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Westwardho Hanover aims for Willowdale final

January 19, 2012
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Westwardho Hanover was heavily favored going into the first and second legs of the Willowdale Pacing Series and with the $100,000 final scheduled for Saturday evening at Woodbine, trainer Ron Burke expects to see an action-packed race.
 
After a pair of third-place finishes in both legs, Burke still likes his chances with the son of Dragon Again-Western Duel.
 
“I thought he raced very well," he said. "He was just in impossible spots. It’s been a tough series. I think you are going to see multiple horses taking their shot (in the final). There will be plenty of action in here, so I think that will help my horse.”
 
Westwardho Hanover has fashioned a lifetime record of 10-5-8 in 30 outings with $597,320 in career earnings and carries a speed badge of 1:49.1, which was taken in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs.
 
The 4 year old will make his third trip to the Toronto oval this year as he has trucked back to Burke’s stable in Pennsylvania after each leg, but the horseman feels the travel won’t be an issue for the bay.
 
“He’s a pretty calm horse and I don’t think it bothers him,” he explained.
 
Brett Miller will also make the trek north from his Pennsylvania home to drive the bay for the third straight week. Westwardho Hanover, who is owned by Westward Ho Stable of Frederickstown, Pa., will leave post six in the ninth race.
 
“It is a good spot because it gives him options,” said Burke of the post position. “He can leave or race from the back, so it really does put him in a perfect spot, because he doesn’t have to commit to either way.”
 
But, he’s hopeful that Westwardho Hanover can get away near the front.
 
“I think he is better more forwardly placed and with a race like this, I think here is a better chance that we can get him closer to the front than he has been the last couple weeks,” said Burke.
 
After the Willowdale, Burke plans to send Westwardho Hanover to the Meadowlands to compete in the Aquarius Series, which would then be followed by some much deserved time off.
 
Also on Saturday night’s 12-race program, 10 three and four-year-old colts and geldings will contest the $50,000 final of the Snowshoe Pacing Series, which is slated as the sixth race. (WEG)
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