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Emoticon Hanover scores in 1:52 in Miss Versatility final
Thursday, September 21, 2017 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Delaware, OH --- Coming off a world-record performance in her previous race, Emoticon Hanover just missed adding her name to the record book again.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Emoticon Hanover was a 1:52 winner in the Miss Versatility final.

Emoticon Hanover won Thursday’s (Sept. 21) $120,500 Miss Versatility Series championship for older female trotters in 1:52 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The time was one-fifth of a second shy of Maven’s world record of 1:51.4 for a female trotter on a half-mile track, set in the 2013 Miss Versatility.

Caprice Hill was second to Emoticon Hanover and Barn Girl was third.

A 4-year-old mare, Emoticon Hanover and driver Dan Dube were pushed to an opening quarter-mile of :26.4 by Caprice Hill as the two horses matched strides around the first turn. But Emoticon Hanover, who started from post No. 5 in the five-horse field, was never threatened again after securing the lead entering the backstretch.

She reached the half in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.3 on her way to the five-length win.

In her previous start at Tioga Downs, Emoticon Hanover won the Joie De Vie in 1:50.2, the fastest mile ever by a 4-year-old female trotter on a five-eighths-mile track.

“Right now she’s in very good shape,” said Dube, who won the 2007 Miss Versatility with Mystical Sunshine. “She did that very easy. She’s strong. It’s just nice to drive her.”

Emoticon Hanover, a daughter of Kadabra out of the mare Emmylou Who, is trained by Luc Blais for owner Serge Godin’s Determination stable of Montreal. She has won three of 10 races this year and 14 of 35 in her career, good for earnings of $873,802.

She won last year’s Ontario Sire Stakes championship and was second to Broadway Donna in the Breeders Crown.

Emoticon Hanover was the 3-5 favorite and paid $3.40 to win.

"Luc has always tried to space her starts this year a couple weeks apart," said Dube. "I think it really helps her to remain strong and to be so competitive with older mares as a 4-year-old.

"Another reason Luc likes to space her starts is because she tends to get really nervous before her races. She is absolutely perfect to drive and she only is like that before her races.

"Luc also wants to continue to race her as an older horse and that is why he manages her the way he does."

-- Kim French also contributed to this report

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