Although Manofmanymissions has won seven of 11 starts and $567,400 in purse earnings, Kevin Lakomy, one of the colt trotter’s owners, has yet to see him race in person.
That will all change on Saturday afternoon as the 42-year-old Lakomy and seven other members of his family, including his 92-year-old grandfather, his mother-in-law (who is driving north from Florida), and his father, Dennis, also a co-owner of the trotter, will be at the Meadowlands to cheer for Manofmanymissions in the $1.5 million Hambletonian final.
Although this will be the Lakomys third starter in the Hambletonian, what makes this year’s trotting classic even more special for the family is that Kevin’s 40-year-old brother, Wally, will also be there.
“This is definitely a special race for us,” said Illinois resident Kevin Lakomy, who works on a trade desk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. “Wally was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and last year they gave him less than a year to live. But he’s still alive. You could say he was a ‘man on a mission’ to make sure he saw Manofmanymissions in the Hambletonian.”
The Lakomys operate as Mystical Marker Farms and they were among the original owners of Manofmanymissions. The partnership now includes the multi-member Manofmanymissions Stable and the Mauro Biasuzzi Stable.
The Lakomy’s first Hambo experience came in 2000 with the Dirk Simpson-trained-Dreamaster, who won his elim and then finished fifth in the final as the betting favorite. They returned in 2005 with the Erv Miller-trained Classic Photo, who also won his elim and then finished second in the final as the odds-on favorite. Manofmanymissions—also trained by Miller—is likely to also be the bettors’ choice this year after winning his elimination.
“I am really thrilled this year,” said Lakomy. “This is our third time back and hopefully the third time will be a charm. It’s tough enough to make it into the final, and then to win the final would be extra special.”
As for never seeing Manofmanymissions race in person, Lakomy said he had planned on making the trip last October to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for the Breeders Crown, but last-minute circumstances dictated otherwise.
“We just had a baby three weeks before the Breeders Crown, so my wife and I and our newborn ended up watching from home. But I did get to see him train one day this past winter in Florida,” he said with a laugh.
Lakomy admitted he had been keeping his fingers crossed as the Hambo grew closer as Manofmanymissions was fighting off a foot abscess. He said when the trotter won his division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial July 16 at the Big M, he was finally able to exhale.
“I would have suspected that if he was bad in the Dancer he probably wouldn’t have been in the (Hambo) elims,” said Lakomy. “But he was really good in the Dancer and he was good in the elim. Now we’re waiting for Saturday and keeping our fingers crossed.”