Washington, PA — Annapolis Hanover has been sailing through his conditions, but the youngster will try to navigate through deeper waters in Saturday’s (July 2) $164,618 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows.
The card also features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. First post is 12:45 p.m.
Annapolis Hanover won his first two career starts before finishing second next time out while individually timed in 1:53.1. But all those races were in overnights at The Meadows. Is he ready to take on some of the most promising juveniles in Pennsylvania? His owner/trainer, Mitchell York, answers that candidly.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know if he can or not,” York says. “He’s shown talent so far. He can leave pretty good and get home great, but it’s a field of tough horses.”
York is off to a terrific start with his juveniles. His five healthy 2-year-olds already have produced five wins, an impressive total considering that most freshmen don’t face the starter until mid-June at the earliest. And he may feel that he’s already ahead of the game with Annapolis Hanover, a Stay Hungry-All Night Long gelding who brought only $15,000 at Harrisburg.
“We try to be bargain shoppers,” York says. “He’s not a real big colt, although he’s built really well, and he’s a first foal. Some people going by pedigree might not like a first foal, but we like to take them.”
York, who retired after 25 years as a Pennsylvania State Police officer, was introduced to harness racing by his father-in-law, driver David Brickell, a stalwart at the Keystone State’s pari-mutuel tracks and fairs circuit. For most of his career in law enforcement, York worked undercover in narcotics investigations. He doesn’t see any transference of skills from police work to harness racing.
“They’re two vocations that are definitely different, that’s for sure,” he says.
One thing is certain. York hopes that, after Saturday’s race, Annapolis Hanover is under cover no longer.
Annapolis Hanover leaves from post two, race four with Ronnie Wrenn Jr. at the helm. Another contender to watch in that division is Girldad (post one, Yannick Gingras), a Sweet Lou colt whose dam, Krispy Apple, was among the most talented, consistent performers of her era, retiring with a bankroll exceeding $1.9 million.