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Hannelore Hanover seeks large payday in Crown Open Trot
Thursday, October 26, 2017 - by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Rich Fisher
Trenton, NJ --- There could be numerous theories and reasons as to why Ron Burke is racing trotting mare Hannelore Hanover against the boys in Saturday’s (Oct. 28) $526,250 Breeders Crown Open Trot final at Hoosier Park.

But the answer is simple and logical.

The trainer pointed out that one reason overrides all the rest. Sounding like the Jerry Maguire of harness racing, Burke is thinking in terms of “Show me the money” when he notes the Open Trot purse is twice the size of the Mare Trot, which Hannelore Hanover won last year.

“For me, it’s very simple,” Burke said. “They go for 500, the other one goes for 250. I’m gonna take a chance going for 500.”

It looks like sound thinking so far, as Hannelore Hanover won her elimination race last Saturday in 1:52.4. The daughter of Swan For All and High Sobriety stormed quickly from the gate and led throughout as Yannick Gingras brought her home in a final panel of :27.

Dean Gillette photo
Hannelore Hanover won her elimination race last Saturday in 1:52.4.

She drew the fourth pole position in the final.

“We were very happy,” Burke said after the elimination race. “She did what she was supposed to. She got an easy half and she finished off strong with her ear plugs in.”

It was an upgrade from the previous week, when Hannelore Hanover finished second behind Churita in the $70,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for older trotting mares.

“Last week we were a little bit worried,” Burke said. “To take nothing away from Churita she wasn’t even a good second, she kind of gave it up a little bit. That’s not like her.”

Nothing some new-old shoes couldn’t cure.

“We went back to the drawing board again,” Burke said after the elim. “Last week I tried a different shoe on her for the first time in her life. Really, I think that was it, I don’t think she liked the shoe. I put her old shoes back on and she was better today.”

Hannelore Hanover is not just the only mare in the final, she is the only horse to break 1:50 as her best time this season was a world record 1:49.2. She has hit the board in 13 of 15 races this season with eight wins and five places and her $689,754 in earnings is the second highest total in the field. The horse could be in line for some post-season honors, but that is the least of Burke’s worries.

“Obviously you love the awards at the end of the year, but for me she doesn’t need to get any award to prove anything,” Burke said. “She’s the best trotting mare right now. That’s a tough call because Emoticon Hanover and Pasithea Face; these are good horses. I have all the confidence in her and I’m going to give her the chance to be the best.”

Hannelore Hanover is trying to become the third mare to win the Open Trot and first since Moni Maker in 1998. CR Kay Suzie turned the trick in 1996.

Dean Gillette photo
Crazy Wow was a wire-to-wire winner in 1:53 in the second elimination.

Burke also trains Crazy Wow, who went wire-to-wire in the second elimination with Gingras bringing him around in 1:53 to pull off the sweep. The son of Crazed and No Pan No Gain will leave from the second post and try to improve on a season in which 15 starts have produced five firsts, four seconds, two thirds and $551,306 in earnings.

“I’m very happy,” Burke said. “He’s had a few bad bumps, but he’s won a lot of major races. I think, right now, he’s right there for aged (male) Trotter of the Year.”

Adding big-time name recognition to the final is Marion Marauder, the 2016 Triple Crown Winner who came from the back to finish second, 1-3/4 lengths behind Crazy Wow in the eliminations. He drew the five hole this Saturday.

“We knew it was going to be one of those races with a short field, where it’s hard to get positioned and we were going to have to take what we get,” trainer Mike Keeling said. “Scott (Zeron, driver) said he was vicious down near the wire, so we’re very pleased with him.”

Marion Marauder is having another big year as a 4-year-old. He leads all finalists with $712,347 in purse money, having won three of nine starts along with three seconds and a third.

“Marauder raced exceptionally well at Yonkers (in finishing second in the $1 million International Trot) and followed that up with another great effort in the elims, coming from last,” Zeron said. “He has a nice post position Saturday and I look forward to facing other strong competitors.”

Another horse also overcame a slow start in the second elimination, as Resolve used a late burst up the rail to take fifth and sneak into the final. He has four wins in 12 season's starts and earnings of $486,399.

“He was good again,” said trainer Ake Svanstedt, who will drive Resolve from the rail on Saturday. “I went to the inside with him and I thought (Lookslikeachpndale) was going to take the passing lane, so I went outside, but then he went outside also. Then I went back over to start over. But he came home fast.

“I’m happy with him. He raced with shoes and it was his best race with shoes. He had the power today. If he is normal, he is very strong and I can go with him earlier. He can go on the outside and is very strong.”

Following is the field for Saturday’s $526,250 Breeders Crown Open Trot.

1-Resolve-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-10/1
2-Crazy Wow-David Miller-Ron Burke-9/2
3-Homicide Hunter-Brett Miller-Chris Oakes-8/1
4-Hannelore Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-7/5
5-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-5/1
6-Lookslikeachpndale-Daniel Dube-Luc Blais-20/1
7-Pinkman-Brian Sears-Jimmy Takter-30/1
8-Il Sogno Dream-Corey Callahan-Christopher Beaver-20/1
9-Gural Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-15/1
10-Mambo Lindy-Tim Tetrick-Frank Antonacci-15/1

Hoosier Park, in conjunction with Roberts Communications, will offer live steaming and replays of the Breeders Crown races at

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