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'Hank' Hammers Kindergarten Field

Published: September 25, 2021 12:48 am ET

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Brett Pelling has another possible superstar on his hands.

Hammering Hank, a gelded son of Captaintreacherous-History Repeats, remained unbeaten in six lifetime starts after toying with his foes Friday night at The Meadowlands in one of six $20,000 divisions of the fourth leg of the Kindergarten Series for two-year-olds.

“I was in awe of him five starts ago,” said the trainer of his prized pupil, who won the lone division for colt and gelding pacers. “My son [Jack] qualified him at Magical Acres [on June 23] and he was airborne through his final quarter of :26.3. You could see immediately [how good he was].”

Driven by Todd McCarthy to a second consecutive Kindergarten score, Hammering Hank sat a four-hole trip until just after the half, rushed up first-over around the far turn to challenge leader Hunts Point before accelerating quickly past that foe to open up a two-lead at the head of the stretch on the way to an easy-as-pie 3-1/2-length win in a lifetime-best equalling 1:52. All of this after leaving from post 10 in a bulky 11-horse field.

JD was second, with Layton Hanover third. As the 3-5 favourite, Hammering Hank returned $3.40 to win.

“He’s being managed perfectly,” said Pelling. “He’s never been tested and he’s ready to rock and roll. We plan on going to the Kindergarten Final, Breeders Crown and Governor’s Cup. I haven’t seen any horse [in his division] with his speed. His speed is serious. This game is all about speed.

“What’s beautiful about this horse is that he’s push-button. He’s waiting for the driver to tell him what to do. Three guys have driven this horse and my instructions to them: I do not want him on the front. You can trust this horse no matter where you are. I’ve been right every time. He’s got so much speed, he’s always part of the game.”

Hammering Hank now has a bank account that reads $65,850, but there is likely much more to come for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Pelling Racing and the Rojan Stables.

Pelling and McCarthy also clicked with Treacherous Dragon, who worked out an ideal second-over trip on the way to a 3-1/2-length romp in the lone division for pacing fillies. The time for the mile was 1:51.3, which lowered her previous lifetime-best by one second and two-fifths.

In winning her first Kindergarten leg in three tries, the Captaintreacherous-My Little Dragon miss lifted her lifetime numbers to three wins in five starts. As the 1-5 favourite, she returned $2.40 to win.

Driver Mark MacDonald doubled up in the Kindergarten Series with the Ray Schnittker-trained trotting filly Brickhouse Babe ($2.20) winning in 1:55.1 and and trotting colt Kens Walner ($8.80) scoring in 1:56.3 for the Linda Toscano stable.

The other Kindergarten winners were trotting filly Little Pink Lies ($8.40) in 1:55.2 for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt and trotting colt Saverio Hanover ($55) in 1:55.1 with Vincent Ginsburg driving for trainer Ron Coyne Jr.

A LITTLE MORE: One sharp bettor playing into the Ontario wagering hub held the lone winning ticket in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 and collected $7,249.92. Other than a 26-1 shot in the third leg of the sequence, no other horse’s odds were greater than 3-1. … All-source handle totaled $1,732,230. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)

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