The Meadowlands – A pair of eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks heads up a dynamite Saturday night card at The Meadowlands.
Two fields of nine 3-year-old trotting fillies, each for a purse of $40,438, will race to decide which ten will move on to next week’s $500,000 Oaks final.
The path to the winner’s circle in the first division (race six) goes through Ariana G. Last year’s divisional champion is four of five thus far in her sophomore season, her only loss coming in the Beal Memorial final against colts. Ariana G (PP #4) has handled the girls with something left in each win but is facing a talented group on Saturday.
The mercurial Glitzy Gal leaves from the inside rail, lightly raced Canadian import Dream Together was ultra-impressive in the Del Miller and leaves from just inside the favorite while the unbeaten scourge of the Keystone state, Treviso will be firing from the outside.
Jimmy Takter trains the homebred Ariana G for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld and Yannick Gingras is her pilot.
Division two (race seven) features the queen of the Ontario program, Magic Presto. She’s another in a long line of really good to great Kadabra fillies (Bee A Magician anyone?) Nifty Norman has trained for Mel Hartman, Dave McDuffee and Herb Liverman with Jeff Gural along for the ride this time via his Little E LLC. Magic Presto returned stateside for the Del Miller where she finished second behind Ariana G but there is an element that question whether that result would have stood if driver Brian Sears could’ve found room a bit earlier in the stretch. Time will tell, as it always does.
The competition includes another Takter filly that has found her best form recently in Feed Your Head and Team Miller’s hope Overdraft Volo.
Also on the card is the $49,580 Scott Frost eleven colt trot, a division of the WN Reynolds Memorial stakes in the ninth race. All ten that are Hambletonian eligible moved up one notch on the depth chart when the news broke on Thursday of Walner being unable to race next week. Odds-maker Dave Brower settled on Bill’s Man as a slight choice over What The Hill.
There’s also a 3-year-old Open trot (race two) with seven other legitimate Hambo hopefuls reaching for that golden ticket to the big dance on August 5 and a pretty salty $20,000 Preferred pace where six really fast horses sharpen up for next week’s Sam McKee Memorial.
But wait, there’s more.
It’s Seafood Fest with a cornucopia of delights awaiting your palate both from the festival and a special menu in Pink.
Finally with the horseplayer in mind, the $68,933 Jackpot Super Hi 5 carry-over in the last race has been deemed a mandatory pay out. This creates a rare situation where with new money added to the existing jackpot, a negative take out is achieved up to a point.
Free partial Past Performances are available each night courtesy of The Meadowlands and Trackmaster.
It all starts at 7:15 p.m.