'Muskateer' Massive At Oak Grove; Last Three Races Abandoned

Muskateer Hanover
Published: June 3, 2024 11:05 pm EDT

Off three straight strong efforts out of post eight at the top class, Muskateer Hanover landed a good draw and capitalized on the opportunity to go a lights-out 1:49.3 mile and win the $50,685 Open Handicap Pace as the 7-5 favourite on Monday, June 3 at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel. 

Starting from post five, driver Tony Hall floated Muskateer Hanover off the wings to race fourth as Rocks Shining Star (Devon Tharps) fired out and circled to the lead after a :27 first quarter. Once clearing to the point, Rocks Shining Star had a fierce challenge brewing as Hall decided to launch Muskateer Hanover into action after a :55 half. 

Rocks Shining Star braced for the fight up the backstretch while Muskateer Hanover loomed closer on the rim. The two chalks traded blows through the sprint to three-quarters in 1:22.1 and stayed stride for stride through the final turn. And while Rocks Shining Star appeared fully extended, Muskateer Hanover kept the punches coming into the stretch. Hall then gave Muskateer Hanover a few taps of the whip and he surged away from a battle-weary Rocks Shining Star to post a 2-1/4-length win in 1:49.3. Rocks Shining Star clung to second from Western Era (Cordarius Stewart) saving ground for third and Great Seats (Wyatt Avenatti) took fourth. 

A four-year-old gelding by Sweet Lou, Muskateer Hanover has now won 11 races from 42 starts and earned $265,303 for owners Mulligan Stables and Calcutta Stable LLC. Wayne Oke trains the $4.98 winner. 

Hall also scored a decisive win in the $50,685 Fillies & Mares Open Pace with 6-5 favourite Racin Hungry in 1:52.1. Also leaving from post five, Hall planted Racin Hungry on the point past a :26.4 first quarter and stole the air from the race with her breather to a :57.1 half. The sprint to the finish initiated to the backstretch with Racin Hungry clocking by three-quarters in 1:24.2 and speeding for home unfazed to wrap the mile 3-1/2 lengths better than pocket-chaser Yankee B Something (Andy Miller) in second. Lets Flip Onit (Cordarius Stewart) rallied off a ground-saving trip for third and Anns Marina Delray (John MacDonald) took fourth. 

Jennifer Bongiorno trains Racin Hungry, a four-year-old mare by Stay Hungry, for owners Glenn Goller and Stephen Demeter. The mare won her 11th race from 28 starts and has now earned $256,911. She paid $4.48 to win. 

Driver Brandon Bates was transported to hospital following an accident in the first race of the day. Bates, driving On The Town, was tossed from the bike when his horse fell to the track in the stretch drive. The horse promptly got up and was corralled by the outrider while Bates was taken into the ambulance for evaluation. Reports say Bates escaped serious injury from the accident. He is scheduled to drive at Oak Grove tomorrow (June 4). 

In a pair of races for the United States Harness Drivers Club (USHDC), Paperback Thriller ($5.44) won in 1:55.4 with Peter Kleinhans in the sulky and Splinter N ($10.44) was a 1:54.2 winner for Jafari Frazier. The USHDC presented Redemption Ranch with a $1,000 USD donation to continue their heroic work on behalf of those going through difficult times in their lives.

A thunderstorm then encroached Oak Grove after Devon Tharps struck a toteboard surprise with 97-1 shot RJ Maverick in the ninth race. The ongoing rains and remaining lightning around the area forced Oak Grove to cancel the remainder of the program, races 10 through 12. With the payoff leg of the Late Pick 5 not raced, the $590.40 carryover in the sequence will go into the pool for tomorrow's Late Pick 5 sequence, which begins in Race 6. First-race post time at Oak Grove is 3 p.m. (CDT). 

Free program pages for every race day, courtesy of TrackMaster, are available on the Oak Grove Racing website.

(With files from Oak Grove Racing & USHDC)

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