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Pike Hanover Sweeps Mohegan Pace

Published: May 8, 2010 8:47 pm ET

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In a race that saw three different leaders for three-quarters of the race, North America Cup eligible Pike Hanover came from off the pace to win the $44,000 Mohegan Pace late closer finale Saturday, May 8 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

With Jim Morrill Jr. in the sulky, Pike Hanover was last in the nine-horse field at the half when the three-year-old Western Ideal colt started to pick up horses going down the backside. Opening quarter leader was Tom Paine (Don Irvine Jr.) with the split clicked off in a brisk :27 seconds while Total Shark (Tony Morgan) captured the lead at the halfway point in the race with the timer reading :55 seconds.

The next big move came from Blueridge Fortune (Matt Kakaley), who quickly went to the front and opened a several length lead, getting to the three-quarters in 1:22.3.

Morrill Jr. decided to duck to the pylons with the winner near the three-quarter pole before the torrid stretch duel with Blueridge Fortune. The two three-year-olds battled to the wire with Pike Hanover winning by a neck. Third went to Hanks Kid (Mike Simons), four lengths back.

The winning driver felt that the move he made near the three-quarter pole was what got him to the winner’s circle. Morrill Jr. also said he had no doubt he would catch Blueridge Fortune because of those wicked fractions on a night of cooling falling temperatures and winds of 20 to 27 miles per hour.

Erv Miller trains Pike Hanover, who went three-for-three in the Mohegan Pace, a late closer for three-year-old colts and geldings that were non-winners of $25,000 life or non-winners of three extended pari-mutuel races life through March 15 of this year.

Pike Hanover is assessed at odds of 55-1 in Trot Magazine's 2010 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book.

Driver George Napolitano Jr. drove five winners on the 14-race program.

(With files from Pocono Downs)

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