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'Hank' Leads Stallion Series Finals

Published: September 5, 2021 8:34 pm ET

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Hammering Hank ($3.40) circled stalled cover on the final turn of the $40,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings — one of eight on the Sunday (Sept. 5) card at Harrah's Philadelphia — and kept his undefeated record intact with a 1:52 score.

The two-year-old son of Captaintreacherous and History Repeats was forced three-wide up the backstretch around a stalled Good Deal, and he accelerated off the home turn to reel in Hecandancencruise by three-quarter lengths. Layton Hanover, who set fractions of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:23.3, faded to third after being collared at the sixteenth pole.

"This horse has a very nice turn of speed," driver Dexter Dunn said of the Brett Pelling trainee. "I had to go three-wide the entire final turn, and that's hard to do here, but this horse just kept on going."

Hammering Hank, who has won all four of his starts to date, has banked $45,850 for the 3 Brothers Stables, Pelling Racing LLC and the Rojan Stables.

Pelling was the only trainer to win multiple Stallion Series finals, completing the stakes double with South Beach Star ($3.00) in the three-year-old colt and gelding pace. After sitting in fourth off a :54.4 half, Todd McCarthy angled South Beach Star first-over to take aim at pacesetter Emblaze Hanover up the backstretch, and they pushed clear willingly past three-quarters in 1:22.1 before evading Crunch Hanover by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:51.1. Coalition Hanover finished third.

"I did have to go first-over, but I wasn't worried," said McCarthy. "He's a big, good-going horse, finishes strongly, so things were working out OK."

Now a nine-time winner with $115,316 in earnings, South Beach Star, a son of Somebeachsomewhere and Higher And Higher, campaigns for All Star Racing Inc.

In addition to Hammering Hank, only one other horse entered The Stallion Series finals with an undefeated record on the line: rookie trotting filly Born On Third Base. The five-time winner was upended in the final yards of her event, finishing third after giving way to Ill Have A Lindy, who charged to the lead up the open stretch and out-sprinted runner-up Design Fashion in a stakes record 1:55.1.

"She had a lot of trot the whole mile," said Scott Zeron, who drove the Greathorse homebred for trainer Domenico Cecere. "When Dexter's filly [Born On Third Base] got away past the half, my filly wasn't very easy to steer. I got a little closer, and she was a little better on the far turn. But she has a lot of trot.”

The five-time winner, by Cantab Hall out of Martini Lindy, has banked $53,500 in her career.

Tim Tetrick recorded a stakes hat trick, piloting Jim King Jr. trainee Lyons Serenity ($2.40) to a 1:52.1 score in the rookie filly pace, Tony Alagna trainee Odds On Whitney ($4.80) to a 1:50.2 win in the three-year-old filly pace, and Evening Stroll ($7.40) to a 1:54.4 victory in the three-year-old filly trot for trainer Jim Campbell.

Oh Boy ($3.80, Corey Callahan, 1:55.4) and Sunny Crockett ($6.20, 1:53.4, Tyler Miller) rounded out the octet of Stallion Series champions.

Live racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (Sept. 8); first post is 12:25 p.m. (EDT).

(Harrah's Philadelphia)

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