Anderson, IN — Sylph Hanover and driver Sam Widger saved their best for last as they stormed home a winner in the featured event of the evening, the $150,000 Nadia Lobell Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday (July 19). Scoring in 1:50.2, Sylph Hanover rallied from well off the pace to make her Hoosier Park debut a winning and establish a new lifetime best in the process.
Leaving from post four in the talented field of ten, Sylph Hanover was unhurried from the gate and settled off the pace in eighth. It was hotly contested opening quarter as a host of fillies fired away from the gate. Rockin Philly and Trace Tetrick, sent off as the heavy post-time favorite, won the early battle for the lead and reached the first quarter in a snappy :25.4. Glorious Virgin and Brandon Bates benefitted from a pocket trip while the Ohio Sires Stakes Champion, Queen Of The Pride with Tony Hall in the bike, was next in line third.
Queen Of The Pride wanted her turn on the front and she quickly marched up to grab the lead just past the half in :53.3. The quick pace continued as the field hit the third station in 1:21.1 with Queen Of The Pride still calling the shots. As the field turned for home, Sweet Heaven and John DeLong were applying pressure first-over with St Somewhere and Ricky Macomber Jr. in tow. Lady Capulet and Andy Shetler moved into the outer flow and were well-placed third-over with Sylph Hanover waiting to pounce from fourth over.
As the leaders began to retreat on the front, it was a cavalry charge to the wire. Lady Capulet tipped off the tiring cover to surge forward but it was Sylph Hanover on the far outside who would find the wire first. Lady Capulet had to settle for second place honors while Queen Of The Pride held on gamely for third. Slightly dismissed at 5-1, Sylph Hanover returned $13.20 to her backers at the betting windows.
“She felt really good tonight,” Widger noted after the victory. “I had to nurse her around the turn a little but once she got straightened away and she got her head down, she really got going.”
Trained by Ron Burke, the three-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-She’s A Fan recorded her second win of the season from 8 starts. Owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable, W. Switala, J. Martin, and J. Critelli, Sylph Hanover pushed her lifetime bankroll to $448,311. The victory was also one of five winners on the evening’s 13-race card for Hoosier Park’s leading driver, Sam Widger.
Live racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, July 20 with an 11-race card. Saturday’s racing action will be highlighted by the first annual Empire of Hope event at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. Through a variety of promotions, donations, and activities, Harrah’s Hoosier Park will launch this new program designed to help raise awareness and funding for the care of horses after their racing careers are over. Racing fans attending the event will have the opportunity to make contributions and learn more about aftercare efforts. Developed with support from accredited racehorse aftercare programs, Empire of Hope will directly assist efforts to relocate, rehabilitate and repurpose retired horses. The live racing action will get underway at 6:30 pm. For more information on Empire of Hope or upcoming entertainment at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.