by Frank Carulli
August 29, 2017
Emoticon Hanover set a world record for 4-year-old pacing mares with a wire-to-wire victory in 1:50.2 in the $150,000 Joie De Vie Stakes Sunday at Tioga Downs. In doing so, she defeated a millionaire, a track record-holder and an O'Brien Award winner.
With Dan Dube in the bike, Emoticon Hanover hustled to the lead through a 26-second opening quarter mile from post 4 and forced Hannelore Hanover (30-48, $1.6 million) to take a pocket seat. She reached the half-mile mark in :55.1 before favored Pasithea Face N (Tim Tetrick), fresh off a record-breaking run at Tioga Downs the previous week, bid first-over. Emoticin Hanover shrugged off the favorite and kept Hannelore Hanover at bay for a 1-1/2-length victory. Caprice Hill, named Canada's best the last two years, closed strongly to finish third.
Emoticon Hanover, trained by Luc Blais, paid $14.40 to win while improving to 13-34 lifetime with $813,552 in earnings.
The dust had hardly settled when trotting star Resolve defeated four millionaires in a track-record 1:51.4 in the $170,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot.
Resolve bid first-over from fourth near the 3/4-mile mark, blew past pace-setter Crazy Wow (Yannick Gingras) at the top of the stretch and held off fast-closing longshot Cufflink Hanover (Corey Callahan) for a 1-1/2-length score. He paid $4 to win.
Resolve padded his $2.5 million bankroll and enhanced a resume that includes wins in the Yonkers International and John Cashman Memorial, to name a few.
Resolve's trainer, Ake Svanstedt, has been on a remarkable run this month. He was in the bike when Perfect Spirit won the $1 million Hambletonian August 5 via disqualification. He swept a pair of six-figure finals in the Dr. Harry Zweig Memorial the following weekend at Vernon Downs. Most recently, he guided Yes Mickey to victory in an elimination heat for this week's $500,000 Yonkers Trot -- the second leg of the Trotting Triple Crown -- after he was supplemented into the race for $30,000. The Yonkers Trot winner will receive an invite to the prestigious Yonkers International in October.
Yonkers will also host the $500,000 Messenger Stakes -- the second jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown -- this Saturday, Sept. 2.