World Record For Sassa Hanover

Published: October 3, 2014 01:24 pm EDT

International Stallion Stakes action continued on Friday (October 3) at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky, as two-year-olds battled in a total of eight divisions.

Pacing filly Bettor N Better, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras, kicked off the card with a 1:51 mark-lowering effort in Race 1, which carried a purse of $83,900 and was contested over a track rated ‘good.’

When asked about how the track appears to be playing Friday, Gingras said, “It’ s a little bit early to tell,” adding that Better N Bettor was acting “greenly” on the front end in her victory over five rivals.

Gingras had lined the brown daughter of Bettors Delight up in Post 4 and settled into the four-hole as Zip Code Envy (driven by Scott Zeron) gunned for the lead and clicked off the opening quarter in :27.1. Shakai Hanover (Tim Tetrick) went first up after the quarter and stopped the half-mile timer in :55.1.

Gingras made his move with Better N Bettor after the half, as the duo went first up, grabbed the lead, and then clicked off three quarters in 1:23. Better N Bettor had to fend off a determined Wicked Little Minx (Ake Svanstedt) in the final quarter, but had enough left in the tank to get the job done.

Better N Bettor paid $7.20 to win. Wicked Little Minx bottomed the exactor and Zip Code Envy completed the triactor.

Better N Bettor is owned by Our Horse Cents Stables (Clifton Park, NY) and Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. (Wallkill, NY).

Pacing filly JK Shesalady extended her career unbeaten streak to eight in Race 3, as the daughter of Art Major hustled her way to a 1:50.2 victory in the $84,900 event.

Although a light rain was falling during JK Shesalady’s tilt, the student of trainer Nancy Johansson was sharp for driver Yannick Gingras, as the bay filly was just one-fifth of a second shy of her 1:50.1 world record (which she holds along with I Luv The Nitelife and Precocious Beauty).

After having started from Post 2, Gingras opted to slide JK Shesalady into the four hole early, as Heavenly Bride (Brian Sears) zipped to the lead from Post 7 and clicked off the opening quarter in :27.1. Bettor Be Steppin (Corey Callahan) then went first up in the second quarter and led the seven-horse field to the opening half in :55.1.

It was right around the half where Gingras began his first-over journey with JK Shesalady, who geared up and grabbed the lead before the 1:23.3 three-quarters pole. The undefeated filly was all business in the lane, as she paced home and held off Heavenly Bride (who finished second) and Bettor Be Steppin (who finished third).

Gingras said that the first-over trip was exactly what JK Shesalady thrives off of. “That’s the way she likes it,” Gingras said in the winner’s circle, “we’ve never tried her on the front.”

Gingras gave an update on the track conditions, stating that he thought the track is “playing fair for everyone.”

JK Shesalady is owned by her breeder, the 3 Brothers Stables of New York, NY.

Yannick Gingras swept the International Stallion Stakes two-year-old pacing filly divisions on Friday’s card when he guided Ron Burke pupil Sassa Hanover to a world-record-equalling 1:50.1 mile in Race 5, which carried a purse of $84,900.

After having started from Post 5, Gingras took a conservative approach with Sassa Hanover, as the pair sat off the leaders and watched Crescent City (Mark MacDonald) cut the opening quarter in 27 seconds.

Action was fast and furious in the second quarter, as multiple fillies took their shot for the lead. Ideal Nuggets (David Miller), Divine Caroline (Corey Callahan) and Sassa Hanover each tipped overland and took aim at the engine, but it was Sassa Hanover who was strongest of all, as she took over command just passed the :54.3 half-mile pole.

Sassa Hanover was all business on the lead along the final turn, as she zipped by the three-quarters station in 1:22 and paced home in :28.1 to add her name to the record books. Divine Caroline was a game second and Ideal Nuggets finished third.

“Yannick didn’t like the trip he worked out for her,” Burke said in the winner’s circle, adding that Gingras said that Sassa Hanover “dug in and was really game.”

Burke stated that Sassa Hanover will race next in the Matron Stakes and then the Breeders Crown after that.

Sassa Hanover now joins JK Shesalady, I Luv The Nitelife and Precocious Beauty in the record books as the fastest two-year-old pacing fillies on a mile track.

Sassa Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC (Fredericktown, PA), The Panhellenic Stb Corp. (Oyster Bay Cove, NY), Weaver Bruscemi LLC (Canonsburg, PA) and Lawrence Karr (Randolph, NJ).


Nancy Johansson found her way back to the winner's circle in Race 4 as Cruzado Dela Noche front-stepped his way to a lifetime best score in the first $76,120 International Stallion Stakes division for two-year-old trotting colts.

David Miller targeted the Muscle Massive colt to the lead from Post 7, and he got there after rail-protecting French Laundry (Yannick Gingras) eventually ceded the lead before the :28.1 first quarter. Just before the half, Big Rich (Tim Tetrick) started the outer flow from sixth. That move forced others off the rail and edged Tetrick three-wide to keep his momentum going.

Past the half, Sugarmakesmecrazy (Ake Svanstedt) applied first-over pressure on Cruzado Dela Noche with French Laundry looming the danger in the pocket through three-quarters in 1:26.1. Down the stretch, the pacesetter edged away from the field but Gingras was biding his time in the pocket and waiting for daylight up the pylons. When that space opened, Cruzado Dela Noche responded and repelled that challenge to trip the timer in 1:53.4 -- just two-fifths of a second off the divisional world record.

"I was actually leaving just to see how the race went, maybe take a spot and race him that way but he made it to the front and they left him alone," said David Miller after the win. "He had a lot of trot finishing."

Johansson trains Cruzado Dela Noche (Muscle Massive - Alidade), now a winner in three of nine, for Courant AB of Sweden. The win lifted the rookie's bankroll to more than $135,000.

The Yannick Gingras-driven and Jimmy Takter-trained Walter White utilized a ground-saving in Race 7 to capture his $77,120 International Stallion Stakes split in a career-best 1:56.1.

Gingras lined his Cantab Hall colt up in Post 7 and worked out a two-hole trip early. The duo watched Special Action (Ron Pierce) cut the fractions in :28.2, :58.4 and 1:28.1 before finding some much needed racing room in the lane.

When Gingras and Walter White found some daylight, they proceeded to out-trot a hard-closing Explosive Drama (Corey Callahan), who finished second. Fashion Creditor (David Miller) finished third.

“It was a little tight turning for home,” said Gingras. “We were searching for racetrack and we got it.

The pilot said that he wanted to be forwardly placed, but did not want to be pulling the train. “I wanted to be up close, but not on the front,” said Gingras, adding that he wanted to make sure Walter White was covered up.”

Walter White, who paid $8.00 to win, recorded his second career victory in what was his eighth start. The colt is owned by Christina Takter (East Windsor, NJ), John Fielding (Toronto, Ont.), R A W Equine Inc. (Burlington, Ont.) and Jim Fielding (Toronto, Ont.)

If anyone was to defeat Billy Flynn given the way the earlier races were going, it was likely to be Yannick Gingras. 'The Green Hornet' was buzzing on Friday, winning his fifth race of the day with Pinkman in the third International Stallion Stakes division.

Crazy Wow (Dan Rawlings) tussled with Pinkman early on in the mile for command, and the New York Sire Stakes champ got there with an opening panel in :27. Pinkman sat the pocket while favoured Billy Flynn (Brett Miller) settled into fourth early before being flushed out by Suit And Tie (Corey Callahan).

Miller methodically measured his colt for the lead, getting up to the front just as the half-mile pole flashed by in :55.2. Suit And Tie continued to advance and apply pressure on the outside through a relaxed 30-second third split but that first-over bid started to fade at the top of the stretch. As Suit And Tie backed through the field, Gingras -- third on the rail -- was able to find room with Pinkman and was loaded with trot. Miller cautiously urged on Billy Flynn as Pinkman got closer, but Billy Flynn started to get a bit rough. Pinkman was able to trot strongly through the lane and hit the wire a nose in front in a lifetime best 1:53.3.

"I was confident in my horse, he's a very nice horse. When I raced him in Delaware I really liked him," said Gingras after the victory. "Last week, I put him on the front here and he wasn't quite as good...he wasn't a big fan of that so I figured I could get away up close and I got lucky to get out at the top of the stretch. He gave me a good kick at the end."

Gingras felt that Billy Flynn's rough-gaited steps weren't the reason why his horse won. "My horse was going by anyway."

Now a three-tie winner in four starts, Pinkman (Explosive Matter - Margie Seelster) is trained by Jimmy Takter for Christina Takter of New Jersey, John & Jim Fielding of Scarborough, Ont., Joyce McClelland of Ohio and Herb Liverman of Florida.

The Brett Bittle-trained and John Campbell-driven Muscle Diamond bided their time in their $77,120 division of the International Stallion Stakes (Race 9) and came on late to record a 1:53.4 victory, which was just two-fifths of a second off the world record shared by Muscle Network and Centurion ATM

Campbell and Muscle Diamond started from Post 6 and watched patiently from the backfield as Piercewave Hanover (Yannick Gingras) cut the fractions in :27.3, :56.1 and 1:25.

Muscle Diamond, a Muscle Hill colt, raced second over along the turn and was able to pounce on the field in the stretch. The bay was a well-measured winner and returned $4.60 to his backers. Boots N Chains (Corey Callahan) finished second, while On The Sly (Brett Miller) was third.

Muscle Diamond trotted his life’s-best mile for owners Charles E Keller III (Frederick, MD), Charles E Iv Keller (Frederick, MD), Daniel Bittle (Frederick, MD) and Brett Douglas Bittle (Allentown, NJ).

The Friday stakes finale provided the biggest upset of the day as the fifth and final International Stallion Stakes division was won by a 99-1 longshot.

As the wings of the gate folded, Corey Callahan hustled Aldebaran Eagle to the lead from the outermost gate spot and landed on the pylons going into the first turn. Whom Shall I Fear, the full-brother to Father Patrick, was making his first start against Grand Circuit competition and Yannick Gingras had him in the pocket behind Aldebaran Eagle but only for a brief moment.

Gingras was on top with Whom Shall I Fear by the modest :29.3 first quarter but stablemate The Bank (Jimmy Takter) was on the move and took command. The first-over flow came from last week's stakes winner Southwind Stryker (Tim Tetrick), who provided cover to favoured Centurion ATM (Ake Svanstedt) through the tepid :58.2 half. Tetrick continued to apply pressure to the bank as the field marched onto the third station in 1:27.4, and then the pace picked up.

Svanstedt angled Centurion ATM three-wide as the trotters straightened for home, with The Bank drifting off the rail allowing for room for inside horses. It looked as though Whom Shall I Fear would benefit most, but Aldebaran Eagle was full of trot and also shot up the pylons, hitting the wire in 1:55.1 at odds of 99-1.

Whom Shall I Fear stayed for second with Centurion ATM completing the triactor.

"This as one of the stiffest divisions, I thought, but I've liked this colt all along....from the first day I baby raced him he felt like he was something special," driver Corey Callahan told Gabe Prewitt after the win. "He just hasn't been wanting to pass [horses] so today I figured I was going to get out of there and get away as close as possible and to keep going left -- he's been passing them up the inside. It worked out perfect."

Aldebaran Eagle (Muscle Hill - Letsjusttalkaboutme) picked a great time to get his first lifetime win for trainer Jonas Czernyson and owners Aldebaran Park Inc. of Hamilton, N.J. The victory more than doubled his lifetime earnings, lifted to more than $72,000 with the winner's share.