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What The Hill set for TVG try
Thursday, November 23, 2017 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Ken Weingartner
Freehold, NJ --- Ron Burke will send What The Hill to face older foes in Saturday’s $350,000 TVG Series championship for male trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack and the trainer is interested to see how the colt responds.

What The Hill received an invitation to the TVG finale because of his win in October’s Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters at Hoosier Park. He is the third consecutive Breeders Crown 3-year-old champion to try the TVG, following Bar Hopping and The Bank. Bar Hopping finished fifth last year and The Bank was seventh in 2015.

Joining What The Hill in this year’s race are Lookslikeachpndale, Mambo Lindy, Pinkman, Crazy Wow, and Dayson. Crazy Wow and Dayson also are trained by Burke.

According to the U.S. Trotting Association’s Information and Research Department, What The Hill is trying to become the first 3-year-old male trotter in recent history to win against older foes in a series final worth at least $100,000 since Before He Cheats captured the $120,000 Chester Late Closing Series in 2007.

The only other instance since 1992 of a 3-year-old trotter winning a race worth at least $100,000 against older horses came on the female side, when filly CR Kay Suzie defeated seven mares in the Breeders Crown at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

“I’m excited to try this,” Burke said. “(What The Hill) loves the Meadowlands and it’s a short field, which gives him options. It’s something neat to try to see where he is and how much he has to improve for next year if he races.”

The Meadowlands on Saturday also hosts TVG Series championships for female trotters, male pacers and female pacers. In addition, the 13-race card includes the “Fall Final Four” stakes for 2-year-old trotters and pacers.

Post time is 7:15 p.m. (EST) for the night’s first race.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
What The Hill has won eight of 17 races this year and earned $774,928.

What The Hill has won six times in his career at the Meadowlands. In his most recent appearance at the track, in August, he finished first in the Hambletonian but was disqualified for interfering with another horse in the stretch. On Saturday, the colt starts from post five with driver David Miller.

“The best part is that he’s very similar to me to Crazy Wow,” Burke said. “That’s who I most would compare him to; just how they move and their ability levels. I think right at this time they’re very similar.”

What The Hill has won eight of 17 races this year and earned $774,928 for owners Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms. For his career, the son of Muscle Hill out of K T Cha Cha has won 11 of 31 races and $1.09 million.

Two other of this year’s Breeders Crown champions will meet in the $175,000 TVG Series final for trotting mares: Hannelore Hanover, who defeated male rivals in the Breeders Crown Open Trot, and Emoticon Hanover, who won the Breeders Crown Mare Trot. Completing the four-horse TVG field are Barn Doll and Caprice Hill.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Hannelore Hanover has won nine of 16 races this season and earned $952,879.

Hannelore Hanover, a 5-year-old mare who also beat the boys in the Maple Leaf Trot, has won nine of 16 races this season and earned $952,879. Emoticon Hanover, a 4-year-old, has won five of 12 starts this year and earned $385,666. Both hold world records, with Hannelore Hanover’s mark of 1:49.2 the fastest in history for a female trotter and Emoticon Hanover’s 1:50.2 the fastest in history for a female trotter on a five-eighths-mile track.

“It’s a short field but it’s good horses,” Burke said. “(Hannelore Hanover) will have to be sharp. She trained great last week, so hopefully she will be good.”

Burke stakes-winners All Bets Off and Check Six are among the seven horses in the $350,000 TVG Series championship for male pacers. Mach It So, who won this year’s William R. Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands, and stakes-winners McWicked and Dealt A Winner also are in the field.

“All Bets Off, to me, needs to win this,” Burke said. “If he wins it I think he’s aged pacer of the year, so it’s a big priority to try to win this race.”

The $175,000 TVG Series championship for female pacers includes 2016 winner Lady Shadow, this year’s Breeders Crown Mare Pace winner Pure Country and stakes-winners Nike Franco N, Blue Moon Stride, Darlinonthebeach, and Bedroomconfessions.

Burke’s night is not limited to TVG action. Among the remaining horses from his stable in action is Breeders Crown 2-year-old pacing filly champion Youaremycandygirl in the $381,200 Three Diamonds. She will start from post 10 with Yannick Gingras in the sulky.

“I hate the draw, but she’s a great horse,” Burke said. “She will put herself in the right position. Yannick will figure something out from out there.”

For Saturday’s complete Meadowlands entries, click here.

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