EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Seventeen 3-year-olds trotters entered for the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the filly division of the Hambletonian.

Hambletonian Festival week kicks off on July 28 with two $50,000 eliminations to narrow the field to 10 for the $500,000 Oaks final on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 4, at The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.

The recent battle between Dan Patch Award champion Manchego and rival Plunge Blue Chip in a division of the Del Miller Memorial at The Meadowlands resulted in a near dead-heat with Plunge Blue Chip emerging a nostril ahead in a world-record 1:49.4.

Sign Up for E-News

The two fillies were seeded into different Oaks eliminations, with Plunge Blue Chip receiving post eight in one and Manchego receiving post seven in the other. The other Del Miller Memorial winner, Phaetosive, will start inside of Plunge Blue Chip with post five in their elimination.

Manchego has lost just two of 17 career starts, breaking against males in the Beal Memorial final on June 30, and the aforementioned nose loss to Plunge Blue Chip. Her career earnings stand at $961,170 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman.

Plunge Blue Chip, driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt, has a record of 5-3-2-0 in 2018 for an ownership comprised of Svanstedt Stable, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Zeron Racing Stables and Tomas Andersson. Her only losses this year have come in meetings with Atlanta, the top filly in the division, whose connections opted to race the males in the $1 million Hambletonian Open. The daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donut became the fastest 3-year-old of any gender with her recent 1:49.4 score.

For the first time this year Plunge Blue Chip will face Phaetosive, driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer and owned by Purple Haze Stables. The daughter of Explosive Matter-Phaeton was a $65,000 purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale in 2016 and has earned her connections $352,358 in just 10 lifetime starts.

The Oaks elimination fields are as follows:

$50,000 Oaks Elim for Saturday, July 28

Post Position      Horse    Trainer  Driver

1              Blonde Magic     Thomas Durand     Thomas Durand

2              Lima Novelty      Linda Toscano    Scott Zeron

3              Winbak Noelle  Lucas Wallin        Andrew McCarthy

4              Perfect Summer K           Andrew Harris   Louis Roy

5              Phaetosive         Trond Smedshammer    Trond Smedshammer

6              Live Laugh Love                R. Nifty Norman               David Miller

7              Nixie Volo           John Butenschoen          Corey Callahan

8              Plunge Blue Chip              Ake Svanstedt   Ake Svanstedt

$50,000 Oaks Elim for Saturday, July 28

Post Position      Horse    Trainer  Driver

1              What A Knockout             Marcus Melander            David Miller

2              Bill’s Lady             John Butenschoen          Corey Callahan

3              Lily Stride             Mark Harder      Tim Tetrick

4              Hey Blondie        Chuck Sylvester                Andrew McCarthy

5              Fly Fly Selena     Dustin Jones      Brett Miler

6              Courtney Hanover           Rick Zeron           Scott Zeron

7              Manchego          Jimmy Takter     Yannick Gingras

8              Piranha Fury       R. Nifty Norman               Tim Tetrick

9              Seviyorum          Julie Miller          Andy Miller

The top five finishers in each elim will advance to the final on Aug. 4. There is no Lasix or any race day medication permitted in the eliminations or finals of the Hambletonian Oaks or Open. Elimination winners draw for inside posts 1-5 and all other finalists will then be placed in an open draw. The winner of the final on Aug. 4 is the Oaks winner, regardless of elimination finish on July 28.

Post positions for the $500,000 final will be drawn and morning lines assigned on Tuesday, July 31, on a Facebook live post-position draw at 2 p.m. on the Meadowlands Facebook page and also streamed live on the Meadowlands YouTube channel.

The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $1 million Hambletonian will be featured on a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.

Hambletonian Day is closing day with a post time of noon, and the zenith of the Championship Meet. Fans can follow the next two action-filled weekends at Hambletonian.com, meadowlandsracetrack.com and on Twitter at #Hambo18.

See more Equestrian news at www.TAPintoHorses.net

Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoHorses/

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox.