Cecil Hanover Headlines $171,000 NYSS
A $171,000 New York Sire Stakes race for three year old colt and gelding trotters was the feature on a Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel that saw a big crowd on hand to watch the highly anticipated match race between driver Brett Beckwith and thoroughbred jockey Flavien Prat.
The stakes race for sophomores went the way of Cecil Hanover, a three year old son of Chapter Seven by the Muscle Massive mare Columbia. Cecil Hanover came to town off a resounding victory in a Sire Stakes race at Yonkers that saw him prevail by four and a half lengths with his trainer Ake Svanstedt in the sulky. On Saturday, Svanstedt gave the lines to Hall of Fame reinsman Wally Hennessey who sat behind Cecil Hanover for the first time and powered him out to an early lead in a sizzling first quarter of 27.1.
After yielding to a rival in the early going, Cecil Hanover wound up shaking free at three quarters before overwhelming the competition late in the game en route to a five and a quarter length victory in a time of 1:54.3. The win was the fourth in seven tries this season for the three year old gelding who is owned in partnership by S R F Stb& Midnight Sun Prtns, Jorgen Sparredal and his trainer Ake Svanstedt. Cecil Hanover paid $4.30 to win as the favorite. Spending Crazy (Luke Hanners) finished second while Some Kinda Crazy (Jimmy Devaux) earned the show spot.
The charity match race was contested after the evening’s sixth race on the card and saw Brett Beckwith, who currently sits second in the driver standings at Saratoga this season, get the better of top thoroughbred jockey Flavien Prat. Both reinsmen piloted three year old trotting fillies in an event that has been highly touted all summer long. Beckwith’s Cross Creek Samara got the better of Prat’s Foxe Ella who led for roughly a half mile before seeing her rival cruise by before drawing away to prevail decisively.
Beckwith was driving for the Franklin Community Center while Prat drove for BCCA Faith’s House of Saratoga. All together the event raised roughly $10,000 for the charities and brought an excited buzz to the track which came from the big crowd who made it out to support the event which elicited a lot of crossover support from the thoroughbred side of the sport.
Live racing continues on Sunday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm.
Photo: Jessica Hallett