CAMPBELLVILLE, May 22 – Hannelore Hanover returned to Mohawk Racetrack for the first time this season Monday and turned in a dominating 1:52.4 victory in the first leg of the Miss Versatility.
A field of eight older trotting mares clashed in the $53,200 Grand Circuit event.
Hannelore Hanover was sent off as the 1/5 favourite and made a winning performance look like a walk in the park. Driver Yannick Gingras let the big mare stride out early, but yielded for a four-hole spot and allowed Emoticon Hanover and Side Bet Hanover to play musical chairs with the lead.
As Emoticon Hanover reclaimed the lead for the second-time at the half in :56.3, Hannelore Hanover was sent first-up by Gingras and the heavy-favourite claimed the top spot swinging into the turn. The superstar trotting mare proceeded to post a :27.2 third-quarter followed by a :28.1 kicker to secure a 5 ¼ lengths victory.
Emoticon Hanover held her position to finish second, while Barn Girl won a Show photo over Oho Diamond.
Trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover came into her second start of the season Monday off a second-place finish at Miami Valley on May 7th.
“They all get beat some point and for her it was her first start,” said Gingras. “She’s not going to go undefeated this year, but I’m not so worried about that, I’ll worry about the big money races.”
Gingras, who is the regular driver behind Hannelore Hanover, also pointed out that he was hoping to give the sensational trotting mare an easy trip on Monday.
“I was trying to take it easy on her as much as I could. They were battling a little bit early on so (I) just sat there,” said Gingras. “She can race any which way. She loves tracking down horses, she’s game on the front, so she makes my job really easy.”
A five-year-old daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino & J And T Silva Stables LLC.
Last season, ‘Hannelore’ won 17 of 20 starts and earned nearly $1.2 million. Her victory Monday gives her 27 career wins and an additional $26,600 to her bankroll of over $1.5 million.
She paid $2.40 to win.
The Miss Versatility Series for older trotting mares has three preliminary legs before a rich final at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Little Brown Jug Day. The series visits Mohawk, The Meadowlands and Tioga Downs.
Monday evening’s card also saw a record payout for a $2 Exacta.
Driver Paul MacDonell steered three-year-old pacer Dubious Claim to a 103-1 shocker in the evening’s fifth-race. The triple-digit longshot was followed across the finish line by Jaydens Place and driver Phil Hudon at odds of 82-1.
The $2 Exacta in the fifth-race paid $3,896.50, eclipsing the old Mohawk Racetrack record of $2,515.80 set on May 21, 1984.
The horses that combined for the previous record were Rock N Chris, driven by Steve Condren, and Foolish Ward, driven by Roger Mayotte.
Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.