The first of three Hanover stakes for two-year-old pacing colts served up the old cliché that when it comes to young horses: Expect the unexpected. And that certainly was the case Saturday night at Balmoral Park.
The 4-5 favorite Keystone Resident grabbed easy control of the first $25,000 Hanover split, took the field to a leisurely :29. 1 first quarter, and about a third of the way on the backstretch went off stride with driver Dave Magee, falling back out of contention.
Wiley Willy (Robert Harper), who was sitting second assumed the lead and coasted to a slow :59.3 half with the 5-1 second choice Youretheluckyone right behind him. Wiley Willy still had lead at the 1:28.1 three quarter pole but when driver Tim Tetrick found room on the inside, the Joel Smith trained winner zipped through and rolled on to an easy four and one-half-length victory in 1:56.1.
Life Guard On Duty (Ron Marsh) finished second best. Keystone Resident came back from 15 lengths behind at the half to be third, six lengths off of Youretheluckyone who is owned by Hoosiers Ken Spurlock (Cedar Lake), Phil Wiley (Merrillville) and Nancy Bowman (Cedar lake).
“In all honestly I thought we had a good shot even if Dave’s horse didn’t make a break,” said winning driver Tim Tetrick. “My horse raced really well in his first start. He got home in 26 and change and I kind of used him twice.
“Tonight I had a ton of horse and Ronnie (Marsh), who was first up, was yelling at his horse (Life Guard On Duty) and that was getting my horse all fired up. When he found daylight, he was gone.
“He acts like an old horse and drives like one but all of Joel’s young horses drive well. He teaches them the right way from day one. He’s a good trainer and does very well with babies,” said the 23-year-old Tetrick after the fifth race.”
Two races later the young Mr. Tetrick was back in the winner’s circle, this time with the heavy 3-5 favorite Joe To Go, who crushed seven other youngsters with a convincing 1:54.1 victory, winning by almost seven lengths in his very first start for the Joe Seekman Stable.
Joe To Go quickly took command, put together a pair of :29 first two quarters and then came home in :56.1 still under a firm hold. Joe To Go obviously didn’t need any help in the second division but did get some anyway when the 2-1 second favorite Wonderful One (Dale Hiteman) and Rain Train (Tony Morgan) both went off stride soon after the start.
“This is a real fast young horse,” said Tetrick. “I never even pulled the earplugs and he just drew away from that field.”
Joe To Go was bred by L & L Devisser, who share ownership of the Jenna Beach Boy’s colt with trainer Joe Seekman and Sutton Racing Stable of Michigan.
Yankee Vinnie Iron Marsh) came to be a distant second. It was 10-plus lengths to the third place finisher Jandj Art (Dave Magee) in the seven race second Hanover division.
In the third Hanover division the 2-1 second choice Nifty Fellow (Brent Holland) powered his way to a 1:55.1 victory for the Ken Rucker Stable, who shares ownership of the youngster with Engle Stable.
The General was fired out at the start by driver Dave Magee and settled in a comfortable lead at the :28.3 first quarter when Holland took Nifty Fellow out of fifth, brushed past the leader at the :58.2 half, and after a :30.2 third quarter breather, had plenty left to hold off runner-up The General by three lengths. Roll Bar Hanover (Dale Hiteman) took third, beaten another half-length.
Balmoral Park Publicity Department