by Thomas H. Hicks
East Rutherford, NJ — Firing off a fast pace, veteran Flex The Muscle (Muscles Yankee-Alix Hall-Conway Hall) with trainer Ray Schnittker aboard stormed home to easily take the $32,800 Hambletonian Monte Final in 1:59.2. The winning stallion is owned by Schnittker, J&T Silva Stable LLC and Arden Homestead Stable and was bred in Indiana by Silver Linden Farms.
Now a career winner of over $847,000 and a 27-time winner in 114 total starts, Flex The Muscle was ten lengths back of early pacesetter Pointe Of Honour ridden by Tara Hynes as she rolled to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:28.1. Chinese Cuisine (Revenue-Missymandarine-Malabar Man) then closed in and took the lead for Tina Duer before Flex The Muscle rolled by to score by four lengths with Flowing James (Ilooklikemymom-Flowing Jody-Rule The Wind) closing for third with Emma Pettersson. The fourth and fifth checks went to Muscolo with Michelle Crawford up and Waldorf Hall handled by Jenny Melander.