Chester, PA — After defeating arch rival Perfect Sting at Pocono on May 16, Abuckabett Hanover ($2.40) dodged his divisional nemesis — who was scratched due to sickness — and strode to a decisive 1:51.1 victory in the $76,329 first division of Sunday’s (May 30) Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Southwind Gendry ($5.00) delivered an equally decisive 1:51 score in the $76,729 second division.
Abuckabett Hanover stalked patiently from third while Literl Lad Hanover and Chase H Hanover disputed early splits of :27.3 and :56.2. With Literl Lad Hanover in control up the backstretch, Andy McCarthy angled Abuckabett Hanover first-over with three-eighths to go, and the son of Betting Line surged to the lead just beyond the 1:24.2 three-quarter split.
Abuckabett Hanover vaulted to a 2-1/2 length advantage through the far turn and passed the winning post under wraps, three lengths better than rallying runner-up Gamblin Mo (Tyler Buter) in 1:51.1. Red Right Hand (Todd McCarthy), who was towed out of last via third-over cover, finished third, another 3-1/2 lengths behind.
“We were extremely happy with his effort today,” trainer Tony Alagna said of Abuckabett Hanover. “We were glad to not have to race against Perfect Sting today, but look forward to an exciting season.”
Abuckabett Hanover campaigns for Crawford Farms Racing, Alagna Racing, Jablonsky Held Stable and Barbera N Wienick Stable. The colt now has won seven of his 15 starts to date, and has earned $235,021 in his career.
In the second split, Southwind Gendry and driver Yannick Gingras avenged a May 16 defeat to One Eight Hundred, turning aside a stout challenge from that rival on the far turn en route to a powerful three-length win.
The son of Always B Miki rated a :56.4 first half before accelerating up the backstretch in preparation for a challenge from One Eight Hundred, who sustained an uncovered push out of fifth to engage the pacesetter on the far turn. Southwind Gendry responded to his rival’s bid off the home turn, kicking clear to record his 12th win in 16 career starts. Hellabalou (Andy McCarthy) rode the pocket to a second-place finish; Billy Clyde (Mark MacDonald) gained off stalling cover for third.
Ron Burke trains Southwind Gendry for Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, Knox Services and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby.
A 1:51.4 mile from South Beach Star (Todd McCarthy) was good for top honors across eight Stallion Series divisions, and was one of two stakes winners for trainer Brett Pelling — the other being Whichwaytothebeach (Andy McCarthy, 1:53.3).
Simon Says Hanover (Scott Zeron, 1:52.3) and Rockyroad Hanover (Dexter Dunn, 1:52.4) gave Alagna two further stakes winners on the program, while Always A Miki (Dunn, 1:53.3), Bettor Not Talk (George Napolitano Jr., 1:52.4), Rifleman (Dunn, 1:52.4) and Boiler Maker (Tim Tetrick, 1:53.3) rounded out the octet of Stallion Series winners.
Total handle for the Sunday program, which also featured three $100,000 invitational events for older horses, was $1,170,968.
Racing returns to Harrah’s Philadelphia with a 12-race Memorial Day (Monday, May 31) card; post time is 12:40 p.m. (EDT).