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Freshmen Star In Hanover Stakes

Published: August 2, 2015 12:48 am ET

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Grand Circuit racing action returned to Balmoral Park on Saturday, August 1 as a pair of Hanover Stakes for two-year-old pacers shared top billing on the 12-race card.

A total of 13 colts and geldings were dropped into the box necessitating a split into two $21,325 divisions for the boys while nine pacing fillies were sent postward for a purse of $32,900. State-bred trotters were also in action on Saturday night as a field of seven met in the $21,400 Mikes A Mystery Stake.

In the first division for the colts, Nicole Potts' Royale Rose gave the “chalk players” a thrill as he rallied in the final strides to win by a neck in a career-best of 1:54.3 for driver Brian Carpenter.

After leading the field through an opening quarter in :29.3, Carpenter elected to let a hard-charging Blue Fox (Casey Leonard) take control of the proceedings as the field of six cruised through middle splits of :58.1 and 1:27.1.

Through the stretch, a game Blue Fox put away a prolonged first over bid from Shootin To Kill (Pat Curtin) and appeared to have the jump on a boxed in Royale Rose. Somehow, Carpenter managed to wrestle the gelded son of Ashlees Big Guy to the far outside with a sixteenth of a mile to go and the Lyle Scurlock trainee responded beautifully, gobbling up the pacesetter in the closing yards for his fourth win in six career starts. Blue Fox held on well to finish second while Shootin To Kill wound up third.

Royale Rose returned $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10. He upped his career slate to 4-1-0 in six starts with earnings of $20,199.

BS Tyrrific struck another blow for the state-breds in the second division of the Hanover as the overwhelming favourite strolled to a one-length victory in a lifetime-best of 1:54.1 for driver Kyle Wilfong.

Taking advantage of the inside post in the field of seven, Wilfong sent the gelded son of Richess Hanover—Fox Valley Tyra right to the front where he cruised through soft splits of :29, :58.1 and 1:26.3.

With plenty still in reserve, the Robert Sanders trainee was on cruise control through the lane as he sealed the deal with a :27.3 final quarter to notch his third win in five career starts. Dan D Dune (Mike Oosting), who made a first over bid approaching the top of the lane, held on well to finish second while Fox Valley Aramon (Todd Warren) used a ground-saving journey to get the show dough.

Bet as though defeat was out of the question, BS Tyrrific returned $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10 while running his slate to 3-2-0 in five lifetime starts with earnings of $30,235 for the partnership of Robert, Jeremy and Louis Buttice and Frank Santilli.

The public handicappers were right on again in the filly division as Ervin Miller Stables and Bert Hochsprung’s Shady Stella easily disposed of eight rivals with a four and a quarter length victory in 1:54.1 for Kyle Wilfong.

Zipped right to the front from post six by Wilfong, the daughter of Shadyshark Hanover—Shes Stella put up splits of :29.1, :58 and 1:25.4.

Still fit and fresh as she turned for the money, the Ervin Miller trainee sped home in :28.2 while under minimal urging from her pilot. Char N Marg (Casey Leonard) rallied from far back to be the bridesmaid while longshot Rocknroll Hoochcoo (Pat Curtin) finished third in her career debut.

The Indiana-bred Shady Stella returned $3.80, $2.80 and $3.00 while posting her first win in lifetime start number three. The filly also has a second-place finish to her credit and now boasts $27,450 in earnings for her proud connections.

A field of seven diagonally-gaited state-breds squared off to close out Saturday’s stake action as they battled for a purse of $21,400.

The parade of favourites continued here as Ronald Knupp’s Master Of Excuses overpowered six rivals in a two and three-quarter length victory. The final time was 1:54.4.

Confidently handled by driver Todd Warren, the five-year-old son of Powerful Emotion moved first over on the final turn after watching Ants Iner Pants (Robert Smolin) and Tricky Nick (Ridge Warren) battle through opening splits of :28.4 and :56.3.

Taking command as the field hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.1, the Kimberly Roth trainee quickly opened up an insurmountable advantage over his rivals then glided home the rest of the way for his fourth win in 24 starts this year. Sophomore sensation Captain Greedy (J D Finn) rallied late to finish second while the other sophomore in the field, Fox Valley Qatar (Mike Oosting) came on late to finish third.

Starting from the inside spot, Master Of Excuses returned $3.40, $2.60 and $2.60 while pushing his career earnings up to $112,247.

The 2015 Hanover season draws to a close on Sunday, August 2 with a pair of events for two-year-old trotters. A field of eight fillies will slug it out in race three as they battle for a purse of $22,400 while their male counterparts meet in race five for a purse of $26,300. Once again, the action gets underway at 7:10 p.m. on Sunday night and as always the $1 Pick 4 (races seven through 10) features a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The 10-cent Hi Five (race 10) also features a guaranteed pool of $15,000 while the new trifecta guarantee on race nine will give fans the chance to play into a $25,000 guaranteed pool.

(Balmoral Park)

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