Monticello, NY --- On a warm and sunny Tuesday afternoon (April 9) at Monticello Raceway, Haroun Hanover scored his 11th seasonal victory when he turned back a solid field of pacers to score in a time of 1:56 for driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr.
That victory tied Haroun Hanover with another Mighty M-based pacer, Tracys Song, for the most wins this season in North America.
In what seemed like just another overnight race for seven pacers that were non-winners of $500 per start and/or $12,500 claimers, it was, however, the most interesting event on the 10-race card. Actually it would have been an interesting race anywhere.
The contest pitted multiple race winners Haroun Hanover (10 wins) and DVC Gifted Indeed (five this year-14 last season) and thrown in for good measures was Court Jester, the Mighty M’s 2012 Horse of the Year who had 10 wins that year -- five consecutive faster than 1:55 -- and an overall 2012 seasonal mark of 1:50.2.
|Geri Schwarz photo|
|Haroun Hanover posted his 11th win of the year on Tuesday.|
When starting judge Scott Hamilton said “Go” in that contest, Bruce Aldrich, Jr. and DVC Gifted Indeed circled the field from the seven hole and took command before the turn. Greg Merton, with Court Jester from the two hole, tried to seize the lead from DVC Gifted Indeed but Aldrich wanted no part of that and he made Merton take a seat as the field passed the quarter-mile timer in a swift :27.
With DVC Gifted Indeed on the front-end as the field approached the halfway point, Marohn let Haroun Hanover slide out from third position but the pacer hung first-over, going nowhere as the timer flashed :55.4.
“I’m glad they were smokin’ on the front end; it made it easier for me to keep him (Haroun Hanover) in a hole,” Marohn said after the race was completed. “For some reason he was extra tough today but that means he’s getting good again.”
Up the backside Court Jester moved to the lead as DVC Gifted Indeed began to tire. But Haroun Hanover, who literally knows no end to a mile, kept grinding on the limb as the field bunched up on the final turn.
In the lane Haroun Hanover finally gained the front and rebuffed a late charge up the passing lane by Wantasmile and driver Pat Beeler. Court Jester finished third, some 1-1/2 lengths behind the winner, and DVC Gifted Indeed, who set the fast fractions, faded and finished fifth.
But with what now has become a standard feature of Haroun Hanover’s victories here, the pacer refused to pull-up after the mile.
As they were making their second revolution around the track, starting judge Scott Hamilton gunned the mobile gate away from its parked position after the start and got in front of the pacer and Marohn aimed Haroun Hanover directly behind the car to once again stop the horse. With the horse’s groom by the paddock gate to grab him, Haroun Hanover was then led back to his paddock stall.
“I know we’re getting to be a sideshow but as long as he keeps winning we’ll do whatever we have to do,” Marohn said, and then added, perhaps with tongue in cheek, but maybe not, “Remind me to put Scott Hamilton on my Christmas list.”
Owned by Ed and James Hall and trained by Danny Gill, Haroun Hanover paid $4.20 for win.
It turned out to be a huge afternoon for driver Marohn and trainer Gill. They hooked-up with four winners on the card. Besides Haroun Hanover’s victory, they connected with Superbowl Party (1:57.1, $4.00), Farewell Sky (1:56.1, $4.60) and Ididitmyrei (1:57, $3.80).