeders Marvin Katz
and Al Libfeld.
In the second division, Magic Presto and Brian Sears won in 1:52.1 by a half
length to get their chance at the Oaks.
Feed Your Head (Yannick Gingras) was first to the lead at the :28.2 first
quarter, with Hillarmbro (Trond Smedshammer) tucked in behind him with eventual
race winner, Magic Presto in third. Just past that marker, Magic Presto was off
the rail and trotting for the lead, grabbing it before the :56 half.
Hillarmbro tipped off the rail to try for the lead at the five eighths, with
Overdraft Volo behind her, but Magic Presto held that lead to the 1:24.1 three
quarters and into the homestretch. Feed Your Head was trapped along the rail
behind her and inside Hillarmbro, shook loose to make up ground late, but not
enough to pass Magic Presto.
"We have our hands full with her (Ariana G, the other elimination winner),
said Sears. “She looks very good no question about it. My filly was a little
peculiar tonight. She was just looking at everything and usually she is very
relaxed, but maybe all of the commotion tonight had her on her heels a little
Magic Presto is owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee and Little
E LLC. And trained by Richard Norman. That’s All Moni was scratched out of the
The top five in each field advanced to the final, so the field is: Ariana G,
Dream Together, Sunshine Delight, Fine Tuned Lady and Dream Baby Dream, Magic
Presto, Feed Your Head, Southwind Avanti, Overdraft Volo and Caviart Wonder.
Elimination winners draw for posts one through five on Tuesday, August 1.