Pickup Man Hanover Picks Up Open Victory At Saratoga

Pickup Man Hanover winning at Saratoga Raceway

Following back-to-back runner-up finishes this month, Pickup Man Hanover nosed out his competition in the $20,270 Open Handicap Pace to pick up his first win of the season on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Saratoga Casino Hotel.

Pickup Man Hanover was a nominee for Pacer of the Year last season at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The former New York Sire Stakes star turned into an Open Pacer in 2023 and enjoyed a terrific campaign. The Jaymes McAssey trainee won a pair of Opens in ’23 and returned in 2024 with a second-place finish in the season’s first feature on Feb. 3. Following a runner-up try in a conditional race last weekend (Feb. 10), Pickup Man Hanover returned to the Open on Saturday night. getting post three in the eight-horse feature.

Shawn Gray piloted the McAssey trainee and moved him aggressively to the front-end. First half fractions in the cold of :26.4 and :56.2 seemed to work against Pickup Man Hanover, who proved none the worse for the wear as he dug in when confronted by a first-over challenge from the race’s favourite. Longshot Sounds Good (Jimmy Devaux) gobbled up ground up the pylon path while pocket-sitting Torrid Saint A (Matt Athearn) took his shot at the leader in the stretch but to no avail. Pickup Man Hanover stopped the timer in 1:54 to record his first win of the season and third in the Open in his career. Sounds Good finished second while Torrid Saint A earned the show spot.

Pickup Man Hanover paid $12 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $97.50 and $1,026, respectively.

The five-year-old Huntsville-Pilgrims Witchie gelding, who is a 14-time winner from 54 starts lifetime with $233,091 in earnings, is owned by Dennis and Simone Noud of Saratoga Springs, New York.

Live harness racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee that begins at noon. 

(With files from Saratoga Casino Hotel)

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