Milton, ON — Trainer Brett Pelling sent two undefeated 3-year-old pacing fillies, Treacherous Dragon and Wickedly Innocent, into Saturday night’s (June 11) C$35,000 Fan Hanover eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. One extended her unbeaten record, while the other came up short by inches.
In the first test, Boudoir Hanover grabbed early control for Todd McCarthy from post six and led the fillies past the opening panel in a quick :26. Favorite Treacherous Dragon and Tim Tetrick popped out from third and flew up to take control well before the :55.3 half. They hit the three-quarters in 1:23.1 and could not be caught down the stretch, tripping the timer in 1:50.2.
Prohibition Legal, last year’s O’Brien Award winner as Canada’s 2-year-old pacing filly of the year, had a bit of traffic trouble down the lane and managed to sneak up the inside to finish a close second. Sea Silk got up for third while Boudoir Hanover held for fourth. Also earning a berth into next week’s final was Smuggle Tina.
Treacherous Dragon is undefeated thus far in 2022, with tonight’s win her fourth in as many trips behind the gate. Brett Pelling trains the daughter of Captaintreacherous for owner Hot Lead Farm of New Jersey. A winner of $299,612 during her rookie campaign, the filly was a $260,000 yearling purchase.
Her dam is the $2.3 million winner my Little Dragon, who competed in the 2006 edition of the Fan Hanover and finished a close second in both her elimination and the final. Treacherous Dragon’s three-quarter brother is the $1.3 million winner Stay Hungry, who captured his elimination of the North America Cup in 2018 and was fourth in the final.
When asked to compare her on the racetrack from her 2- to 3-year-old season, Tetrick commented, “She’s grown up a lot. Brett and his connections really took a wait-and-see approach last year at two and let her come into herself. This year, we’re being a bit more aggressive with her and she’s getting the job done, that’s for sure.
“Her best game isn’t on the front; she’s really lazy. Turning for home and she sees them coming, she digs in really well.”
In the second elimination, it was Queen Of Success leading the girls through a first quarter of :27.1. Dont Fence Me In and Scott Zeron came from third to first well before the :56 half. First up and challenging was Lyons Serenity at the 1:23.2 third panel, and that filly paced on by the leader as they headed down the stretch — but she had plenty of company.
The heavy favorite, Wickedly Innocent, had the lead briefly, but James MacDonald and Silver Label came from second last on the rail at the top of the stretch and closed quickly to collar the favorite in the last steps to win by a neck in 1:50.4. Lyons Serenity, Queen Of Success and Free To Be Me all advanced to the final in that order.
A homebred for Millar Farms of Stouffville, Ont., Silver Label is a daughter of Bettor’s Delight trained by Nick Gallucci. She and her stablemate Prohibition Legal both advanced to next week’s final. For Silver Label, it was her second win in three tries so far this year, and her easiest trip of the 2022 season, according to her driver.
“She’s had a couple of tough trips (in her first two starts this year); she didn’t deserve a third,” noted MacDonald. “That’s what great horses do — they bounce back. I didn’t want to be hard on her tonight; I rolled the dice and got lucky. I rode the fence and slid out mid-pack. Todd (McCarthy on Wickedly Innocent) was advancing quick enough that I could slide out on his back. Sometimes you don’t have the best trip, you need a little bit of racing luck.”
The connections of both elimination winners earned the right to select their post positions for next week’s C$401,000 final, which will be a feature on the undercard of North America Cup night next Saturday night.
The field will line up as follows:
1. Wickedly Innocent
2. Prohibition Legal
3. Treacherous Dragon
4. Silver Label
5. Lyons Serenity
6. Sea Silk
7. Queen Of Success
8. Smuggle Tina
9. Boudoir Hanover
10. Free To Be Me
The Fan Hanover was established in 1983 to honor one of the greatest pacing mares of all time and still the only female to ever win the coveted Little Brown Jug. Over those almost four decades the event has been captured by many of the sports’ elite distaffers with another name to be added to that list next week.