Road to Hambletonian starts with Dexter Cup
FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP)
The road to the Hambletonian gets underway Saturday when seven 3-year-old trotters meet in the $139,600 Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway.
Dontyouforgetit, who last season trotted the fastest mile by a 2-year-old on a half-mile track, has been made the 5-2 morning-line favorite despite drawing the outside No. 7 post position. Yannick Gingras will drive the colt for trainer Jimmy Takter.
The $1.2 million Hambletonian, harness racing's most prestigious race, will be held at the Meadowlands on Aug. 3.
Last year's Hambletonian winner, Market Share, began what turned into a divisional championship campaign in the Dexter Cup, finishing seventh after losing a shoe at the start of the race.
Dontyouforgetit and Celebrity Maserati are the only two colts racing in the Dexter who are eligible for the Hambletonian.
Dontyouforgetit won 6 of 10 starts, including the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and the Standardbred Stakes at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. His time of 1:55.3 in Ohio race set the world record for 2-year-olds on a half-mile oval. He won by nearly 18 lengths.
This will be Dontyouforgetit's season's debut after prepping in three qualifiers, the last two wins.
''He's got heart; he's got it more than most horses,'' Takter said. ''I love his attitude. He's got the best attitude in the barn. He's definitely a player.''
King Muscles drew the rail and is fresh off a decisive victory at Freehold on Apr. 19. The Aaron Lambert trainee, who is a 6-1 choice, will be driven by Andrew McCarthy.