Side Bet Hanover and Celebrity Eventsy each defeated the favourites in the final strides to win a pair of $50,000 eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks on an action-packed Saturday evening (July 30) at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Celebrity Eventsy and John Campbell came back on to win the second elimination in a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1 after leading early in the mile and closing along the pylons over 8-5 Broadway Donna (David Miller) and 3-2 All The Time (Yannick Gingras). Broadway Donna, however, was placed third for a lapped on break at the wire, moving All The Time to the runner-up position. Double Exposure (Tim Tetrick) and Wildflower (Ake Svanstedt) earned the remaining spots in the Oaks final as they finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Leaving from post two, Celebrity Eventsy crossed in front of insider Wildflower off the gate through a :27.4 first quarter before Broadway Donna swept to the top from fourth down the backstretch and led the field to the half in :56.2. Broadway Donna continued to lead to three-quarters in 1:25.1 with All The Time moving up from fifth and Double Exposure following her cover. However, Celebrity Eventsy came through inside of eventual breaker Broadway Donna approaching the wire and All The Time closed outside in the three-across finish.
Celebrity Eventsy, who has won half of her six sophomore starts, paid $12.60 to win as the 5-1 third wagering choice. With the victory, her career earnings soared over the $300,000 mark.
“She’s been a nice filly all along and we’ve tried to aim for this moment and this time it worked out,” said Staffan Lind, who trains the Manofmanymissions-Little Ms Queenie filly for Celebrity Farms. “She’s been training great lately so I was hoping for the best.”