Lucan Hanover set to blow away foes in Windy City
November 15, 2013
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Lucan Hanover appears poised to capture the $176,000 Windy City Pace at Maywood Park on Friday night.
The gutsy son of Western Ideal battled outside the winning Captaintreacherous all the way through the lengthy Balmoral Park stretch last Saturday night, finishing second by half a length in 1:49 in the $256,000 American National 3-Year-Old Colt Pace in rein to David Miller.
"I like this horse a lot; he's raced very tough and he really fits my style of driving,” Miller admitted. "I'm really happy that he's raced so well and has kind of come into himself here late in the season.”
"He doesn't give up, he's wicked fast and he's always showed me his talent from day one,” trainer Casie Coleman agreed. "He's just finally proving it on the racetrack. I think my owners might have thought I was crazy when I told them how nice a horse he was and now he's starting to prove it.”
Coleman purchased Lucan Hanover for $47,000 at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg. He is the second foal out of the Dragon Again mare Lauren Order, p, 2,1:54s ($78,968) and is a half brother to Lawgiver Hanover (by Art Major) p, 3, 1:52.2h, a winner of 10 races and $306,937. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, the bay gelding is owned by Ross Warriner's West Wins Stable and Christine Calhoun.
Racing just four times as a freshman, Lucan Hanover did score a 1:53.1 victory at Mohawk in the $29,700 Dream Maker on July 19, 2012, pacing wire to wire for driver Scott Zeron. Earning $17,365 last year, he's more than made up for that this season, with 2013 earnings of $466,044.
Prior to shipping to Chicago,Lucan Hanover finished fourth in the $450,000 Messenger final on Nov. 2 at Yonkers, timed in 1:52, after winning his $40,000 elimination at the New York half-miler handily in 1:52.2.
"He won his elimination very easily,” Miller stressed. "But then he got the eight-hole in the final, and on a half-mile track, that's just a bit too much to overcome. He's in great shape coming into the Windy City, and the two hole will be a super sweet spot for him.Having an inside post on the smaller track is a definite advantage.”
Lucan Hanover finished third by half a length in 1:49.2. to Captaintreacherous in the $500,000 Breeders Crown on Oct. 19 at Pocono Downs, having won his $25,000 elim in a career best 1:48 the week before for Miller.That time set the world record for a 3-year-old pacing gelding on a five-eighths-mile oval and equaled Foiled Again's mark for the fastest time ever by a gelding pacer of any age.
He finished third in the $265,224 Little Brown Jug final on Sept. 19 at Delaware to stablemate Vegas Vacation after winning his $58,939 elim that same afternoon with Miller in the sulky.
"In the Jug final he had some interference in the last turn,” Coleman said. "I think he would've been second and maybe given Vegas a run if that didn't happen.”
Lucan Hanover won the $250,000 New Jersey Classic on Aug. 3 at The Meadowlands after having won two legs and the $49,590 final of the Summertime Pacing Series at Mohawk.
"He wasn't racing very well early in the season at the Meadowlands so I brought him back to Toronto and put him in against cheaper horses than what he'd been facing and he got a few wins under his belt,” Coleman explained. "Once he got to beat up on them and win a few races, he got his confidence up. I thought he was going to put in a real big effort on Hambletonian Day (Aug. 3) and that's exactly what he did. I was real happy with him.”
Lucan Hanover had suffered from a pair of unusual splints prior his Mohawk series starts.
"He was running out really bad going into the first turn at the Meadowlands,” Coleman said. "He had a couple outside splints that were really bothering him. They were close to his knees so I couldn't do much vet work until we had a break in his schedule. Now he's steering straight.”
Lucan Hanover has indeed been straight as an arrow for Coleman ever since, winning nine races, with two seconds and four thirds in 19 starts this season.Lifetime he's amassed $483,409 with a 10-2-4 record from 23 career trips behind the gate. Miller credits Coleman's insights into the bay gelding's psyche as one reason for the pacer's success.
"Earlier in the year he got a bit too rambunctious, and when he does that, he has a tendency to flip his palate (and shut off his air),” Miller acknowledged. "Casie (trainer Coleman) made some rigging adjustments which helped tremendously.She put an open bridle on him, and ever since he's been much more manageable and agreeable and has started racing a lot better as a result.
"Before, he was a little too much up on the bit all the time—even scoring down in the post parade,” Miller offered. "Now he's more relaxed all the way around and is a pleasure to drive, and can use all of that energy and aggressiveness in the race.” (Maywood Park)