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Atlanta, Allywag Hanover Make History

Published: October 10, 2021 2:46 pm ET

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Star trotter Atlanta made harness racing history in the first stakes event on Sunday (Oct. 10) at The Red Mile, vaulting off cover to win the $81,000 Allerage Farms Filly & Mare Trot.

Driver Yannick Gingras positioned Atlanta in fourth as Felicityshagwell S (Ake Svanstedt) carved out fractions of :27.3, :54.3 and 1:22.1 on the front. Supplemental entry Altar broke stride at the half, prompting When Dovescry (David Miller) out from third with Gingras following that cover for a second-over tow into the stretch.

As the field turned for home, Atlanta was shown clear racetrack and she responded with long and powerful strides. She pulled away from her rivals and hit the wire nearly four lengths the best in 1:49. The mile time matches the overall female trotting mark — co-held by Manchego — and shaved two-fifths of a second off the older trotting mare mark formerly held by Hannelore Hanover. When Dovescry finished second and Hypnotic AM (Brian Sears) was third.

“I’m just glad I was able to see it here today,” said co-owner Michelle Crawford. “We’re very happy with how she’s been managed – we’ve laid off a little bit when she’s been under the weather [or] she hasn’t raced up to par for her. The ride over the years has just been amazing. She couldn’t give us anymore.”

Atlanta (Chapter Seven - Hemi Blue Chip) is trained by Ron Burke for owners Brad Grant of Milton, Ont., Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, New York and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In her 60th career start, the six-year-old world champion notched her 30th win and lifted her career bankroll to $3,189,538.

She has a growing list of engagements still to come in her career, including another potential spar against male competition in the Breeders Crown Open Trot on October 30 at The Meadowlands.

“Yannick just asked if we were going to Sweden, so I said, ‘Hey, I’m in,” said Crawford, referring to a potential start for Atlanta in the 2022 Elitlopp. “He’s booking his ticket, so I guess it’s something that we’ll talk about with the partners and see how they feel about it. And obviously Ronnie [Burke] too, he’s the main decision maker.”

Allywag Hanover later navigated traffic in the stretch to come out on top in a 1:46.4 world record equalling performance in the $158,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace.

Allywag Hanover is now the fastest four-year-old in the history of The Red Mile and matched the all-age world record for pacing geldings that is held by Holborn Hanover and Dr J Hanover.

Firing off the gate from the outside post, 8-5 favourite Allywag Hanover and driver Todd McCarthy made the lead early before Nicholas Beach (Joe Bongiorno) moved back out for the retake during a :25.4 quarter.

After Nicholas Beach cleared, Ocean Rock (Dan Noble) tipped out from third and took control at the :51.3 half-mile mark then Ruthless Hanover (Andy McCarthy) advanced uncovered with This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) on his back and Catch The Fire (Scott Zeron) spotted third-over.

Fronting the field through three-quarters in 1:19.1, Ocean Rock held a short lead turning for home, but Allywag Hanover found a clear path, taking the inside route to win going away in record time. This Is The Plan and Catch The Fire came on for second and third.

Trained by Brett Pelling, Allywag Hanover extended his win streak to five and is now nine-for-16 this year.

“He’s been a wonderful horse for us,” said Adam Bowden, head of Diamond Creek Farms and co-owner of Allywag Hanover through the Allywag Stable. “Brett’s done a masterful job. I couldn’t be more thankful. Todd was brilliant leaving hard, got to the lead and got to follow the good ones. The rest of this year and all of next year and into the future... this is going to be fun for us.”

The Captaintreacherous-Anderosa Hanover gelding's 17th career win boosted his bankroll over the $1 million mark.

Allywag Hanover returned $5.60 to his backers.

While the Atlanta team ruminates a try with their mare overseas, a star from overseas in Ecurie D DK debuted a powerful winner in taking the $136,000 E L Titan Allerage Farms Open Trot in 1:50.4.

The five-year-old Infinitif stallion stormed to the top in his North American foray to post a :28.1 first quarter and a :56 half as his stablemate Back Of The Neck, parked from the start, progressed to press for the lead around the final turn. Ecurie D DK held control to three-quarters in 1:23.4 as Back Of The Neck faltered off the turn, leaving Ecurie D DK to his own in the sprint to the finish. He strode the line 2-1/4 lengths clear of Forbidden Trade rallying from the back to take second, with Its Academic finishing third and Beads shooting through a seam at the inside for fourth.

“He has been racing very good in Sweden and all of Europe since he was three, and the owner wanted to try something new,” said Sarah Svanstedt, wife and assistant trainer to Ake Svanstedt. “They know he’s good on big mile tracks like this, so that was the main goal to put him here. And now we see what the next mission for him will be.”

Ake Svanstedt sat in the sulky behind Ecurie D DK, who he co-owns with Marko Kreivi Stables and Suleyman Yuksel Stables. Ecurie D DK has won 16 of his 22 starts and earned $457,368. He returned a win mutuel of $3.40.

Rocknificent recorded a track record victory in the $73,500 Allerage Farms Filly & Mare Pace when stopping the clock in 1:48.

JK First Lady lunged for the lead from the outermost post in the sextet as Rocknificent pushed from the pylon post to sit second, but promptly vacated the pegs heading to a :27.4 first quarter with Peaky Sneaky following suit. Rocknificent landed a pocket trip to the backstretch with Peaky Sneaky sweeping to the lead and keeping the pace quick to a :53.1 half. Driver Scott Zeron steadily tipped the four-year-old Captaintreacherous mare out of second moving to three-quarters in 1:20.1 and put away her competition with ease through the stretch. She finished 1-3/4 lengths better than Gias Surreal in second, with Peaky Sneaky holding third and Drama Act rallying for fourth.

Owned by Enviro Stables Ltd., South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC, Rocknificent won her third race from 16 starts this season and her 13th from 44 overall, pushing her earnings to $986,854. Linda Toscano trains the $2.60 winner.

For complete coverage of the Kentucky Futurity day card of harness racing from The Red Mile, click here.

(With files from The Red Mile)

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