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Pirouette Hanover Spins Into Sweetheart

Published: August 19, 2011 7:06 pm ET

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Pirouette Hanover was a little grouchy early in her career, but the two-year-old filly pacer has shown signs of a turnaround.

On Saturday, the daughter of Western Ideal-Paulas Best will face nine rivals in the $363,900 Sweetheart at Meadowlands Racetrack. Pirouette Hanover, who won the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship and has earned $117,262 this season, received a bye (based on purses) into the final.

Trained by Ed Hart and owned by Jeffrey Snyder, Pirouette Hanover ranks third among two-year-old filly pacers in North America in earnings and is No. 2 on the list of fastest win times, with a mark of 1:51.1 established in winning the NJSS title by five and a quarter lengths over favourite Notreadytobenice on July 16 at the Meadowlands.

“She was a little tough to break and a little ornery early on, but as the year’s progressed she’s just been better and better,” Hart said. “She really matured come late spring. She was always a good gaited horse. When she got down around 2:15 she really started to put it together. Her attitude got real strong.”

Pirouette Hanover sold for $135,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Her mother, Paulas Best, was a multiple stakes-winning filly whose triumphs included the 2006 New York Sire Stakes Championship for two-year-olds. Hart trained Paulas Best during the early part of her career, which ended with seven wins in 19 races and $269,860.

“I had this filly’s mother and she was a little quirky at [age] two also,” Hart said. “She saw a lot; she jumped shadows. But she was always a high speed, hard trying horse. This filly is the same way.”

Pirouette Hanover’s career began with a fourth-place finish against non-winners of one at the Meadowlands on June 23. She then was second to Rockaround Sue in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes before getting her first win by three lengths in 1:54.4 in the following week’s sire stakes round and capturing the championship eight days later.

“She’s just a very classy filly,” said Hart, who won the million-dollar Meadowlands Pace with Roll With Joe on the same night Pirouette Hanover won the sire stakes final. “She’s very smart and a big, good gaited filly. She’s just got a ton of try.”

Hart was happy to accept the bye and give Pirouette Hanover time off heading into the Sweetheart final. In her most recent start, August 5 at the Meadowlands, the filly was second to Economy Terror in the Countess Adios. She was beaten by a neck in 1:51.4.

“I think it works out real good for her,” Hart said. “If we get past the Sweetheart and everything is good, she’s got to go to Canada, so we really didn’t mind a week off; especially for a two-year-old filly that’s been racing pretty hard.”

Handsoffmycookie, who is four-for-four this year, won the Sweetheart elimination race by one and a quarter lengths over favourite Podges Lady in 1:52.4.

“There are some real nice fillies in there,” Hart said. “I know [Handsoffmycookie] is a super nice filly and Podges Lady is very tough. Hopefully, if we can get a trip, we should be good.”

Here is a look at the field for the Sweetheart in post position order, with listed drivers and trainers:

1. Yummy Sushi, Jody Jamieson, Jimmy Takter
2. Podges Lady, Brian Sears, Joe Seekman
3. Handsoffmycookie, Tim Tetrick, Scott DiDomenico
4. Sangaal, Yannick Gingras, Chris Ryder
5. Rockin Reese, George Brennan, Lou Pena
6. Bettor B Lucky, Jim Morrill Jr., Noel Daley
7. Major Look, Andy Miller, Robert Riddle
8. Ramalama, David Miller, Jerry Silverman
9. Rockin Belle, Daniel Dube, Rene Allard
10. Pirouette Hanover, Ron Pierce, Ed Hart


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

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