Voelz Hanover In Milton Stakes Shocker

Published: September 20, 2014 10:09 pm EDT

Overlooked at odds of 33-1, millionaire pacing mare Voelz Hanover summoned her back-class to pull off the upset victory in the 52nd edition of the $286,000 Milton Stakes featured on the Saturday stakes card at Mohawk Racetrack.

Leaving from post six, driver Randy Waples used Voelz Hanover's gate speed to make to the lead early on with Anndrovette (Doug McNair) charging up just to her outside and clearing into the first turn. Anndrovette hit the opening quarter mark in :26 seconds and raced to the half in :54.1 before being confronted by the favourite en route to three-quarters in 1:22.2. Elimination winner Yagonnakissmeornot (Jody Jamieson) went first up from fourth at the half and battled past Anndrovette into the stretch. However, Waples launched Voelz Hanover from the pocket and she sprinted home to prevail by one and a half lengths in 1:50 flat, missing the stakes record by just one-fifth of a second. Yagonnakissmeornot settled for second and Anndrovette finished third.

"There was just so many good horses in there to follow I was half thinking about maybe backing her off the gate for a change and following, but she's got such tremendous gate speed that she can get you to where you want to be to get a good trip," said Waples of his early racing strategy. "Nobody was really on the gate on the inside so I said 'screw it' and off I went. It just worked out well."

Voelz Hanover, who finished fourth in her elimination after racing harder than Waples had hoped, returned $68.30 to those who backed her at the betting windows.

The victory was her 43rd lifetime and boosted her bankroll over $1.74 million.

Waples, also a winner of the Milton Stakes in 2010 with Dreamfair Eternal during her Horse of the Year campaign, reflected post race on the type of mare Voelz Hanover was and has become.

"I can remember having what I consider to be the best mare around here in Dreamfair Eternal and Benoit Baillargeon, I think, had [Voelz Hanover] then and I was scared of her every week," said the Milton, Ont. reinsman. "She could always do damage to me. She was a good mare back then, I think she was second in the Breeders Crown when Dreamfair Eternal won it and she's kept going and going. She's a great mare and she's got great connections."

The nine-year-old daughter of Astreos is currently trained by Corey Johnson and owned by Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Que.

"I can't say enough Corey," added Waples. "He's a young guy and he's just kind of getting going and he had her so good for this race. Corey and his team, they deserve the credit and the win, along with the mare. I just kind of rode along."

Later on the card, the top male pacers on the WEG circuit faced off in the weekly $34,000 Preferred with Ellis Park ($15.80) and driver Steve Condren prevailing in a blanket finish in 1:50.3 for trainer Brad Maxwell the David Goodrow Stable of Cambridge, Ont. Dapper Dude (Randy Waples), who led through fractions of :27, :55.2 and 1:23.1, finished second with Piston Broke (Rick Zeron) closing for third, both just a neck behind the winner. The popular first over challenger, State Treasurer (Chris Christoforou), and Fool Me Once (James MacDonald) followed half a length behind in fourth and fifth, respectively.

For recaps of tonight's Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Semi-Finals for three-year-olds, click here.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Mohawk Racetrack.

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.