Hambletonian 95 preview: History and selections

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

August 7th, 2020

If you are new to harness racing, indulge me. If you are veteran fan and bettor, indulge me.

I am a harness racing fan, bettor, and award-winning journalist sharing thoughts on harness racing’s great annual day of racing.

The scene is New Jersey’s Meadowlands, and the main attraction on a star-studded program is the Hambletonian.

A field of the sport’s best 3-year-old trotters honor the seminal sire in the race named after him, and you can wager on it and all the races on the Meadowlands program Saturday, Aug. 8 at BetAmerica.

Just a little history before the betting suggestions.

In 1849, a horse named Hambletonian, was sired by Abdullah, a Thoroughbred and the grandson of Great Britain’s champion racehorse and sire Messenger.

A guy named William Rysdyk cared for Hambletonian and his mare, bought them for $125 and shipped them to his home in the United States, a farm in upstate New York.

In 1851, after he raced on the trot (no gallops allowed), Hambletonian went to stud. His career as a sire lasted until 1875. Through four of his sons, we can trace all North American Standardbreds.

Here are a few candidates for the Meadowlands Hambletonian program.

Race 2: Shady Daisy

#3 Reflect With Me is the best and a big favorite. Outsider: Lady Lou, from the same trainer.

Race 3: Dr. John R. Steele Memorial

#5 Manchego has beaten them all and can again, but #3 When Dovescry and #2 Plunge Blue Chip are from two trainers known to upset the public’s choices.

Race 5: Muscle Hill

#4 Beyond Kronos, a well-bred trotter who has been disappointing, could win at last and at a price.

Race 6: Jim Doherty Memorial

#4 Material Girl finished third last week and could be first this week against the favorite.

Race 7: Sam McKee Memorial

#6 None Better A is better than his recent race and may give the favorites a trot for the money.

Race 9: Hambletonian Oaks

#2 Next Level Stuff is raring to win the penultimate Hambletonian event for a sharp trainer.

Race 11: Hambletonian

#5 Ramona Hill, one of two fillies in the field, is better than the boys and her companion filly. The best of the colts are #1 Ready For Moni and #2 Back Of The Neck.