The first pair of this season’s Hanover stake championships were decided Saturday night at Balmoral Park and in 3 of the 4 two divisions raced for three-year-old pacing fillies and second season colts, up front was not the place to be.
The first of two $34,800 Hanover’s for sophomore pacing fillies saw Choctat Milk breeze under the patient handling of driver Brent Holland, drawing off by almost five lengths in 1:52.1.
The victory was almost a carbon copy of her two-year-old Hanover stake victory. Just as she did in her first career start last July, Choctat Milk let others duke it out until the top of the lane and then came on with a rush to notch her second consecutive Hanover championship for the Virgil Morgan Stable.
Send off as the 9-5 favorite in the second race field of 10 fillies, Holland took back Chocolat Milk at the start from the six-post. It was Dontsqueezethebaby (4-1, Tony Morgan) dueling with 78-1 outsider Ashland Blue (Ryan Anderson) in the early going.
Dontsqueezethebaby needed a :55 flat first half to keep the longshot parked out and when that filly stopped the 2-1 second choice Beryl Hanover (Dave Magee) made her bid.
The third quarter was backed down to a :29.4 panel by Morgan and Chocolat Milk was still sixth near the top of the lane. The winningfilly then went into high gear, closing in 27.1 to make it 2-for-2 in her second season for owners Jay Corey (Morgantown, WV), Virgil Morgan Stables (Grove City, O) and David Haberger (Salem, O.).
Dontsqueezethebaby held on for second, beaten four and there-quarter lengths, and a half-length ahead of the third place finisher Yenta Hanover (Ron Marsh).
She Likes It All came rumbling down the lane to take the second $34,800 Hanover filly division for trainer and driver Joe Anderson. Owned and bred by Jayne Cummins of Lexington, KY,filly took advantage of a second over trip to pick up her second victory in eight season starts with a career best time of 1:53.2.
The 7-10 favorite Brianna Joy was hustled out from the eight slot by driver Mike Oosting and was in front at the :28.2 first quarter before A Perfect Jenna (Tony Morgan) swooped past and took command. Anderson had She Likes It All inside, sitting fourth, and when he tipped his filly out, Oosting came out of the pocket with Brianna Joy. The latter was heads apart with A Perfect Jenna through the 1:24.1 three-quarter pole.
She Likes It All ($21.40) only needed a :28.4 last quarter too collar the leaders and post a one-length victory over a fast closing Latte Lady (Dale Hiteman), who came from far back to be second at 31-1 odds. It was another longshot (25-1) Cheyenne Adrienne who rallied for third, beaten two and one-quarter lengths.
The winning 2-10 fourth race Exacta paid $653.40.
The heavy 3-5 favorite Team Hutch (Dave Magee) was all out to hold on in the first $40,800 Hanover stake for three-year-old colts and geldings. The Illinois champion battled early with Michaelpangelo (Tony Morgan), taking the pocket behind the pacesetter after the :27 first panel before zipping into the lead soon after the quick :54.3 first half.
The Homer Hochstetler trained gelding needed a third quarter (1:23 flat) breather to hold on by a nose over Gold Dust Beach (Dale Hiteman), who came from tenth, 14-plus lengths behind at the first quarter to just miss in the 1:51.2 mile. Chevie Nitrous (Mike Oosting) , who was tenth at the three-quarter pole, had the same :27 flat last panel as Gold Dust Beach and finished third, beaten one and one-half lengths.
The victory was Team Hutch’s sixth in seven season starts for Warrenville, IL owners Joy and Bonnie Hutchison, boosting the Illinois bred’s 2005 earnings to $129,650 and his two season total to $405,862.
A nose also separated two longshots in the second $40,800 colt spilt with 37-1 Hawaiian Hunk (Ron Marsh) eking out the victory over 30-1 Cheyenne Bodie (Joe Anderson) at the end of that 1:51.2 mile.
The 5-2 co-favorites Perdition (Andy Miller) and Odds On Duane (Tim Tetrick), along with Iron Courage (9-1, Dave Magee) slugged it out through fractions of :28 flat, :55.2 and 1:23.1 with Odds On Duane three-wide most of the way. The trio got leg weary in mid-stretch ,setting things up for the late closers. Perdition held on for third, beaten one and one-quarter lengths, with Odds On Duane taking fourth, another quarter of a length back.
Owned by Lawrence Gary of Ada, MI and trained by Todd La Fountaine, Hawaiian Hunk paid $77, keying the winning 4-12 eighth race Exacta that paid a tidy $3,853.40. The victory was Hawaiian Hunk’s second in seven season starts and the third of his career. The $20,400 winner’s share of the purse almost doubled the colt’s career bankroll, which now stands at $44,549.
Balmoral Park Publicity Department