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Abuckett Hanover takes fastest Nassagaweya split

August 30, 2020

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Tony Alagna trainee Abuckabett Hanover shipped north and flew down the road in the stretch to win the faster of two divisions for the $234,058 Nassagaweya Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Abuckabett Hanover left from post 9 to race fourth while Perfectboy Hanover rolled to the lead past a :26.3 first quarter. Bettor Sun yielded for the pocket but soon circled back to the lead by a :55.3 half as driver Bob McClure tipped Abuckabett Hanover to race second-over. 

Island Beach Boy led the two-wide charge into the final turn, rolling to Bettor Sun’s wheel approaching three-quarters in 1:24.1 but hanging into the stretch. McClure kicked Abuckabett Hanover off cover straightening for the finish and dashed past Bettor Sun into the eighth pole, strolling to a 1:52.1 victory over No Bettor Joy jetting through the field for second. Bettor Sun held third with Island Beach Boy fourth.

“I actually went by the farm and trained him during the week, so I got a feel for him,” McClure said after the race. “He’s still a little green, but extremely fast and willing. He’s got the potential to have a really bright future, so that’s fun.”

Owned by Barbera Stable, Jablonsky Held Stable, Joe Deguara and Alagna and Inthegym Partners, Abuckette Hanover won his second race from four starts, earning $98,356. The Betting Line colt paid $5.10 to win.

McClure returned to the winner’s circle after Lawless Shadow led every step despite starting from post 9 and hit the finish in time to hold off Ucanttouchthis in 1:52.2 to take the first division of the Nassagaweya. 

McClure motored the Shadow Play colt to the top and cleared control from Bazooka Hanover moving to the first turn with Pirate Hanover third before going on a gallop. Lawless Shadow led unchallenged through fractions of :26.3, :56 and 1:24.2 while the outer flow—led by 8-5 choice Dean B Hanover—made a slight advance from the middle of the pack heading to the final turn. 

Dean B Hanover stalled into the lane, forcing Ucanttouchthis off cover from second over and Candy Trader from third-over. Ucanttouchthis closed on Lawless Shadow’s lead through the stretch, but the Dr. Ian Moore trainee hit the finish first a neck in front of Ucanttouchthis with Candy Trader finishing third and Highlandbeachsbest weaving through competition to finish fourth. 

“I usually like to train [two-year-olds] in [1]:58 before I qualify them and he trained in [1]:58 fantastic,” Dr. Moore said after the race. “But then we were going to train him one more time and he started making breaks on me, so I never had a baby that I trained so many times, which is why we were late qualifying him. [But] he’s been a very nice colt right from the get-go. I told the partners I’ve been kind of high on him so this is good to have tonight for sure.

“He’s just improving every week,” McClure said. “He was a little bit mismanageable for a couple of starts, then Ian changed some rigging on him and now he’s just perfect. He surprised me tonight—I mean he got it cheap to the half and everything but he really stepped up and outraced some really nice colts. It’s one thing to win Ontario Sires Stakes races and everything but he beat some nice other colts too. I think he’s trending in the right direction.”

Co-owned by Dr. Moore with R G McGroup Ltd., Serge Savard and Frank Cannon, Lawless Shadow won his third race from five starts, earning $104,565. He paid $15 to win. (SC)

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