08/14/2016 10:04PM

Marks: A Muscle Hill Hambletonian

Lisa Photo
Muscle Hill sired seven winners on the 2016 Hambletonian Day card.

One would have to go back to Adios in the 1960’s in order to properly illustrate the stallion dominance displayed by Muscle Hill on Hambletonian Day 2016.

Whereas in these contemporary times we tend to group major stakes together making it easier to document just how stallions may be doing on an individual basis, back then stakes races tended to more isolated affairs.  Thus it took some research to thoroughly document just how dominant a stallion may have been.

While Adios might not have managed the single day blanket domination Muscle Hill unveiled on Hambletonian Saturday, he would often have dominated specific stake races in which half of the eight starters might have been his sons or daughters—often accounting for the first three finishers.

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Someone posted a picture on social media (Facebook) the other day of Adios Don (Adios-South Pacific) winning the 1961 Messenger at Roosevelt. If memory services, Henry T Adios (Adios-Greer Hanover) and Lang Hanover (Adios-Lorelei) were up close and Cold Front (Adios-Doreen Hanover) and Hogan Hanover (Adios-Hester Scot) were also in the field.

Hambletonian Day 2016 featured nine stake races for the trotting set in which seven were won by sons or daughters of Muscle Hill. Significantly, these were not limited to a specific age group, as Muscle Hill has now sent four crops to the races with his oldest foals being 5-year-olds. Of the 5-year-olds, the two best, Trixton and E L Titan, are both at stud and undoubtedly others have been exported.

Muscle Hill’s lone 5-year-old on the Hambletonian day program, Resolve (Anikawiesahalee), won The 10-horse Cashman Memorial for aged trotters with a notable two-move victory. Previously Resolve impressed in Sweden finishing second in his two heats of the Elitloppet.

Earlier on the card, the Fresh Yankee for aged trotting mares featured but one Muscle Hill from the 12 starters, she being the 4-year-old Rules Of The Road (Right On Renee), who was no match for race winner Hannelore Hanover. But then Rules Of The Road was never a match for Mission Brief, the best Muscle Hill of that crop, who will not race this year.

The Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colts featured four sons of Muscle Hill from the 10 starters including the victorious What The Hill from the mare K T Cha Cha.

One race later, in the Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old fillies, three daughters of Muscle Hill were in action among the 10 starters. That troika included the ultra-impressive winner Ariana G, she from the Cantab Hall mare Cantab It All.

The first Hambletonian elimination for 3-year-old colts included three sons of Muscle Hill from the nine starters, including the open-length winner Bar Hopping from Cocktail Hour.

The second elimination showcased another threesome from Muscle Hill from the nine starters, including first and second-place finishers Marion Marauder (Spellbound Hanover) and Southwind Frank (Flawless Lindy).

The Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old fillies featured three daughters of Muscle Hill from the 10 starters including the race winner All The Time (Cantab It All), the full sister to Doherty winner Ariana G.

As everyone is now aware, Muscle Hill dominated the Hambletonian final with Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank separated by just a nose on the wire. Muscle Hill wound up with four starters in the field of 10.

In total, Muscle Hill sent out 19 of his progeny in the nine trotting stakes, with 12 from mares by different broodmare sires, they being Andover Hall, Angus Hall, Viking Kronos, Donerail, Cantab Hall, Broadway Hall, Credit Winner, Mr Lavec, Conway Hall, Lindy Lane,  Dream Vacation and Yankee Glide. Of those, only two, Ariana G and All The Time, came from the same mare being full sisters.  

Only the Vincennes Invitational for 4-year-olds and up had no Muscle Hill-sired starters.

It should be noted that during his heyday the above mentioned legendary pacing sire Adios might never have had a single day quite like Muscle Hill did, but over a period of years he dominated the pacing scene like few before or after him.

When his great son Bret Hanover finally tasted defeat after 35 consecutive wins, it was to another Adios son, that being Adios Vic.

It also should be noted that Adios did not leave any “line-extender” sons despite dozens of potential candidates.

How this will affect Muscle Hill remains to be seen as he is now the third brilliant link from Valley Victory by that one’s best son Muscles Yankee .

Certainly Muscle Hill’s first Hambletonian son Trixton has every license to be the next link in what seems the contemporary great chain.

At this point, Muscle Hill is dominating the trotting tanks like few before him. He has a ways to go before he matches Star’s Pride’s record of having sired eight Hambletonian champions. However, after witnessing what I saw last Saturday, I’m not so sure I would bet against him.