Allywag Hanover Needs No Introduction At Rosecroft

Allywag Hanover
Published: November 8, 2023 02:28 pm EST

Allywag Hanover will need no introduction on Thursday night (Nov. 9) at Rosecroft Raceway, where the six-year-old gelding is scheduled to make a title defense in the $125,000 Potomac Pace.

The Brett Pelling-trained multi-millionaire pacer is set to make his third start in Rosecroft’s marquee race, which will be renewed in the 12th race on a 14-race program.

His performance in the Potomac Pace race last year figures to be tough act to follow, having set a world record on a five-eighths of a mile track with a sizzling 1:46.4 clocking in a mild upset victory over favoured Tattoo Artist in the mile feature. The son of Captaintreacherous made amends for a second-place finish behind Enavant as the 1-2 favourite in the 2021 Potomac Pace.

“He’s a bit of an iron horse,” said Pelling, whose Potomac Pace champion has won 27 races and more than $2.2 million in earnings during his 69-race career for owner Allywag Stable.

Allywag Hanover, who enters the Potomac Pace on an uncharacteristic four-race losing streak, is rated third at 6-1 behind 6-5 program favourite Bythemissal and 9-5 Tattoo Artist. The defending champion is coming off a fourth-place finish behind Bythemissal in the Breeders Crown Open, in which Tattoo Artist finished third.

“He’s a year older and has had lots and lots of tough miles. I don’t think he’s had the right kind of trips this year that he likes,” said Pelling. “His last two races at Hoosier Park were very, very good. They weren’t his kind of trips.”

After finishing second behind Bythemissal in the Breeders Crown elimination, Allywag Hanover drew post 10 and started in the second tier in the Breeders Crown final.

“Being on the second line, I would say it was definitely a factor,” said Pelling.

Allywag Hanover’s trainer is hopeful that his veteran pacer and driver Todd McCarthy can work out a trip from post four on Thursday night.

“I think he’s a confidence horse. I think his confidence goes up when he does get the right kind of trips. When he gets to race the way he wants to, he gets brave,” said Pelling. “Even though he’s a great horse, there’s still that element of confidence that he needs.”

Things went his way in last year’s Potomac Pace, in which he sat in the pocket behind Tattoo Artist before kicking in powerfully in the stretch.

“It was a trip to his liking. He can do a lot of things. He does like being down on the cones on the last turn. I’ve just noticed that with him time and time again,” said Pelling. “When he’s on the outside and he’s having to work forward, it stops him from being awesome.”

Scheduled to stand at stud in New Jersey next year, Tattoo Artist will seek to add the Potomac Pace to his extensive resume in Thursday night's showdown.

The six-year-old son of Hes Watching will attempt to turn the tables on Allywag Hanover in the process. Tattoo Artist set the pace in last year’s Potomac Pace before finishing second behind Allywag Hanover in the world record mile.

Tattoo Artist has won 40 races and more than $3.2 million while competing at harness racing’s highest level for five years.

“He’s just been a dream,” said Let It Ride Stables’ Eric Cherry, co-owner with Bottom Line Racing and Frank Cannon. He’s standing in Jersey next year and we’re breeding 30-35 mares of our own to him.”

Tattoo Artist had won seven races in a row prior to finishing third behind Bythemissal after setting the pace in the Breeders Crown Open last time out over the seven-eighths of a mile track at Hoosier Park.

            “A lot of times the horses from behind benefit from the stretch because the ones in front aren’t used to a stretch that long,” said Cherry, a Boca Raton, Florida businessman. “When you see horses getting nailed or almost getting nailed, it’s because of the length of the stretch. Nothing against it. It’s just that they’re not used to it.”

Tattoo Artist and driver Louis-Philippe Roy will leave from the rail post position on Thursday night.

“I’m not really thrilled. It is what it is. We’ll deal with it. The way Rosecroft goes, you don’t always seem to get away as good from the rail, but if any horse can do it, it’s definitely him,” said Cherry.

The complete field for the Potomac Pace Invitational is listed below in post position order.

$125,000 Potomac Pace
Post - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line Odds
1. Tattoo Artist - Louis Roy - Chris Ryder - 8-5
2. Linedrive Hanover - Scott Zeron - Linda Toscano - 15-1
3. Leonidas A - Austin Siegelman - Mathew Medeiros - 20-1
4. Allywag Hanover - Todd McCarthy - Brett Pelling - 6-1
5. Abuckabett Hanover - Dexter Dunn - Andrew Harris - 12-1
6. Lous Pearlman - Tim Tetrick - Ron Burke - 10-1
7. Bythemissal - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 6-5
8. Idealsomemagic A - Jordan Stratton - Cory Stratton - 20-1

(With files from Rosecroft Raceway)

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