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Kenziesky Hanover brings fancy name, fancy steppin' to Saturday's Meadows series final
Thursday, April 19, 2018 - by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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Washington, PA --- When she takes to The Meadows racetrack in Saturday’s (April 21) $26,000 championship of the Margaret Provost Memorial Trot for 3-year-old fillies, Kenziesky Hanover will bring an unusual name -- and an unusual amount of talent -- to the fray.

The Margaret Provost (race two) is one of four series finals for 3-year-olds that The Meadows will host Saturday, with a combined $101,900 in purses up for grabs. Also featured are the Ruby Cook Memorial Trot for filly pacers (race three), the Ben Wood Memorial Trot for colts and geldings (race four) and the Tom Kirwan Memorial Pace for colts and geldings (race nine). First post Saturday is 1:05 p.m.

Chris Gooden photo
Kenziesky Hanover put it all together in last week’s series leg and scored impressively on the front end in 1:57.2.

The naming of Standardbreds is a phenomenon that’s part science, part art, part frustration. All names proposed in this country must be approved by the United States Trotting Association, the breed registrar, which limits names to 18 characters -- including spaces.

Hanover Shoe Farms, perennially the sport’s leading breeder, always uses “Hanover” in foal names. Add the space before it, and you’re left with only 10 characters to fashion colorful, creative names. Hanover’s website lists well over 300 broodmares; naming their foals is a challenge that Hanover meets in part by inviting harness racing fans and Hanover staff to suggest names.

Jodi Markle estimates that she’s named about 40 foals in the seven years she’s worked in administration at Hanover. She named Blaise MM Hanover for her son, for example; that horse has banked more than $285,000 and continues to race. In similar fashion, she named Kenziesky Hanover (Cantab Hall-Kandor Hanover) for Kenzie Sky, the 4-year-old daughter of her cousin, Mike Wolf.

Weanling/yearling purchasers have the right to change the names bestowed by breeders, so even the most clever or appropriate monikers may not last. That’s where the frustration can come in.

“That’s happened to me a couple times, but it doesn’t bother me,” Markle says. “I’ll just reuse the original names somewhere down the line.”

Her colorful name won’t allow Kenziesky Hanover to win the Margaret Provost championship, but her talent might. She was purchased for a modest $7,000 by J. Patrick Huber and Glenn Congrove, and her trainer, Bill Zendt, knows what shut down the auction so soon.

“I like her body and the way she looks, but her conformation is not the best,” Zendt says. “I was a little leery, but when she went for so little, Pat Huber wanted her. She showed signs of being a nice filly last year, but she got a little sore, and we quit with her early.”

Indeed, she had only two starts at 2, but after a pair of in-the-money finishes to begin this season, she added Lasix and put it all together in last week’s series leg and scored impressively on the front end in 1:57.2, fastest mile in the series thus far.

“She raced good on the front, but I don’t think it really matters,” Zendt said. “There are three or four in the final who are real even, so it should be competitive. I don’t know where we’ll go with her after the series, but if she stays healthy, I think she’ll compete.”

Kenziesky Hanover goes from post five with Brian Zendt aboard.

Also on Saturday, Mychoice members can compete in a Thoroughbred handicapping contest, with Laurel Park the featured track. More information is available at the retail counter in the track’s Racebook.

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