Day At The Track

Charisma Hanover hopes to sizzle in Nadia Lobell

04:59 AM 29 Nov 2013 NZDT
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Charisma Hanover, harness racing
Charisma Hanover heads the Nadia Lobell Saturday
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Charisma Hanover has charmed driver Yannick Gingras with her recent form as he gets ready to race the 3-year-old filly pacer in Saturday’s $167,500 Nadia Lobell Stakes at Meadowlands Racetrack.

Gingras and Charisma Hanover will leave from post seven in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies, which also includes world-record-holder Shebestingin from the stable of trainer Joe Holloway. Charisma Hanover has won 13 of 19 races this season, including seven of her last eight starts.

Saturday’s stakes-filled card at the Meadowlands also includes the $534,500 Governor’s Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, $494,750 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, $456,150 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, and $394,950 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers.

Also in action is 3-year-old colt Captaintreacherous, who takes on older foes including Foiled Again and Pet Rock in the $512,000 TVG Free For All Series Championship for pacers, and 3-year-old filly trotter Bee A Magician, who looks to complete a perfect season in the $253,000 Moni Maker Stakes. There also is the $500,000 TVG Free For All Series Championship for older trotters.

Charisma Hanover enters the Nadia Lobell off a 1:51.4 win in the 3-year-old open Nov. 23 at the Meadowlands. In her previous start, she beat I Luv The Nitelife by a head to capture the American-National Stakes at Balmoral Park. I Luv The Nitelife, the richest filly pacer in harness racing history, was expected to compete in the Nadia Lobell, but will miss the race because of a knee injury that will require surgery.

“I think she’s gotten better as the season has gone on, but she’s raced really well all year,” Gingras said about Charisma Hanover, who is trained by Ron Burke and has earned $555,729 this season. “We’ve been racing her a little differently than early in the year. She would get a little too fired up early in the year.”

Charisma Hanover got a little fired up in the Valley Forge Stakes at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August, finishing seventh, but has been simply on fire in her eight starts since then.

Her wins included the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, the Lady Maud and American-National in a stakes- and track-record 1:49. Her only loss during that span came when she suffered broken equipment and was pulled up in a Keystone Classic division at The Meadows in September.

“She got the right trip behind I Luv The Nitelife in the American-National, but she never saw the rail either,” Gingras said. “She’s a very good horse herself, really a top horse in my mind.”

Charisma Hanover, owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, is a daughter of stallion Dragon Again out of the mare Caught The Bouquet. She is a half-sister to 2004 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Runover Feeling, who finished third in the 2005 North America Cup and has earned nearly $900,000 in his career.

The Nadia Lobell field, in addition to Charisma Hanover and Shebestingin, includes UF Dragon’s Queen, Mattie Terror Girl, Aunt Caroline, Jerseylicious, Somwherovrarainbow and Authorize. Shebestingin is the fastest female pacer in history thanks to her 1:47 win in a division of the Glen Garnsey at The Red Mile in October.

“There are some good fillies in there that can go real fast as well,” Gingras said. “It should be a great race.”

by Ken Weingartner for HRC

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