Big Box Hanover (Uncle Peter) has been the early season’s force at Saratoga Casino Hotel and on Sunday afternoon, the top caliber trotter was at it again. Larry Stalbaum owns and trains Big Box Hanover who was a nominee for Trotter of the Year at Saratoga last season and is well on pace to have an even bigger campaign in 2023. Coming into Sunday’s start in the $17,000 Open Trot, Big Box Hanover already owned three victories in the local feature this year despite being assigned an outside post almost weekly. In fact, the six year old went last to first in back-to-back starts earlier this month to record victories before finishing third in last Sunday’s (Mar 19) installment of the Open. This week, young reinsman Matt Athearn again took Big Box Hanover back to last in the early going but didn’t waste much time in getting the razor-sharp trotter underway. Flushing out the cover of weekly rival Dewey Arnold (Jimmy Devaux) approaching the half mile pole, Big Box Hanover wound up fanning three-wide heading to three quarters before taking over the lead in mid-stretch. The 6-5 betting favorite went last to first for the third time in four starts to secure his fifth win of the ’23 campaign and fourth in the local Open Trot. Reign Of Honor (Shawn Gray) closed well to finish second while Dewey Arnold earned the show spot. The exacta and triple in the feature paid $27.60 and $74.50, respectively. Driver Matt Athearn piloted three winners on the Sunday card in what has been a breakout first two months of the season at the Spa for the 24 year old.
Live racing continues on Monday afternoon with a matinee beginning at noon.
Photo: Jessica Hallett
Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs, New York