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Hannelore Hanover, Atlanta star in Armbro Flight elims

June 07, 2019
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Records were matched and broken in Friday night’s Armbro Flight eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
 
A group of 16 star trotting mares clashed in a pair of $35,000 Armbro Flight eliminations with Ron Burke trainees Atlanta and Hannelore Hanover (pictured) putting on a show.
 
Superstar Atlanta delivered possibly the easiest-looking Canadian record-equaling performance in recent memory with a dazzling 1:51 victory in the first split. The clocking equaled Hannelore Hanover’s record set in the 2016 Armbro Flight.
 
Not one to share the spotlight, Hannelore Hanover went out and broke the record in the second elimination by posting a 1:50.3 mile. The clocking was not only a record for trotting mares, but also the fastest trotting mile in Canadian racing history. The previous record of 1:50.4 was set in 2012 by Mister Herbie.
 
Yannick Gingras steered both mares to the record miles on Friday night.
 
“I’m going to talk to Ronnie,” said Gingras when asked which mare he will select for the final. “It’s going to be a team decision, I’ve got to talk to him and see what he thinks and go from there.”
 
In the first elimination, Atlanta circled around Dream Together entering the backstretch to grab command. The 4-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven reached the half in a modest :56.4 before ramping things up for the back-half.
 
Appearing to never break a sweat, Atlanta trotted a :27.2 third-quarter followed by a :26.4 final-quarter to win by 7 ¼ lengths in 1:51.
 
“She was unreal tonight,” said Gingras following the victory. “Last week I didn’t think she was a hundred percent, but tonight she was definitely back in form. I had a lot left.”
 
Gingras felt that Atlanta could’ve broke the record with ease.
 
“There is no doubt she could’ve gone in (1):50 really easily. I still think there is room for improvement. I wouldn’t be surprised if she goes under (1):50 soon, but we will worry about that when we get there.”
 
Plunge Blue Chip finished second, while P L Jill was third. The top-five was completed by Highland Top Hill and Royal Witch.
 
Atlanta is now undefeated in three starts this season with $117,000 earned for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. The 2018 Hambletonian champion sports impressive career numbers of 15 wins and nearly $1.3 million earned.
 
Atlanta paid $2.20 to win.
 
Hannelore Hanover came into the Armbro Flight elimination as the three-time defending champion.
 
Gingras hustled Hannelore Hanover out to the top, clearing after a :27.2 opening-quarter. The 7-year-old cruised by the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:23.4.
 
In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover trotted home in :26.4, the same final-quarter as Atlanta, to win by 4 ¼ lengths in a historic time of 1:50.3.
 
Top Expectations finished second, while Emoticon Hanover was third. The top-five was completed by Weslynn Dancer and The Erm.
 
“She’s back,” said Gingras. “She’s sound as a dollar right now. She was really sharp in the post-parade, but once she hit the last turn she was trotting real strong and felt like her old self.”
 
A winner of over $3 million, Hannelore Hanover has been dominating the aged trotting ranks for several seasons. The daughter of Swan For All came into the elimination off a seventh-place finish in her lone start this season. Her victory Friday gives her 43 for her career.
 
A $2 win ticket on Hannelore Hanover returned $6.50. (WEG)
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