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THE HAMBLETONIAN MEDIA CONFERENCE


July 31, 2012


Tom Charters

Jonas Czernyson

Jeff Gillis

Cheryl Good

Grace Hanlon

Jimmy Takter

Tim Tetrick

Ken Warkentin


KEN WARKENTIN:テつ Thank you very muchテつ for that inspiring new Hambletonian song to the chairman of the New Meadowlands Racetrack, Jeff Gural.テつ Jeff?
JEFF GURAL:テつ Thanks, Ken.テつ Thanks for the song. テつI get a lot of screwball ideas that people send me, so I get an email, I want you to listen to this song.テつ First of all, I'm technology challenged, so I said, all right, put this song on, after a couple of weeks it sat in my in box, and I said, wow, that song's good.テつ So I sent it over here to Sam and the guys and said we ought to do something with this.
So I give you credit for getting that song done and not having a screwball idea that was a screwball idea, it was a good idea.
I'm happy to be here today and welcome everyone.テつ I was thinking 12 years ago I had a horse finish third in elimination it was called Pine Drop.テつ And it was such a thrill to make it into the Hambletonian.テつ I remember being invited here to this event, and that was a big thrill.テつ I said, wow, I'm really in the big time here.テつ I'm coming, I'm getting invited.
Then I got invited to a dinner on Friday night, so I really thought I had‑‑ it was just a thrill, honest.テつ And here, 12 years later, I'm standing up here.テつ So millions of dollars later and 12 years, here I am.テつ But it's still a thrill.テつ I hope those of you who are here are representing your horses and enjoy the experience.テつ Pine Drop, I'll tell you.テつ Now they've drawn the posts and there are two posts left.テつ The 2 and the 10, right?テつ So we draw the 2.テつ Now I'm really excited.テつ And Mike LaChance had qualified the horse, but he had a better horse.
So I got John Campbell to drive, and I thought this is like a dream come true.テつ I didn't get the 10 hole, got the best driver, and sure enough John left, somebody else left.テつ And the horse that was we're sitting in the 2 hole.テつ The horse came alongside, went right on by, and the horse in back of us went right through the field, and we were 10th in the top of the lane.テつ Every horse on the outside finished 1 through 5, and all the inside horses didn't get a check.
Lot of racing luck goes into this.テつ But it was still a thrill.テつ I had my kids here that day.テつ My grandchildren, actually, so it's really exciting.
I want to really thank the drivers and the trainers who came and took the time to come here, and I certainly hope that one of you guys wins the race on Saturday because it means an awful lot to me that you took the time to come here.
I know I shouldn't say this, but the drivers who adjust to qualifying horses, I hope they don't win.テつ I put a lot of time and effort into this, and it's really disappointing that we couldn't get the ten drivers of those horses to come here today.
But next year, I'm going to call the guy at Chester and ask him to schedule the qualifiers on Wednesday or something and make it easier.テつ I understand they've got to make a living.
So I really do appreciate it.テつ I see Jody came all the way from Canada.テつ Of course he figures he'll be driving here next year if things don't go right, right, Jody?テつ I told him I'll take care of him.テつ Good move coming here today (laughing).
It's unlike some of the other Hambletonians.テつ I think this is truly a wide open race.テつ I know Uncle Peter is the favorite but there are some good horses in there.テつ Like I said, luck plays a part in these big races, so I'm really looking forward to it.テつ I actually bred a horse that is in the Oaks, so that gives me something else.テつ I have a horse in the Peter Haughton that has a good shot.
Of course, I've never had a horse in the Haughton, and this year I have a horse in the Haughton and, the horse has a decent chance.テつ But over the winter I decided to cut the purse for the Haughton in half.テつ So at least that worked.テつ I got a horse in it, anyway.
If you don't think Ray Schnittker remembers that, he does.テつ Anyway, thanks to all of you for coming.テつ Best of luck on Saturday, and hopefully we'll have a great race.テつ I'm sure it will be a great race.テつ I'm looking forward to it.テつ With the exception of one race, all the races are stakes races Saturday.テつ It's a great card.テつ We're on national TV with CBS.
I want to thank all the sponsors that came to the rescue to help us get the race on TV and enjoy the rest of the next couple of days, and enjoy it, have fun and good luck to everyone.テつ Thanks again.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ Thanks a lot, Jeff.テつ Appreciate it.テつ As we mentioned, the Hambletonian is New Jersey.テつ We're a few miles north of the 130 miles of beautiful beaches.テつ Tell us more about that unique New Jersey vibe and visit NJ.org.
Here's the executive director of New Jersey Travel and Tourism, Grace Hanlon.テつ Did I say that all right, Grace?
GRACE HANLON:テつ You sure did.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ All right, Grace.
GRACE HANLON:テつ Thank you.テつ After Mr.Gural's introduction, I'm really glad I showed up today.テつ
テつテつテつテつテつテつ Mr.Gural, on behalf of myself and Governor Christie, thank you very much for putting your heart and soul into this racetrack and your money.テつ But we really appreciate your heart and soul and your hard work.テつ This racetrack, what you're doing here is not only good for the region, it's good for the entire country. That makes New Jersey more of a premier travel destination to the whole world.テつ
テつテつテつテつテつテつ As the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, we are so excited for the upcoming Hambletonian racing festival, one of the most anticipated sporting events in New Jersey. We remain a proud sponsor of the Hambletonian through our cooperative marketing grant program.
I'd like to thank Governor Christie and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno for their support of the Division of Travel and Tourism, so we can continue to support horse racing, the Hambletonian, and all of the tracks.テつ
テつテつテつテつテつテつ I'd also like to thank the Meadowlands Racetrack for hosting this exciting race, and providing such pristine grounds for these magnificent horses, and the sponsors, are the jockeys, the trainers, owners and all of those behind the scenes working diligently to ensure that the Hambletonian remains a fun, safe and exciting race for everybody to experience.
A strong and healthy racing industry in the Garden State not only creates jobs, but the preservation of open space associated with the horse farms and the agriculture support services associated with the industry are very important to us.
This year's Hambletonian Festival of Racing will showcase not only the best trotting horses from around the world, but provide visitors and residents with a chance to experience the real New Jersey and all that the wonderful state has to offer.
On behalf of Governor Christie and the state of New Jersey, good luck, and best wishes for a great day on Saturday.テつ Thank you.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ Thank you, Grace.テつ It's time now for the post position draw for this 42nd Hambletonian Oaks.テつ So once again, here's Sam.
SAM:テつ Thank you very much, Ken.テつ Again, everybody, thanks for joining us today.テつ At this time we'd like to call up two of the best in the business, our director of racing, Mr.Peter Koch, and our presiding judge here at the Meadowlands, Mr.John Tomasello to draw the post positions for the Hambletonian Oaks.テつ It will be the 11th race on Saturday for a purse of $714,000.テつ Post time will be at 4:13, and it's a big part of the CBS Sports Net live broadcast.
We'd like to call out a special guest who is a familiar face here at our press conferences, Cheryl Good of Kings Food Markets.テつ Cheryl, come on up and join us, if you will.テつ And of course, Kings is one of our long time sponsors, along with the Hambletonian Society.テつ Every year they partner with us for a community food drive to benefit the Food Bank of New Jersey.テつ Together we've helped feed the Garden State's hungry and homeless for several years.テつ And Cheryl and her team deserve a big round of applause for everything you've done with the food drive.テつ
Now, Cheryl, I have a quick question for you.テつ Kings rebranded this year.テつ It's no longer Kings Super Markets.テつ It's Kings Food Markets.テつ What is the story behind that?
CHERYL GOOD:テつ We felt it was time.テつ We celebrated 75 years in business, and we felt it was time to upgrade a bit, and that's what we did.テつ We hope that those of you here will have an opportunity to visit one of our stores and see what that rebranding is all about.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ And your company has such a commitment to community.テつ What you've done for the Food Bank of New Jersey is just hard to put into words how many people you've helped out in these tough economic times.
CHERYL GOOD:テつ Thank you.テつ Well, at Kings, we see hunger at such a prevalent issue.テつ These food drives have helped so much to bring food to so many in need, but the need still exists.
The way things are going and we look at our economy, and I believe it's going to continue for a while.テつ We need to keep things like this up.テつ At Kings we're so dedicated to it that our community outreach platform this year is focusing solely on hunger relief.
So we're involved in a lot of these drives that are helping to bring so much to so many in need.
SAM:テつ Cheryl, we sure do appreciate it.テつ On behalf of the Meadowlands and the Hambletonian Society, we appreciate everything you do.テつ Now it's time for the first order of business.テつ To the elimination winners get to pick their post for the final.テつ That is the super filly, check me out, the world champion who won in 1:53.4, and Maven, who won in a faster time of 1:52.4.テつ My colleague, Bob Hollywood Heyden is standing by and Tim Tetrick, the driver of Check Me Out.テつ He said I want Tim to pick the post if the horse gets beat, this way it's his fault.テつ So let's reach in, Cheryl, pick out the slip, and we'll pick out the 1 or the 2 post position ball.テつ That will determine who gets to pick first?
And Maven is the first name selected.テつ Pete, reach in and grab a ball.テつ We'll see if they pick first or second.テつ Of okay.テつ We'll go first with Maven.テつ Okay.テつ Holly, Jonas Czernyson the trainer of Maven, let's find out which post he would like.
BOB:テつ Okay, Jonas, we were just talking before, you know post 10 has never won the Oaks in case you were thinking along those terms?
JONAS CZERNYSON:テつ I'm not going to pick ten.
BOB:テつ Is your driver picking or are you picking it?
JONAS CZERNYSON:テつ He's driving.テつ So if he screws up, I can blame it on him.
BOB:テつ What are we looking at here?
JONAS CZERNYSON:テつ We're picking the 3.
BOB:テつ Post position number 3, why is that?
JONAS CZERNYSON:テつ You'll have to get ahold of him and ask him why he wanted three.
BOB:テつ Mr.Tim Tetrick, you've twice won the $750,000 Oaks and had a good run here with Check Me Out.テつ What about post position for her?
TIM TETRICK:テつ We'll go two.
BOB:テつ Post position No. 2 for Check Me Out.テつ Sam?
SAM:テつ All right, so the 2 and 3 are gone.テつ We'll now put the balls for the 2 and 3 in the bucket here and draw out the rest of the field for the 11th race on Saturday.テつ A fantastic 15‑race Hambletonian Day card.テつ This is the Oaks for a purse of 714,000 this year.
It's interesting to note that the trainers like to blame the drivers, don't they, Ken?テつ With all the pressure on the drivers, if Maven loses, it's Yannick Gingras' fault.テつ If Check Me Out gets beat, it's all Tim Tetrick's fault.テつ Pressure, lots of pressure.
So we'll sort through the rest of the entries here.テつ Cheryl, step right up here, pull out one of the slips and we'll start with our post position draw for the Hambletonian Oaks.
We have Jimmy Takter, the trainer and no driver listed.テつ I assume Jimmy's going to drive himself.テつ Post 1 for superstar Hanover.テつ That made it easier, Jimmy, didn't it?テつ You'll drive for sure now.
Post 1.テつ Cheryl, reach in and grab another slip, if you will.テつ We have Uncommon Night who was second, Dewayne Minor is the trainer.テつ George Brennan was named to drive Uncommon Night.テつ Post 5.テつ Post 5 for Uncommon Night.テつ So 1, 23 and 5 are gone.テつ Cheryl, reach in and grab another slip, if you will.テつ And we have Personal Style, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion trained by Richard Norton, Dave Miller drove her in the elim.テつ Post 4 for Personal Style.テつ I hope what happened to Jeff Gural when he was in the Hambletonian with post 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 doesn't happen to you guys.テつ Those are the ones going so far.
Cheryl reach in and grab another slip.テつ Next up, we have Real Babe, Ray Schnittker trains and drives.テつ Post 6 for Real Babe who is a stable mate of Check Me Out.
So 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are gone.テつ Next up, we have Win Missy B who actually won Check Me Out twice last year.テつ Brian Sears will be the drive, post 7 for Win Missy B.テつ Cheryl, grab another one.
Sassy Syrinx, the daughter of the Oaks winner and trotter of the year, Syrinx Hanover.テつ Jim Morrill Jr. driving for trainer David Smith, post 10 for Sassy Syrinx who was fifth in her elimination.
Two more to go.テつ Dream on Hanover, trainer Staffan Lind for Bender Sweden.テつ Mr.Bender is joining us here today.テつ We appreciate his patronage at our press conference and post draw.
So post 8 for Dream On Hanover, and George Brennan drove her in the elim, so we'll have to check on the drivers there.
Last but not least, we have Holier Than Thou.テつ Also trained by Jonas Czernyson and Ron Pierce will drive Holier Than Thou who will have post position 9.
Superstar Hanover has the rail for Jimmy Takter.テつ Post 2, Check Me Out, elimination winner for Ray Schnittker and driver Tim Tetrick.テつ Post position 3 for the other elim winner, Maven.テつ Jonas Czernyson trains, Yannick Gingras will drive.テつ Personal Style with post 4, with trainer Nifty Norman and driver David Miller.
Uncommon Night post 5 for trainer DeWayne Minor, George Brennan is listed to drive.テつ Real Babe, post 6 with Ray Schnittker training and driving.テつ Win Missy B, post 7 for trainer Charlie Norris and driver Brian Sears.
Dream on Hanover, post position 8 for trainer Staffan Lind, George Brennan listed on that one as well.テつ Holier Than Thou, number 9, Jonas Czernyson trains, Ron Pierce driving.テつ And Sassy Syrinx, number 10, for trainer David M. Smith and driver Jim Morrill Jr.テつ That is the field for the Hambletonian Oaks.
Cheryl, thank you so much for joining us, and now back to Ken Warkentin.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ Thank you very much.テつ The stage set.テつ We're going to get Darin Zocalli's morning line right here.テつ We'll pass that along to you.
Superstar Hanover, 15/1.テつ Check Me Out 4/5.テつ Number 3, Maven at 5/2.テつ Second choice, 5/2 Maven.テつ 4, Personal Style, 12/1.テつ That's 12/1, Personal Style.テつ The 5, Uncommon Night, 15/1.テつ 6, Real Babe at 20/1.テつ The 7, Win Missy B, 8/1.テつ Morning line 8/1 on Win Missy B.テつ The 8, Dream on Hanover at 30/1.テつ 9, Holier Than Thou at 20/1.テつ 20/1 for the 9, Holier Than Thou.テつ And the 10, Sassy Syrinx at 30/1.
That's the morning line for the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks.テつ 4/5 morning line favorite, the 2, Check Me Out, the world champion filly with a marquis match‑up against Maven, the 3 at 5/2.
In all the hoopla in the Hambletonian Day Winner's Circle, we know there is nobody that's more proud to present the Hambletonian Trophy than its very own President and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, Tom Charters.テつ Tom?
TOM CHARTERS:テつ Thank you very much, Ken.テつ I think one of the most satisfying things in life is to be involved in a project that involves a lot of people pitching and planning, executing, and it's really one of the extraordinary parts of my job, and I think the people here at the Meadowlands.
So if this sounds like an Oscar acceptance speech, thank you. テつI apologize.
But on behalf of the directors of the Hambletonian Society, we'd like to express our thanks to the staff and management here at the Meadowlands and their tremendous support.テつ To our sponsors, New Jersey Travel and Tourism, Kings Food Market, Hanover Shoe Farms, especially to the owners and horsemen in this 87th Hambletonian Oaks, the New Jersey Racing Commission who help us execute our unique drug testing program, the customers and fans from not only across North America but around the world.
Since 1926, the Hambletonian has been the preeminent harness race in the trotting sport.テつ This year has a special international zest with a tremendous simulcast program going overseas to France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Monaco, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark.テつ I found out this morning, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
In fact, Australia, where it's going to be about 7:00 a.m., is going to offer fixed odds wagering.テつ So if any of you want to really unload on a horse, Wally Mann's here from New South Wales and maybe he can help you.
We also want to recognize the CBS Sports Network, our broadcast partner and remind you that the Hambletonian remains the only harness event on a nationwide television network, as it has for almost four decades.
In addition to local media, including WFAN, TVG will be on site for the first time that I'm aware of, as well as our long time radio partners, Sirius XM Radio.
The society is very proud to partner with the Meadowlands for 31 years now.テつ That's the longest running host of the Hambletonian.テつ If you think back less than two years ago, we weren't even sure the certainty of this race and its future, let alone the future in New Jersey and its impact across North America.
I think I can speak for all of us in expressing our heartfelt thanks to Jeff Gural, his investors and his management team, as well as the horse men here in New Jersey for meeting this challenge.テつ I know it hasn't been easy, but I believe we can all be optimistic for the future.テつ The Meadowlands and the Society have a three‑year contract beginning next year, and in fact the Hambletonian at Jeff's encouragement will return to a heat format that it was raced in the 90s.
In closing, I especially want to recognize the industry sponsors that made this television broadcast possible.テつ We had a number get together when they found out the TV was in danger and raise the funds.テつ Brittany Farms, Bluestone Farms, Walnridge Farm, the U.S. Trotting Association, the Atlantic City Alliance, Fashion Farms, the Harness Museum and Hall of Fame, the Standardbred Owners and Breeders of New Jersey, Winning Key Farm, (Indiscernible), Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, and I think they deserve a big round of applause.
Good luck to all.テつ Enjoy harness racing's greatest day, and we hope we see you in the Winner's Circle.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ Thanks very much, Tom.テつ Some great words there.テつ I often tell people that the way I treat horse racing and my job is that every race is a gift, and the very next race is the greatest gift of all, and certainly the Hambletonian is the greatest race of all.
The long and winding road of the 2012 Hambletonian has come down to the wire.テつ Last week's eliminations gave us the finalists.テつ Now our award winning TV crew presents us with another very entertaining video.
[Video playing].
Absolutely magnificent.テつ My heros, Meadowlands TV, Oz Colon, Marjorie Roman, Sam at the helm as well.テつ What a terrific job, once again.テつ The Hambletonian is all about talent, class and timing, and of course we come down to the post position time now for the Hambletonian draw.
Once again, director of racing, Peter Koch, please come to the stage.テつ Presiding Judge, John Tomasello, and we welcome Stuart Meikle.テつ Stuart, the Marketing Director for Pfizer Animal Health.テつ Please come to the stage, and we'll get the Hambletonian draw underway.
We first determine the post position choices.テつ We had three elimination winners.テつ The three elimination winners will choose their post.テつ We have to choose the order or pick the record for which they'll choose the post position.テつ So those three names will go in the draw drum or the trophy, I should say.テつ Of course, it's Knows Nothing, Market Share, and Uncle Peter.テつ And go ahead, Stuart, pick out a name.テつ Just one.テつ This will be the first choice.
Knows Nothing will choose first, Jody Jamieson and Jeffrey Gillis.テつ Pick another one.テつ This will be the second choice.テつ Market Share will go second.テつ Those connections, and Uncle Peter, Takter connections will pick third.テつ All right.テつ We've got Sam with Jeff Gillis and Tim Tetrick.
SAM:テつ Thank you very much.テつ Jeff Gillis, the trainer of Knows Nothing, you get to pick your post position first.テつ There were a lot of questions when you came down having to take your colt off, Lasix, not a lot of major top grand circuit stakes experience, but he was great.テつ What post are you going to go with in the final and why?
JEFF GILLIS:テつ We'll take the three hole.テつ I think it gives Jody a lot of options and we'll just follow Maven's lead.
SAM:テつ All right, post three for Knows Nothing.テつ Let's move over to Tim Tetrick, the driver of Market Share.テつ Trainer Linda Toscano has been coaching him from a distance.テつ I couldn't understand what she was saying.テつ Market Share, nice horse, perfect trip, had plenty of finishing.テつ What post do you want in the final and why?
TIM TETRICK:テつ We'll go with 2.テつ Like Jeff said, it gives us options.テつ He's handy on both ends.テつ Last week he showed great speed early and late.テつ He's surprised the heck out of me, he's been racing good, so hopefully that's a good spot.
SAM:テつ Post 2 for Market Share, post 3 for Knows Nothing.テつ So Hollywood Heyden is standing by to find out about Uncle Peter.
BOB:テつ That's right.テつ Jimmy Takter is here.テつ You're the third choice, what are we looking at for post?
JIMMY TAKTER:テつ I don't know.
BOB:テつ Ray took the 1, he won it in 2008.
JIMMY TAKTER:テつ I wanted 2, but let's go with 1.
BOB:テつ Post position No. 1 for Uncle Peter.テつ I want to ask you some questions later.テつ Last week, did he have any shoe issues out there?
JIMMY TAKTER:テつ No, he didn't have a shoe issue.テつ He's a little difficult boy, but the track was a little sticky, so it was affecting him some.テつ But he was able to work that through.
BOB:テつ For now, post position No. 1 for Uncle Peter.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ Very interesting choice there by Jimmy Takter as we've taken the 1, 2 and 3 balls out of the drum here.テつ We'll put the other 7 in and draw the remaining post positions for the Hambletonian.
Peter, you're going to pull out the ball and John will pull the slip.テつ All right.テつ Go ahead.テつ Stuart has post 7 for Guccio.テつ Guccio, post position 7.テつ So 7 for Guccio, and Uncle Peter chose post 1.
Post position 10 goes to Gym Tan Laundry.テつ Last year's winning connections, George Brennan, Noel Daley, Brennan, post 10 with Gym Tan Laundry.
Stuart's got another one.テつ Post position 9, Money On My Mind.テつ Team Orange Crush, Andy Miller and Julie Miller in their third Hambletonian final, runner up to Uncle Peter in their elimination post position 9 for Money On My Mind.
5, my MVP.テつ Middle of the pack there for four‑time winner Mike LaChance, Iron Mike.テつ My MVP for Tony Alagna, 5, my MVP.
6, Prestidigitator is 6.テつ 6, Prestidigitator who was hung out 3, 4 wide on the first turn, was wide on the last turn, and rallied for third for Sylvain Filion and Dustin Jones.
Stormin Normand, 8.テつ Post position 8 for Stormin Normand was the final qualifier, finished fourth, highest career earnings.テつ Dave Palone, the dash king for Jim Campbell who won it in '95 with Tagliabue.テつ The 8, Stormin Normand.テつ 4 for Archangel, the world champion Yonkers trot winner, and runner up to Market Share in his elimination.
Jim Morrill Jr., Peter Arrigenna.テつ Thank you very much to Stuart Meikle, thanks for your help, Stuart, Marketing Director of Pfizer Animal Health.テつ Let's recap the post positions top down.
The 1, Uncle Peter.テつ 2, Market Share.テつ 3, Knows Nothing.テつ 4, Archangel, 5, my MVP.テつ 6, Prestidigitator.テつ 7 Guccio, 8, Stormin Normand.テつ 9, Money On My Mind, and the 10, Gym Tan Laundry.テつ We'll get the morning line from Darin Zocalli in a few moments.テつ He's on his way.
But first, we'll go to Sam, and O'Brien award winning driver, Canada's Driver of the Year last year who got racing room and scored in his elimination, Jody Jamieson.
SAM:テつ Thanks again for taking the time out to join us for the Hambletonian press conference.テつ You made a comment in the Winner's Circle.テつ I think it was right after you said, "Define Type, Bob," to Bob Heyden, that it was tough for you to get here Saturday night.テつ Did you have some flight problems?
JODY JAMIESON:テつ Yeah, it was planes, trains and automobiles to get here.テつ Sylvain and I got to the airport in Toronto at around 10:00 for an 11:00 flight.テつ And at 2:00 we still hadn't taken off.テつ They told us they were going to let us know what was going to happen at 3:00.
So we were being painted back into a corner a little bit that if we didn't make other arrangements at that time, we were going to do something else, and we were going to be at the mercy of United Airlines, which is formerly Continental, and we have no luck with.テつ They're late all the time.
So I decided to make a phone call to a very good friend of mine that a lot of people know around here because he's an outgoing guy.テつ I said what are you doing today?テつ He said he was about three hours away from me.テつ He said, not much, what are you doing?テつ I said, do you want to go to New York City?テつ He said, sure, sure I'll go.テつ Anybody that knows Howard would be laughing at that, because he just dropped everything and met me and Sylvain in Burlington, which wasn't far from Toronto, at 3:30.テつ Well, it was supposed to be 3:30.テつ Turned out to be 4:00.テつ We were trying to get ready to Teterboro with the weather here on Saturday.テつ So we landed by Wilkes‑Barre by Pocono.テつ And I had a car rented, and we actually got to the Meadowlands ‑‑ Sylvain was in the fifth‑‑ as the fourth race was being called to the gate.テつ So, you know, I made it in plenty of time, obviously, and got to‑‑ Sylvain made it too.テつ When you see him, he was five wide in the first turn.テつ You said four, I think he was closer to six.
The horse raced amazing.テつ So I even said to him afterwards I was quietly cheering for him.テつ He said he'd like to get that on tape, and I said I wasn't cheering out loud.テつ It was in my head.
We were all in a great mood.テつ We qualified for finals, and my horse qualified with a win.テつ He said we should call and ask if that plane ever did arrive.
A couple years ago you remember Rick Zeron and Trevor Ritchie didn't make it here for the Hambletonian Day.
So I called.テつ I was on hold for 25 or 30 minutes with United, and they finally told me‑‑ I said, "What time did 4703 get in?"テつ And they said, "That flight arrived at 10 to 6:00."
SAM:テつ So you would have been fine if you had waited.テつ It's nice to have friends in high places.テつ Before you leave today, I have Ron Pierce's cell phone number, I'll give that to you, in case you need a ride.
Let's talk about Knows Nothing.テつ He had a nice ground saving trip in the elim, nice colt.
JODY JAMIESON:テつ This colt has done everything we've asked of him.テつ I knew and told everybody all week I can't believe he stayed in.テつ How lucky we were and stuff like that.テつ And you have to be lucky in this game, as we all know.テつ I knew one stride, when he took off and that hole opened up, I knew one stride that I was going to win the race.
He just explodes.テつ He's like a pacer.テつ He has that kind of speed when you come off the helmet.テつ It was an amazing experience and a humbling experience to be here second or third favorite in the Hambletonian final.テつ It's the biggest race in the world, and you can't let anybody tell you any different.テつ I don't know what to say.テつ It's a humbling experience.
SAM:テつ You and Jeff were here with Federal Flex, that didn't work out so well.テつ Did you learn anything from that experience that could benefit you this week?
JODY JAMIESON:テつ Well, we had some bad luck with Federal Flex.テつ We did an interview with Stanley Dancer there, and people were comparing him to Muscle Hill, which was another amazing experience to be compared to probably one of the greatest Trotters that ever lived and raced.テつ It just didn't work out.
To learn anything, I don't know.テつ I just think you come into a race thinking that you're in it to enjoy every last second of it, and I think that's why I'm here today.テつ I just want to enjoy the rest of the week and put my best foot forward on Saturday afternoon.
SAM:テつ We sure do enjoy you.テつ You're one of the best sound bytes in harness racing.テつ Good luck Saturday with Knows Nothing.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ We love the Canadian accent too.テつ I hope it works out for you.テつ Bob Heyden with two‑time winning Hambletonian trainer, Jimmy Takter, Hall of Famer, Jimmy Takter.
BOB:テつ Hall of Famer and trying to become the first trainer to win the Hambletonian the same year he goes into the Hall of Fame.テつ That will be nice.テつ For the 8th straight year we have a $1.5 million dollar pot.テつ No race has done that in history.テつ Jimmy, you're driving Guccio, post 7.テつ The last five Hambletonian winners, no one's been further back than third at any point since Glidemaster in 2006.テつ How's Guccio going to get in the race?
JIMMY TAKTER:テつ Well it's about time somebody comes from behind.テつ But, no, he's a good horse.テつ He raced tremendous in the elimination.テつ He belongs there.テつ I look forward to this drive.テつ I told my wife three months ago I'm going to win it.
BOB:テつ The last two times you didn't drive Guccio, he broke.テつ Every time you drive him, you get along with him great.テつ Why are you and Guccio so compatible?
JIMMY TAKTER:テつ It's like I say to Jody, you've got to be over 35 to drive a Trotter, but now I'm 52.テつ No, it's kind of worth it a little bit.テつ You've got to work with him a little bit.テつ You don't throw the reigns at him.テつ You have to steady him and make sure he has the folding right.テつ But I don't feel like he's unsafe or something like that.テつ I was very happy.
We did a couple of changes.テつ Connie and I discussed how we're going to make him better, and we did some changes on him for the elimination.テつ I was very happy how it worked out.テつ And I think was a little more confident out of the gate and you've got to take shots in this race.テつ Hambletonian comes once a year.テつ It's not like the race that's coming back to you.
You know, I'm excited about this race.テつ I'm really excited about the horses I have, so it's fun.
BOB:テつ Uncle Peter, is he the best of a good crop or a great colt himself?
JIMMY TAKTER:テつ Uncle Peter, I've been fortunate to be around a lot of great horses in my days, and Uncle Peter is most likely the most gifted 3‑year‑old trotting colt I've been around.テつ You know, those other horses were very nice and steady horses, but this horse has some issues.テつ It's up‑and‑down with him, and he's not the easiest horse.テつ But raw ability, he's definitely the most gifted horse I've been around.
BOB:テつ Any training regimen changes the week before the Hambletonian?
JIMMY TAKTER:テつ Not too much.テつ When you're younger, you always overdid things and tried to get a little bit too much into it.テつ You get nervous and things like that.テつ When you've done it for many years like I have, you have to play this race like it's a regular race.テつ The horse has no clue this is the Hambletonian.テつ If you make too much and try to change too much and try to be too complicated, I think you just mess things up.テつ Leave these horses alone, and go into this race and may God bless the one that is fortunate with the luck for a good trip, because you need good luck in this race.
I lost this race so many times.テつ I was thinking I should win it, but I've been fortunate enough that if I lose this race, I lose this race, because God gave me this race twice.テつ If I do it again, I'll be very fortunate.テつ If I don't, it's not my race.
BOB:テつ If you do win it again, you'll be the first trainer to ever win a million dollar race three straight years with the same driver, Muscle Massive, Simply Business, and with Uncle Peter.テつ Good luck, Jimmy.テつ Back to Ken.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ From one New Jersey connection to another owner Barry Guariglia's Black Horse Racing from Lebanon, New Jersey, and with Sam, it's Orange Crush time.
SAM:テつ Barry involved in the financial industry.テつ Hence the name Money On My Mind for your colt.テつ You're 34.5, so you've driven a lot of trotters, so you probably qualify, right?
ANDY MILLER:テつ I think so.テつ I'm working on it.
SAM:テつ Tell us about Money On My Mind.テつ He's a very good 2‑year‑old and he's come back well this year at 3.テつ How do you compare him to the other elim winners?
ANDY MILLER:テつ He's a fast horse.テつ I wish we had drawn a little better.テつ But if they mix it up a little bit and he's pretty versatile too, so I think they'll know he's there.
SAM:テつ You don't win the Hambletonian from the back of the bus.テつ You've got post 9.テつ When those wings fold, are you going forward?
ANDY MILLER:テつ I'll look to the left and make up my mind then.
SAM:テつ Andy Miller, best of luck Saturday with Money On My Mind.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ Prestidigitator in the Uncle Peter elimination he acclimated with what Jody Jamieson called a six‑wide trip around the first turn.テつ Got parked a long way and finished third.テつ That was Sylvain Filion's first appearance at the big M since his back‑to‑back Stakes here in 2001 with Goliath Bayama?テつ Hollywood, you're with an assistant to the Prestidigitator, Dustin Jones connections.
BOB:テつ Dustin Jones' son, Tyler, is here.テつ How did the horse ship here and how did he adapt to the track?
TYLER JONES:テつ This horse is just great.テつ In the truck he's so calm.テつ On the paddock he's calm.テつ On the track too he's calm.テつ We have some issues with him sometimes, that's why he races with a mini bit.テつ He likes to grab on.テつ But Sylvain does a great job driving him, and I think he shows that because I don't think there are many horse that's can do a trip like that and still come back 28‑1 like he did in his elimination.
BOB:テつ You're staying at the Lancaster Farm, how has that helped him calm down and get acclimated to the area here?
TYLER JONES:テつ Well, it's like the same type of temperature and all.テつ The climate is the same, so it helps him adjust.テつ There is no like big‑‑ to our farm in Ontario, it's nine hours.テつ So being only an hour away helps him so there's not too much travel even though he's a great horse to ship.
BOB:テつ For those people unfamiliar with Dustin Jones, your father, if I remember, You Had A Dream back 11, 12 years ago won actually in record time in elimination.テつ Didn't do so well in the final.テつ What happened there?
TYLER JONES:テつ Well, Daniel Dube was the driver, and my dad always says that he might have fell asleep behind him because he got parked three wide in the first turn, and it didn't work out so well because he got to the front, but then in the stretch he got tired even though he gave everything he had.テつ It's just things that happen.テつ A race is a race.
BOB:テつ Tell Daniel, an alarm clock next time.テつ Prestidigitator, good luck in the final.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ All right.テつ We have one of three sons of Cantab Hall, a red hot trainer, Tony Alagna who is winning everything right now, and the Hall of Fame hands of four‑time Hambletonian winner, Iron Mike LaChance.
SAM:テつ That's right.テつ And Tony Alagna is going to make sure Mike doesn't fall asleep Saturday.テつ You have My MVP, a big cheer when you ended up with post position 5.テつ Did you ever go to the Hambletonian in Du Quoin, Illinois when you were growing up?
TONY ALAGNA:テつ No, I never went there.テつ But Myron tells me about it.テつ Said it's a great time.
SAM:テつ Tell us about My MVP, nice, steady colt.テつ You made adjustments and had him coming to hand at the right time?
TONY ALAGNA:テつ Yeah, last time he was third to Uncle Peter in Lexington.テつ Uncle Peter was the national season leader with that victory.テつ We raced him one more time.テつ He won in 56, and we made the decision do put him away.テつ He's paid us back for it this year.
We took his flip‑flops off.テつ The last start was the first time without him, and Mike's done a tremendous job managing the horse so far.テつ We're excited to be here.
SAM:テつ Tony, good luck to you.
Hall of Fame driver Mike LaChance at 61, driving in the Hambletonian.テつ You won it four times before.テつ You and I were talking in the horse sale at the back paddock on Sunday.テつ And you said every Hambletonian I won, I was first or second in the opening quarter.
MIKE LACHANCE:テつ Yeah, that's right.テつ You've got to be close to the front or in front at the quarter.テつ But things can always change there.
SAM:テつ That begs the question:テつ My MVP not known for his gate speed.テつ How are you going to be first or second in the opening quarter on Saturday?
MIKE LACHANCE:テつ Well, the one good thing, I got the best three horses in the race inside of me.テつ I should be close to them at the quarter.テつ So I'm going to have to settle for that.
SAM:テつ Mike LaChance you've experienced all the highs there are to experience in the sport of harness racing.テつ You've toured the twilight of your career.テつ Is it still as big a thrill as ever to be in a race like this?
MIKE LACHANCE:テつ It's bigger than ever.テつ It's just a feeling that you can't explain, just like an elimination.テつ It starts in the elimination there, and I was fortunate enough that I won the Hambletonian four times, and I won the Little Brown Jug five times.テつ But the Hambletonian for some reason stays with you for a long, long, long time.
The Jug is a great race there, but after a week or two, it's gone and you're looking forward to something else.テつ But the Hambletonian stays with you for the whole entire year.テつ It's a very, very special thrill.
SAM:テつ Well, Mike LaChance, thank you for all the thrills you've given us over the years.テつ A class act at age 61.テつ Still one of the top drivers in the sport.テつ Best of luck Saturday in the Hambletonian.
MIKE LACHANCE:テつ Thank you very much.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ The amazing Iron Mike LaChance.テつ Bob Heyden, up until a couple of weeks ago Check Me Out was rated No. 1 on the road to the Hambletonian against the colts, and the fun ride continues in the Oaks Saturday.
BOB:テつ Charles Iannazzo is one of the men behind Check Me Out.テつ Charles, how close was it, Check Me Out, going in against the boys in the Hambo?
CHARLES IANNAZZO:テつ Well, after the Del Miller, Ray was wavering a little bit, and since he's a professional and great horseman, I said, You make the decision.テつ We always feel you're going to do the right thing.
He came to me and said let's put our egos aside and do what is best for the filly, and that is to race in the Oaks and save her and not hurt her and she'll be fine.テつ It's a long racing season, and we'll be fine.テつ Of course not everybody agreed with that decision.テつ There were three people, one, my wife, Georganne, and the other two were Neiman‑Marcus and Bloomingdales.テつ In fact, they announced their next quarter is going to be a little less than they expected.
But we're in good shape, and we're very happy with the decision.テつ Like I said, Ray is the brains behind this outfit, and she's going to be fine.テつ It's a great decision.
BOB:テつ Did the fact that you had been along for the Deweycheatumnhowe Hambletonian ride make it easier for you?
CHARLES IANNAZZO:テつ Yes and no.テつ That was a great partnership, great friends, a lot of fun, a lot of parties.テつ It was just great.テつ This is a little more nerve‑racking because we're in this just the two of us with Ray and myself.テつ There is a lot of pressure.テつ Because as much as Dewey was great, and he was great, he was just a little less intimidating because of the group that we were with.
BOB:テつ For Horse of the Year type stats, he's 20 out of 23 lifetime.テつ He's already equals Muscle Hill for career wins.テつ They're both 20 for 21.テつ If he keeps rolling like this and maybe some of the boys beat each other a little bit, there is no reason whatsoever she couldn't be.テつ 15 of the last 18 races, horses of the year could be racing on Hambletonian Day.テつ Check Me Out could be a potential horse for you and Ray.
CHARLES IANNAZZO:テつ Well, that would be a great, great honor.テつ It's a long season.テつ But like Ray said, there is always the Breeders Cup.テつ If they get beat up a little bit and we're still strong, you never know what could happen by the end of the year.テつ But that would be a real, real honor.
BOB:テつ Charles, good luck to you and everybody with the filly.テつ We'll be watching her.テつ Check Me Out in the Hambletonian Oaks.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ Well, let's see.テつ Fastest elimination winner, 152.2, Chapter 7, world champion.テつ I'd say she's sitting on a pretty good day.
SAM:テつ I would say so too.テつ She won a pace elim with Blue Chip.テつ Trainer Linda Toscano, do you ever pinch yourself and say I can't believe this is happening to me?
LINDA TOSCANO:テつ Absolutely.テつ I tell everybody even a blind squirrel can find an acorn once in a while.
SAM:テつ You had a lot of them lately.テつ I thought you had a chance to win last year with Chapter 7.テつ Tell us about your chances with Market Share?
LINDA TOSCANO:テつ This is unbelievable.テつ I never, ever dreamed that I'd get another chance at it after last year.テつ To have this colt come as far as he has and seems to be prepping really well going into this race, it's a dream come true.
SAM:テつ You've got the 2 hole.テつ You had a 2‑hole trip in that elim, looked good.テつ You'd sign up for the same thing with Uncle Peter, wouldn't you?
LINDA TOSCANO:テつ Sold.
SAM:テつ Linda, good luck in the Hambletonian Saturday.テつ Thanks for joining us today.
LINDA TOSCANO:テつ Thank you.
KEN WARKENTIN: テつAll right.テつ Bob Heyden, bionic man time here.テつ We have Check Me Out and Market Share, the sport's leading money winner for the sixth straight season.
BOB:テつ When you have the kind of resume Tim Tetrick has the last seven years, every now and then you kid.テつ And I said I didn't see a Hambletonian Trophy on that resume.テつ That's about it.テつ I can't think of anything else.テつ Couple of Oaks are on there.テつ Where would a Hambletonian win rank in the Tim Tetrick meteoric rise career last six, seven years?
TIM TETRICK:テつ I've already had an awesome ride.テつ Can't believe it's this good.テつ I alwaysdreamed about winning the Hambletonian and maybe this is my year.テつ I sure hope so.
BOB:テつ Was Market Share good or lucky last week?
TIM TETRICK:テつ You always have to have luck, but he was good at the same time.テつ Showed great speed early.テつ I took him out and trotted right by him with very minimal urging.テつ So it's good for a young trotter to show that much speed on both ends.テつ 27 apiece on a track that wasn't fast at all, and he was very strong.テつ I give him a lot of credit.
BOB:テつ He's been consistent all year.テつ He's winning 60% of his starts lifetime.テつ He's been out there 1, 2, 3, 4 in every start.テつ It's not like he's catching us napping here.テつ He's been good.
TIM TETRICK:テつ Absolutely.テつ Every start has been good.テつ Up in Canada he was lucky with the pace revenue that we had.テつ I was hoping to follow Jody.テつ I was getting little closer and then we got far back.テつ My horse threw a shoe going into the last turn and cost him three or four lengths.テつ He only gets beat a length in 27 flat.テつ So he's a player.テつ Absolutely a player.
BOB:テつ Chapter 7 has been in three races as a 4‑year‑old.テつ All three have been world record times.テつ How's he doing now?
TIM TETRICK:テつ He got beat last time.テつ 50 and 4.テつ It's hard to say that a trotter can go 50 and 4 and then get passed, but he did.テつ And Jody's colt and Jeff's colt was awesome up there in Canada, but my horse is going to show back up.テつ Three straight times under 51, it's the first time it's ever happened.
BOB:テつ Okay, he's looking to become the first driver since Billy Haughton in the '50s to win six straight earnings titles.テつ Tim Tetrick, good luck.
KEN WARKENTIN:テつ Final piece of business here.テつ The morning line.テつ If we could show the morning line for the Hambletonian.テつ Darin Zocalli's morning line.テつ Starting with the 1, Uncle Peter at 5/2.テつ The 2, Market Share with Tim Tetrick at 4/1.テつ 4/1 on Market Share.テつ 3, Knows Nothing and Jody Jamieson, 7/2.テつ 3, Knows Nothing, 7/2.テつ The 4, Archangel, 9/2.テつ 9/2 the 4 Archangel.
5, My MVP, 15/1.テつ 6, Prestidigitator at 12/1.テつ The 7, Guccio at 8/1.テつ 8/1 on Guccio, the 7.テつ And then the 8, Stormin Normand, 15/1.テつ Number 9, Money On My Mind also at 15/1.テつ 9, Money On My Mind.テつ And 10, Gym Tan Laundry at 30/1.テつ 30/1 Gym Tan Laundry, and that is the morning line.
The field is set now for the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks.テつ Gates open at 10:00 a.m., post time 12 noon.テつ Many thanks to the media for their coverage.テつ We invite the trainers and drivers on stage now for some photos.テつ Enjoy your lunch.テつ Best of luck to everybody.テつ Thank you for joining us today.テつ We'll see you Hambletonian Day 2012 Saturday.テつ Thanks very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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