With class drop, Aflame Hanover gets first win of year
September 11, 2020
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A trio of $11,200 features highlighted the Friday racing at Harrah’s Philadelphia, along with the debut of a spectacularly-bred two-year-old.
The pacing tri-feature led off the card, and it went to the Sweet Lou sophomore gelding Win Not Lou, who took a new mark of 1:53.1 after moving to the lead early and then coming home in :56.2 - :28 to win easily. The winner is owned by Paton Racing Inc., trained by Jim King Jr., and was driven by Tim Tetrick.
The first of the trotting headliners was taken by Andela, a Yankee Glide three-year-old filly whose second dam is the beloved CR Kay Suzie. Trainer/driver Rod Allen, for his Rod Allen Inc., kept the filly rolling after she lost cover, and the pair prevailed by a length over favored My Boy Christian in 1:57.3, with Durhamville, who brushed to the lead down the backstretch and left Andela raw, another half length back in third.
In the other top-drawer trot, SVF Blushingbride, an Andover Hall sophomore filly who recently finished fourth in a Sire Stakes behind Sister Sledge and actually raced in the PaSS consolation for trainer Lou Pena, fronted her field from the quarter in taking her third win in her last five starts for driver Simon Allard, this one in 1:56.
It is hard to imagine what a son of two Horses of the Year, Muscle Hill and Bee A Magician, might bring at a yearling auction, but we won’t know on their 2018 foal since the breeders, Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, are still the owners. It must have been hard to make the decision to geld such a potentially-lucrative sire, but that process was effected in late summer of this year according to registration records, and after a 2:01.2 qualifying win Bee Forever made his pari-mutuel debut Friday and won from off the pace in 1:59.1, with David Miller measuring his win margin late on the Nifty Norman trainee. It will be interesting to follow the progress of this baby.
With his “hometown fair” of Gratz opening two weeks of racing starting tomorrow, the Russell Hanover four-year-old gelding Aflame Hanover showed his fast winning ways with an engine victory over Somewhere Fancy in 1:51.1 - :55.1 - :27.2 for driver David Miller in the $10,000 top pace for older horses.
The Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes champion at two, where he set a 1:51.4 all-age Championship record that still stands, Aflame Hanover had won only once in the 369 days prior to this victory, but he’s been racing the best there is (last year fourth in the Hempt Final, fourth in the North America Cup final, third in the Matron final; this year third and fourth in Graduate legs). He enjoyed the drop in company here as he raised his earnings to $367,599 for trainer Linda Schadel, co-owner with her husband Tony. (PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia)