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Wakizashi Hanover Returns

Published: June 8, 2016 1:56 pm ET

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As the hype and excitement surrounding the 2016 Pepsi North America Cup starts to build, the winner from last year's event quietly made his first on-track appearance of the season.

The road to the races for Wakzashi Hanover has been less than smooth this season. Earlier this year, Trot Insider learned that the son of Dragon Again had tieback surgery on his throat in April and was just starting back into training around the start of May.

Trainer Joann Looney-King told Trot Insider earlier this week that the four-year-old was in fabulous shape but the connections were holding their breath on the status of the surgery. A Wednesday morning qualifying mile at Harrington Raceway was his first charted test.

With the other half of Team King -- Jim King, Jr. -- at the controls, Wakizashi Hanover sat the pocket behind Rocknroll Jewel (Allan Davis). King then moved to command before Rocknroll Jewel retook late in the mile and held on for a 1:56 score by three parts of a length. Wakizashi Hanover finished second with a :29.3 final panel, and the rest of the field was more than 20 lengths behind the front runners.

Owned by Bruce Kennedy and Tri County Stable of Truro, N.S., Wakizashi Hanover (Dragon Again - Western Gesture) put up a summary of 11-4-2 from 20 starts in 2015, stashing away more than $1.26 million and garnering divisional honours in Canada.

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