Papi Rob Hanover bests Tall Dark Stranger in 2CP elim
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Earlier in the evening driver Yannick Gingras upended two unbeaten juveniles in capturing Breeders Crown eliminations. Gingras was on the other side of the fence in the lone $32,500 (CAD) Crown elimination for juvenile pacing colts and this time his unbeaten Tall Dark Stranger tasted defeat for the first time as Papi Rob Hanover and driver Dave Miller turned the tables in capturing the event in 1:50.2 at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday.
Tall Dark Stranger was sent off as the odds-on choice in the field of 10 necessary to find eight horses for the final. Gingras sent him to the front early and he seated Cattlewash in the pocket and cut the opening fraction in :27.4 as Papi Rob Hanover and Major Betts both found spots along the pylons.
Tall Dark Stranger appeared to be cruising on the lead until Miller made a sudden move and engaged the leader. The two hooked up for an extended duel but Papi Rob Hanover overtook the favorite just past the :55.1 opening half. Miller kept the pace lively and did not allow an outer tier flow to develop kicking his third quarter in :27.1 with the teletimer flashing 1:22.2.
Papi Rob Hanover, sent off at 3-2 was second in the Metro to Tall Dark Stranger but on this night it was his rival that failed to engage in the final eighth of a mile as Miller worked on Papi Rob Hanover and got the desired result. A final quarter of :28 flat snapped Tall Dark Stranger's seven-race win streak and assured the winner a decent draw for the final.
Cattlewash finished third followed by Mayhem Hanover in fourth. Rounding out those headed for next Friday's final are Freedom Warrior, Allywag Hanover, Major Betts and Put To Right.
David McDuffee owns Papi Rob Hanover a son of Somebeachsomewhere and Brett Pelling trains the colt who returned $5 to win.
"I knew we had to finish in the top eight so I asked Brett before the race what the strategy was," Miller said. "He said 'I came here to win' so we accomplished that," said Miller. "I was going to sit and just come late but when I saw the quarter in :27.4 I figured I better go. He was strong."
"He's the real deal," said Pelling. "He's never done anything wrong. He had post 9 in the Metro final and got beat and I didn't want to take a chance drawing outside again."
The post positions for the Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Colt Pace will be drawn at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. By winning his elimination, Papi Rob Hanover is guaranteed to draw anywhere from post one to post five. (WEG)