Allywag Hanover used a pocket trip to spring a 17-1 upset in the $350,000 FanDuel Open Pace Championship on Saturday, Nov. 25 at The Meadowlands to conclude the evening's stakes-packed card, overtaking 4-5 favourite Bythemissal in deep stretch to win by a neck in 1:49.1 at the Meadowlands. Abuckabett Hanover finished third.
Confederate, the lone three-year-old in the race and 6-5 second choice in the betting, finished eighth after a first-over charge from the half-mile point. The colt, who was retired in a ceremony following the race, was within a length of pacesetting Bythemissal at three-quarters but could get no closer.
Allywag Hanover, trained by Brett Pelling and driven by Todd McCarthy, won the event for the second time in his career. He captured his first title in 2021, when the race was known as the TVG Championship.
“He’s just a great horse; he really is,” Pelling said. “He’s great gaited, he follows speed really well, and he’s honest. When he’s on his game, he’s as honest as they come.”
Allywag Hanover took the lead from post six and guided the field to a :27.1 opening quarter. Bythemissal (Yannick Gingras) gained control from there and reached the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:23. Confederate, who brought an 11-race win streak to the FanDuel and is the sport’s No. 1-ranked horse, started from post nine with Tim Tetrick and was fourth through the first half of the race before making his move against Bythemissal.
“He did a lot of work early. The third quarter was strong; he tried to bowl into it,” said Pelling, who also trains Confederate, about the colt’s effort. “It’s a three-year-old racing against big boys.”
Allywag Hanover, a son of Captaintreacherous-Anderosa Hanover bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, is owned by the Allywag Stable. The six-year-old gelding won for the fourth time in 17 races this year and 28th time in 71 career starts. He has earned more than $2.38 million lifetime.
He paid $36.60 to win.
“He is the ultimate warhorse and he showed it tonight,” said Adam Bowden, of the Allywag Stable ownership group. “He’s great.
“That was the perfect trip for him: leave hard, find a spot, and then finish strong at the end.”
Bowden’s Diamond Creek Racing also owns the homebred Confederate, who won 13 of 15 races this season and earned $1.69 million. His victories this year included the Meadowlands Pace and Breeders Crown, and his best win time of 1:46.1 is history’s fastest for a three-year-old pacer.
For his career, the son of Sweet Lou-Geothermal captured 18 of 22 starts and banked more than $2 million.
“Confederate had the magic season, and we took a chance here (in the FanDuel) and it didn’t work out,” Bowden said. “But he’s still great in our book.”
“He’s a cool dude," added Tetrick. "It’s hard to find that kind, and it’s very hard to replace them. He’s been very special.
“He’s been great all year. Today, he had a little hiccup, but it’s tough against those five-, six-, seven-year-old warhorses. He got beat, but he raced good, he raced hard. Bad drive, 26 (seconds) in the third quarter trying to get into the race, and I had to go wide to get into the race on the first turn. Nine-holes are tough. Sometimes they’re daggers.”
Also retired during a ceremony following the FanDuel Open Pace Championship was six-year-old stallion Tattoo Artist, who finished fourth. Tattoo Artist won 40 of 96 career races and more than $3 million. He was trained by Dr. Ian Moore in Canada and Chris Ryder in the U.S. for owners Let It Ride Stables, Bottom Line Racing and Frank Cannon.
“What can you say, he’s been a beast,” Cannon said. “He’s raced for five years now, on all-sized tracks, taken on all comers. I want to do a shout-out to my partners, Eric Cherry and Dana Parham. We’ve had a great ride with Tattoo, and we think he’s going to be quite a showcase in the stallion barn.”
Southwind Tyrion Storms Clear In FanDuel Championship Trot
On the heels of his Breeders Crown victory, Åke Svanstedt trainee Southwind Tyrion showed only dirt and dust to his pursuers with a blowout win in the $350,000 FanDuel Championship Trot at the Meadowlands on Saturday.
Trainer-driver Svanstedt sped to the lead with Southwind Tyrion to a :27 first quarter while Its Academic (David Miller) settled into the pocket ahead of Rattle My Cage (Yannick Gingras) in third. Svanstedt snuck a slight breather as the field stayed stagnant up the backside and clicked past the half in :55.3 before a two-wide charge got underway.
Tactical Approach (Scott Zeron) pulled first to the final turn and rushed along the rim. Its Academic soon pulled the pocket and supplied cover while upping pressure on Southwind Tyrion marching towards three-quarters. Once past three-quarters in 1:23.4, with Rattle My Cage jumping stride at the inside and Alrajah One IT (Dexter Dunn) making a break from fourth-over, Southwind Tyrion fled the scene. He widened his advantage from stride to stride in the closing eighth to clock a 1:51 win by 3-1/2 lengths. Tactical Approach, in his final race, finished second. Its Academic took third and Take All Comers (Tim Tetrick) finished fourth.
“He raced good last time in the Breeders Crown also, but he’s been becoming better and better the last two or three months,” Svanstedt said. “I am a little surprised he can beat the best horses. He did good.”
A five-year-old stallion by Muscle Hill, Southwind Tyrion has now won 13 races from 25 starts and earned $1,017,113 for owners S R F Stable, Åke Svanstedt, Knutsson Trotting, Brittany Farms & Riverview Racing. He paid $7.60, and Svanstedt said the stallion will likely return to race next year.
Meanwhile, Tactical Approach will make his way from the racetrack to the breeding shed following his runner-up performance against older foes. Nancy Takter trained the millionaire son of Tactical Landing, who retires with 12 victories from 24 starts, including his surprise win in the $1-million Hambletonian earlier this year.
“I’m honestly proud of the way he finished off the year, even tonight’s race,” Tactical Approach’s driver, Scott Zeron, said. “He’s done it every which way. I learned the hard way putting him on front one too many times with such a great group of three-year-old trotters to race against. After I stopped doing all the dirty work, he started respecting it and it paid off.
Tactical Approach’s trainer, Nancy Takter, said during his retirement ceremony, “Once he finally learned how to race, he was really starting to grow into his own. He’s about at 85 percent of his development still, so it would’ve been nice to see him next year. I don’t think we got to see the best of him. He has an amazing stride and covers so much ground, and then he just has the determination to win. He’s been in a lot of spots where horses shouldn’t win from ... to be able to sprint with such a big stride in such a short amount of track and get it done is just amazing.”
Tactical Approach will stand stud at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania in 2024.
Twin B Joe Fresh Blasts By Older Rivals To Win FanDuel Championship
In the compact combat of a five-horse field, driver Dexter Dunn coasted mid-stretch with Twin B Joe Fresh to make the filly the first three-year-old to win the $175,000 FanDuel Championship Open Mares Pace on Saturday at The Meadowlands in 1:50.2.
Racine Bell, Twin B Joe Fresh and Mikala left quickly to dispute the early lead. Mikala (George Brennan) pushed hard to take the lead with Racine Bell and favourite Twin B Joe Fresh settling on the pylons in third. Max Contact and Boudoir Hanover marched fourth and fifth, respectively.
Mikala was all-out to keep the lead, clocking the first half in :56.1 without movement from the others. She cut three-quarters in 1:25 as Twin B Joe Fresh eased off the pylons in a move to catch her older opponent. Mikala was caught easily as Twin B Joe Fresh rolled freely and broke the beam in 1:50.2, winning by 2-1/4 lengths.
Shooting well off the pace five-wide, 26-1 shot Boudoir Hanover (Todd McCarthy) had much left to eclipse Max Contract’s late appearance. Boudoir Hanover finished second by a neck over Max Contract (Andy Miller). Racine Belle took fourth and Mikala finished last after rating the early pace.
Trainer Chris Ryder said he was “impressed at the list of past winners,” considering Twin B Joe Fresh beat elders in the event.
“I was a bit concerned at the half when she was still in third,” he said, “but I knew she’s got speed and she’s got a good brush and is so good up the straight.”
“She’s pretty sharp,” Dexter Dunn said about the victory over older mares, but it was “tough work against a strong field.”
Chris Ryder and Dexter Dunn own Twin B Joe Fresh, a daughter of prolific sire Roll With Joe, with Peter Trebotica and Barry Spak. This was the 11th win in 16 starts at three for Twin B Joe Fresh, who has now earned $1,455,464.
Twin B Joe Fresh paid $3.80 to win.
Jiggy Jog S Jets To Wrapped-up FanDuel Championship Win
Odds-on choice Jiggy Jog S reaffirmed her spot atop the divisional throne with a facile victory in a final-quarter sprint to take the $175,000 FanDuel Championship for trotting mares on Saturday at The Meadowlands.
Driver Dexter Dunn floated Jiggy Jog S off the wings while her stablemate Bond (Ake Svanstedt) bolted for the front into the first turn. M Ms Dream (David Miller) pushed to sit the pocket from the pylon post and angled off the pegs through a :27.4 first quarter before opting to tuck back behind Bond into the backstretch. Through the skirmish, Dunn landed Jiggy Jog S in third and stayed steady while Bond slowed to a :57.2 half.
Bond maintained a tepid tempo through the final turn, which prompted M Ms Dream to pull outside and start digging into the leader. Jiggy Jog S perched onto her cover and swelled through three-quarters in 1:27 until Dunn released her in the straightaway. Bond accelerated into the stretch, but Jiggy Jog S came barreling after her and collared her stablemate within the final eighth before drawing clear to a two-length win in 1:53.1. M Ms Dream settled for third with Raised By Lindy (Yannick Gingras) taking fourth.
“The pace wasn’t fast,” Dunn said, “but we were close enough to the speed and I don’t think there are as many trotters that have got a turn of foot like she does. We got a good helmet around the last turn, and once I moved her off, she showed speed.
“I’ve been so lucky to drive some top trotting mares. A couple got retired, and then she came along and she’s a pleasure to drive. She’s versatile, quick, and makes my job easy.”
Jiggy Jog S has now won 18 times from 35 starts and banked $2,301,746 for owner Jorgen Sparredal Inc. Åke Svanstedt trains the four-year-old daughter of Walner who paid $2.60 to win.
All-source wagering on the 14-race program totaled $3,691,553, the most at The Big M since Hambletonian Day, when $7.8 million was pushed through the windows.
On the corresponding card from a year ago, the handle was $3,398,962, so betting was up 8.6 percent over that program.
“Even with a pair of short [five-horse] fields, we managed to have a great night at the windows,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “All of us at The Meadowlands appreciate the support we get from our fan base, as well as our horsemen, who always put on a great show.”
Wagering has now gone past the $3-million mark 54 times during 2023 from 78 programs.
Punters will have a pair of carryovers to shoot for when racing resumes. The 20-cent Pick-8 will begin with $8,180 in the hat while the 20-cent Pick-6 will start with $13,662 in the pot. Racing resumes Friday (Dec. 1) at 6:20 p.m.
For coverage of the Fall Four, click here.