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Pedro Hanover Back In Action

Published: May 4, 2018 9:38 am ET

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After Pedro Hanover won last year’s Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship for freshman colt and gelding pacers in early September, he figured to be a major player in harness racing’s rich late-season stakes. But there was a catch: he wasn’t eligible to any of them except the Metro, where he finished third in the final.

“He had zero problems, but he wasn’t staked to anything else,” says his trainer, Andrew Harris, “so I just had to shut him down. I brought him back a little earlier this year because he was turned out so early.”

More fully staked up this year, Pedro Hanover will kick off his sophomore campaign in the Bye Bye Byrd, Saturday’s $169,288 PASS opener at The Meadows. The Kentucky Derby Day card also features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers, a $15,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 5 and a variety of fan-centered events, including drink and beverage specials, live music and raffles. Special post time Saturday is 11:25 a.m.

Pedro Hanover, who banked $348,784 at two, came back well from his extended off season but appeared sluggish in his first qualifier, with a mile in 1:53.4 and a :28 final quarter.

“He didn’t have the late kick he always has,” Harris says. “We examined him and found he was sick without showing any signs of it, so we treated him. I was super ecstatic with his second qualifier [timed in 1:51].”

This year, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Paulas Best, an $80,000 yearling acquisition who races for Ontario's Brad Gray and Denise Guerriero, is eligible for the North America Cup, the Max Hempt and the Meadowlands Pace — “there are still a few that we have to supplement into,” Harris says. But he’s not eligible for the Little Brown Jug or the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids.

Nevertheless, Saturday’s stakes could function as an Adios preview; of the 41 colts and geldings scheduled to race in the PASS events, 22 are Adios eligible.

Pedro Hanover will go from post 7 in race 9 for Dave Palone. Harris doesn’t consider the post position an issue.

“With the slanted starting gate, I don’t think that’s much of a problem,” he says. “It actually gives Dave some options on what he wants to do.”

Advance wagering for the Kentucky Derby — and the entire Churchill Downs card — begins Friday. Derby Day festivities include:

► Day-long food and beverage specials on the apron beginning at 11 AM as well as a buffet at the Carvery Patio;

► The annual Kentucky Derby Hat Contest, at both the track and its Harmar facility, with cash prizes for winners. Registration begins at noon;

► Paddock tours and starting gate rides, courtesy the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association;

► A “losing ticket” raffle for restaurant and betting vouchers and the grand prize — accommodations at the Cambria Hotel & Suites to enable the winner to enjoy The Meadows’ simulcast of the Belmont, the third jewel of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown.

►A free concert on the apron at the conclusion of the live card. Featured band is No Bad JuJu.


The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has doubled — to $15,000 — the total-pool guarantee for its Saturday, May 5 Pick 4 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative.

While $7,500 Pick 4 guarantees are offered each card, The Meadows upped the ante when Wednesday’s Pick 4 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $4,997.86.

In addition, Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Day program features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 5, $229,288 in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and a variety of fan-centered activities, including drink and beverage specials, live music and raffles.

Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) and Pick 5 (races 10-14) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets.

(The Meadows)

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