Meirs Hanover matched a track record at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with his victory in 1:48:1 in Saturday night's featured harness racing Open pace. The race carried a purse of $50,000.
Meirs Hanover, a 5-year-old stallion from the Ron Burke barn looking for a bounce back after breaking stride in the Ben Franklin final due to interference, left from post position #2 in the field of eight as a 6-1 shot and found the pocket early behind pacesetting 6-5 favorite Golden Receiver. The leader had to fight off pressure from Rockincam on the front stretch and Dial Or Nodial on the back, leading to sizzling fractions of 26:1, 53:2, and 1:20:1.
In the stretch, driver Matt Kakaley tipped Meirs Hanover into the passing lane and he rallied past the game Golden Receiver to win by a half-length. Special T Rocks came on for 3rd. The winning time of 1:48:1 matched the Pocono record for aged pacing stallions that was set just two weeks ago in the Franklin eliminations by Aracache Hanover.
Meirs Hanover, the offspring ofand Mary Mattgalane and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Van Dusen, Cimaglio, and Strollin Stable, won for the 4th time in 14 2012 races. It was his 21st career victory, giving him lifetime earnings of $460,207.
In addition to the Open pace, Grand Circuit Week continued at Pocono with three $50,000 divisions each of the 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot and on the pace. On the trotting side, the winners were: Fashion Astral (- ), owned by Fashion Farms LLC, trained by Jim Campbell, and driven by Matt Kakaley, in 1:54:4; Nothing But Class ( -Bold Dreamer), owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Louie Camara, and Jan Hoibye, and trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, in 1:54:2; and Uncle Peter ( -Victory Treasure), owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Falkbolagen Ab, and trained and driver by Jimmy Takter, in 1:52:3.
On the pacing side, the winners were Mcerlean (-Igottwowordsforyou), owned by Muscara Racing Trust, trained by Trond Smedshammer, and driven by Matt Kakaley, in 1:51:1; Star Recruit ( -Remarkable Star), owned by Carter, Carter, Reid, and Grubbs, trained by Bruce Riegle, and driven by Tony Hall, in 1:51:4; and I Like Dreamin ( -I’m Not Dreamin), owned by Lomangino Standardbreds and Leo Lomangino, trained by Sam DePinto, and driven by George Napolitano Jr., in 1:51:4.
by James BEVIGLIA