Ruthless Hanover returns — in 1:47.1

Chester, PA — Ruthless Hanover, who paced the fastest mile ever in harness racing history over a 5/8-mile track, 1:46.3, in the Joe Auger Memorial on Super Sunday last year at Harrah’s Philadelphia, showed absolutely no rust after not racing in six months, winning the $13,000 fast-class handicap pace in an astounding 1:47.1 on Sunday (May 19).

Andrew McCarthy made his intentions known immediately with the seven-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding, putting Ruthless right on the lead, reaching the first quarter in :26 before getting a “breather” to a :53.4 half, then going :26 again down the back, hitting the three-quarters in 1:19.4. The speed demon had left the field far behind by the last-named station, and he won by nine lengths with McCarthy looking like a passenger.

The powerhouse showing is likely to earn Ruthless Hanover another invitation to the Auger Memorial, part of Super Sunday 2024 at Philly next Sunday, but that leaves Team Cancelliere, trainer Tom and owner John, a dilemma – what to do with Mac’s Delight?

That Bettor’s Delight four-year-old gelding has been super-sharp in his three starts this campaign, including his 1:49.1 win in a $14,500 pace on Sunday. Andrew McCarthy kept Mac’s Delight in third behind fractions of :26.3 and :54.4, then moved him first-over on the way to the 1:22 three-quarters, with the champion distaff Twin B Joe Fresh, making her first start as a four-year-old, on his back. But Mac’s Delight stayed strong to keep the late kick of the mare 1-1/4 lengths at bay.

So if you have a Ruthless Hanover, does Mac’s Delight go in the $100,000 Auger as an entry mate? One answer may be a $50,000 Invitational pace, the #Senditin Philadelphia Invitational, scheduled for the Super Sunday card. The connections of Twin B Joe Fresh quite possibly may be asked if they want a spot in the $100,000 Betsy Ross distaff pace, as she was very good and figures to only improve.

The horse who was the fastest of the year at Philly when the day started was the three-year-old Total Stranger in 1:49.1, and in the day’s first race he lowered that mark a tick – for four races anyway — while pacing fractions of :26.3, :54.1, and 1:21 en route to a 6-3/4 length victory in the $12,000 event. Since the 1:49.1 was the maiden win for the Bettor’s Delight colt (a full brother to Tall Dark Stranger), this 1:49 perforce becomes his lifetime speed badge after winning for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Nancy Takter, and the ownership of Judith Taylor, Caviart Farms, and Chuck Pompey.

Total Stranger is not Pennsylvania-sired, so he won’t be in the Sire Stakes/Stallion Series leg scheduled on next Sunday’s great card. But there will be some overnight races – though the lowest level will be “nw5.”

Racing next week at Philly will be on Thursday and Friday at 12:25 p.m., followed by the Super Sunday card at 12:40 p.m. next Sunday, featuring all the great paces described above plus the $100,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Trot. Wednesdays at 12:25 p.m. will come back to the riverside’s oval on June 5. Free Philly programs are available at

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