Lebanon, OH — The final $28,000 Open I Handicap Pace of the 2022 season at Miami Valley, held Thursday (May 5), was won by Cody Hanover.
The 5-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again has been nothing short of sensational during the 87-day winter-spring meet, winning eight of 10 starts and banking $99,750 — all at the southwest Ohio track.
Dan Noble, Cody Hanover’s pilot in all 10 local starts, got away fifth during a fractious :26.1 opening quarter over the rain-dampened track. Not content to sit mid-pack with the second choice, Noble rushed him to the lead as the timer flashed an eye-popping :53.3 at the halfway station. With little effort to rate the razor-sharp Cody Hanover, Noble opened up several lengths on the field before the 1:21 three-quarters, then coasted home in 1:50.3, a new lifetime mark. Slight favorite GD Western Joe (Chris Page) rallied for a second-place finish ahead of last week’s winner He’zzz A Wise Sky (Mitch Cushing), who was third.
Lionel Watiker owns Cody Hanover, who surpassed $260,000 in earnings with the win. Cody Hanover was a fine juvenile racing predominantly at Ohio county fairs, winning 13 races and making about $85,000, but has really blossomed as an older horse. Last season, he was sent out east and earned $76,330 with just three wins, but adding 10 place and seven show finishes. Earlier this season, under trainer Andre Nared’s tutelage, he finished second — due to an uncharacteristic break in stride halfway down the stretch — in the $30,000 George Williams Memorial late-closer final. He followed that up by capturing the $35,000 Tom Tharps Memorial series final in 1:51.
A $24,000 Open II Pace also went postward, with Rose Run Ulysses (Trevor Smith) scoring a mild upset over Havefaithinme N (Noble) and Sugar Island (Josh Sutton). Kim Dailey owns and trains the 6-year-old chestnut son of Western Vintage, who won for the third time this season and 17th time overall.
With 52 starts in 2021 and 17 already this year, Rose Run Ulysses has been a model of consistency.
“I keep waiting for him to tell me he needs a break,” laughed Dailey, “but he just seems to love his work. He stays sound and gives his all every time out, so I keep going with him. If he tells me he needs a break, he’ll get one. He’s been very good to me!”
Post time is 12 noon for the final two programs of Miami Valley’s 2022 season, scheduled for Friday (May 6) and Saturday (May 7).