Hambletonian favorite cruises; Snow White wins Miller Memorial
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In his final Hambletonian prep, Deweycheatumnhowe cruised to his 13th straight win in the $350,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial on Friday night at the Meadowlands. The undefeated colt is the overwhelming favorite heading into the July 26 eliminations for the $1.5 million Hambletonian, harness racing\'s most prestigious event, for 3-year-old trotters. The Hambletonian and its companion filly event, the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks, will be contested on Saturday, August 2 at the Meadowlands.
Deweycheatumnhowe\'s lead was never in jeopardy as he rolled through fractions of :28.2, :57 and 1:25.3, before firing home in 1:53.2 to win the Dancer. It was three lengths back to Celebrity Secret in second. Clerk Magistrate, who attacked first-over, to no avail, finished third. Deweycheatumnhowe paid $2.40 to win the fifth race.
\"He got nice fractions and he just sprinted home,\" Schnittker, who discovered a flat tire on his sulky just before the race, said. \"The track\'s a little deep tonight, probably off by a second. Actually, I had such a hold on him he was banging on the side of the bike wanting to go.
\"We had both low tires,\" he continued. \"I guess it was a training error, but I always check the tires before I jump on, so we went down and put some air in them.\"
Deweycheatumnhowe was perfect in 10 starts in 2007 and set a single-season earnings record of $936,191 for a 2-year-old trotting colt. The defending divisional champion is three-for-three this season for Schnittker and co-owners Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, Frank Baldassare, and the Deweycheatumnhowe Stable (Walnut Hall and Jerry Silva).
Schnittker will give the colt next week off before starting him in the Hambletonian eliminations on July 26.
\"I haven\'t trained him in about six weeks,\" he said, \"so I\'ll probably go a trip (a training mile) next Saturday and keep it easy on him.\"
Snow White victorious in Del Miller Memorial
Snow White breezed to a decisive 1:54 victory in the $300,000 Del Miller Memorial, also contested Friday night at the Meadowlands.
Driver John Campbell brushed Snow White to the lead in a 56.3 half and never looked back en route to a 3-1/4 lengths victory over No Pain No Gain. Diana Hall skimmed the pylons to finish third. Snow White paid $3.00 to win the seventh race for 3-year-old trotting fillies. The 2007 freshman filly champion, trained by Kevin Lare, improved her record to 13 wins in 16 career starts. She is two-for-three this season after breaking stride on the final turn in her 2008 debut.
“I was just waiting for them to get settled and to see what the pace was like, if they kept moving along,” Campbell said. “I’m not concerned about coming first over with her. She’s won lots of races that way. When it was slow enough that I knew I could get her to the front, I brushed her to the lead and she did everything else. I had to be careful with her a little bit in the last turn. She’s not sure of herself yet, but she’s gaining confidence every week and Kevin’s [Lare] done a lot with her since her first start, which didn’t go as well as we had hoped. She’s improved dramatically since that. She doesn’t get tired; she just keeps going and she’s got a tremendous set of lungs on her.”
Snow White finished 2007 as the fastest [1:52.4] and richest [$1,252,646] freshman filly trotter in history, punctuating her 11-for-13 season with a Breeders Crown trophy. The daughter of Self Possessed underwent tieback surgery for breathing difficulties at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in March. She also paid a visit to an equine chiropractor prior to her start in the Del Miller eliminations last week.
“We still have some soundness issues and take it seven days at a time,” Lare said. “I keep doing my homework. I thought after this week we were coming back at 90-95 percent, that we were really good. But I think tonight, after seeing the last turn, we’re at 80-85 percent.”
After watching Deweycheatumnhowe crush the competition in the Stanley Dancer Memorial earlier on the card, Lare officially tossed his hat out of the Hambletonian ring. He will send Snow White into the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks for fillies instead.
“Congratulations, Dewey,” he said. “Go get them buddy. I’ll be in the Oaks.”
Snow White is owned by Lare’s North State Street Stable, Harness The Power and Jerry Silva. (Meadowlands)