The name Hannelore Hanover can be added to the growing list of horses that got his or her start on the Indiana circuit and advanced to take on top horses in open stakes across North America.
A 4-year-old female trotter, Hannelore Hanover is the 6-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's C$267,000 Armbro Flight Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. Hannelore Hanover, who was the 2015 Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final champion, has won six of seven races this season and captured her Armbro Flight elimination last Friday by 4-3/4 lengths over Rockin With Dewey in 1:52.2. Shake It Cerry, the 2014 Trotter of the Year, finished third.
For her career, Hannelore Hanover has won 15 of 28 races and earned $414,399. She has finished outside the top three only twice. She joins the likes of 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Breeders Crown champs Always B Miki, Color's A Virgin, and Freaky Feet Pete as Indiana-sired horses attracting national attention.
"Hannelore is a very, very good horse," trainer Ron Burke said about the daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety, who was purchased as a yearling for $32,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and whose family includes two-time Horse of the Year Mack Lobell. "She's showed that she belongs with probably any of them right now. She's just gotten better and better. She's got plenty of go."
The Burke Racing Stable owns Hannelore Hanover, along with the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and Frank Baldachino. The mare's wins this season include the Miami Valley Distaff and her only setback was a second-place finish in a parked-out mile from post eight in an Invitational Handicap at Hoosier Park.
Hannelore Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras will start from post No. 4 in the Armbro Flight, which is for female trotters ages 3 and older.
Four-year-old Rules Of The Road, the 2015 Hambletonian Oaks runner-up to Wild Honey, won the second of the two Armbro Flight eliminations last week, beating Elegant Serenity by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54.1. Stormont Kate finished third.
Rules Of The Road has won three of seven races this season and nine of 39 lifetime. Her victories last year included divisions of the Simpson and Tompkins-Geers stakes. She has earned $274,860 for owners Arden Homestead Stable and Janice Connor, who trains the mare with her husband Chuck Connor Jr.
"She's going to have to be better this week," Janice Connor said about the daughter of Muscle Hill-Right On Renee, who was a $12,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale. "Even though she was great last week, don't get me wrong, she's going to have to step it up a little bit more to beat Hannelore Hanover and Shake It Cerry. But we have faith."
Rules Of The Road and driver Corey Callahan will start the Armbro Flight from post three. Rules Of The Road is 6-1 on the morning line. Shake It Cerry is the 4-1 second choice behind Hannelore Hanover.
"She's much better than at the beginning of the year," Connor said about Rules Of The Road, who brings a three-race win streak to Saturday's final. "But she was slow to start last year too. Her first few starts last year were not stellar. She was making some breaks and not finishing her miles. But now we're very happy with her. She trained (Wednesday) morning and trained super. Hopefully we can get a good chunk of it."
Added Connor Jr., "She's kind of an overachiever anyway. She can leave (the starting gate) pretty hard and get to where she needs to go. She's been a pretty good horse."--By Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications
Following is the field for the Armbro Flight in post order.
1. Missys Ga Ga – Sylvain Filion – Richard Moreau – 20-1
2. Rockin With Dewey – Mario Baillargeon – Benoit Baillargeon – 12-1
3. Rules Of The Road – Corey Callahan – Chuck Connor Jr. – 6-1
4. Hannelore Hanover – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 6-5
5. Charmed Life – Jody Jamieson – Dave Menary – 8-1
6. Stormont Kate – Trevor Henry – Bruce Richardson – 15-1
7. Shake It Cerry – David Miller – Jimmy Takter – 4-1
8. Elegant Serenity – Roger Mayotte – Roger Mayotte – 8-1
9. Barn Doll – Jeff Gregory – Jeff Gregory – 12-1
10. White Becomes Her – Mike Saftic – Benoit Baillargeon – 20-1