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Valley Speed, Chugwater Gal take Hanovers

October 29, 2007

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Freshman trotters took center stage on Sunday night as a pair of Hanover Stakes shared top billing on the 12-race card with Valley Speed and Chugwater Gal winning their respective divisions.


In the first of the two stakes events a field of seven diagonally gaited colts was sent postward for a purse of $70,000. Much to the delight of the wagering public, Judith Lunsford and Lynne Lindsey’s Valley Speed, the 3-5 favorite in the race, continued his impressive late season run with a front-stepping score in 1:58.2.


Eased away from the gate by driver Brent Holland, Valley Speed was parked through an opening quarter of :29.3. Overtaking the early leader Big Boy Lloyd (Dale Hiteman) on the backside, Holland had Valley Speed trotting well within himself as he led the way through middle splits of :58.2 and 1:28.4.


Just as he did in his Cardinal Stake victory, the Henry Lunsford trainee quickly erased any doubt as to who was the best in this group as he effortlessly opened up a 3 ½-length lead by the mid-stretch call.


On cruise control the rest of the way, the son of Valley Victor reported home with an easy 1 3/4-length verdict over St. Regis Hall (Mike Oosting). Maxter (Dave Magee) finished with plenty of trot to get the show dough.


Now riding a three-race winning streak Valley Speed boasts an overall record of five wins and four seconds in 16 starts with earnings of $127,465.


With just four participants dropped into the entry box for the filly division this $55,000 tussle was carded as a non-wagering event prior to the start of the regular betting card.


Taking advantage of the short field and a distinct lack of speed from their rivals the red-hot Oosting put Dixie Graham’s Chugwater Gal right on the point as soon as the wings of the starting gate folded and the filly proceeded to make every call a winning one in a leisurely 2:01.3.


Enjoying an open-lengths lead as she strolled through splits of :31.1, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2, the Nelson Willis-trained miss then coasted home to a three-quarter length decision over So Sexy (Dave Magee). Maplegrove Natalie (Brandon Simpson) was a distant third, 28 1/2 lengths behind the winner.


Another trotting event also provided plenty of excitement in race four as Ryan Anderson piloted 51-1 shot Aunt Ellie to victory. Fellow longshots Homestead Zip (35-1) and Memory Maid (42-1) followed the winner home sparking a $1 trifecta payout of $20,306.80 on the 9-1-6 combination and a 10-cent superfecta payout of $11,526.50 on the combination of 9-1-6-7. (Balmoral Park)


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