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Saturday, August 02, 2008
Deweycheatumnhowe Wins the $1.5 Million Hambletonian

 

DEWEY DOES IT AGAIN: COLT IS FIRST UNDEFEATED HAMBLETONIAN WINNER

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Deweycheatumnhowe [$2.80, $2.20 and $2.10] made harness racing history Saturday afternoon as the first undefeated horse to win the $1.5 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands. 

In his trademark fashion, driver-trainer Ray Schnittker sent Deweycheatumnhowe right to the front and took the field to the opening quarter in 26.4.  Schnittker gave his colt a breather down the backstretch, reaching the half in 55, and began to pick up steam again as they put away the challenge of Velocity Hall on the final turn.  At the head of the lane, Tim Tetrick popped Crazed out of the pocket, prompting Schnittker to call upon his colt again.  Deweycheatumnhowe responded, gamely digging in for a half-length victory over Crazed [$3.40, $2.60] in 1:52.  Schnittker’s other Hambletonian entrant, Make It Happen [$8.00], rallied from eighth at the head of the lane to finish third. 
 
“I was trying to back into Dave [Miller and Velocity Hall] as much as I could,” Schnittker said.  “I knew he didn’t have much stock and was just trying to keep Crazed from having a fresh shot at me, keep him as long as I could.  About a quarter of the way down the lane, we were trying for all we could go.  He [Crazed] was coming; it was a dogfight.  I would have rather won by eight [lengths].
 
“I have a lot of great partners and a lot of great owners,” he added.  “I had a lot of people pulling for me and wishing me luck - drivers, race secretaries, judges - it was really surprising.”
 
Deweycheatumnhowe is now 15-for-15 in his career.  Eleven of his wins have come at the Meadowlands, including decisive scores in the $350,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial and his Hambletonian elimination this season. 
 
Schnittker co-owns the colt with Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, Frank Baldassare, Walnut Hall Ltd., and the Deweycheatumnhowe Stable, which is comprised of a long list of prominent owners and breeders in the sport who have purchased small percentages of the horse.  Deweycheatumnhowe was named Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year after setting a single-season earnings record of $936,191 in 2007.  Schnittker selected the son of Muscles Yankee-Trolley Square out of the Lexington Selected Sale for $80,000 as a yearling.  Deweycheatumnhowe was named by breeder Steve Jones for the fictional law firm cited in multiple comedy routines over the years by figures as divergent as Johnny Carson, Daffy Duck and Groucho Marx.
 
Sending out the Hambletonian favorite was marked departure from Schnittker’s previous starts in the classic race.  He finished third twice with a pair of 40-1 longshots, Armbro Plato [1997] and Armbro Trick [2000].
 
Earlier on the card, Andy Miller scored the biggest win of his driving career behind Creamy Mimi in the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks for fillies.   
 
Miller and Creamy Mimi sat a pocket trip behind Diana Hall as she led the field through fractions of 27.3, 56.3 and 1:25.3.  Miller popped his charge out of the pocket at the head of the lane and she soared to a 1 ¼-lengths victory in 1:51.  Sent off at 12-1, Creamy Mimi returned $27.60, $6.20 and $4.20. 
 
Lantern Kosmos [$2.60, $2.20], the 3-5 favorite, was caught wide early and made a three-wide move to finish second.  Stage Show [$3.40] was third. 
 
“The tripped worked out perfect,” Miller said.  “That’s what we talked about, getting away up close sitting in and getting a good trip.  My filly felt real strong and super. I thought she’d take me to the wire.  A couple of them came late but she had enough to fight them off, dug in game.”
 
Trainer Trond Smedshammer was relieved to finally hoist the Oaks trophy after near misses in 2004, 2005 and 2006. 
 
“I was second three years in a row,” Smedshammer said. “We finally got it done.  I knew we had a good filly coming in.  I spoke to Andy before the race and this was the kind of trip we were looking for.  I didn’t think she could go out and control the race and win.  I didn’t think anybody could control this race and win and it was a matter of the trip.  Whoever got the best trip was going to win this race.”
 
Creamy Mimi was a $165,000 yearling purchase by owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld of Ontario.

A crowd of 25,006 turned out to watch the 83rd Hambletonian.  A total of $1,524,115 was wagered on the eighth race Hambletonian [figure includes European sources].

For more information about the 2008 Hambletonian Day, please go to http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com/   

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