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Bombilla Hanover has been on fire in Florida
Thursday, March 28, 2013 - by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Kimberly French
Louisville, KY --- Right after he purchased her for $16,000 at the 2009 Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Peter Blood made a beeline to Bombilla Hanover’s stall. He wanted to ensure his eyes were not deceiving him.

“I really like doing business with Hanover Shoe Farms, as they have been very good to me over the years,” he said. “I wanted to buy a pacing filly and I looked at every one of them in Hanover’s consignment that year. I liked the way she stood and she was very correct, but she had a full brother, Takeshigemichi (p,1:49, $475,944), so I didn’t think I would have the chance to buy her.

I was looking to spend $15,000 to $20,000 and I thought she would be in the $40,000 range, but she was hanging around $10,000 to $12,000 so I bid $12,000, another guy bid $15,000 and then I brought her home for $16,000. I went to her stall right away because I wanted to see if I had missed something, but after I checked her over again I thought I didn’t miss anything, but maybe everyone else did.”

Skip Smith photo
Bombilla Hanover has won five straight races at Pompano Park for driver Bruce Ranger and trainer Peter Blood.

The daughter of The Panderosa and the Matt’s Scooter mare Bet Me Hanover is co-owned by Blood, who also conditions her, Rick Berks and Lewis Whitaker. Bombilla Hanover is also a half-sister to Burl Hanover (Dragon Again, p,3,1:53f, $175,268) and Bridgette Hanover (Western Ideal, p,4,1:53.1f, $136,595) and Blood was pleased with her progress shortly after she commenced her lessons.

Her debut season, however, did not turn out quite like he had hoped with a record of 8-1-1-1, $17,892 in earnings and a mark of 1:54.4f.

She flashed a little bit more ability as a 3-year-old with a record of 22-4-4-3, $63,386 in the bank and a new mark of 1:51.4f, while residing primarily in Bill Fahy’s shedrow at The Meadows.

At four, she didn’t win as much money ($41,100) and her record was similar at 22-7-3-2, but Bombilla Hanover started off that year at Pompano Park by capturing five of her first six trips to the post, with the only blemish (fifth) coming from a speed break in the mud.

“I’ve had some fillies like Marfa Hanover, So Western and Eracer Hanover, and I thought when she started out she could have been the best filly I have ever trained,” Blood said. “It didn’t turn out that way, but she has had some horrendous luck. Also, I don’t go North anymore, so each year she has had a different trainer. I’m very good friends with Bill Fahy, as I was the best man at his wedding, so I sent her up there to him at The Meadows.

She can be tough to get along with, too, as she’s a little fussy and you can’t put a bunch of steel in her mouth to make her do what you want her to do. We keep it pretty simple with her and use a Haughton bit that she seems to respond best to.

I have a little standing joke with her. She gets a lot of carrots. Women like carrots. Horses like the orange kind and women like the shiny kind.”

This year Bombilla Hanover has paced eight miles and has five consecutive victories spanning from Feb. 18 to March 17 in Filly and Mare races at Pompano Park, including the last three in the Open Handicap. To date, she has amassed $20,750 in purse money and lowered her mark to 1:51f on Feb. 25.

“We had a little trouble with her earlier in the winter making some breaks, but she was slipping on the track,” Blood said. “Once I put four aluminum shoes on her she just turned right around. In her first race after that she went in 1:51 with her last half in :55.2 and the earplugs were never even pulled.”

Since the mare is just a little high strung, Blood takes her out before any other horse gets to the track in the morning and allows her to dictate the pace of her jog.

“The first time she goes out, she will walk completely around the whole track,” he said. “After that she will start jogging and be really relaxed unless someone zips by her. She is kind of racy and likes to race every one that comes out on her, but you can’t do that every day.”

For the time being, Bombilla Hanover will remain at Pompano Park, but will be shipped up North once again later on this year.

“We sat her out last week, because she had kind of dominated the previous week,” Blood said. “I’d like to get a race in her every other week here, but I have spoken with Mike Deters about taking her up to Tioga because they have one of those fitness wheels up there and I think that will make her very happy that she can go out and do her work without being hooked to anything.

One of my partners suggested we send her to Mark Ford, who I’m also very good friends with, to race at Yonkers, but like I told him everything would be cool at the farm, then when you put her on the trailer she is going to get anxious. When you get her off the trailer, she’ll have to warm up on the track with a bunch of horses and I think that will make her start pulling and ramming again.

I don’t want her to get out of control again, but I think it will work out with Mike at Tioga because of the wheel, he feeds the same feed and he has the same kind of routine I do.”

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