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Snowstorm Hanover wins the 125th Kentucky Futurity
Sunday, October 08, 2017 - by Ray Cotolo, for Red Mile

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Lexington, KY --- Blowing into contention at odds of 82-1 in the elimination, Snowstorm Hanover replicated his first heat rally and surged past Devious Man to win the $420,000 final of the Kentucky Futurity, sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc., and Menhammer Stuteri Ab., in 1:53.2.

“I really wonder now if he just doesn’t like the hot weather,” Ron Burke said of his aptly-named trotter. “We noticed that he washes out sometimes very badly in the parade, and sometimes when he washes out he’s really bad. So, maybe today, the weather was a blessing to him; it seemed cooler."

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Snowstorm Hanover outlasts Devious Man to win the 125th Kentucky Futurity in 1:53.2.

Snowstorm Hanover got away fourth in the final, tracking his stablemate What The Hill while Bill’s Man put up a quarter in :29. Yes Mickey, circling out of the pocket, took the field to the half in :56.3 while What The Hill marched first-over into second, carrying with him Snowstorm Hanover. Devious Man, positioned fourth-over around the turn, was flying towards the center of the track heading to three-quarters, timed in 1:24.2, and took over the lead midway in the stretch.

Snowstorm Hanover, angling three wide, chased after Devious Man coming into the eighth pole, pursuing the leader and eventually drawing alongside before sticking his nose in front in the final yards to win. Lindy The Great finished third and What The Hill was fourth.

Returning $13.60 to win, Snowstorm Hanover, by Muscle Massive out of the Andover Hall mare Snow Angel Hanover, won his eighth race from 31 starts, earning $626,849 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Phillip Collura and Weaver Bruscemi. He is trained by Ron Burke and was driven by Matt Kakaley.

“I told Matt after the first heat ‘Truthfully, you were the only one with trot finishing in the first two heats, so maybe you got the best horse, and let’s try to give him a trip,’” Burke said. “Matt couldn’t have done a better job of putting him in the perfect spot to upset.”

“The end of the year last year, he was super,” Kakaley said. “He finished up the year so great, and he’s got it in him if he shows up, that’s for sure.”

“He was a last-minute addition to even enter him,” Burke said. “But I was like ‘Eh, what the hell?’—he was second last week, so he paid his entry fee. So it’s a surprise but it’s also a thrill because it’s our core group that owns all our horses together, so that makes this even more special to us.”

International Moni and What The Hill win eliminations

International Moni took control midway around the final turn and strolled to a 1:53.4 victory in the opening elimination for the first heat.

Sitting fourth off a :28.3 quarter set by Giveitgasandgo, Scott Zeron edged 6-5 favorite International Moni first-over before the half, drawing alongside the leader in :56.2 before clearing the lead. Clocking three-quarters in 1:24.3, International Moni held an uncontested lead in the stretch, trotting under a hand drive as Snowstorm Hanover rallied off a rail trip to take second and Bill’s Man, from second-over, finished third. King On The Hill, and Di Oggi rounded out the finalists.

By Love You out of the Speedy Crown mare Moni Maker, International Moni, competing for the Moni Maker Stable, won his eighth race from 23 starts. Trained by Frank Antonacci and driven by Scott Zeron, he paid $4.40 to win.

What The Hill capitalized off a pocket trip to take the second elimination in 1:53.3.

David Miller sent What The Hill to the lead, clearing after a :28.4 opening quarter. After a :57 half, What The Hill took the pocket as Devious Man brushed to the front from third, leading the field around the final turn and through three-quarters in 1:24.3.

Fighting at the rail, Devious Man maintained the lead through most of the stretch. Lindy The Great, following cover from third-over, rallied down the center of the course wide of Yes Mickey, closing from second-over. What The Hill tipped off the rail, splitting horses late to edge by Devious Man and hold off Lindy The Great, finishing second, at the line. Yes Mickey was third, Devious Man fourth and Dover Dan rounded out the finalists.

Winning his ninth race in 26 starts, What The Hill, by Muscle Hill out of the Angus Hall mare K T Cha Cha, races for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, Jerry and Theresa Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms. Trained by Ron Burke, he paid $14.60 to win.

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