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Alsace Hanover, Hugadragon win Tattersalls splits

October 09, 2011

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Alsace Hanover, despite drifting right down the stretch, managed to hold on to win the $243,000 first division of the Tattersalls 3-Year-Old Pace Sunday afternoon at The Red Mile. With Ron Pierce driving, Alsace Hanover reached the wire a diminishing nose over Westwardho Hanover to score in 1:50. The second $243,000 split had an adventurous start as North America Cup winner Up The Credit threw in some extra steps that forced driver Jody Jamieson to take hold, and in the end it was Hugadragon going gate to wire in 1:50.
In the first Tattersalls division, Pierce moved Alsace Hanover from fourth to the lead past the opening quarter of :28.1 set by the pacesetting Westerwardho Hanover and Dave Palone. Alsace Hanover led through a half in :55.2 and three quarters in 1:23.2, and turning for home held a clear lead over Westerwardho Hanover. But as he moved down the stretch, Alsace Hanover began to drift toward the grandstand, and then had to fend off a late charge by Westwardho Hanover. Fashion Delight, making his first start since July 2, finished third for David Miller.
The winner in late July of the Adios Pace at The Meadows, Alsace Hanover scored for the seventh time in 13 starts this year. The son of The Panderosa is trained by Tony O'Sullivan and owned by John Fielding.
"He was running out a little more than he usually does," O'Sullivan said afteward. "We've got him rigged to run out to get him off his inside knee, but today he was just running out a little bit too much.
"He'll go to the Breeders Crown in two weeks at Woodbine. He's one of the big boys; he can go with them."
In the second Tattersalls division, Yannick Gingras had Hugadragon moving forward off the gate, as did Jamieson with Up The Credit. But when Up The Credit got steppy and Jamieson grabbed hold to steady his charge, that left an easy opening for Hugadragon to secure the front.
Hugadragon reached the quarter in :26.1, followed by American Arena, Rollwithitharry, and then Up The Credit, who by then had been steadied and settled in. Hugadragon reached the half in :53.3 and then approaching three quarters Jamieson tipped Up The Credit to the outside.
Around the final turn Hugadragon and Up The Credit began to edge away from the competition, with the three-quarters reached in 1:21.3. Heading toward midstretch Up The Credit began to tire, and Hugadragon began to edge away. Finishing second was a late-closing Wind Me Up and David Miller, with Rollwithitharry and Brett Miller third.
Gingras said afterward that the bobble by Up The Credit took him by surprise as he believed he and Jamieson would be sitting one-two in some fashion throughout. At the top of the stretch Gingras admitted that while he was sure Hugadragon would be able to fight off Up The Credit, he wasn't sure of the rest of the competition that he expected to be closing in off the fast fractions.
"I was definitely worried," said Gingras. "I thought I had Jody beat but I was looking over at David (Miller, with Wind Me Up. These are all quality horses."
Ron Burke trains Hugadragon for his Burke Racing Stable, The gelded son of Dragon Again also scored a 1:50 victory in a Bluegrass division last week at The Red Mile, with Sunday's win his fourth overall in 2011 in 15 starts. The winner's check of $121,500 increased his career bankroll to more than $513,000.
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