Walton Hanover, with John Simpson Jr. in the bike, won the second of five divisions of the $320,225 Potomac Stakes at Freestate last night in a wire-to-wire effort in 1:59. That effort was matched by Signed N Sealed, with strong urging by Hall of Fame driver Billy Haughton, in the fourth division.
Comacina won the first division in 1:59 4/5, taking advantage of a perfect drive by Wayne Smullin, Freestate's leading driver. The third division went to Nats Falcon, driven by Jim Larente, in 1:59 4/5. Houghton's First Attraction was second. The final division was won by Holmes Hanover, driven by Carl LeCause, in 2:00 2/5. Bill Popfinger's Grand Duke was second.
Walton Hanover took the lead just before the quarter pole, hitting the fraction in 29 seconds. Handsome Devil, with Abe Stoltfus driving, sat second and Embrace Me and William Popfinger were in third position.
The 11-to-10 favorite, Walton Hanover had an easy half-mile fraction of 59 4/5 seconds and coasted to victory by three lengths over Handsome Devil.
In the fourth division, Haughton hit the shaft, not his horse, three times with the whip and made his move shortly before the half and sat outside the race leader B J Scarlet until the top of the stretch where he forged ahead to the win.
B J Scarlet with Pres Moore hung on for second and Nautilus Hanover (John Simpson Jr.) closed for third.