07/29/2012 12:59AM

Harness: Uncle Peter, Knows Nothing, and Market Share capture Hambletonian eliminations

Lisa Photo
Market Share (1:52 2/5) posted the fastest Hambletonian elimination time.

Over a track that was considered loose and possibly tiring for the first half of the night but became exceedingly fast as the evening moved to the final few contests, three Hambletonian eliminations were contested to narrow 25 colts down to 10 select finalists.

Uncle Peter brought three moves to the table in the first elimination for driver Ron Pierce. The son of Cantab Hall settled on an early tuck in third before the 27 2/5-second opening quarter. He then brushed to command around the three eighths marker, only to give up the lead past a 55 3/5 half.

The pocket trip would not last long as Pierce pulled before the 1:24 4/5 three-quarter marker and quickly opened up a safe distance on the field. At the wire, the final winning margin was 1 3/4 lengths in 1:53 3/5.

“As soon as Dave [Miller on Banker Volo] crossed over, he hit the brakes and we started going so slow that I didn’t want to put myself in a predicament that I would have to worry about getting out,” said Pierce on his decision to pull out of the pocket. “Uncle Peter at that point still felt really good, so I popped him out of the pocket and just sat him on the outside. He needed very little encouragement to win the race.”

Money On My Mind was shuffled after initially coming away second and finished well between horses for second. Prestidigitator was parked every step of the mile, but rallied nicely from last to get the third and last spot in the $1.5 million final.

“I was content to sit there and I thought I’d get room in the lane,” said Andy Miller, driver of Money On My Mind.

“Obviously, that wasn’t the kind of trip I was looking for,” said Sylvain Filion, driver of Prestidigitator. “I got caught real wide on the first turn, but he just raced his guts out. I tipped him three wide on the final turn, and he still went on and kept trotting to the wire.”

The Jimmy Takter trained Uncle Peter paid $3.20 to win as the favorite.

The public choice also won the second Hambo elimination, but the outcome was hard to predict as the field turned for home.

Riccolo was used to make the lead in 27 seconds, but was able to rate a soft half of 56 2/5 and looked to have a good chance of making it to the final dance. When Stormin Normand came to call approaching the three-quarter marker in 1:25 3/5, it was apparent that Riccolo was in trouble.

The field spread across the track into the stretch with only a few lengths separating the Hambo hopefuls. It was Knows Nothing, who found an early tuck fourth and elected to sit a three hole rather than pull uncovered, that split foes and burst to the lead in the stretch to post a 1: 53 1/5 winning time on the board.

“Honestly, the only anxious moment I had was just before George [Brennan on Beer Summit] moved out,” said driver Jody Jamieson on his tactics and decision to sit third. "I didn’t think there was room for him, then all of a sudden John [Campbell on Lightning Storm] was all done and there was room for George. I knew when he got out I was going to have a clear path.”

Just 1 1/2 lengths half back of the winner was a strong-closing Guccio, with a similarly fast-finishing My Mvp another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. Stormin Normand became the lone fourth-place finisher to make the final on the power of his career bankroll.

“I finished full of trot,” said Takter, who trains and drives Guccio. "I finished with a horse with everything in the tank."

“Tonight, he showed me that he might be able to" step up in the final, said driver Mike Lachance on My MVP’s effort.

Knows Nothing, who is trained by Jeff Gillis, paid $6 to win and earned the right as an elimination winner to chose his post in the final.

They saved the fastest of the three eliminations for last, and while one horse did all the work, the pocket-sitter got all the accolades.

A host of colts were intent on the early lead, and the outcome changed dramatically when 6-5 favorite Little Brown Fox was kept out wide passing the quarter in 27 seconds and made a break.

Archangel took advantage and charged to the front to pocket Market Share. That pair sat one-two through fractions of 55 4/5 and 1:25 without so much of a peep coming from any foes in the back of the pack.

In the stretch, Market Share charged to the front with nary a tap of the whip from driver Tim Tetrick to defeat Archangel by 2 1/4 lengths in a solid 1:52 2/5.

“I used him good the first quarter, we got a good third quarter breather, and he got to brave up on Jimmy’s [Morrill – Archangel] helmet. When I pulled him, he really responded well with a good last quarter,” said Tetrick.

“Being that he was pressed hard early, I was happy with his effort,” Morril saidl. "I just wish I didn’t have to put him on the front tonight, that’s all.”

Gym Tan Laundry, who was part of the very early pace scenario held third and made the final.

Market Share, who was sent out by trainer Linda Toscano, paid $8.20 to win.

The full field in alphabetical order for the $1.5 million Hambletonian is listed below.

Favorites capture Oaks eliminations

Two eliminations for the $714,050 Hambletonian Oaks were contested earlier on the card, and heavy favorites Check Me Out and Maven did not disappoint.

Check Me Out ($2.10) waited patiently in third before uncorking a decisive move to the front. The Ray Schnittker trainee won easily in 1:53 4/5 with driver Tetrick at the helm.

Maven ($3) took nearly the same path, but clocked a faster 1:52 4/5 time because pacesetter Win Missy B was in her usual early rush.

The two top trotting fillies in the country will meet up in the final Aug. 4.

The full field for the Oaks final is listed below.

$1.5 million Hambletonian finalists

Archangel Money On My Mind
Gym Tan Laundry My MVP
Guccio Prestidigitator
Knows Nothing Stormin Normand
Market Share Uncle Peter

$714,050 Hambletonian Oaks finalists

Check Me Out Real Babe
Dream On Hanover Sassy Syrinx
Holier Then Thou Superstar Hanover
Maven Uncommon Night
Personal Style Win Missy B