Day At The Track

Four divisions of The Florida Pro contested

06:56 AM 02 Aug 2013 NZST
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Uva Hanover - A Cantab Hall-Up Front Laura gelding
Uva Hanover - in a stakes-fastest 1:57

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 1, 2013 — Uva Hanover sailed to a daylight lead early but was forced to dig in late to preserve his victory in a stakes-fastest 1:57 in Wednesday’s $260,444 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows.

The event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, known as the Florida Pro, was contested over four divisions, with Monte Cristo Spur, Keystone Wasabi and Exodus Hanover taking the other splits.

With Uva Hanover ahead by 4 at the quarter and three horses in the field of six already off stride, it looked like a jiggy-jog for the Cantab Hall-Up Front Laura gelding. But Don Dorado moved relentlessly first over to engage the leader before falling by a neck. Paparazzi snapped up show.

“I was a little bit concerned,” said winning driver David Miller. “My horse hadn’t raced for three weeks. I guess he got sick after his last race, so I wasn’t sure how strong he’d be finishing. I chased him, but my horse raced game. He’s a very handy horse, and that’s a big edge at 2.”

Linda Toscano trains Uva Hanover for Stake Your Claim Stable and Martin Sternberg.

In only his second career start, Monte Cristo Spur blew away the field by 9-1/4 lengths in 1:58 for trainer/driver Dick Stillings and owner Richard Davis. Auspicious Hanover and Another Transcript completed the ticket. Stillings rigged the son of Cantab Hall-Sweet Gabriella before the colt’s pari-mutuel debut, a change he doesn’t expect to be permanent.

“I trained him down all year and qualified him without the hopples,” Stillings said. “Then he got nervous and wanted to go too quick. His mind wasn’t set on it. I don’t think he’s a horse who’ll have to wear them all his life. Once he gets a little bit mature, he’ll be all right. He’s a pleasure to be around.”

Keystone Wasabi brushed to the lead before the quarter and was a handy winner in 2:00 for Brett Miller. Epic Ranger rallied for place, a length back, with Whitey Lauxmont third.

“He does just enough to get the job done,” said Janice Connor, who conditions the son of Cantab Hall-Womanly Image for Peter Gerry’s Kitefield Stable. “He’s on the lazy side, but we figure he’ll last a long time that way.”

It was the second consecutive PASS victory for Keystone Wasabi. Dave Palone drove four winners and Miller three on the 15-race card.

Stake racing at The Meadows resumes Friday with an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. First post is 6:55 PM.

Evan Pattak

EDITORS: Attached is a finish-line jpg of Uva Hanover winning his PASS division Wednesday at The Meadows.


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