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Hannelore Hanover, Filibuster Hanover lead Saturday card at Big M
Wednesday, May 02, 2018 - by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

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Ken Weingartner
Hightstown, NJ --- Hannelore Hanover is ready to step out. Filibuster Hanover might be ready to step up.

Returning Horse of the Year Award-winner Hannelore Hanover makes her seasonal debut Saturday (May 5) at the Meadowlands Racetrack when she faces 11 male rivals in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for older trotters. Filibuster Hanover, last year’s Little Brown Jug winner, also makes his 2018 bow at the Big M, taking on 10 foes in the first of two divisions of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old male pacers.

Yannick Gingras will drive the Ron Burke trainees in their respective races, which will be contested at 1-1/8 miles because the fields exceeded 10 horses. First race post time is 7:15 p.m. (EDT). The $182,500 Cutler is race No. 7 while the $50,000 Graduate divisions are races six and nine.

USTA/Ken Weingartner photo
Hannelore Hanover won 10 of 17 races last year, finished second five times, and earned $1.04 million.

Hannelore Hanover won 10 of 17 races last year, finished second five times, and earned $1.04 million for owners Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. For her career, the daughter of Swan For All out of High Sobriety has won 36 of 58 races and $2.47 million.

The 6-year-old female trotter enters the Cutler off two wins in qualifiers, the first in 1:53.2 and the most recent in 1:52.2. She will start the Cutler from post 12, the trailing position behind Mambo Lindy in post No. 2.

“It’s a 12-horse field at a mile and an eighth, so it’s not the ideal scenario for a first start,” said Gingras, who was the 2017 Driver of the Year. “But everyone is in the same boat. Both of her qualifiers were strong and I feel like she’s ready for a good mile.”

Hannelore Hanover defeated male rivals multiple times last year, most notably in the finals of the Breeders Crown Open Trot and Maple Leaf Trot, as well as in the Allerage Farms Open Trot. She won the Allerage in 1:49.2, the fastest mile in history for a female trotter.

“She got better and better as the year went on,” Gingras said. “At the beginning of the year she was winning, but she was winning just because she’s a great horse. At the end of the year I thought she was at her best. The little kinks she had went away and she finished the year real strong. She was at the top of her game.

“She’s started out the year better than she started it last year. Hopefully it leads to good things ahead of us. We’ll be really happy if she comes back and does the same thing she did last year, winning those big races. If she does the same, I’ll be more than happy.”

The complete field for the Cutler in post order finds Gural Hanover, Mambo Lindy, Sutton, Will Take Charge, Di Oggi, Crazy Wow, In Secret, Tuonoblu Rex, Warrawee Roo, and I Know My Chip on the gate, with Deep Impact and Hannelore Hanover in the second tier.

As happy as Gingras is about Hannelore Hanover’s return, he is also excited to see what Filibuster Hanover can do this season. Filibuster Hanover won five of 20 races last year and earned $724,029. His wins included the Little Brown Jug and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes. He finished second in the Monument Circle, Matron, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship.

 
USTA/Mark Hall photo
Filibuster Hanover won five of 20 races last year and earned $724,029.

Filibuster Hanover enters his Graduate division off two qualifiers. He finished second to Blood Line in 1:51.1 in his first outing, then exploded for a 1:49.3 win in his most recent effort, pacing his final quarter-mile in :25.2.

“The horse has always had super ability,” Gingras said. “When he trained down as a 2-year-old, Ronnie and I both agreed he was our favorite of the whole pack. It just took a long time for him to get rolling. I think he’s matured into a really good horse. He’s nice to drive, he’s straight, and he’s willing to do what you ask of him.

“I think he’s one that can take a step forward. He got better and better as last year went along. He wintered well and looks great. It’s a group that I think is wide open, the aged division. I think there are a lot of good horses out there, but I don’t think there’s a great horse out there right now. If any horse takes a couple steps forward he could dominate the group, or at least do really well. I’m hoping that Filibuster is the horse.”

Joining Filibuster Hanover in the first division of the Graduate are Boogie Shuffle, Eddard Hanover, Blood Line, Bags To Riches, Funknwaffles, Photobombr Hanover, Odds On Delray, Highalator, Western Joe, and Classic Pro.

The second division is Donttellmeagain, Mac’s Jackpot, Pointomygranson, Mike’s Z Tam, Sports Column, Music Is Art, Lawrencetown Beach, Rock N Tony, Daiymir, Talent Soup, Miso Fast, and Beyond Delight.

For Saturday’s complete Meadowlands entries, click here.


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