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Sylvia Hanover and Charleston take Crown eliminations

October 21, 2022

MILTON, October 21, 2022 – The first- and second-place finishers in the Shes A Great Lady last month at Woodbine Mohawk Park are set to spar again over the Campbellville oval after Sylvia Hanover and Charleston took their respective $33,750 eliminations for the Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Filly Pace on Friday night (Oct. 21).

Driver Bob McClure moved Sylvia Hanover out of fourth for the lead after a :26.3 first quarter set by Hungry For Love. McClure kept the reins high and the whip in the air through a :56.3 half as McSeaside swept three wide from the back and began a blitz on the lead to the final turn.

McSeaside cleared Sylvia Hanover into the final turn with Horizontal moving first over from fourth and gaining towards the pacesetter nearing three-quarters. By the third panel in 1:24.2, McSeaside staved the outside challenge of Horizontal all through the stretch, but McClure had ample room to swing off the pegs and to the center of the track with Sylvia Hanover for a final-sixteenth lunge to victory by a length in a 1:51.4 mile. McSeaside held second from Horizontal, with Light And Tight and Proud Mary rounding those advancing to the final next week.

“I kind of let Dexter [Dunn] go,” Bob McClure said after the race. “He was coming really hard, and [Sylvia Hanover’s] been front-ended a lot. I didn’t mind following that one, I figured [she] was going to keep going. And a short field – I was pretty confident we’d get out eventually. I didn’t mind the way it worked out there, but she’s pretty professional. She’s not like most 2-year-olds.”

Winning her seventh race from eight starts, Sylvia Hanover has now banked $498,300 for owner Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. The Hanover Shoe Farms-bred daughter of Always B Miki, from the Artiscape mare Shyaway, has been part of a record-setting campaign for the Steacy training operation, which is having its first season with over $2-million in earnings.

“We’ve had a really good year,” said Mark Steacy, father of Sylvia Hanover’s trainer Shawn Steacy. “Hopefully with a win next week, it will make it really impressive. We all work hard at it, and when you do that it usually comes together.

Of Sylvia Hanover, Mark Steacy also said “There’s no end to her. She always seems to give you that little extra. The biggest worry part with her is she gets a little lazy from time to time. And my concern going into this race was [that] it was four weeks from race to race. She schooled a couple times, but it’s not the same as racing.”

Sylvia Hanover paid $2.90 to win.

Charleston, second to Sylvia Hanover in the Shes A Great Lady, posted the faster mile of the two eliminations when she outdueled Strong Poison in the stretch to a 1:50.4 victory.

Strong Poison set an uncontested tempo of :27.4, :56.1 and 1:23.4 with Zanatta drafting from the pocket and Charleston waiting in third. Driver Dexter Dunn pulled Charleston from the pegs midway around the final turn and marched towards Strong Poison, who battled to the inside all through the stretch. The pair scooted well clear of the rest as Charleston kept a neck in front of Strong Poison to the finish. Bellisima Hanover finished well back in third with Zanatta and Sweet Amira rounding the finalists.

“She felt great,” Dexter Dunn said after the race. “She’s been progressing really, really well this year. [We’ve] sort of aimed at this for a long time. [She had] a nice qualifier after the break and a real nice performance tonight. It was a big mile. We got away in a pretty handy spot, but we had to work for it late in the stretch. [Sylvia Hanover] was obviously great again tonight. She’s an amazing filly herself, so we’ll look forward to another battle with her.”

Brett Pelling trains Charleston, a Diamond Creek Farm homebred daughter of Downbytheseaside from the Western Hanover mare Western Montana. She collected her sixth victory from eight starts and deposited to her account now worth $186,350. She paid $3.40 to win.

As the elimination winners, Sylvia Hanover and Charleston earn the privilege to draw between posts 1 and 5 for the $600,000 final, which goes to post next Friday (Oct. 28) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

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