June 3 2023 – Standardbred Canada
Last year’s two-year-old pacing colt of the year, Stockade Seelster, and two colts from the first crop of STAY HUNGRY, Redwood Hanover and Annapolis Hanover, captured the three $75,000 divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes on Saturday evening (June 3) at Woodbine Mohawk Park — a night which also featured the Graduate and Miss Versatility Series.
The Somebeachsomewhere Stakes served as a preview of next week’s highly anticipated Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. In the first division, Redwood Hanover and James MacDonald got the call at the :25.4 opening quarter, but local star No Control buzzed by him just past that point and hit the half in :54.1. There, driver Dexter Dunn pulled the right line on favourite Fulton (HESTON BLUE CHIP) from fifth to start his advance. Fulton was eye to eye with the leader at the three-quarters in 1:22.1 and breezed by as they headed down the stretch. Closing hard, fast and late was Redwood Hanover, and that pair paced away from the field with Redwood Hanover getting up to win impressively in 1:49. Fulton, who came in two-for-two on the year, had to accept his first 2023 defeat with a strong second.
Trainer Anthony Beaton co-owns the winner with Mac Nichol, McKinlay & Fielding and David Mercer. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, Redwood Hanover was a $50,000 yearling purchase. Lightly raced last year at two, Saturday night’s win was his fourth in five trips behind the gate in 2023 to put his seasonal bankroll just over $70,000 on the year. “We were pretty confident coming in, he’s been great so far this year,” noted Beaton. “There were a couple tougher ones in here tonight but he stepped right up. He’s a big, strong, tough horse. He paced strong right through the wire.”
Annapolis Hanover grabbed control early in the second split and paced by the first quarter in :26.2. Bamboozler popped out from fifth and swept up quickly to the front by the :55.2 half and was by the three-quarters in 1:22. Down the lane, Annapolis Hanover came out from the garden spot and hauled down the leader to hit the wire first in 1:49.3. Bamboozler was right there for place while Ants Marching finished third. Mitchell York of Cranberry, Pa., trains and owns Annapolis Hanover, who earned a life mark with the win. This was the colt’s first trip north of the border and first start outside of Pennsylvania. He’s yet to finish out of the top three in six tries for just over $84,000 in earnings this year. Lifetime, he sports $315,200 — making his $15,000 yearling tag look like a great bargain.
“He’s a really nice horse, he’s really handy, you can do anything you want with him, my plan worked out perfect. I thought he had a real good chance as long as things went our way, which they did,” said winning driver David Miller.
As for the trip, he noted: “He relaxed really good when he got to the lead, when Dexter [Dunn driving Bamboozler] came, he was pacing pretty good. He [Annapolis Hanover] was being a bit lazy in the last turn but by the time we came to the head of the stretch, he got back on his back and grabbed back a hold of me and I thought we were in good shape.”