Freehold, NJ --- Bill Parcells once said “You are what your record says you are.” So when trainer Steve Elliott says Exodus Hanover “is what he is,” it could echo that notion.
Exodus Hanover, who is the 8-5 morning line favorite in Sunday’s $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old male trotters, has won six of eight races this season. His victories include divisions of the Arden Downs, Historic-Harriman Cup and Reynolds stakes.
So what is he?
“He’s a nice colt,” Elliott said. “How good he is, we don’t know. You never know until you get in with the good ones. But he’s done everything we’ve wanted him to do.”
Exodus Hanover is a son of stallion Andover Hall out of the stakes-winning mare Exotic Destination, whose victories included the 2007 Filly World Trotting Derby. The colt was purchased for $42,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by the Angelo Frassetto Estate, Kenneth Klein, Old Block Stables and Elliott.
The same group, minus Elliott, is among the owners of Exodus Hanover’s half-brother Etruscan Hanover, who has won two of nine career starts but been troubled by making breaks. Etruscan Hanover was trained by Elliott until June.
“(Etruscan Hanover) had a lot of talent, but no sense,” Elliott said. “He was a very fast colt, just very stupid, but it showed that the family had speed. This one seems to have the manners his brother didn’t have. I don’t know that this one has his speed yet, but he’s a pretty nice colt.”
Exodus Hanover went off stride in his first start when he was taken to the back of the field from post seven at Harrah’s Philadelphia. In Elliott’s words, “He got mad and made a break.” In his seven races since then, Exodus Hanover has had the lead by the first quarter on five occasions. He has led at the halfway point in all seven.
His only blemish during that span was a third-place finish in a division of the sire stakes at Philly in August.
“After (he made that break) we kind of let him do what he wants to do and he’s been good,” Elliott said. “When he was third he came up a little bit sick after the race. I’m not making excuses for him because he still trotted in (1):56.1, but he was sick. We got him over it and he’s been pretty good for us.”
Exodus Hanover is eligible to the Bluegrass Stakes on Sept. 27 at Lexington’s Red Mile, the Breeders Crown in mid-October at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and the Valley Victory in late November at the Meadowlands. Where he goes remains fluid.
“We’re trying to pick our spots,” Elliott said. “I try to limit the 2-year-old starts because you want to have a 3-year-old. I’m not sure I’m going to go to Lexington. I might just give him a start here before the Breeders Crown. It’s all up in the air. We’ve got to get through Sunday first.”
On Sunday, Exodus Hanover starts from post three with Andy Miller driving.
“We drew a good spot,” Elliott said. “There are some nice horses in there. You’ve got to get lucky and be on your game. He’s handy and he’s got manners. With 2-year-old trotters that can change at any minute, but so far it’s been pretty good. He just does everything right.”