by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park
Hannelore Hanover, with driver Yannick Gingras, returned to her home state of Indiana to turn in a dominant performance in the featured event of the evening, the $220,000 Centaur Trotting Classic, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday (Sept. 24).
The Centaur Trotting Classic serves as Hoosier Park’s richest trotting race and for the second consecutive year, the race was won by a mare.
Just as Bee A Magician did the previous year, Hannelore Hanover easily handled a field of nine male counterparts to add another stakes victory to her resume. With a final time of 1:52.4, the world champion mare made her game winning move down the backside and coasted on to the wire to finish 2-1/4 lengths in front of the competition.
Leaving from post six in the talented field of 10, Hannelore Hanover was eased off the gate to settle in fourth while Homicide Hunter and David Miller got the first call through the opening panel in :26.4. Muscle Up The Goal and Aaron Merriman benefitted from a pocket trip while Crazy Wow and John DeLong were next in line third.
Gingras gave Hannelore Hanover the green light just past the half in :55 and she ranged up to reach the leader’s wheel to grab command just before the three-quarter clocking in 1:24.3.
As the field turned for home, Hannelore Hanover began to put her talent on display as she found another gear and started to trot away from the field. Wind Of The North and Corey Callahan rallied gamely in the stretch but had to settle for second place honors while Crazy Wow and John DeLong rounded out the trifecta.
As the 1-5 favorite, Hannelore Hanover returned $2.60 at the betting window.
“She’s just a great, great mare,” Gingras noted in the winner’s circle. “I wanted to race her off the pace but that was a nice horse on the front and I had to move when I did so he didn’t get away from us. She was strong turning for home and just coasted to the wire. She was unbelievably good again tonight.”
Trained by Hoosier Park’s leading trainer, Ron Burke, the 4-year-old daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety notched her 15th win from 17 seasonal outings. Hannelore Hanover has now amassed $1,201,685 lifetime for her connections of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables.
“I always knew she was a nice mare,” Burke noted before the race. “I told Yannick (Gingras) last year that she was the third best trotting filly in the country and she’s proving it now.
“I am very fond of Mission Brief but Hannelore Hanover is right up there with her. Hopefully Mission Brief can come back and we can see these two racing together. They are definitely the nicest trotting mares I’ve ever had and that’s saying a lot because I also trained Buck I St Pat. It’s been a lot of fun with Hannelore Hanover this season.”
The victory with Hannelore Hanover was one of four winners on the evening’s 14-race card for both Ron Burke and Yannick Gingras. Burke currently leads all trainers at Hoosier Park for the 2016 live harness racing season with 64 wins through 125 days of racing.
Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday (Sept. 27) with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 5:45 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through Nov. 12. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.