EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Deweycheatumnhowe was all business Saturday in winning the $1.5 million Hambletonian.
The colt named for a comedy routine about a crooked law firm became the first unbeaten winner of the 3-year-old trotting classic, which has been run since 1926.
Ray Schnittker, the driver, trainer and co-owner, was thrilled with the victory at Meadowlands Racetrack, although he suspected it would happen differently.
“I probably would have come from behind,” he said. “After I looked around and saw everyone was ducking, I said ‘OK, if we're going to get beat, we'll get beat on the front.' You have no excuses then.”
No excuses needed.
The 2-5 favorite extended his winning streak to 15 with a half-length victory over Crazed. Make It Happen finished third in the field of 10.
Deweycheatumnhowe completed the mile in 1:52 on a good track for his 11th victory at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
After Deweycheatumnhowe took the lead early in the first turn, only Crazed, the 7-2 second choice, offered a meaningful stretch challenge.
“The trip was getting to him and I got into him pretty good,” Schnittker said. “He refused to let the other horse get by.”
This was Schnittker's first Hambletonian victory in three tries.
“It don't matter if I die now, “ Schnittker said. “I got it.”
Deweycheatumnhowe earned $750,000 for Schnittker and Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo and Deweycheatumnhowe Stable. Deweycheatumnhowe is co-owned by Walnut Hall Farm of Lexington.
The winner paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10. Crazed returned $3.40 and $2.60. Make It Happen, also trained by Schnittker, showed at $8.
Celebrity Secret was fourth followed by Clerk Magistrate, Velocity Hall, Big Apple Deli, Kajan Kooker, Atomic Hall and Pine After Pine.
Creamy Mimi won the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the companion event for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Andy Miller guided Creamy Mimi to a 1¼-length win over Lantern Kronos with Stage Show third.
Trond Smedshammer trained Creamy Mimi, who improved to 8-for-13. She paid $27.60 to win, trotting the mile in 1:534⁄5.