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Hockey Hanover Scores In Stallion Series

Published: July 12, 2017 8:35 pm ET

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Hockey Hanover extended his career unbeaten streak to four when he followed cover beautifully and brushed late to capture his Pennsylvania Stallion Series division on Wednesday (July 12) at The Meadows.

The $120,000 event for freshman colt and gelding trotters was contested over six divisions, with Stonebridge Gamble, Meadowbranch Ricky, Thumper, Mississippi Storm and Tequila Talkin taking the other splits.

Hockey Hanover’s first three victories came on the PA Fairs circuit for owner McMullen Stable, but winning trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder considered him ready for stake competition.

“He was good at the fairs, and I thought he could go with them,” Yoder said. “He scrambled a little bit leaving, and I just tried to keep his feet under him. He made one bad step but caught right back.”

In the stake, the son of Explosive Matter-Hotentrot Hanover picked up the live cover of Drum Hanover, then blew by in the lane to triumph in 1:58.1. I Know My Rights was second, beaten a neck, while Drum Hanover saved show.

Stonebridge Gamble’s career got off to an inauspicious beginning when, from post eight, he was beaten 11 lengths in a PA All Stars division. But he was fastest of all in Wednesday’s event, launching a sustained first-over bid from fourth and downing early leader St Patricks Day by two and a half lengths in 1:58. Moosonee completed the ticket.

“There were no (rigging) changes after the All Stars, just a better post position,” said Tyler Buter, who piloted the Cantab Hall-OK To Play gelding for trainer Todd Buter and owners Oldford Racing LLC and Gene Oldford Farms. “He’s game, he wants to race. We’ll keep him in the stallion series, get his confidence up.”

Meadowbranch Ricky and Rich And Miserable dueled for most of the final quarter before Meadowbranch Ricky put his head in front at the wire, scoring in 1:58.2 in his career opener. What A Hunk earned show.

“He was on and off the bit, just like a typical baby,” said winning driver Aaron Merriman. “But he’s really good gaited and has a lot of talent. He probably had a little more left, but he didn’t want to give it to me. You have to ask him for it. He raced good and beat a pretty good horse.”

Ake Svanstedt conditions the son of Muscle Massive-Meadowbranch Jill for owner/breeder Hans Enggren.

Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features the Hickory Pride, a $169,952 PA Sires Stake for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 p.m.

(The Meadows)

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