Updated on 08/05/2011 12:44PM

Hambletonian: Miller brothers have favorite in Manofmanymissions

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The Hambletonian Society
By winning his elimination race, the connections for Manofmanymissions had their first pick of post position.

Harness racing’s biggest day of the year will take place Saturday at the Meadowlands when the 86th edition of the $1.5 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters headlines a stakes-filled card.

Manofmanymissions is favored to become the 30th winner of the Hambletonian since the event was moved to the Meadowlands in 1981. Driven and trained by brothers Andy and Erv Miller, respectively, he is the 9-5 morning-line choice, starting from post 2. The connections were able to choose their post because they won their elimination race.

Manofmanymissions may be a vulnerable favorite, though. He broke stride three starts back and always seems on the edge of a miscue.

"I think I have the fastest horse," said Erv Miller. "He doesn’t go the prettiest, but he has learned to work with that."

Chapter Seven, trained by Linda Toscano, was stamped as the 7-2 second choice from post 4. A win for Chapter Seven on Saturday would mark the first time a woman has trained a Hambletonian winner.

"They have always asked me the gender thing," said Toscano. "I don’t think there is a person who does this for a living, man or woman, that wouldn’t want to get to the Hambletonian."

Deuce Photo
1. Broad Bahn. Driver: George Brennan. Odds: 4-1
Broad Bahn, the other elimination winner, breaks from post 1 and was tabbed the 4-1 third choice. He will be driven by former Meadowlands and current Yonkers driving champion George Brennan, nicknamed the Minister of Speed because he is known for getting plenty of speed out of horses. Given the post and the driver, the strategy is obvious.

"He’s got speed and he’s got the Minister of Speed, so you tell me," Brennan said.

Highlighting the undercard is the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks featuring Crys Dream, beaten only once in 13 starts. She is the 7-5 early choice against nine other 3-year-old trotting fillies. Other stakes include the $400,000 Peter Haughton for 2-year-old trotters, the $333,200 Merrie Annabelle for 2-year-old trotting fillies, the $300,000 Nat Ray for older trotters, and split divisions of the $174,250 U.S. Pacing Championship for older horses.

Post time for the 15-race card is 11:30 am. The Hambletonian is race 9.

The entire field in post order with drivers and odds:
BET THE HAMBLETONIAN WITH DRF BETS

1. Broad Bahn (George Brennan, 4-1)
2. Manofmanymissions (Andy Miller, 9-5)
3. Fawkes (Yannick Gingras, 15-1)
4. Chapter Seven (Mike Lachance, 7-2)
5. Whit (Tim Tetrick, 8-1)
6. Whiskey Tax (Randall Waples, 15-1)
7. Opening Night (John Campbell, 10-1)
8. Magnum Kosmos (Brian Sears, 15-1)
9. Luckycharm Hanover (David Miller, 15-1)
10. Pastor Stephen (Ron Pierce, 10-1)

 

More on the Hambletonian:
Changing of the guard at 2011 Hambletonian
Toscano ready to write her Hambletonian chapter
Magnum Kosmos unlikely 2011 Hambletonian contender

More analysis:
Selections for the Pick 4, Pick 5
Experts' Picks on the Hambletonian