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'Pirouette' Preps; Check Me Out Cruises

Published: April 27, 2012 1:26 am ET

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Pirouette Hanover danced every dance last season. She is preparing to get up on her toes again.

The three-year-old filly pacer, trained by Ed Hart, was in action in Thursday morning’s qualifiers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, winning in 1:57.1 with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the sulky. A week ago, in her first appearance of the season, Pirouette Hanover was fourth in 1:54.3 in a qualifier at the Meadowlands.

Also in action this morning at Pocono Downs was three-year-old filly trotter Check Me Out, who won by 14-3/4 lengths in 1:55 for trainer/driver Ray Schnittker, and three-year-old gelding trotter Gym Tan Laundry, who won in 1:58.1 for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Noel Daley. The three-year-old colt pacer Bolt The Duer notched his third qualifier triumph, this time in 1:52.1 for driver Mark MacDonald and trainer Peter Foley.

Pirouette Hanover, driven regularly by Ron Pierce, won three of 11 races and $531,905 last season for owner Jeff Snyder. She won the $363,900 Sweetheart Pace by a head over Handsoffmycookie from post 10 at the Meadowlands and the $175,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship by 5-1/4 lengths over Notreadytobenice.

She was third in the Breeders Crown, Shes A Great Lady, Three Diamonds and Champlain stakes. No other two-year-old filly pacer competed in all those events.

“There weren’t too many fillies racing as tough as that filly,” Hart said. “She was in every dance and she didn’t draw very good, so she got used hard. She raced great last year.

“I know one thing, she’s a big strong filly. She’s got a great attitude and she had a good year training down. I think we’re going to be a little careful with her the first couple qualifiers and then we’ll try to gear up for the sire stakes.”

Pirouette Hanover (Western Ideal-Paulas Best) sold for $135,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Her mother, Paulas Best, was a multiple stakes-winning filly whose triumphs included the 2006 New York Sire Stakes championship for two-year-olds. Hart trained Paulas Best during the early part of her career, which ended with seven wins in 19 races and $269,860.

This year, Pirouette Hanover’s dance card includes the Breeders Crown, Mistletoe Shalee, Fan Hanover, Lynch Memorial, Matron, and Lady Maud.

“I think she looks good,” Hart said. “She put on a few pounds and it’s going to take her a few starts to get back in shape. Her first start will probably be a sire stakes and then we’ll shoot for Canada. She’s definitely matured a lot. She looks good. She had a lot of hard starts last year, but she seems fine.”

Check Me Out, who is considered one of the top contenders for August’s $1.5 million Hambletonian if her connections choose to take on the boys, qualified for the second time this morning. She won her first qualifier in 1:54.4 at the Meadowlands.

Bolt The Duer won six of eight races last year and earned $214,058. His triumphs included the $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, where he won by a head over Sweet Lou.

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit

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