Tactical Approach Pulls Upset in Hambletonian

Scott Zeron, harness racing’s newest “Money Man,” banked his third Hambletonian driving victory Saturday as Tactical Approach slipped through on the rail to win the $1 million trotting stakes by one length in a 12-1 upset.

Zeron, only 34, is rapidly climbing the Hambletonian ladder. Hall of Famer John Campbell holds the driving record with six. Zeron’s previous Hambletonian winners were Marion Marauder in 2016 and Atlanta in 2018. He is rapidly building a reputation as a cool hand in harness racing’s richest races.

It was the first Hambletonian win for trainer Nancy Takter, whose Hall of Fame father Jimmy Takter won the race four times.

Starting from the outside post in the 10-horse field, Zeron saved all possible ground until deep stretch. At that point, Oh Well looked poised to claim the trophy for 3-year-old trotters. In a flash, Tactical Approach skimmed the pylons and was on his way to a last-to-first victory.

It was the sixth win in 14 starts for the colt who earned $500,000 for owners Robert Leblanc, John Fielding and John Fodera.

Tactical Approach paid $26.80, $13.20 and $7.40. Oh Well finished second, returning $6.20 and $4. Up Your Deo paid $5.60 to show. The time was 1:50 3/5 for the mile.

Celebrity Yankee was fourth and Point of Perfect fifth after they won the elimination’s for trotting’s most prestigious race last weekend.

It was another post 10 win in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the companion event for 3-year-old filly trotters.

It was the second straight Oaks win for driver Tim Tetrick. Heaven Hanover paid $59.40 to win as she trotted the mile in 1:50 3/5.


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