Sunday, August 7, 2011

Broad Bahn engines to huge win in Hambletonian

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J./Cotolo – Broad Bahn with George Brennan in the bike took control of the field from the beginning of the mile and survived a late-stretch challenge from the favorite, Manofmanymissions, to win the 86th Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on Aug. 6.

The son of Broadway Hall, who suffered injury at two and came back at three to be a major contender in his division of soph-colt trotters, commanded the fractions on an overcast day in New Jersey where the Meadowlands hosted a jam-packed stakes schedule featuring the Hambo and Hambletonian Oaks. 

“I was able to rate him into the turn,” said Brennan. “I asked him for a little trot in the stretch and when he was challenged I asked him for more and he gave it to me.”

The favorite, Manofmanymissions, was chasing “Bahn” down the stretch, having come to the outside, where he made a misstep trying to keep up with the leader.

A 39-1 shot, Whiskey Tax, took second and Opening Night, the brothers Campbell combo, trainer Jim and driver John, took third.

Trainer Noel Daley said winning the Hambletonian was a "dream come true. This is the one event you want to win." Daley was second in the final a few years ago with Explosive Matter.

But the veteran conditioner had concerns about the day of racing and his speedball Broad Bahn up until the ninth-race feature.

"I was a little worried," Daley said, "because the early races did not favor speed."

His concern was serious. Just before the main event, driver George Brennan drove Bold And Safe, at more than 20-1, to a victory over the race's giant choice, Crys Dream, in the "Oaks," trotting on the far outside from behind to win.

Other stakes featured longshots came from behind.

"At the half, when George got away with soft fractions," he said, "I knew he had licked them all."

The colt is staked to everything and will go on as long as he is healthy to all the top races left in the season.

"I'm not delusional," Daley said, "I know he is not a standout but he puts himself in the picture all the time. I would love to race him for the next two years with older trotters."

Broad Bahn is owned by Fam Alber Horse Racing LLC of New Jersey. He was bred by Fair Winds Farms in New Jersey.
The public’s second choice, Chapter Seven, finished fourth, having to close from far behind.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quick picks in the classics

It has come down to the following colts, based on the comments and how we feel the odds will set, for the Hambletonian Final:

1 BROAD BAHN- Will go for the lead with the rail. Bet at 8-5 and up.

3 FAWKES- Will not have to work as hard as in the elim. Bet at 12-1 and up.

7 OPENING NIGHT- Interfered in his elim and still closed. He may be the surprise for the brothers Campbell. Bet at 6-1 and up.

The Hambletonian Oaks choices:

4 LADY RAINBOW- Great in her elimination. A very underrated filly. Needs a trip but she may upset. Bet at 6-1 and up.

8 WINNCINNATTI- Closed hard in her elimination but not early enough. If she moves at right time,  she may be involved late. Bet at 20-1 and up.

10 JEZZY- Made a huge recovery in her elimination. If she can trot from the 7 at Yonkers and win, then the 10 is no prob. Bet at 1-1 and up.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fields of dreams

Hambo and Oaks fields drawn



1-Broad Bahn-George Brennan-Noel Daley-4-1
2-Manofmanymissions-Andy Miller-Erv Miller-9-5
3-Fawkes-Yannick Gingras-Jonas Czernyson-15-1
4-Chapter Seven-Mike Lachance-Linda Toscano-7-2
5-Whit-Tim Tetrick-Homer Hochstetler-8-1
6-Whiskey Tax-Randy Waples-Thomas Durand-15-1
7-Opening Night-John Campbell-Jim Campbell-10-1
8-Magnum Kosmos-Brian Sears-Tony Dinges-15-1
9-Luckycharm Hanover-David Miller-T. Haughton-15-1
10-Pastor Stephen-Ron Pierce-Jimmy Takter-10-1



1-Iron Lady-Michel Lachance-Fredrik Persson-5-1
2-Crys Dream-Luc Ouellette-Henrik Hollsten-7-5
3-Seducedbychocolate-David Miller-J. Czernyson-20-1
4-Lady Rainbow-Rick Zeron-Rick Zeron-10-1
5-Bold And Fresh-Ron Pierce-Doug Miller-12-1
6-Sashay-Ron Pierce-Bob Stewart-15-1
7-Hey Mister-Brian Sears-Ross Croghan-4-1
8-Wincinnatti-Yannick Gingras-Brett Bittle-15-1
9-Martiniontherocks-Trevor Ritchie-Dustin Jones-15-1
10-Jezzy-Tim Tetrick-Ray Schnittker-6-1

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Fawkes folk tale

by Jay Bergman for 2011 Hambletonian

Author J.K. Rowling presented her first Harry Potter manuscript to 12 publishing houses and was rejected by all 12. Experts looked at the pages and didn't see potential, let alone greatness.

Perhaps the same could be said for Fawkes, a surprise qualifier for Saturday's $1.5 million Hambletonian [Blogger's note: We picked Fawkes to be in the picture, Ray Cotolo promoted him as the winner of the elim). The colt, named for Professor Dumbledore's mythical bird, hasn't shown much on the program page over the last two years but perhaps now will get noticed on the sport's biggest stage.

As a 70-1 shot in one of two $70,000 Hambletonian eliminations last Saturday night at the Meadowlands, it was hard to take Fawkes seriously. Prior to entry in the big dance the son of S J's Caviar had enjoyed just one victory in seven starts this season. Oh yes, it was a big win coming in the $125,000 Currier & Ives final at The Meadows. But, at the same time Fawkes was essentially reborn out of the ashes scoring at 48-1 in the June 6 contest.

Former owner, and world-class horse agent, Ole Bach seized the opportunity to sell Fawkes after the Currier & Ives. Though he wouldn't release the sale price it was clear that Swemab Inc., a combination of trainer Jonas Czernyson and Swedish owner Mats Bergman, were looking for a Hambletonian-type horse. The dam of Fawkes is a half-sister to Pearsall Hanover, a colt who finished fourth in a Hambletonian elimination in 1999. Pearsall went on to become one of Sweden's elite stallions in the last decade. He's credited with siring the Elitlopp champion of 2006 Conny Nobell and 2010 Nat Ray winner Slave Dream.

Pedigree will only get you so far, but in early July the colt gave indication that he could write his own story on the racetrack. A solid third place finish in an overnight at the Meadowlands assured his place in last week's trial.

Yannick Gingras was asked to drive the colt in his final Meadowlands prep on July 22 where the colt was doing fine until the late stages when slipped offstride but held for fifth. "I got after him a bit too much," said Gingras of the race. "It really wasn't his fault."

Gingras had seen the colt display enough quickness and staying power to feel comfortable leaving the gate from post seven in his Hambletonian elim. Fortunately for the horse and his backers, Gingras didn't look at the tote board to see what the public thought of his chances.

Fawkes raced admirably chasing eventual winner Broad Bahn around the track and keeping pace in the stretch in the 1:53 mile. It was the first time the colt had traveled that speed in his life and the results were encouraging.

"He's just getting into himself and dropping time each time we race," said trainer Czernyson. "He was a slow starter last year and didn't really figure out what racing was about. As a freshman Fawkes raced primarily on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit earning $30,327 with two wins in nine starts.

Agent Bach, who manages one of the Hambo favorites in elimination winner Broad Bahn, is excited about his former horse. "You know being in the Hambletonian is a very big thing in Sweden. This is a great race to be in and obviously would be even better to win."
It's been a big year for Harry Potter, with the final movie setting box office records upon its release last month. It's pretty safe to say that should Fawkes find the wings to upset this Hambletonian field on Saturday it would be a story of mythical proportions.