Following a second-place finish to odds-on favourite Tequila Monday in an elimination for the Fan Hanover last week, Bettors Up, a Bettors Delight filly from the Western Hanover mare Fresh Ideal, will return for the $440,000 final during Saturday’s (June 17) North America Cup undercard at Mohawk Racetrack.
“She was a pretty good filly last year — she won in 1:51 in a division of Pennsylvania Sires (Stakes at The Meadows),” said Scott McEneny, who trains Bettors Up for owners Bradley Grant, Teresa Davidson, and Michelle McEneny.
Over 14 starts in her career, Bettors Up has won seven, including three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) and a division of the Eternal Camnation last year, compiling $227,749 in earnings. She has made four starts this year, improving from a seventh-place finish in her debut against conditioned mares on May 6 to a sharp 1:51.1 victory on June 2 ahead of the Fan Hanover eliminations.
“Coming back up here to Canada we had a tough spring to get them ready,” McEneny said, “A lot of rain, so getting some fast miles in them was tough. She had a couple of starts under her belt, but then I put her on Lasix (May 26) and it seemed to help her. We had missed three weeks (after scratching sick from a Sires Stakes event), so she needed that race because she’s not a really good trainer; she’s really lazy.
“She’s not a very big filly, but she’s filled out over the year. She doesn’t wear very long hopples — she just has a big heart. We paid $15,000 for her and she has a good pedigree, but her biggest problem is her size.”
As a two-year-old, Bettors Up’s only other stakes venture following PASS action was in the Three Diamonds at Woodbine Racetrack. She finished sixth in the final.
“The final of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes was at Chester and she just didn’t like that track,” McEneny said. “When I raced her there the first time, she hit her knee real badly (because she never wore knee boots), and so I was fighting a bad knee the whole year.
“Then we had six weeks off before any other stakes, and I think she just got a little stale; just wasn’t sharp.”
Last Saturday, Bettors Up was sent to the front, attempting to wire the field in the second of two Fan Hanover eliminations before being caught in the final strides by Tequila Monday, who won by a length in 1:50.4.
“I knew she’d be good because she likes to race tough. When she won in (1:)51, Doug McNair raced her first up,” McEneny said. “I think she got a little lazy up front in the elimination, plus I thought we could’ve gotten the third-quarter to be a little slower; Scotty Zeron (driving Shes Watching) was coming kind of hard, so she went a big third-quarter but still came home in :27. I was pretty happy with her."
Tequila Monday got the better of Bettors Up in their elimination, while Idyllic Beach took care of business in the other split. The elimination winners will likely be the favourites at post time, but McEneny feels his filly, who will start from the rail, can be right with them and be a player.
“That was a tough filly that beat her,” McEneny said. “Some of the other fillies, like Idyllic Beach, we’ve beaten before, so I think she can go with them. It’s going to come down to who gets the right trip and there are four, five, six good fillies in there. It’s not going to be a cake walk for anybody.”
Here is the field for Saturday’s $440,000 Fan Hanover Stakes.
1. Bettors Up (Doug McNair/Scott McEneny)
2. Al Mar Got A Fever (Trevor Henry/Mike Weller)
3. Shes Watching (Scott Zeron/Tony Alagna)
4. Idyllic Beach (Yannick Gingras/Jimmy Takter)
5. Tequila Monday (Brian Sears/Chris Oakes)
6. Action Majesty (Sylvain Filion/Gregg McNair)
7. Agent Q (David Miller/Aaron Lambert)
8. Future Headlines (Tim Tetrick/Colin Johnson)
9. Roaring To Go (Brett Miller/Kevin Lare)
10. Dancing Shadows K (Randy Waples/Rod Boyd)