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Alsace Hanover wins Adios in 1:48.3

July 30, 2011

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Alsace Hanover scored a 1:48.3 victory in the $500,000 Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old male pacers Saturday afternoon at The Meadows, giving driver Ron Pierce his third win in the famed Pace for the Orchids at the Pennsylvania racetrack. Pierce won his first Adios in 2004 with Timesareachanging and then came right back in 2005 to win with Village Jolt.
Sent off the 6-5 favorite in the field of nine, Alsace Hanover got away fourth at the start for Pierce as a parked-out Powerful Mist and driver Dave Palone eventually secured the lead over second-choice Custard The Dragon and driver Montrell Teague. Tucked in third at that point was the Yannick Gingras-driven Real Special.
Shortly past the opening :26.1 quarter Pierce tipped Alsace Hanover to the outside and ranged up first-over against the leading Powerful Mist. After a half in :53.3, Alsace Hanover finally cleared to the lead approaching three quarters, which was clocked in 1:20.3.
Alsace Hanover rebuffed a challenge from Wind Me Up and David Miller, who had been following on the outside, and then began to open up on the field heading down the stretch. As Powerful Mist began to falter, Teague angled Custard The Dragon to the inside but the bid was to no avail as he could only chase the winner by about three lengths under the wire. Real Special held onto third.
Alsace Hanover's clocking lowered the world record for 3-year-old pacing geldings on a five-eighths mile track by one-fifth of a second; he set the previous mark of 1:48.4 in his Adios elim July 23 at The Meadows.
"I figured I'd take things the way they came," Pierce answered in the winner's circle about his first-over race strategy. "He felt just as good today as he did last week."
Pierce added he kept after his charge down the stretch despite feeling comfortable that the son of The Panderosa was heading to the Adios winner's circle.
"You never know but I felt I had plenty of horse left," he said. "It's a horse race and I didn't want to get beat because I wasn't chasing him."
Tony O'Sullivan, who trains Alsace Hanover for owner John Fielding, said the colt is lightly-staked the rest of the year but has the Breeders Crown, Matron, Progress and American National on the schedule. He said Alsace Hanover's next start could come on Hambletonian day, Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Meadowlands in the Oliver Wendell Holmes.
"He loves to race and he loves to chase horses," said O'Sullivan of Alsace Hanover, who won for the sixth time this year in nine starts to increase his career earnings to $544,039.
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