Day At The Track

Voelz Hanover in prime shape for Breeders Crown

02:01 PM 17 Nov 2014 NZDT
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Voelz Hanover, harness racing
Voelz Hanover in prior win
New Image Media

Richard Berthiaume’s Voelz Hanover won the Breeders Crown prep race on Saturday in 1:51.2 for driver Brian Sears and trainer Corey Johnson. The 9-year-old mare by Astreos paid $13.60. This will be her fourth Crown appearance, her best being runner-up to Dreamfair Eternal in 2010 at Pocono.

Johnson raved about the consistency of his charge, who has won seven of 17 races this year and $255,266.

“I’ve had her about two years but never raced her in the Breeders Crown,” Johnson said. “I’ve raced her in a few stakes and she just hasn’t been lucky, though she did win the Milton this year and she was awesome, I think that was her biggest score. She’s got over $1.5 million on her card and it’s mostly in overnights. She’s a wonderful mare, I love her. This is the first time I’ve taken her down here though.

“She’s shows you everything. I’ve had drivers come back and say to me ‘She wasn’t on the bit tonight, or she wasn’t good – they can tell right away, especially her regular driver Randy (Waples), he knows her so well. When she’s really good, she lets you know.”

Voelz Hanover was scratched from her last start and came into her Breeders Crown prep off a qualifying mile, albeit one in which she beat sophomore pacing star He’s Watching in 1:53.4.

“We scratched her a couple of weeks ago (Oct. 18) because she seemed a little tied up and with the Breeders Crown coming up we didn’t want to risk anything,” Johnson said. “I gave her a couple of weeks off, trained her a few times and then qualified her, but those qualifying lines just don’t do her justice. To pick up Brian Sears is a huge plus. Brian’s a great driver; I can’t say enough about him. He’s committed to me for next week, too.”

Anndrovette is bidding for an unprecedented fourth Dan Patch Award for best older female pacer. The 7-year-old mare has won 41 of 109 career races and $3.07 million. This season, she has won six of 21 starts, including the Betsy Ross Invitational and a record third consecutive Roses Are Red Stakes, and earned a division-leading $497,852.

“She’s had a good year,” driver Tim Tetrick said. “She won the (Roses Are Red and Betsy Ross) and the races where she’s gotten beat, she’s raced well. She’s getting up in age, but I wouldn’t trade her. She’s been pretty special. She’s a hard-knocking old racehorse. If she wins, I’d say she is (division champion). It’s pretty cool.”

Eternal Camnation and Shady Daisy are the only other pacing mares with three Dan Patch Award honors. Anndrovette’s lifetime earnings trail only Eternal Camnation’s $3.74 million among all female pacers in harness racing history.

Anndrovette enters the Breeders Crown Mare Pace off a second-place finish behind Voelz Hanover in a prep on Saturday at the Meadowlands.

“She was good, it was a good effort,” Tetrick said. “I was first up a long way and she never quit pacing. She paced home good to the wire. Hopefully the race helps her and she can be a little tighter for next week.”

Trainer Ron Burke has three horses in the Mare Pace: Rocklamation, Camille, and Charisma Hanover.

Rocklamation, a 6-year-old who has earned $2.18 million in her career, earlier this season captured the Golden Girls, Artiscape, and Lady Liberty and was second in the Betsy Ross.

Six-year-old Camille, who won the 2013 Artiscape and has banked $1.17 million lifetime, finished third behind Voelz Hanover and Anndrovette in the final Breeders Crown prep.

“She finished up good and raced really good,” driver Matt Kakaley said. “Once I angled her out, she paced home really good. I was really pleased. She kind of went through the summer where she was drawing really bad. We got the rail for the final, so that will obviously help us. Under the right circumstance, she’s upset these mares before. She’s definitely got it in her. She’s got a million-plus (dollars) made in her career; she’s a classy old girl. She’ll show up.”

Yagonnakissmeornot, who has won 14 of 29 races this season and $493,718, won the Mares Open Handicap on Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, besting fellow Crown hopeful Krispy Apple by a head in 1:50.4, while Crown entrant Regil Elektra finished sixth.

Complited by Ellen Harvey with Ken Weingartner and Moira Fanning

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