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Summa Cum Laude, Fire Start Hanover win Kindergarten paces

November 08, 2020

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 On Saturday night, a week after he and Perfect Sting recorded the first dead-heat Breeders Crown win, Yannick Gingras steered Summa Cum Laude to a 1:50.2 win in the $204,050 Kindergarten Series final for freshman pacing colts and geldings at thr Meadowlands. 

Soaring to first off the gate was Shakespeare, followed by Captain Sleeze, with the Ron Burke-trained Summa Cum Laude in fourth behind Ilderton AM after leaving from the 10 hole. Shakespeare cut the first quarter in :26.4.

Summa Cum Laude took to the outside and smoothly passed Shakespeare. With the lead, he was entirely in charge pacing to a 1:23.3 three-quarters. Simon Says Hanover came first-over to make his bid but Shakespeare was still strong and still after the leader, while Always B Sweet came into the stretch picture. 

Without urging, Gingras drove Summa Cum Laude across the wire to a lifetime- best-equaling score by 1 1/4 lengths.

“I just tried to get him in play,” Gingras said after the race. “I wasn’t going to take back to last, so I was able to get away fourth and from there I saw what the pace was going to be, though it didn’t matter, because he can race any which what way. I had a ton of pace still when finishing.”

Shakespeare held on for second, Captain Sleeze got third and Always B Sweet closed late to get fourth.

Summa Cum Laude is by Somebeachsomewhere—Western Graduate. Burke Racing Stable and Phil Collura, J. and T Silva-Purnel and Libby own the colt who took his fifth win in 14 starts and accrued $445,425 in earnings. 

As the favorite, Summa Cum Laude paid $4 to win.

Fresh from her Breeders Crown 1:50.4 victory at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Fire Start Hanover and driver Dexter Dunn swarmed over her competition to win the $151,030 Kindergarten Series final for freshman pacing fillies.

Fire Start Hanover, opening the 1-9 favorite, was in no rush leaving the gate, and settled into fourth as High Minded and Lindy At The Beach rushed from the outside and Three Way Split held onto his rail position. 

As the first quarter clocked in :26.3, High Minded gave up the lead to Classicist, who could not keep the top before the :55.2 half when Dunn guided Fire Start Hanover to the outside. With Off The Record at his back, Fire Start Hanover became the leader and never looked back.

The Nifty Norman-trained filly glided into the stretch in total command, with Off The Record in futile pursuit, crossing the wire one-and-a-quarter lengths in front in a 1:51.1 mile. Off The Record was second and Classicist shifted into third over High Minded, fourth.

Dunn said, “She bounced back okay. It’s only a week since she raced in the Breeders Crown and though that was a tough mile she did it pretty easily.” In the Kindergarten, he said, “The way she was traveling to three-quarters I was not worried because she was full of pace. She finished the mile with the ear plugs still in. She’s strong.”

Fire Start Hanover is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, out of Fit To Frame. Pinske Stables, David Hoese and Lawrence M. Means own the filly who collected her eighth win in a dozen starts and has earned $593,101. He paid $2.40 to win. (Meadowlands)

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