Hahn Hanover made his parimutuel debut a winning one last night at Rosecroft by taking a division of the Hanover Colt Stakes for 2-year-old pacers in an impressive 1:55 3/5.
Hahn Hanover, the 2-to-5 favorite, gave fans some anxious moments in his division. The colt was last to move away from the gate for driver Mike Lachance and then had trouble handling the first turn. But the experienced Lachance, driver of the year in 1985, 1986 and 1987, had no problems.
Moving up slowly on the outside, Hahn Hanover went from last at the start to first at the top of the stretch and then pulled away to win by five lengths over Sunday's Kuralt.
"He's a very, very, very fast colt," said Lachance. "He was really relaxed. It was a two-finger drive."
Trainer Linda Toscano was also satisfied with Hahn Hanover's effort. "I'm just thrilled with him." she said. According to Toscano, Hahn Hanover, an $80,000 yearling purchase, started training late in the year because the colt needed more time. "I just decided to lay off with him," she said.
In the first division of the Hanover, driver-trainer Roger Hammer relied on his usual front-end driving style to guide Hello Almahurst to a one-length victory over Beep Honk Toot in 1:56 3/5.
In the third division, Front View and driver Don Irvine Jr. held off a late challenge by Captain's Gamble and Jim Morand to win by a nose in 1:58 1/5. There were no surprises in the final division as 3-10 favorite Thunderball led from wire to wire to win in 1:56 2/5 for driver Eddie Davis. Keystone Rambler took second, 1 1/2 lengths back.
Messenger Stakes: The owners of Jake And Elwood have paid a $30,000 supplemental fee to make the 3-year-old pacing colt eligible for the Messenger Stakes, which will be held at Rosecroft Sept. 8. The Messenger is the second leg of harness racing's pacing triple crown.
Jake And Elwood is owned by LPG Standardbred, M R F Racing Stable and Bonnie Castle Stables of New Jersey and New York. The same group owns Sandman Hanover, who won the Messenger Stakes at Freestate Raceway in 1989, the first year the race was held in Maryland. Rosecroft acquired the classic event after Freestate was closed. This year's renewal is expected to carry a purse of $400,000.
Jake And Elwood won the Cane Pace, first leg of the triple crown, this past Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. The victory was Jake And Elwood's eighth in 18 starts this year and pushed his earnings over $1 million.
The deadline to supplement colts to the Messenger was Saturday morning. Jake And Elwood was the only colt to pay into the race. The entry box of the Messenger closes Tuesday morning. Beach Towel, who appears to be on his way to horse of the year honors, is expected to enter.