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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, August 02, 2017 1:00 am

In The News

19 in wide-open Hambletonian

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Devious Man and International Moni are the 5-2 favorites in their respective eliminations Saturday for the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The top five finishers in each $100,000 elimination return later that afternoon for the $1 million final.

The trotting classic for 3-year-olds attracted 19 entrants for this wide-open renewal.

Walner, who would have been the solid favorite, dropped out last week with what trainer Linda Toscano called a “minor injury.” Walner has won 9 of 10 starts.

The Hambletonian lost another potential headliner when the team behind the talented filly Ariana G opted to pass on that race. A winner of 14 of 17 races, Ariana G will remain with the fillies that afternoon as the 6-5 favorite in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks.

Devious Man drew post 9 in the first elimination with Andy Miller driving for wife Julie. Devious Man finished second to Walner here most recently in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial.

The consistent colt is 4-2-0 in six starts this season.

International Moni overcame a bout of colic to go 3 for 3 this year after posting a 1 for 12 record last season. He starts from post 5 for trainer Frank Antonacci. Scott Zeron, who won last year's Hambletonian with Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder, would be the first driver to post consecutive victories since recently retired John Campbell (1987-88).

Post time for the final is 5:11 p.m.

– Associated Press