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Menary a big fan of his Fan Hanover final duo

June 12, 2024

MILTON, June 12, 2024 – Trainer Dave Menary holds a pair of aces, namely, Pass Line and Its a Love Thing, in the $425,000 Fan Hanover final, part of the stacked deck of stakes action on Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk.

Already in the middle of another strong season, Menary, who is well on pace to eclipse the 44 wins he posted last year, will look to add a victory in the Fan Hanover, for three-year-old pacing fillies, to his impressive 2024 campaign.

The multiple stakes-winning conditioner, who has 920 career victories, brings a solid one-two punch to the ring.

“They are both very special fillies,” praised Menary. “We feel very lucky to have them with us. Both of them and one of my Grassroots fillies, Make Out With Me, shared a field for the whole winter in Kentucky at Spring Station Farms. Josh [Green] and Sasha [Moczulski] did a great job with them there. Its A Love thing came home in January and Pass Line went to New Jersey with Ron Burke and they did an excellent job with her too.”

A daughter of All Bets Off-Breakheart Pass, Pass Line fashions a record of 11-3-2 from 17 starts, accompanied by $682,152 in career earnings.

Pass Line and driver James MacDonald winning an SBOA elimination on May 3, 2024 at Woodbine Mohawk Park (New Image Media)
Pass Line and driver James MacDonald winning an SBOA elimination on May 3, 2024 at Woodbine Mohawk Park (New Image Media)

Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and Rich Lombardo Racing LLC, the bay filly was third to My Girl EJ in her Fan Hanover elimination last Saturday.

“She’s not big, but she is like a rocket ship,” said Menary. “She is a perfect-sized horse and couldn’t look any better than she does right now.”

Pass Line made headlines throughout the sport after an outstanding rookie year.

She won all but one of her Ontario Sires Stakes Gold legs, added a Champlain Stakes trophy that season and capped it off with the O’Brien Award as the country’s top Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly.

“It was a fantastic year for her and Its A Love Thing,” said Menary. “She just did everything right and showed up with her best every week.”

This year, Pass Line has one win, one second, and a third from four starts.

Champion driver Scott Zeron will sit in the race bike for the first time on Saturday.

“I think that is a very good fit,” said Menary. “They suit each other well.”

Menary’s other Fan Hanover hope comes in the form of Its A Love Thing.

Like her stablemate Pass Line, the bay filly had a sensational freshman campaign.

In 12 starts, Its A Love Thing went 6-2-1 to go along with $560,656 in purse earnings.

Highlights from that first year included a brilliant winning performance in last September’s $540,000 Shes A Great Lady at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

“She only has one eye,” said Menary, who trains the Bettors Delight-Love For Sail filly for Erik Good, Thomas Biederman, Joshua Green, and Rich Lombardo Racing LLC. “When she first started racing, I wanted her to be known for her talent, not for having one eye.”

On May 25, she set an OSS record for pacing mares on a seven-eighths-mile track when James MacDonald piloted her to a sizzling 1:49 triumph in the Gold Series leg for three-year-old pacing fillies.

Its A Love Thing and driver James MacDonald winning an OSS Gold Leg on May 25, 2024 at Woodbine Mohawk Park (New Image Media)
Its A Love Thing and driver James MacDonald winning an OSS Gold Leg on May 25, 2024 at Woodbine Mohawk Park (New Image Media)

Second in her Fan Hanover elimination last Saturday, Its A Love Thing is 2-2-0 from four starts in 2024. Her lifetime purse earnings number sits at $716,406.

“She’s a big, strong horse,” said Menary. “It takes her a little while to get rolling, but when she does, she brings it.”

Bred by Marvin & Lynn Katz and Al Libfeld, Its A Love Thing was a $65,000 yearling purchase from the 2022 Lexington Selected Sale.

“She’s very big and she was that big at two. She was built like she was five. This year, she grew into herself. I have to say she’s the first big Bettors Delight that I have ever had.

“She wants things her own way. James [driver, MacDonald] and I had to work with her, mostly, on her steering because of the one eye. It took a couple of starts to get her going, but for the most part, it’s been clear sailing since then.”

You could forgive the soft-spoken conditioner for being a little revved up over his pair of talented fillies.

“Both are like nice vehicles,” said Menary. “Its A Love Thing is like the fanciest Escalade you can get – she will get you to where you need to be in style. Pass Line is like the nicest Tesla you can get – she’s very handy and her speed is, ‘right now!’

“They both have a certain cockiness to them, and they are both very talented fillies.”

Something that Menary hopes is on display this weekend.

“Its A Love Thing drew the rail and Pass Line drew post seven. I don’t think you will see them up front early, but hopefully, the flow moves along, and they end up at the right place at the right time.”

Field for the $425,000 Fan Hanover Final (Race 9, 9:50 p.m. ET)

1. Its A Love Thing

2. Pass And Stow

3. Canigetalouploup

4. Reigning Jade

5. Geocentric

6. My Girl EJ

7. Pass Line

8. Odds On Platinum

9. Caviart Belle

10. Flawless

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications

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