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Breeders Crown runner-up Moonshiner Hanover wins PA Stallion Series at The Meadows
Monday, May 22, 2017 - by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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Washington, PA---Breeders Crown runner-up Moonshiner Hanover, looking for a soft opening for his sophomore campaign, found it in Monday’s (May 22) Pennsylvania Stallion Series at The Meadows, where he cruised to victory in a stake-fastest 1:55.3. The $80,000 event for colt and gelding trotters was contested over four divisions, with Two AM, Thisguyisonfire and Skaterly taking the other splits.

Chris Gooden photo
Moonshiner Hanover scored a win in a stake-fastest 1:55.3.
Moonshiner Hanover earned $263,101 at 2 and was beaten only by Dan Patch Award winner Walner in the Breeders Crown final. But trainer Chris Beaver, who owns the son of Andover Hall-Madam Hooch with Synerco Ventures and Bill Manes, said the December removal of OCDs from the colt’s left hind ankle complicated the timetable for his return.

“He qualified only a week ago,” Beaver said. “To put him in the sires stake, I’d have had to race him back in five days and drop him five seconds. I decided to avoid that right off the bat. I think he’s come back a little smoother.”

In the stallion series, Moonshiner Hanover waited until the dust settled before moving to the point for Aaron Merriman and drawing off by 5 lengths turning for home. Geared down, he defeated Ataboy Hanover by 1-1/2 lengths, with Perseverance third.

Beaver indicated Moonshiner Hanover likely will race next in the June 3 Currier & Ives at The Meadows.

Two AM already knew he was comfortable in the stallion series; he captured the freshman title by a widening 4-1/2 lengths. On Monday, the Muscle Massive-Slightly Tipsy gelding set sail first over after the leader, Lars Perry, who had enjoyed a slowish 59.2 first half. But Two AM had little trouble overtaking Lars Perry and downing him by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56. Phi Alpha earned show.

“This horse was real sharp in his qualifiers, and I was pretty confident in him,” said Tyler Buter, who drove for trainer Todd Buter and owners Lynette Buter, Gene Oldford Farms, William Fuhs and Carol Fuhs. “We’ll take his racing schedule week to week. He hasn’t been tired yet; we haven’t found the bottom.”

Thisguyisonfire appeared in trouble at the half, when he trailed by 8-1/2 lengths. But he surged when Mike Wilder asked him for trot, picking up the cover of Muay Hanover and going wide through the stretch to prevail in a career-fastest 1:56.

Muay Hanover was second, 2 lengths back, while DD’s Comet completed the ticket.

“I was being a little cautious with him because they said he runs in a little bit in the turns,” Wilder said. “I kind of got detached at the half, but I thought if I got through the last turn, he’d be pretty good. He just exploded. He couldn’t have been better.”

Jim Campbell trains Thisguyisonfire, a son of Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall, for Fashion Farms.

In the $13,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred Handicap Pace, 9-1 upstart Hurricane Calleigh, a $10,000 claimer only two races back, sustained an uncovered move to score in 1:53.1 for David McNeight III, trainer David McNeight, Jr. and owner Courtney McNeight. It was the fastest win ever for the 4-year-old daughter of McArdle-Jo Pa’s Dragoness.

Merriman collected four wins on the 13-race card.

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