Apprentic Hanover made a triumphant four-year-old seasonal debut Saturday at Woodbine, posting his fifth straight victory, this time after a three-week layoff in winning the $34,000 Preferred Pace.
After ending his three-year-old season with four consecutive wins, including victories in Northfield Park's Cleveland Classic and a Preferred pace on December 28 at Woodbine, Apprentice Hanover made it five in a row with a 1:52 effort.
Driven by Jody Jamieson, the heavy 4-5 favourite left from post one and settled away third as Casimir Jitterbug (Doug McNair) and then outsider Modern Legend (Jack Moiseyev) sprinted by into a :27.1 opening quarter. Modern Legend continued to control the pace past the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24 while Mystician (Billy Davis Jr.) moved underway from the backfield and up to apply pressure around the final turn and into the stretch. However, Jamieson tipped Apprentice Hanover wide down the stretch and soared by to steal the spotlight. Mystician edged out Modern Legend for the runner-up honours two lengths behind.
The son of Somebeachsomewhere, who was named United States Trotting Association's Horse of the Month in December 2013, is trained by Ben Wallace and owned by Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. The win was his 12th in 30 career starts and boosted his bankroll to $529,474.
Apprentice Hanover paid $3.80 to win.
Trainers Carmen Auciello and Corey Johnson and driver Randy Waples led all winners on Saturday's 13-race card with three wins each.
From WEG publicity department