Day At The Track

Owner hoping for better luck in 2016

08:29 AM 24 Feb 2016 NZDT
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Bank Shot Hanover John Sannucci
Bank Shot Hanover John Sannucci
John Sannucci photo

If harness racing owner Robert DiNozzi could change one thing about his pacer Bank Shot Hanover it simply would be the gelding’s luck. DiNozzi had high hopes for Bank Shot Hanover last year, but good fortune never seemed to be on their side.

Bank Shot Hanover won two of eight races last season at age 2 and earned $39,372. He won his debut, a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars, in 1:53 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in early July, but raced only once more prior to late August because of a shin splint.

He returned to compete in the Metro Pace eliminations, but failed to advance to the final. He finished fifth in the consolation race a week later, beaten by two lengths. His next three starts produced a win in a conditioned race, a third in a Liberty Bell Series division, and a second in a Keystone Classic division.

DiNozzi thought the horse was ready for a top effort in his Breeders Crown elimination, but Bank Shot Hanover finished seventh and after the race was found to have bled.

“He’s a really good horse, we’ve just had a little bit of bad luck with him,” DiNozzi said. “His first start went in (1):53 and he looked like he was going to beat the world. It’s hard not to like a horse like that. He definitely trained down fantastically, which is why I staked him to everything I staked him to. He was training like he could be a really good one. We’ll see if that comes back or not.”

Bank Shot Hanover is getting ready for his 2016 debut and is being pointed to the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The series, restricted to 3- and 4-year-olds who were non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 lifetime through Dec. 1, begins March 8.

“Hopefully it’s just a stepping stone and he’ll end up racing in the Breeders Crown again,” DiNozzi said. “We need to get him back in shape and see where he’ll go. He’s eligible to a lot of things. We’ll see. It’s all a crapshoot.”

DiNozzi bought Bank Shot Hanover, a son of The Panderosa out of the mare Braggin’ Yankee, privately last May. The horse is trained by Daniel Renaud.

“Danny and I looked at some video of him and he was a nice, good-looking horse,” DiNozzi said. “He was a good-looking 2-year-old; he looked like he was 3. Sitting behind him, he’s like driving an aged horse. I mean literally he’s like driving a 9-year-old gelding.”

Bank Shot Hanover, who was shut down following the Breeders Crown last October, qualified at Yonkers on Saturday, timed in 1:57. It was his first time on a half-mile track. He was driven by Yonkers’ leading driver, Jason Bartlett, and is expected to qualify again this week.

“He got around the half pretty well,” DiNozzi said. “I mean (1):57 is nothing to brag about, but it’s his first qualifier back. The next qualifier, he’ll chase him out of the gate. Hopefully he’ll come down to (1):54 or (1):53 and be competitive.

“And hopefully he’ll get a little bit of good luck.”

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

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