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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Phyllis may win Hambletonian for third time in 5 years

East Rutherford, NJ ( Associated Press) — The Phillies have won two of the last four Hambletonians and that trend may continue on Saturday, with both Ziggy Jog S and Joviality S finishing the biggest race of the year for 3-year-olds making space.

In the morning row for the $1 million race at Meadowlands, Joviality S and Ziggy Jog S are the second and third choices respectively. Fifteen Phillies have won the Hambletonian in 96 races with Ramona Hill (2020) and Atlanta (2018).

Ribuff, who won last year’s Breeders’ Crown for 2-year-old male trotters, is the horse to beat. The Tim Tetrick-driven colt is undefeated on three starts this year and brings a six-race winning streak to the mile.

“At the front, he looks around and mindlessly waits for someone to approach him,” Tetrick said. “It looks deceiving, like he did, but he’s not even close to being done.”

Joviality Ace made her Triple Crown debut this year by defeating the Colts at the Yonkers Trot. 10 post position for driver Brian Sears, Philly finished third close to the Ziggy Jog S in his elimination last weekend.

“She loved it and she looked great,” said trainer Marcus Melander. “Bryan said he was very happy with that. We just need a little luck. It’s Hambo, isn’t it?”

There’s an interesting family angle to the top two contenders.

Lucas Wallin is Rebuff’s 29-year-old coach and is aiming for his first Hambletonian win. His wife, Mikaela, is the caretaker of Joviality S. She is the sister of Melander, who is Valin’s brother-in-law.

Ziggy Jog S has four wins and two seconds to his name this year. Philly is coached by AK Swanstead, who won last year’s Hambletonian with Captain Corey, and will be piloted by Dexter Dunn.

Rebuff and Ziggy Jog S won the elimination to determine a field of 10 for the race, each posting a winning time of 1:52.2.

“Dexter said she lived with even a little bit of power. She didn’t need to ask her anything. She just did it herself. It was cool,” Swanstead said.

The final leg of the Triple Crown will be Kentucky Futurity on October 9 at the Red Mile in Lexington.

Here’s the field for the Hambletonian Finals with driver, trainer and morning-line odds of 1-10:

Rebuff, Tim Tetrick, 9-5; Joviality S, Brian Sears, 7-2; Fast as the Wind, Yannick Gingras, 8-1; Keg Stand, David Miller, 10-1; Ziggy Jog S, Dexter Dunn, 4-1; Kool Papa Bell, Todd McCarthy, 15-1; Temporal Hanover, Orjan Kiehlstrom, 8-1; King of the North, Mark MacDonald, 15-1; Periculum, Mattias Melander, 15-1; and Looks Like Mooney, Andrew McCarthy, 15-1.

World Nation News Desk
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