Simpson Slam Dunk For 'Coach K'

In only his second lifetime start, Coach K Hanover set a divisional track record of 1:54.4 in one of two divisions of the $130,000 Super Bowl, part of the John Simpson Sr. Memorial stakes series, on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 27) at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt knew what he had in front of him based on Coach K Hanover's 1:56.1 debut victory at Pocono. The rookie Walner-Chezatter colt showed no interest in yielding to anybody, with Castle House and Parola Hanover tucking behind him to a :28.2 quarter. Positions did not change past the :57.3 half and 1:26.2 three-quarters, although Parola Hanover advanced uncovered late in the backstretch with Delgado drafting behind him. But Coach K Hanover's :28.2 last quarter under no pressure left Delgado five lengths behind on the line, with Parola Hanover another half length back in third.

The 1:54.4 mile shaved one-fifth of a second off the old track standard, first established by Rome Pays Off in 2019, equalled by Captain Corey last year, and tied again in the Liberty Bell stake by Parola Hanover on Sept. 24. Coach K Hanover is owned by Young Guns, Wolfgang AS Hanover and Tomas Andersson.

In the other trotting section, the front end also paid off for the Bar Hopping-Winbak Maya gelding Whiskey Hanover, who controlled fractions of :28.4, :59 and 1:28.2 before tripping the timer in 1:57.2. By The Book, who enjoyed a pocket trip behind the winner in their last start but came up a length shy, cut that margin in half Wednesday but could not reach the winner, who was driven by Andy Miller for trainer Julie Miller and the partnership of the Andy Miller Stable Inc., Richard Gutnick, Let It Ride Stables Inc. and T L P Stable.

There were also two divisions of the $95,200 Bret Hanover, the companion stakes for freshman pacers. Driver Yannick Gingras, fresh off his five Breeders Crown elimination victories this past weekend, won both divisions. The faster mile of 1:52 came from the Betting Line gelding Camouflage Money, whose dam, Shelliscape, won the Mare Pace Crown in 2013. Camouflage Money moved past the :28.2 quarter and took the lead well before a :57 half, then hit the three-quarters in 1:24.1 before winning by four lengths and reducing his record for trainer Linda Toscano and the ownership of South Mountain Stables, JAF Racing LLC, and Toscano’s own Camelot Stable Inc.

In the other Bret Hanover split, Gingras advanced first-over after splits of :28.2 and :57.3 with the Always B Miki-Caviart Sarah colt Caviart Scout, got to the lead nearing the 1:25.3 three-quarters, then held off the horse on his back, Bounty Hunter, by a neck to win in 1:53.4. Nancy Takter trains for Caviart Farms.

The Simpson stakes end their 2021 stay at Harrah’s Philadelphia tomorrow with $218,720 on the line for freshman pacing fillies, split across three divisions each of the Razzle Hanover Pace and the Davidia Hanover Trot. Program pages for the 12:25 p.m. card are available at the PHHA website.

(PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia)

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