Day At The Track

Lackey and Rue Hanover road to victory

04:51 AM 22 Nov 2019 NZDT
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Jim "Chip" Lackey

The road to harness racing victory in last weekend's Cal Expo Bill Conlin Pace by Rue Hanover and Chip Lackey is an interesting one.

The Pennsylvania-bred 3-year-old miss was purchased as a yearling by John Glenn at Harrisburg and was then sent to Canada for her 2-year-old season, where she had to settle for minor awards in her first 10 starts.

Lackey picks up the story. "It was the first of August and I got a call from John, who is a good horseman and an even better friend. He knew I was desperate for horses and said he had a maiden I should come take a look at up in Toronto."

After checking out Rue Hanover, Chip bought the pacing filly for himself and Kenneth Seastrom and promptly brought her with him to Hawthorne Park, where she recorded two wins before once again hitting the road and arriving in Sacramento last month.

"I was very impressed with her win in the Conlin leg on opening night," Lackey noted. "She'd been off for five weeks and traveled across the country."

Rue Hanover came right back and accounted for the Conlin final last week, leaving sharply from the No. 8 slot to get position before challenging first over past the half and gamely getting the job done

"She's a bit of a firecracker, high strung and all, but she's shown she has guts," her mentor praised. "Her dam is a half-sister to Rock N Roll Hanover and Royal Flush Hanover, who were both millionaires, so she has class in her pedigree."

Bettor in the Bank eyes hat trick

Bettor in the Bank, who has started the meet with back-to-back wins, looks to keep the momentum going in Friday night's $5,000 pacing feature. First post for the nine-race card is 6:40 p.m.

A 9-year-old son of Bettor Tuwin, Bettor in the Bank is owned by Debra McCarthy, hails from the Gordie Graham barn and will once again have James Kennedy giving directions as he steps up another notch in class and leaves from the demanding No. 9 slot.

The dark-hued performer, who has captured 45 of his 184 starts with a 1:51 2/5 mark established here last season, left little doubt on opening night as he waltzed home by two and a quarter lengths on the class drop.

Bettor in the Bank had to work a lot harder in last week's tally as the 2-5 chalk, surging when it counted for Kennedy to up by a nose in a 1:53 1/5 mile where the first three finishers were separated by a neck.

Friday's eighth race is a very interesting affair that will be decided at the elongated distance of a mile and a half, with last week's coast-to-coast victor Blue Star Maverick squaring off against Al's Briefs, who was Bettor in the Bank's most immediate victim last weekend.

By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

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