quotes by James Platz / story by Frank Cotolo
The betting public considered the Oct. 30 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Filly Pace Final at Hoosier Park a wide open race, making three fillies a trio of choices and not settling on either of last week’s two elimination winners as the favorite.
The public was almost correct, though, because early in the betting, Fire Start Hanover was the favorite. However, the bulk of the win pool money made Scarlett Hanover — who finished second to JK Alwaysblady in her elim win — the favorite. Meanwhile, Fire Start Hanover’s odds rose and she took the second-choice spot, winning in a tight photo for the 1:50.4 mile.
Fire Start Hanover lost her elimination race to the shocking 92-1 Continualou, who left from post 1 in the final. Fire Start Hanover made a big brush in that race to get the lead, a move that picked up the fractions and benefited Continualou’s path to the wire.
Dexter Dunn approached the final hoping not to put the filly on a tiring path.
“We looked at the race on paper and there were five I thought could leave pretty hard,” he said. “It was one of those races where you had to see what was happening out of the gate. There were only a couple coming out hard, so we pushed her and got into a pretty good hole on the first turn.”
Dunn had to brush his filly three wide this week to get the lead, passing the other two favorites, JK Alwaysblady and an on-coming Somethingbeautiful. He was aware of the chase. “I could feel Yannick [Gingras on JK Alwaysblady] coming so I was looking for the wire… She was getting a little tired at the end.”
When Somethingbeautiful began to gallop, Matt Kakaley charged by with Scarlett Hanover and met Fire Start Hanover almost dead-on at the finish. Still, Dexter said, “[Fire Start Hanover] was much sharper this week than last week.”
Trainer “Nifty” Norman won his fifth Breeders Crown race with the victory.
“It’s a race you want to win all year,” he said. “It’s the one you circle on the calendar. It’s a fantastic evening.”
Norman agreed the race was wide open. “It’s a strong division. The draw [post 7] was a little bit of a worry because she had to do a lot of work.” Still, he said he was very confident because “she’s a great and beautiful filly… She’s been beautiful from day one. She got better and better. She’s a big, strong thing and I think she’ll keep getting better.”
Dunn added, “About five or six starts ago she really hit her form, two wins [at Hoosier], two wins at The Red Mile and she really hit her stride. She’s so strong.”
Bred by Hanover Farms, Fire Start Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere—Fit To Frame, by Art Major) won her seventh race in 11 starts in the abbreviated 2020 season.
Pinske Stables, David K Hoese and Lawrence M. Means own the filly.
Co-owner Marlys Pinske was aglow after the photo came up for her filly. “We won our first Breeders Crown last year so this is absolutely wonderful.” She said she felt the filly could win all along.
Fire Start Hanover paid $8.20 to win over Scarlett Hanover, second in the photo, and JK Alwaysblady took the show spot. That one’s mare, JK She’salady, holds the Breeders Crown record of 1:50.2 at The Meadowlands in 2014 for the event.
Pinske said that Fire Start Hanover is headed to Florida to train for the winter.