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Baldachino Discusses Supplement

Published: July 15, 2016 4:10 pm ET

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Most people in this day and age operate on a budget, and understandably so. They want some bang for their buck and that is especially true in harness racing. Frank Baldachino, however, is emphatic that splurging on Hannelore Hanover and not sticking to the bottom line may have very well been the best investment he has ever made.

“Ron (Burke) and I always have a set limit on what we will spend when we look at horses,” said Baldachino. “You have to stick with that line because it is easy to over spend, so for this filly we had $30,000 as our price (at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale), but I looked at Ron and said ‘let’s go up one more tick for her.’ So we went in for $2,000 more and that made her ours. It was the best $2,000 I have ever spent.”

Baldachino and his partners, Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, decided to open up their wallets yet again in regard to the world champion when they footed the $50,000 bill to supplement her to the $471,200 Hambletonian Maturity on Saturday (July 16) at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The four-year-old daughter of Swan For All and the Dream Vacation mare High Sobriety will begin trotting from Post 4 with Yannick Gingras in the bike.

The Indiana champion is 3-1 on the morning line in the one and one-eighths-mile contest and is only the third female to participate in this event after Bee A Magician and Shake It Cerry. She is certainly a top contender to have her picture taken after the field crosses the line. She possesses the swiftest season's mark of her 10 rivals (1:51) and only the Graduate Series final victor, Musical Rhythm, has earned more cash this season ($270,573 to her $224,505).

“It really was not a difficult decision to supplement her,” Baldachino said. “We kept a close eye on the race last week (the Graduate Series final) and felt none of the colts stood out over her. She has been simply terrific this year and has done everything so easily without even being really asked. With those kind of performances we felt now was the time to put her against the colts. No one from that division has proved to stand out and with what she has accomplished at this point, she deserves the opportunity.”

With only two starts at age two, Hannelore Hanover was given an extended vacation after a 10th-place finish in the $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final on July 5, 2014. The filly was stabled at Hoosier Park and under the watchful eye of Jamie Macomber, one of trainer Ron Burke’s stellar staff and her husband, Rick.

Hannelore Hanover had her hooves full competing against the likes of Indiana champion Churita as a sophomore, but as the year progressed, so did ‘Hannelore.’ On August 5, 2015 she demolished her rivals in a $20,000 Indiana Sire Stakes leg while coming home in :27.4. That triumph was the first of seven straight wins to close out her three-year-old season and since then she has only tasted defeat in one event, which was a second to the seasoned Allie Labrook at Hoosier Park on June 2. The mare was timed in :26.4 for her last quarter-mile in that contest and she finished in front of Natural Herbie.

She then travelled to Canada where she dominated her fellow females in the elimination for the $208,260 Armbro Flight final and then equalled the world record of 1:51, which was also a stakes and track record, in the final itself.

The next engagement on her agenda was another romp in a $23,100 leg of the Miss Versatility Series, also at Mohawk Racetrack, on July 1. Hannelore Hanover stopped the clock in 1:53.4 without being seriously tested.

“She is just a big, strong, perfectly-made animal,” Baldachino said. “She has all the parts and they are all put together. She looks exactly like a trotter should look. Everything she has done this year has just been outstanding. She did require some patience to grow into herself and Jamie, Rick and Ron all deserve credit for bringing her along. They gave her everything she needed and she has rewarded us with how she has performed.

“We are all excited about Saturday night and for the rest of the year with her. To do what she has done already without being asked makes you wonder what else she has to show. Like I said, putting up that extra $2,000 to get her was unbelievably worth it.”

Baldachino also has another horse competing on Saturday evening’s card in All Bets Off. The son of Bettors Delight and the Dexter Nukes mare Armbro Penelope will start from Post 12 in the $471,800 William R. Haughton Memorial. He will have to contend with the likes of Always B Miki, Wiggle It Jigglieit and Freaky Feet Pete, but this horse has earned more than $1.9 million and should never be dismissed.

“It’s not the best post position and he has not had the best luck with the draws this year,” Baldachino said. “But he is a very nice little horse. He has speed and has demonstrated he can use it if the trip works out for him.

“He’s a horse we purchased that was already developed and we did not get him as a yearling like Hannelore, but how can you ever be disappointed with a horse that has done the things he has? We know no matter what he will go out there and give it his best. That’s all you can ask for.”

The field for the Hambletonian Maturity appears below.

(PP. Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line)
1. Fashion Creditor - David Miller - Tom Fanning - 30/1
2. Centurion ATM - Trace Tetrick - Ake Svanstedt - 20/1
3. Wings Of Royalty - Brian Sears - George Ducharme - 10/1
4. Hannelore Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke - 3/1
5. Crescent Fashion - Scott Zeron - Ake Svanstedt - 15/1
6. Muscle Up The Goal - Aaron Merriman - Christopher Beaver - 6/1
7. Crazy Wow - Tim Tetrick - Ron Burke - 4/1
8. Lookslikeachpndale - Brett Miller - Luc Blais - 25/1
9. Musical Rhythm - John Campbell - Benoit Baillargeon - 5/2
10. Honor And Serve - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svanstedt - 25/1
11. Canepa Hanover - Corey Callahan - Jimmy Takter - 8/1

(USTA)


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