Top Hambo Finishers Delaware Eligible; Oaks Champ Buckette Eligible
The top two finishers in last weekend’s $1.2 Hambletonian, Pinkman and Mission Brief, are both eligible for Grand Circuit action at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
Pinkman, winner of the 2014 $59,445 Standardbred at the Delaware County Fair, will be looking for the "Delaware Double." The Jimmy Takter trainee is eligible for the $150,000 (est.) Old Oaken Bucket and is looking to be the first Hambo champion to capture the Old Oaken Bucket since Chip Chip Hooray in 2002.
The second place filly, Mission Brief, is eligible for the filly companion event, the Buckette. Conditioned by the nation’s leading trainer, Ron Burke, the speedy daughter of Muscles Hill was just a ¾ of a length behind Pinkman in 1:51.
The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks champion, Wild Honey, is also eligible for the $100,000 (est) Buckette. The daughter of Cantab Hall knows her way to the winner’s circle at Delaware as she captured the $62,646 (div) Standardbred Filly Trot.
The Old Oaken Bucket will be held on the Little Brown Jug undercard on Thursday, September 24 and the Buckette will be raced on Jugette Day (September 23rd).
Hall of Fame Drivers Injured, Streaks Broken
Hall of Fame drivers John Campbell and Ron Pierce were both on the sideline for last weekend’s $1.2 million Hambletonian and a pair of notable streaks came to an end.
Campbell, who suffered a broken wrist in a baby race accident on July 31, had driven in a record 32 consecutive Hambos and has won a record six titles. Pierce has been out of action since March when he underwent neck and back surgery. Pierce, 58, has hoisted the Hambletonian cup three times and has driven in the trotting classic every year since 2001.
Campbell, 60, also holds the Little Brown Jug record for consecutive starts with 34 straight appearances. The 1996 Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame Honoree is expected back in the sulky in a few weeks and his streak appears to be safe. Campbell has won three Jug titles with Merger, Life Sign and Nick’s Fantasy.
Pierce, a four-time LBJ champ, appears to be out of action for a much longer period of time and his streak of 18 straight Little Brown Jug efforts is in jeopardy. Pierce announced recently that another back surgery may be required.
Delaware County Fair Oval Scarified
The "world’s fastest half-mile track" recently underwent a facelift when the famed clay surface was scarified.
The Delaware County Fair hired the renowned track crew of Chuck Coon and Son’s to break open the track surface six inches deep to improve the "bounce" and rejuvenated the clay surface.
Thanks to the generous donation of heavy construction equipment from Shelly and Sands, the complete process took a total of four days.
The Delaware oval was last scarified in 2008.