Manchego wins Hambo Oaks in 1:50!
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Dan Patch Award winner Manchego took command early in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks Saturday, August 4 and held off a challenge in the lane by slight favorite Phaetosive to win in a stakes record 1:50. It was yet another record performance for the team of Yannick Gingras and Jimmy Takter, who have won the last five Hambletonian Oaks. Plunge Blue Chip trotted third.
Starting from post four, Gingras placed Manchego on the lead, cutting fractions of :27.2, :54.2 and 1:23.2. Plunge Blue Chip and Ake Svanstedt sat through the opening half, but were out and challenging racing into the turn, followed by Phaetosive and Trond Smedshammer. In the stretch, Smedshammer flipped three wide and made a bid late, but Manchego dug in and had enough to make it home first. The victory was the fifth of the day for trainer Jimmy Takter. The winning time shaved four-fifths of a second off the stakes record, set by Lifetime Pursuit in 2014. Ironically, that filly began the streak of five straight Oaks wins for Takter and Gingras.
The Muscle Hill-Secret Magic filly continues to add to her impressive credentials. A winner in five of seven seasonal starts, Manchego is 17 of 19 lifetime and now the sport’s newest millionaire. She now possesses career earnings of $1,236,170. Bred by Brittany Farms, she was a $120,000 yearling purchase for Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman.