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Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #9

Published: April 10, 2021 11:39 am ET

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The countdown to the 2021 Pepsi North America Cup is on, with Trot Magazine profiling the horses predicted to be the top contenders for Canadian harness racing's richest prize.

At 23-1, Abuckabett Hanover checks in at #9 in Trot Magazine's 2021 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book.

Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Alagna Farms Racing LLC, Jablonsky Held Stable and Barbera N Wienick Stable, Abuckabett Hanover won four of 12 starts as a freshman and banked just shy of $195,000. Trot Insider caught up with trainer Tony Alagna for an update on the son of Betting Line.

Where did Abuckabett Hanover winter and when did you start back with him?

He went to Chris Coyle’s at Olive Branch Farm after the Governor’s Cup and we picked him up on January 15.

Have you noticed any changes from last year to this year?

Just the normal two- to three-year-old changes. He grew up and filled out and wintered very well. He came back in looking great, just like everything we send to Chris [Coyle].

What will his early schedule look like leading up to the Pepsi North America Cup?

Based on how he qualifies we’ll decide where we’re going to head. We can head to Pennsylvania, or we’ve got some options as far as where I want to go with him. We’ll play it by ear and see where we decide to go.

Did you get the COVID-19 vaccine / Will you and your team be vaccinated by the time the North America Cup rolls around?

Yes, I’m vaccinated and so are my employees. Last year at the height of the pandemic I sent the horses up there. We have a great staff that works for us up there every year. I don’t give that any concern. It’s much better if I can go up there myself because it just makes me feel better. But I don’t know that it has to happen because they had a heck of a go up there without me last year, that’s for sure. Having my mom [Donna] and the rest of the staff up there each year is a huge advantage.

What does his tentative schedule look like after the North America Cup?

He’s staked to everything all the way through.

What's his biggest asset / strength?

He’s very versatile. Unfortunately he was no good in the Metro final, but he was nothing short of dazzling in his races up until then. He didn’t end off the year like we wanted to. He had a lot of bad luck – bad post positions, bad trips and just bad luck. But he’s come back very well and he’s a very versatile colt. We didn’t put him away with any issues other than he had his share of bad things go his way.

At what point last year did you think this horse was North America Cup material?

He trained down well last year, and when we bought him we bought him with aspirations of that. It doesn’t always mean it’s going to turn out that way. But he trained down well last year as a two-year-old and we had high hopes for him last year at two and definitely those hopes are going to carry over to three, as well.

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