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Adams Hall has Hambletonian breeding
Saturday, May 15, 2004 - from Meadowlands Media Relations

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If his breeding is any indication, Adams Hall could be bound for the $1.2 million Hambletonian, harness racing's most prestigious event, on August 7 at the Meadowlands.

Trained by Ross Croghan, Adams Hall is one of several Hambletonian hopefuls who will step out in Sunday afternoon's second race, a $10,000 condition trot, at the Meadowlands. Six of the 10 trotters in the field are eligible to the premier event for three-year-old trotters.

The regally bred Adams Hall was a $250,000 yearling purchase at the Tattersalls Sale by Eric Cherry's Let It Ride Stables of Delray Beach, Florida. The son of Garland Lobell-Amour Angus is a full-brother to Conway Hall [$818,884], Angus Hall [$830,654] and Andover Hall [$870,510]. All three of his siblings raced in the Hambletonian.

Conway Hall finished fourth in the 1998 edition won by Muscles Yankee, while Angus Hall won his elimination and finished second to Self Possessed in the 1999 final. Andover Hall finished second by a head to Chip Chip Hooray in his elimination but made a break in stride at the start of the 2002 Hambletonian Final.

"He has beautiful breeding," Croghan said. "He was actually not as developed as his brothers were at the sale. His brothers all sold for $450,000. We were only planning to go as high as $250,000. You just have to keep your fingers crossed with them."

Adams Hall made five starts as a freshman. Although winless, he hit the board four times. One of his best performances was a runner-up finish in a division of the Bluegrass at The Red Mile.

"He was kind of unlucky last year," Croghan said. "He should have won some minor stakes. He is still developing physically. We are looking to him to pick it up later in the year. He is growthy. We don't see him as an early developer. He is a maiden, and he has a lot to learn. We will give him some rounds on the track and see how it plays out. He has a way to go to catch up to the other colts."

Adams Hall will be paired with driver Ron Pierce for his 2004 debut on Sunday afternoon. He is rated as the 9-2 third choice in the field from post seven.

"He likes to go after horses," Croghan said. "He has an attitude when horses are in front of him."

In addition to the Hambletonian, Adams Hall is eligible to the $350,000 estimated Stanley Dancer Trot on July 16 at the Meadowlands.

TAKTER READY TO ROLL WITH THUNDER ROAD

While he awaits the 2004 debut of his stable star Tom Ridge, trainer Jimmy Takter is optimistic that another one his three-year-old trotters also could be Hambletonian bound.

Takter will send out Thunder Road in Sunday afternoon's second race at the Meadowlands, a $10,000 condition trot for lightly raced three-year-olds. The colt is one of six horses in the field eligible to harness racing's ultimate prize, the $1.2 million Hambletonian on August 7.

A three-year-old son of Primrose Lane-Quillo, Thunder Road is a full-brother to Takter's world champion gelding Kadabra, who earned $1.9 million and set a track record of 1:51.3 as a four-year-old. The Ontario-based team of Peter Heffering of Port Perry and Irving Storfer of Toronto own the colt.

At two, Thunder Road made one start in a race at the fair track in DuQuoin, Illinois. The inexperienced colt made a break at the start and finished ninth. Takter gave the colt time to fill out and brought him back to the races on May 2, 2004. Thunder Road finished second in that start, trotting a final quarter of 28.4 seconds.

"He is a green horse," Takter said. "We are not sure what we have. We will see how he develops. He raced good in his first start.

He is just a big, green horse and only time will tell."

Thunder Road will start from post nine as the 7-2 second choice on Sunday afternoon. David Miller, who was the regular driver of Kadabra, has the driving assignment. The colt's first stakes engagement is the $350,000 estimated Stanley Dancer Trot on July 16 at the Meadowlands.

"He has no stakes before the [Stanley Dancer], and we have to see if he is that caliber of horse," Takter said. "He is training good. He looks like he will be a pretty decent horse."

Takter added that his prime Hambletonian prospect, Tom Ridge, is on schedule to qualify at the Meadowlands at the end of May. The son of Muscles Yankee, named after the Director of Homeland Security and former governor of Pennsylvania, banked $383,037 in 2003, winning six of eight starts and taking his mark of 1:56.1 in the $440,000 Peter Haughton Final on July 31 at the Meadowlands.

"He trained in 2:00 last Tuesday," Takter said. "I will qualify him here in two weeks. He feels good. He has grown a lot since last year. He has filled out, and he is more mature then he was. I am real happy with the way he has come back."


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