A pair of Hanover Stakes for three-year-olds shared top billing on the Saturday program at Balmoral Park. A total of 14 sophomore pacing fillies were dropped into the box necessitating a split into a pair of $22,750 divisions while a total of eight pacing colts were sent postward for a purse of $37,600.
The fillies kicked things off with Burke Racing Stables, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino& Lawrence Karr's U R It BB's posting a 2 ¼ length victory in a career best of 1:51.4 for driver Casey Leonard.
Given a perfect steer by Balmoral's leading driver, the daughter of Always A Virgin—U Neek B B sat second while a headstrong Kayla Grace (Brad Kramer) showed the way through an opening quarter in 28.1.
After grabbing command midway down the backside, Leonard elected to let a hard charging Hello My Dream (Dave Magee) go as the field rolled by the half-mile mark in 55.2.
Sitting patiently in the pocket as Hello My Dream and a first over Kayla Grace battled head and head around the far turn, Leonard had U R It BB perfectly positioned as the ladies hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.3.
Maneuvering into the passing lane with a sixteenth of a mile to go the Ronnie Burke trained miss quickly moved into full flight finishing off the mile with a 28.0 final quarter to notch her first win in eight starts this season. One Jazzy Lady (Travis Seekman) rallied late to finish second while Kayla Grace held on for third.
Sent off as the second choice in the wagering U R It BB returned $7.60, $4.20 & $3.20 while running her career slate to 5-6-3 in 19 starts with earnings of $207,923.
In the second division Brent Hopper, James Davis & Kyle Gray's Platinum Spirit also used the passing lane to perfection as she came roaring through inside of her rivals to win by three-quarters of a length in a lifetime best of 1:52.0 for Kyle Wilfong.
The diminutive daughter of Tell All---Platinum Hanover protected early position getting away third as Cuzimalegend (Travis Seekman) led the field through an opening quarter in 27.2.
After a backside brush to the lead Wilfong and Platinum Spirit faced immediate pressure from Always Dee One (Ryan Anderson) as the field moved past the half-mile station in 55.1.
After watching that rival clear on the final bend Platinum Spirit settled into the pocket nicely as Fox Valley Amanda (Dale Hiteman) came calling to challenge Always Dee One as the field hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.4.
Hidden behind her bigger rivals, Platinum Spirit emerged at full speed as the passing lane opened up, zipping right by the embattled leaders to post her sixth win in 14 starts this year. Always Dee One finished a hard fought second while Cuzimalegend (Travis Seekman) was third.
Unraced as a two-year-old Platinum Spirit now sports five wins, one second and three thirds in 14 starts with earnings of $33,385. The Ben Davis trained miss returned $18.80, $11.80 & $5.20 to her backers.
In the colt match-up Erv Miller Stables and Bert Hochsprung's Dinner At The Met scored in impressive fashion as he came charging through the lane for John De Long to win by three-lengths in a lifetime best of 1:50.2.
Reserved in the early going as Blooming Genius (Travis Seekman), Pumped Up Kicks (Todd Warren) and PQ Three (Ryan Anderson) all took turns leading the way through hotly contested splits of 26.4, 54.0 & 1:22.3, De Long finally made his move first over as the field neared the top of the stretch.
Taking dead aim on the leaders the gelded son of Metropolitan—Grabbersome flew home in 27.4 to post his fifth win in 18 tries this season. PQ Three fought on gamely to hold on for second while Pumped Up Kicks was third.
With the win Dinner At The Met who was unraced as a two-year-old now boasts a record of 5-2-3 in 18 starts with earnings of $70,875. Well supported at the betting windows the Ervin Miller trainee returned $5.00, $2.80 & $2.40.