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Jesses Messenger A Perfect '10'

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Published: June 3, 2010 10:45 pm ET

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Jesses Messenger remained undefeated in 10 career starts after effortlessly capturing a division of the $121,000 Currier & Ives for three-year-old filly trotters Thursday at The Meadows.

The event was conducted over three divisions, with Christiana Hanover and Barham Hanover taking the other splits. On Friday afternoon, The Meadows hosts the $150,00 Currier & Ives open division.

Although Jesses Messenger stayed close to her Ohio base at two, the Ohio Sires Stake divisional champion has broadened her focus this year, capturing a Simpson split at Vernon Downs before her Currier & Ives triumph. Her win Thursday hardly could have been easier, as she headed right to the lead for Ryan Stahl and widened the margin thereafter.

The daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Laser Message prevailed by 6-3/4 lengths in a career-best 1:55 - a tick off the stakes record of Timelesswinner Two. Ruffles finished second, with Ally Gal Ridge a closing third.

“Her handiness is what sets her apart,” Stahl said. “She can snap into gear and then relax again in two steps. She takes care of herself like an older horse. They took a few shots this year and staked her out of state. She’s come back good so far. If she were tracking some good horses, I think she’d trot a really fast mile.”

Kent Sherman trains Jesses Messenger for Daryl Sherman.

A number of “firsts” highlighted Christiana Hanover’s win. It was the first U.S. drive for trainer/driver Riina Rekila, a native of Finland now based in Canada. It was the first time Christiana Hanover was asked to move left into a passing lane. And it was the first time the daughter of Andover Hall-CR Calendar Girl had to avoid a groundhog during the stretch drive.

Christiana Hanover got away well but found herself shuffled to third, two lengths back, at the top of the stretch. With the Lightning Lane available, Rekila had to make a quick decision: pull around horses or urge her filly to pass inside.

“I was thinking about going outside, but that would have meant a couple lengths,” Rekila said. “She was a little bit confused when I moved her inside.”

No sooner had Rekila persuaded Christiana Hanover to try the Lightning Lane than a groundhog darted across the track before the thundering field. The groundhog made it safely to the infield, and the unperturbed Christiana Hanover scored in 1:56.1, her fifth win in 10 career outings. Upfront OBs Janet was a length back in second while Royal Clout came first over for show.

Overseas Farms owns Christiana Hanover, who Rekila hopes is beginning to realize the promise she showed at 2 when she competed with her division’s best in the Breeders Crown.

“She’s not as good as she could be, but hopefully she’s getting better,” Rekila said of the $11,000 yearling purchase. “We’re thinking about lighter shoes for her.”

Barham Hanover turned in yet another professional performance in gaining her seventh victory in 12 career starts. After Mike Wilder allowed the early dust to settle, Barham Hanover took the point and scored a measured victory in 1:57, a head better than Pearly Princess. Greathallofchina finished third.

“I’d like to see her follow, but it doesn’t make much difference to her,” Wilder said. “She’ll do the work whichever way you want her to. I got a little stretched the first part of the mile, but then I got a little breather. When you give her a breather, you’ll have to trot some to get her.”

Dan Altmeyer trains Barham Hanover, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Bar Queen who pushed her career bankroll to $291,273, and owns with Heather Wilder, Richard Kelson and Jack Piatt II.

Both Barham Hanover and Christiana Hanover are eligible for the Casual Breeze at Mohawk, but neither camp was ready to commit to that as the next start.

Elsewhere on the card, Lotsa Power exploited a perfect pocket trip in a $30,000 claiming race to score in 1:49.3 - a track record for older gelding pacers. Martys Charm last year established the previous mark of 1:50.

Dave Palone drove the six-year-old Stampede Hanover-Todds Favor gelding, one of his three wins on the 15-race program, for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

In the $25,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, a sudden downpour and ensuing sloppy conditions kept Rembrandt Spur from adding to his gaudy collection of track records — he owns or shares four of them — but he dominated again, taking the lead with a quarter-pole move and scoring for trainer/driver Dick Stillings in 1:55. The pocket-sitting Chips And Wings was 1-1/4 lengths back in second, with Diamond Hunter third.

Roy Davis owns Rembrandt Spur, a four-year-old Pegasus Spur-Marty E gelding.

(The Meadows)

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