With Rick Zeron picking up the catch-drive, Apogee Hanover scored her first career victory in the $130,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold final Monday night at Mohawk in 1:52.3.
Making just her second-career start, the daughter of Jeremes Jet was in no hurry in the early going as Legal Entity (Luc Ouellette) led past the opening panel in :27.2. Katys Jet (Phil Hudon) sat in the pocket with Sauble Claire (Trevor Henry) third.
As the field of 10 made their way to the half, Ys Gold Star (Sylvain Filion) moved out from fourth and brushed to the lead, but that would not last long as the odds-on favorite, Class Of O Nine cleared to the
front past the mid-way point in :56.2. As the freshman fillies headed into the final turn, Palm Patrol (Chris Christoforou) made the first-over attack with Jeremes Sweetheart (Mark MacDonald) and Apogee Hanover following her.
As Class Of O Nine passed three-quarters in 1:24.3, the tempo-setter began to tire as Jeremes Sweetheart and Apogee Hanover was shown clear racetrack down the lane. With a sixteenth to go, Apogee Hanover exploded in deep stretch, using a :27 final quarter to score the win over Jeremes
Sweetheart, with Classy Lane Rose third.
Scott Zeron was originally scheduled to drive the miss, but the young driver couldn’t make it back in time from Ottawa so the lines were handed to his father. “I was talking to Scott [who got stuck at the airport in Ottawa] and he gave me all the quirks about her and he said when you pull the plugs
on her she’s a different horse and he was right," said Rick.
The younger Zeron also gave his father advice on race strategy. “Scott told me to try and follow Mark (MacDonald - driving Jeremes Sweetheart), because he thought Mark could get me the head of the lane and she should be good off of that. I just drove her the way he mentioned it to me, that’s all. She’s like driving a four-year-old mare, she was still in hand at the wire and when she hit the head of the lane, she was just like a 4-year-old as she was strong and kept pacing for me.”
The bay now has career earnings of $75,000 for trainer Erv Miller and owner Roger Hammer. She paid $13.20. (WEG)