Halcyon, Diana Lynn Lobell and Jolibea Hanover were the winners in the three-division Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Freestate Raceway last night in Laurel. Each division was worth $20,000.
Diana Lynn Lobell's victory in the first division in 1:56 4/5 represented her fastest mile and fourth win in a row.
With a quarter-mile to go, driver Joe Pavia Jr. angled out Jolibea Hanover from the rail and the filly matched strides with Ediths Girl down the stretch before winning by a nose in 1:57.
In the final division, Halcyon, last season's champion 2-year-old pacing filly, easily won in 1:57 2/5, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of B Merry Collins. Driven by Ted Wing, Halcyon was never pushed as she won her third race this year and her 16th in 20 career starts.
The winning fillies are eligible for the estimated $235,000 Turtle Dove Stakes at Freestate next Saturday.
Driven by Gilles Gendron, Diana Lynn Lobell tipped off the rail at the three-eighths mark and began to move on pacesetter Candy Bucks. Gendron whipped Diana Lynn Lobell nine times in the stretch and drove the 9-to-10 favorite to a slim victory over the fast-closing Snooky Hanover, driven by Wing.
At the start of the second division, Wing moved Ediths Girl away quickly from the gate and set fractions of 28 1/5 seconds, :56 4/5 and 1:27 on a track that became sloppy midway through the race card. In the meantime, Pavia was hung on the outside with Jolibea Hanover before finding a hole along the rail at the three-quarters mark.